The past two months have seen a veritable army of girl groups vying for the “queens of summer” title previously held by the now-disbanded Sistar. But the season wouldn’t be complete without one of Sistar’s former members throwing her hat into the ring. And who better than Hyolyn, whose airy vocals are perfectly suited to summertime fare? Since going solo, she’s tackled a number of genres with ease, but the breezy bounce of See Sea (바다보러갈래) is her strongest move yet.
See Sea’s music video teaser hinted at an electric guitar soaked 80’s pastiche that got me incredibly excited. It’s a bit disappointing, then, that the guitar is relegated to one slowed down repetition of the chorus and the instrumental is just as tropical as it is 80’s. But, the song’s bones are still strong. Produced by frequent collaborator Black Eyed Pilseung, the percolating pop beat maintains a buoyant swell throughout, assisted by processed drum fills and layers of sun-drenched synth.
Hyolyn’s instantly recognizable vocals add to this appeal, pitched high for most of the track in a streamlined performance that feels like yet another instrument in Sea’s smooth arrangement. The song’s breathy chorus is also a winner, swirling with a confidence that feels at ease with its own limited ambition. The verses are a bit more muddled, struggling to offer the kind of resounding hooks that would have sent Sea soaring. But as a mid-July jam with retro leanings, Hyolyn has delivered yet another solid offering to summertime playlists everywhere.