Last year, BOL4 delivered their version of a summer song, and Travel went on to become a huge crossover hit. New single Bom (나만, 봄) takes its cues from spring — a season where K-pop goes crazy with drowsy mid-tempos and wistful ballads. As such, the song isn’t as much giddy fun as Travel was, but its quirky nature should still keep BOL4 on top of the charts.
Full disclosure: I am not BOL4’s target audience. I’ve never been drawn to their kind of singer-songwriter style, but they’ve broken out on a level that transcends the kind of coffee-house material they debuted with. Bom continues that trajectory, bolstering their signature sound with pop-focused production to craft the kind of track that AKMU used to deliver on the regular. Vocalist Ji Young’s idiosyncratic tone will likely divide opinion as usual, but its character-rich approach fits well with a song like this.
As far as springtime tracks go, Bom is pretty standard. I feel like I’ve heard this exact template before. It’s bright but not uptempo, with a hazy, dreamlike atmosphere that never pushes far from its modest boundaries. I’m sure there are highlights when it comes to the lyrics, but for a non-Korean speaker there isn’t a whole lot to grab onto. Acoustic guitar melds with gentle strings and a laid-back groove to create an ephemeral kind of sound that doesn’t leave much impact. The entire track is pleasant in an undemanding way, and if that’s the vibe you’re looking for you’ll find plenty to love. I don’t see myself returning to it often, but Korea’s BOL4 obsession will guarantee its ubiquity everywhere else.