OnlyOneOf’s spring single Angel was a sleeper hit for me, thriving on its catchy funk-pop groove and airy vocal delivery. That song came from the first part of a “produced by” project, in which the group has worked with a variety of big-name producers and tagged them as part of their song titles. New single A Song Of Ice And Fire (얼음과 불의 노래) pairs OnlyOneOf with duo Groovyroom. Groovyroom were everywhere a couple of years ago, emerging as one of K-pop’s trendiest producers. We haven’t heard nearly as much from them lately, and they’ve hardly ever worked with idol groups.
Make no mistake, A Song Of Ice And Fire is first and foremost a production showcase. To a certain extent, OnlyOneOf act as vessels for the song’s groove and effects. This gives the track a unique soundscape. Most of the vocals are heavily processed, teasing out the groups’ already-airy tones and using heavy layering to give the performance a seamless, overlapped sound. In this way, it feels as if the guys have melded into one, delivering the song in a single voice. Apart from the second-verse rap break, the texture never really changes. This is both a strength and hindrance. It creates a beguiling aesthetic, but it’s stretched a bit thin as the track goes on.
Because of this, A Song Of Ice And Fire would have benefited from a stronger melody. Its verses and chorus tend to run together, all in service to the same sensuous atmosphere. Given its evocative title, you might expect a greater sense of contrast. And without a knockout hook at its core, the song has a hard time compelling attention all the way through. Still, I applaud OnlyOneOf’s willingness to embrace new techniques and collaborators.