I haven’t written about Girlkind since 2018’s S.O.R.R.Y, though the group has released a couple digital singles since then. They’ve even spawned their own 2019 sub-unit. But, you’d still be forgiven for not knowing who Girlkind are. Their promotions have been limited so far, and the music has been largely forgettable. With Good Vibes Only (이 분위기에 취해), the girls stake their claim to the K-pop summer single.
This sound will never be unwelcome, though it’s not easy to breathe new life into its tropes. Like many groups of their stature, Girlkind are clearly working under a budget. From song to video, they make the most of these resources. Good Vibes Only isn’t anything transformative (or even memorable), but its smooth summer sound goes down easy. The perky percussion inches toward new jack swing territory without ever embracing that genre, while the twinkling synths clearly have retro inspiration.
Good Vibes Only stumbles into K-pop’s dreaded slow-down of a second verse, but it’s not too jarring within the context of the song’s mid-tempo groove. Instead, it’s Vibe’s melody that could use some sharpening. It’s amiable and light all the way through, yet fails to find a killer hook that sticks in your brain. The layered chorus comes close, and the synth riff that follows is even better. But, too much of the track passes by with pleasant, unassuming energy. This makes it ideal for placement on a summertime playlist. However, Good Vibes Only is destined to get lost in the shuffle when compared to this season’s more memorable moments.