Amidst all of the comebacks this season, Hyolyn has surprisingly become the summer MVP. Last month’s See Sea leapfrogged over its competition to soundtrack July, but she’s not finished yet. Reuniting with frequent Sistar producers Duble Sidekick, Bae sees Hyolyn closing out the summer with a classic, roller rink ready burst of undiluted pop.
Hyolyn’s voice is suited to many genres, but it’s refreshing to hear her tackle this kind of bright, energetic dance pop once more. Bae is a blast from start to finish, and sounds very much like the 2018 summer smash Sistar would have released if they were still together. It’s hard not to listen to the track without imagining where the other members’ voices would fit, but Hyolyn carries each segment beautifully on her own.
Opening with a filtered bit of vocals seemingly cribbed from another song entirely, Bae quickly moves on to its punchy verse. Underlined by blasts of brass, her chirpy vocals effortlessly conjure the blissful tone brought about by the funky melody. The second verse briefly shakes this up with a Bora-esque breakdown perched halfway between rap and chant-along post-chorus hook. Thankfully, it never derails the song’s feel-good energy. And speaking of feel-good, Bae’s chorus is pure sunshine in a bottle. It has an instantly familiar melody, igniting a feeling of nostalgia even as it modernizes its influences. Through it all runs the palpable joy of Hyolyn’s performance. She seems thrilled to be making music on her own terms, and that sense of freedom is infectious.