Song Review: Y&W (Young & Wild) – Thirsty Now

Boy group Y&W (Young & Wild) debuted this past July, but were so unknown that even I missed them. However, every so often a great idol track emerges from a group like this, even within the restraints of a limited budget and lo-fi music video. Their follow-up single Thirsty Now (목말라) is a refreshing ode to sounds of K-pop past, existing outside of trends to deliver a solid pop song that officially puts Y&W on my radar.

The first thing I noticed about Thirsty Now was its funky, guitar-laced beat. It’s refreshingly uncluttered, and grooves with the kind of freewheeling style that characterized Seventeen’s debut-era singles. Thirsty Now is nowhere near as ambitious or crisply produced, but its straightforwardness is quite refreshing. Percussive verses give way to a surging chorus that packs a surprising punch. But my favorite moment comes right after that chorus, as a catchy synth riff underlines the song’s central hook. K-pop has struggled with how to work its way out of choruses for a while now, and this is a good testament to the fact that — sometimes — simple is better.

Thirsty Now also gives us an interesting bridge. Most of the song’s rap is channeled into this moment, and it’s elevated by a symphonic backing track that lends the segment great drive. The instrumentation samples are all canned, but I appreciate the effort to create a mini-climax when it would have been easy to simply copy what every other group was doing. This bridge leads into a standout final chorus, where the guitar comes ripping back to add weight and intensity to Thirsty Now’s finale. The song may be a little rough around the edges, but I wish more boy groups would tackle some of these sounds.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


2 thoughts on “Song Review: Y&W (Young & Wild) – Thirsty Now

  1. In my part of the country we would say “oh bless their hearts”. You and me pal, we are suckers for these tiny groups. This song has barely 4,000 views.

    There is something to be said about doing more with less. I bet that except for the black with houndstooth embellsihed jackets, I bet all the clothing is actually their real clothing.

    Its the same with the production. This kind of group doesn’t have the time or budget to add “producing by committee” onto its list. There is no overthinking, no posturing, no grand multi-album theme. They just get on with it and perform the song as best as they can. The vocals are genuinely truly simply captured and minimally processed, except for the barest touch here and there (chorus, mostly) to make it sound at least contemporary. The rap break is just spitting fy-ah!

    Yeah, its pretty good. I wish them the best, and hope to hear another song from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel that little bit of past Seventeen in this! Not bad, but you really feel that lower budget in the production. I hope they continue to grow with a sound like this.


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