Sweetune’s partnership with vocal duo KEEMBO has often felt like “Sweetune go indie,” which explains why most of the songs haven’t bowled me over the way I’m used to with these producers. Rather than go big and bombastic with idol groups in mind, tracks like Scene and 99 felt slightly more left-of-center. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not what I’d hope for either. New single Inside (인사이드) heralds the release of KEEMBO’s first full album, and delivers a more upbeat, disco vibe.
There are touches of past glories to be found here, even if Inside never builds to anything transcendent. But, that’s not to say it’s a disappointing track. Its dancefloor-ready beat is refreshingly straightforward, and pulses along a blend of electro squiggles and guitar to achieve a very satisfying groove. I especially appreciate the elastic bassline, which grounds the entire song in a sense of loose, head-nodding funk.
Sweetune’s trademark vocal layering only rears its head during Inside‘s evocative post-chorus hook. KEEMBO are such strong singers that they don’t need the assist, but it says something about the song’s melody that my favorite part is a swirling, almost amorphous bit of wispy, wordless ad-libs. The biggest drawback here is the absence of a strong chorus. What we get is pleasant and fits the vibe of the track, but also feels melodically safe. Still, the engaging instrumental and strong vocal performance make this another highlight from KEEMBO. I have a feeling it will sound even better within the context of their album.