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With ‘Semicolon,’ Seventeen says it’s OK to take a break

Seventeen released its new album, “Semicolon,” Monday, with a message of encouragement for young people to take some time off in their busy lives.

“Just like the album’s title symbolizes a pause in a sentence, we wanted to convey a message that it’s OK to take a break from the everyday struggles and that it’s going to be a preparation for a journey called life,” said Vernon during an online press conference in Seoul on Monday.

Marking the group’s first release since its first million-seller album “Heng:garae,” “Semicolon” is fronted by lead track “HOME;RUN,” an upbeat dance track that flourishes on retro swing. The 13-piece multinational act is widely known for its retro punk vibe, but its members said the new single features a totally new side of them as musicians while staying true to the band’s mainstay positive vibe. 

(Pledis Entertainment)
(Pledis Entertainment)
“The more we got to participate in the album, the more we got to contemplate on what kind of voice we could make. I think the core message of the album came out naturally as it’s also what we’ve been thinking of as the youth of this generation,” said Woozi, who co-wrote “HOME;RUN” and many other tracks from the album.

When asked how the musicians take a break from their busy lives, DK said each moment spent with his bandmates was relaxing. “I think we take it easy by working, eating delicious food and traveling with each other. Every moment we spend with our loved ones gives us strength to continue making music.”

On how the bandmates have matured since the last album, DK continued: “I think all of us have become more responsible and sincere on the stage, which made our performance for ‘HOME;RUN’ more mature. It will give you the feeling of watching one nice musical show.”

After debuting in 2015 with the EP “17 Carat,” Seventeen became one of the most prominent boy bands in K-pop, with hits like “Very Nice,” “A-Teen” and “Pretty U.” Having shown steady growth in terms of chart rankings and album sales, Seventeen came under the umbrella of Big Hit Entertainment in late May, when the group’s previous management agency, Pledis Entertainment, was acquired by the company behind BTS.

On the strength of the integration, the band’s seventh EP, “Heng:garae,” sold 1.09 million copies the week of its release, earning the “million seller” title despite the harsh market conditions in the pandemic era. “Semicolon” went on to score more than 1 million preorders a week ahead of its release.

Expressing affection toward the group’s fan base, the Carats, S.Coups said: “It still feels unreal that we achieved a feat like that with the previous album. We could feel how much we were loved by the Carats and how much we’d grown up. We made this new album with much gratitude for them.”

Seungkwan chimed in and said: “My criteria for success have changed. In the past, they were centered on chart rankings and the size of the concert venue. Now it’s more about reciprocating fans’ love with music and becoming an artist they can feel proud of.”

Wrapping up the session, Joshua commented: “My goal is to do music as a member of Seventeen for as long as I can. Fans always say that Seventeen loves Seventeen the most. I hope all of us can stick together for a very long time.”

S.Coups added: “I think our biggest strength comes from our joint energy as a 13-piece band. There have been ups and downs, but I believe we are in the process of solidifying our identity.”

The six-track EP also includes tracks like “Do Re Mi,” “Hey Buddy,” “Light a Flame,” “Ah! Love” and “All My Love.”

By Hong Dam-young (