The alarm rings. It’s the fifth time you hit the snooze button. This time, you get up for real and drag yourself to take a shower. You then put on your office clothes, check yourself in the mirror, grab your usual bag and keys, and then leave. Never mind not having breakfast; you can just have a to-go on your way to the office.
Minutes turn into hours, and the sun has long disappeared. Going through the usual paperwork, trying to work amicably with an unlikeable co-worker, and receiving an earful from your boss. Finally, it’s time for you to head home.
Wake. Work. Sleep. Repeat.
Being an adult is hard, and Lucy know this very well. The four-piece band returns with the first full album, Childhood, with the aptly titled track, “Play”. Rather than singing an ode to our youth, Lucy suggest embracing our inner child to find the beauty in the mundane.
The music video begins with a man sitting on a table in the middle of the playground. It’s morning, and he sighs, probably thinking of the day that is about to come. He decides to climb up to where the slide is, but instead of sliding down, he is transported into a set of what seemingly is a moving picture of his everyday life.
One of the most beautiful visual elements of this video is the use of contrasts amidst the minimalist treatment. The man is clad in a black suit and tie against colorful and hand-drawn sets. Black is the absence of light and color as if representing the lack of joy in the man’s life. However, we see the members also in office wear but in pastel. This could mean two ways: that members have recalled what it is being a child or the man is neck-deep into the harsh realities of adulthood that he no longer sees the color surrounding his life.
The latter seems to be the case. The main character interacts individually with the members and each of them wanted to fill again his world with color. We can see this when the main character rides a taxi and Choi Sang-yeop plays the role of the driver. While it is understandable that not everyone is a fan of chatty drivers, especially after a long and tiring day, you got to give some credit to someone who probably wants to make you happy with a silly story. Even towards the end, he buys a drink at the convenience store where Shin Gwang-il works at. The man is so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn’t even smile.
Other than color and set design, Lucy makes use of contrast to show how different it is from being an adult to being a child. When the main character was being scolded by veteran actor and host Kim Eung-soo, the scene into him being a child running around Lucy. There was no one to scold him for being so carefree; instead, Sang-yeop gives him a hug and Shin Ye-chan pats him on the head. Another scene is when the main character is having dinner with his officemates. He grills the meat to perfection for each of them until he is left with a burnt piece. Ye-chan kept smiling at him and wanting him to enjoy the company. The next scene shows a stark contrast as to when he was a kid celebrating his birthday and having fun with everyone.
It is Lucy’s knack for childhood nostalgia that brilliantly brings out the beauty of this music video. One of their early singles, “Snooze”, was about their refusal to grow up. “Rolling Rolling”, which seemed to be like the prelude of “Play”, was also about escaping the routine. Following the song’s title, Lucy includes childhood games such as tag, hide and seek, and even the infamous Red Light, Green Light game from Squid Game in their lyrics.
Walking across the street without touching others
Sitting in a seat secretly
The first person to leave at work is the tagger
Please tell me to meet again
In a red light (In a red light)
Flower blooms (Flower blooms)
In a green light (In a green light)
Don’t make a move
Don’t leave me anymore (Don’t leave me anymore)
Please stop for me
I’ll find back our days
That we left
Please make a smile like a day
We used to play
At the end of the video, the man slides down to reality. It’s already dark. His day has already ended until we hear an elderly woman’s voice call for him to eat. It is this faint detail that brings the story close to home. It reminds us that no matter how grown-up we might look, we still remain kids. It’s only up to us how to embrace it.