A K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
I’ve seen GWSN compared to f(x) ever since their debut. I think much of that has to do with member Miya’s androgynous presentation, but with new mini album The Other Side of the Moon, their music is starting to get there as well. I’m still not completely sold on many of the group’s songs, but it’s great to hear new sounds in their discography.
Album tracks I Can’t Breathe and Burn are both solid, but I find myself going back to eieio most often. Though it hinges upon a repetitive hook, I love the choices the instrumental makes. I’m noticing industrial-type beats pop up more and more in K-pop, but they’ve largely been relegated to boy group tracks. Eieio takes that aggressive, pounding percussion and tethers it to its verses and chorus. This gives the song a driving momentum, interrupted only by an airy pre-chorus.
The percussion thins out for the second verse, but is at its best when barreling forward full brunt. I love how closely the production supports eieio‘s clipped, wordless chorus. The girls’ vocals feel like cogs in the machine, but the mechanical effect is not without a potent melody. And just when you think the track will revert to more standard fare, eieio adds a surprising level of distortion. There are many textures at play during this odd little song, but they all come together without feeling jarring. It helps that eieio is driven by such a menacing rhythm, drawing you in while simultaneously keeping you at a distance. And when you think about it, that approach is very f(x)!