A 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.
I’m so curious to know what longtime Dreamcatcher fans think of their new album. It’s definitely a shift in sound for the group, opting for less guitar and more electronic dance pop. I quite like it, but I’m predisposed to enjoying this style. Tracks like Together and Cherry have great, upbeat energy and the ballads are also pretty strong this time around (Always has a gorgeous melody). But Starlight — the group’s take on synthwave – is deservedly stealing most attention.
As you’ve probably realized by now, I tend to love Dreamcatcher’s electronic b-sides the best. Songs like Poison Love and Silent Night have become staples on my playlist. I’m not sure Starlight is as cool as either of those tracks, but it comes very close. It’s a straightforward affair, cruising on a tautly-composed melody that never loses focus. For me, synthwave needs this constant momentum – the feeling of running through a city tunnel at night as neon lights reflect off puddles. K-pop makes a mistake when it fuses this genre to existing structures, treating it as a vibe rather than an energy.
Starlight is beautifully performed, as we’ve come to expect from Dreamcatcher. It lacks an easily identifiable climax, preferring to work its way under your skin rather than knock you off your feet. Again, I think this compliments the charms of synthwave. It’s my favorite point on a very solid album and with any luck will be chosen as a follow-up single for promotions. We need a retro-future music video for this one!