JUNNY isn’t the type of artist I feature often on The Bias List. His work leans closer to the indie side of the K-pop industry, though the music itself sits comfortably alongside idol group fare. I somehow missed his great duet with Chungha back in June (you can thank Golden Child’s San Jose concert for distracting me!). That song is included on JUNNY’s new album, right on the heels of new title track Not About You.
Not About You is a more reserved than Color Me, but succeeds on many of the same merits. Right from the start, we hear the crystalline synth tones that have become ubiquitous in pop music over the past few years. They underline a beautiful, sentimental melody that delivers an evocative build. The chorus quickly follows, fueled by a chugging electronic beat that injects just enough energy to make Not About You pop. If I had it my way, the arrangement would go bigger and bolder, but the song still has its feet firmly planted in indie sensibilities.
Not About You makes a nice contrast with from20’s recently released Chemical. Both borrow liberally from retro synthpop tropes, but use them differently. While Chemical was all about bounding catharsis, Not About You feels much closer to hesitant longing. It’s equally emotional, but in a more ponderous – almost guarded – way. My favorite moments come when JUNNY’s performance feels sharper than the song itself. Those Weeknd-esque “hey!” ad-libs are a real treat, gently emphasizing the rhythm just when Not About You needs the push.