Buried Treasure: Everglow – Don’t Speak

Everglow - Don't SpeakA K-pop act’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.

Everglow are proud pirates, but their new album is more diverse than that label might suggest. Though they’ve never (yet) replicated the retro synth of 2020’s La Di Da for a title track, they do return to it for b-sides. Don’t Speak is the latest to adopt the style, and unsurprisingly it’s my instant pick for Buried Treasure.

Right from the start, the song hits us with twinkling synth and soft vocal ad-libs. This turns out to be a bit of a red herring, as Don’t Speak soon bursts into its perky verse. I love the call-and-response nature of this melody. It’s a ton of fun – very nostalgic but not gimmicky. The vocal arrangement reminds me of something f(x) might have tackled, though the throwback nature of the melody is more Warm Hole-era Brown Eyed Girls.

Things slow down for the pre-chorus, setting the stage for an ebullient hook. As bright and exciting as this chorus is, I wish the melody were a little more focused. It moves in so many different directions when simplicity may have delivered a more concentrated pop suckerpunch. But, I can’t complain about the rollicking energy. The production offers so much flair, from icy daggers of synth to a sprinkle of jazzy guitar and keys to punctuate each chorus. Don’t Speak is an abrupt shift from Pirate, but it proves Everglow’s versatility. Even a swaggy rap bridge doesn’t feel totally out of place, bringing a more contemporary burst of attitude right when the song needs it.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


7 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Everglow – Don’t Speak

  1. This song is really good and keeps you interested!

    Off topic:
    Are survival show songs eligible for the yearly b-side countdown?? Get Loud remains to be a bop or it might be because it reminds me of B.B.B which is a favorite of mine, but it’s really great!


  2. I can’t get over how good this production and mixing is. Every instrument is clearly defined and in distinct locations within the soundstage. The contrast between the relatively sparse verses/pre-chorus and the bright, full chorus feels great.

    Also, happy to hear Mia let loose in the 2nd verse. She’s a fantastic main vocalist, yet they seem to leave most of the belting to Sihyeon, so this was a nice change.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love that Everglow is still returning to the retro sound for their b-sides at least! Giving us a nice buried treasure each time 🙂 The production in this one is so interesting, it’s such great fun!


  4. Lotta Gain “Bloom” vibes in the verses.

    My own aesthetic prefers “Nighty Night” and “Company” here, but that just means that this is a good mini.


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