Cosmic Girls are at their best when they highlight the “cosmic” part of their name. Last summer’s Happy was a fun, peppy diversion, but tried to emulate too many other girl groups and came off as overly derivative. 2016’s Secret established the perfect signature sound for the group, and became one of that year’s biggest growers. With new single Dreams Come True (꿈꾸는 마음으로), the girls have finally delivered the sci-fi, synth-kissed follow-up I’ve been waiting for.
Rather than work with Secret composers e.one again, the group has teamed with producing conglomerate Full8loom. Consisting of individual songwriters like Glory Face and the mysteriously named “Jake K,” Full8loom has quickly blossomed into a powerhouse team whose work can often be found as b-sides on some of k-pop’s biggest albums. With Dreams Come True‘s spacey backdrop, they’ve hijacked e.one’s sound and given it a more assertive makeover.
On first listen, Dreams seems to be lacking a strong hook. Its chorus is melodically fitful, bouncing all over the place until it finally lands on its catchy “trust in me” refrain. The verses are similarly elusive, bopping along an ever-changing structure that seems to stretch itself to incorporate as many of the thirteen members’ voices as possible. But just like Secret, further listens uncover the song’s hidden charms. The instrumental’s diverse range of synths gives a powerfully cinematic effect, heightened by Dreams‘ brisk pace and momentum. I could do without the brief second verse tempo change, but apart from that the song brings an ebullient energy that (thankfully) doesn’t ever rely on “cute” as a musical selling point. This is the aesthetic we were promised with a name like Cosmic Girls, and has the potential to result in some truly transformative pop music.