For an act as bubbly as StayC, it was only a matter of time before the six-piece girl group released a song titled “Bubble” (which is as bubbly as it lets on). As the title track off their latest mini album Teenfresh, “Bubble” is everything these two names promise—a burst of fresh, campy, textbook StayC fun. 

“Bubble” also tackles topics the group has admittedly struggled to address earnestly and encouragingly in the past (like with 2021’s “Stereotype”), such as self-confidence and embracing individuality. Unlike “Stereotype,” however, “Bubble” presents a unique take on positive, uplifting messages about remaining confident in the face of adversity. In the song, the members compare nagging critiques from others to “bubbles” that will soon pop and disappear (“don’t let it get to you,” Se-eun sings on the bridge). The track’s lyrical concept falls right in line with the confidence brimming throughout both the track and the MV, which also features a diverse cast of background actors and dancers to further underline its idea of celebrating uniqueness and differences:

I am me and you are you

There’s no problem at all

Being different and being wrong is different

Just as the lyrics to “Bubble” put a creative spin on the classic confidence-boosting anthem, the MV also takes a whimsical approach to loosely play out the track’s refreshing message. The MV opens on fireworks over a 3D-animated Disneyland-like castle, then panning out to show a large crowd of colorfully-dressed people waiting to enter. StayC play as students in a dorm, who then sneak out to join the line (to the dismay of their headmistress, played by comedian Hong Jin-kyung). The narrative remains carefree and playful throughout the rest of the MV, with the members enjoying their day outside and dancing with each other and the rest of the crowd at the park. 

This aspect naturally conveys the song’s encouragement for an unbothered, easygoing mindset, free of considerations for the judgment and criticism that may strike us in everyday life (especially as a teenager). Further campy elements are also introduced via unexpected, off-kilter camera angles and animated and CGI visual elements like the scrapbook-storybook stage the group dances on during the second chorus. While more literal, the bubble room rapper J floats through during the second verse only adds to the MV’s atmosphere of whimsy and fun, ensuring that it—along with the viewers—never take “Bubble” too seriously. 

As if “Bubble”’s earwormy hooks and poppy melodies weren’t enough, the MV also fulfills the track’s saccharine tendencies with its performance factor. Like the song, the choreography for “Bubble” is bubbly and cool, just cute enough and never over-the-top to the point where its hitting you over the head. This is also where another campy nod to the “bubble” makes its appearance, as the members feign blowing up a large bubble and also popping their puffed cheeks at the end of the chorus’s choreography. Dance movements aside, the members’ lively facial expressions also continue to bring the song to life and give the MV’s straightforward narrative a bit more depth, keeping viewers’ attention until the very end. 

To top it all off, the “Bubble” MV is bright and loud in color. At times, the members don Y2K-style outfits of the same hue to make more maximalist backgrounds pop, whereas at other times they wear costumes to blend in with—or emphasize, depending on how you look at it—the overall chaos of the MV. This keeps the MV both nostalgic and spirited, just as “Bubble” itself strives to be. 

There is no question that StayC dominates, if not owns, the teen fresh genre (they’ve quite literally named their latest EP after it). “Bubble” is proof of their superiority in their own realm, a strong showing of the name they have made for themselves, and a fun look and where they may be headed next. 

(YouTube. Lyrics via Genius. Images via High Up Entertainment.)