Sound the alarms! We have a K-pop emergency. Sweetune – yes, the Sweetune – have returned. They’re hunkered down in a bunker so nugu I didn’t even find them until the song was brought to my attention on twitter. But, they’re back nonetheless and RoaD-B’s Nonstop has raised my K-pop spirits just when they needed it the most. I don’t even care about the cheap music video or the weird group name. It’s Sweetune!!
I thought I knew how much I missed this style of production, but the full brunt of that wistfulness didn’t hit me until I heard Nonstop. The thing is, this isn’t even a legendary Sweetune track. But, it does so many of the things I love about their production and composition… and it does them within a K-pop environment that has moved on to vastly different approaches. To me, Nonstop is like an oasis in the middle of a desert.
First, we have the vocal arrangement. It’s clean and crisp and draws the best from the performers. It’s layered when it needs to be and makes room for both quiet and forceful moments. You know… dynamics. The production is just as polished. There’s a fullness to the instrumental, even during its less robust turns. I love the symphonic synths that fuel the track – especially that icy wisp of keys that elongates to form a constant presence. It supplies such tension and keeps the tonal switch-ups from feeling jarring.
Then, we have Nonstop’s melody. This isn’t a particularly showy track, yet thrives upon a sense of focus and repetition. While so many of today’s K-pop tracks cast off melody lines as if they’re disconnected scraps, every piece of Nonstop is intentional. Each little turn and curve of the structure contributes to the whole, creating a song that’s catchy all the way through without ever feeling overdone.
I still don’t quite know who RoaD-B are (apparently members from the short-lived BXK?). I don’t know if this will be their only single before succumbing to small-agency budget drama. But OH MY GOD SWEETUNE. Give me a moment to fan all the way out. These treats don’t happen all that often anymore, making them all the more *sweet* when they do.