The group had made a bold move with its previous funk-driven hit “Fingertip,” diverging from its signature innocent schoolgirl image for the first time. This time, it kept to its sleek sound in “Love Whisper,” the lead track of the group’s fifth EP “Parallel,” released Tuesday evening.
|GFriend performs during a press showcase for its fifth EP “Parallel” in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)|
For the new release, GFriend said it adopted an image of “powered-up innocence,” incorporating a dynamic and energetic performance while not straying too far from the group’s original retro sound.
“Choreography for ‘Love Whisper’ was the toughest. The dance features more powerful and difficult techniques,” said band member SinB during the press showcase for the album in Seoul on Tuesday.
The group added that the song’s choreography was the brainchild of a choreographer who used to work with the boy band BTS.
“Love Whisper,” produced by GFriend’s longtime collaborators Iggy and Seo Young-bae, features a familiar bubblegum pop sound that recalls the K-pop of the 1990s and 2000s. The mid-tempo dance number depicts feelings of love between two people who constantly fail to reach each other. The song’s music video features the group’s six members -- Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB and Umji -- enjoying a trip to a countryside and dancing in a grassy field, a scene that has appeared in the group’s past music videos. It also shows them performing synchronized dance movements in a crystal-clear pool, just the thing to beat the relentless summer heat.
Asked how the group felt about having to compete with Girls’ Generation, a seasoned group that is also set to release its new album in August, band leader Sowon said, “Girls’ Generation has always been our role model. We actually grew up looking up to the group.”
“We would like to congratulate Girls’ Generation on its 10th anniversary, and it is our great honor to perform onstage during the same period as Girls’ Generation. We hope to learn more from them this summer,” she added.
GFriend members also shared that they had traveled overseas to meet foreign fans, participated in concerts such as KCON in New York last month and enjoyed some free time, during which they watched movies and went shopping together, before their new release.
Since debuting in 2015 under the agency Source Music, GFriend has become one of the most prominent young female musical acts here. With its innocent image, the group defies the sexy image that dominates the industry. GFriend was named one of Billboard’s must-watch new K-pop acts in 2015, after the group debuted with “Glass Bead,” a school-girl inspired tune that was reminiscent of Girls’ Generation’s 2007 breakout hit “Into the New Word.”
GFriend continued its successful run with hits such as “Me Gustas Tu,” the lead track from its second EP “Flower Bud,” “Rough,” the lead track from its third EP “Snowflake,” and most recently, “Fingertip,” the lead track from its fourth EP “Awakening,” which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s World Album chart in March.
GFriend’s latest album “Parallel” features eight tracks, including “One-Half,” “Ave Maria,” “Red Umbrella” and “Falling Asleep Again,” an R&B ballad song.
“Love Whisper” peaked at No. 1 on local music charts, including Melon, Genie, Bugs and Soribada as of Wednesday morning.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)