Sunny Hill’s latest single Here I Am is underratedly one of the best Korean songs released in November. Even when it looks like Sunny Hill is just singing a seemingly banal song about grief and neglect following a break up, the talented group doesn’t disappoint and instead presents a well-rounded, musical experience.
Here I Am is Sunny Hill’s 7th anniversary commemorative song, and it doesn’t let Hillers (Sunny Hill’s fans) down. The quartet’s come a long way, beginning as a co-ed vocal group and then gaining a lot of attention for powerful, meaningful songs and music videos. Even though they’ve seen some lineup changes (Seungah and Jubi are the only original two left in the group) and are no longer co-ed, Sunny Hill continually releases great songs. Here I Am shows the maturity of the group, taking the styles that the group has explored over the years while still keeping some of Sunny Hill’s original elements. The singing is phenomenal, and the plot, visuals, and acting in the music video are near perfection. Member Misung wrote the lyrics for the song, adding a personal touch and raw emotion to the track.
Many K-Pop songs make use of multiple genres, but Sunny Hill is one of the few groups that could pull off a song like Here I Am and express the full meaning solely through the emotional range of their voices. Even though the song is beautiful in its own right, the music video for Here I Am adds further depth and expresses Sunny Hill’s growth as artists.
With ballad, acoustic, and electronic influences, Here I Am is both soft and strong in the face of heartbreak. Even though a slow soft ballad would seemingly be perfect for the depressing lyrics, Here I Am crescendos multiple times as the narrator tries to figure out how to get over heartbreak and move forward like her ex.
Even though the singing is a bit unevenly distributed, with Jubi and Kota singing a majority of the lyrics, the four voices are impeccably juxtaposed with one another and come together to perfectly depict the rawness of the song’s emotions. Jubi’s belting voice and Kota’s rough lines interplay with Misung and Seungah’s sweeter and rawer voices.
Can you hear me? Here I am
Tonight I think of your scent
I lean on time, saying that pain will be gone eventually
Here I Am starts slow, with acoustic music and rapidly gains a faster beat, before reaching the zenith of the song, with Sunny Hill declaring that heartbreak will eventually end.
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When you are in love, being broken up with is extremely difficult, and Jubi was absolutely devastated by her lover’s actions. Everybody who has ever had his or her heart broken probably has wished that they could just wipe their mind clean, and Here I Am hints to the fact that even if you forget, some small part of you will always remember love.
Here I Am ends when the narrator/singer is still in pain over the breakup, it is implied that this pain will eventually pass. The music video recognizes this, but also recognizes how painful breaking up is, and has Jubi erase her own memory to get over the heartbreak.
The video exhibited how good Sunny Hill has become at creating complex, unique storylines for their songs, to add further depth to their already meaningful songs. The music video has winter-inspired elements and an intriguing plot, which seems like something out of the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Sunny Hill’s acting in the video was great; Jubi’s emotion is always clear through her actions and expressions, the other three members shine as the fairy godmothers of memory loss. HISTORY’s Sihyung has a cameo as the man who breaks Jubi’s heart, and his various expressions of love in the flashbacks and disdain in the present are simply heartbreaking.
During the scene at the end, when Jubi returns to the café, Sunny Hill’s expertise at portraying emotions visually really shows. Seungah’s protests against showing Jubi the picture and telling her about what she wants to forget, Misung’s acceptance of erasing heartbreak, and Kota’s empathy towards Jubi’s desire to forget, reveals how not only do Sunny Hill’s members know how to express emotion clearly through their voices but also through their actions.
The settings are beautiful, with a soft glow of sunset pervading through most of the scenes as if to hint to the fading emotions and end of a relationship. Even though it’s not obviously winter, there is a chilly factor to the overall video that hints to both the coldness of the weather and the coldness of the man’s (Sihyung’s) feelings towards his ex.
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Instead of going for daring outfits, like Sunny Hill’s done in past songs such as The Grasshopper Song or Is The White Horse Coming?, the girls wear everyday, fashionable outfits that can be seen around every street corner in Korea. Yet outfits have meaning in the video.
Here I Am is a song for everybody, and the member’s elegant yet simple black and white outfits seem to emphasize the message, “this is a black-and-white story about heartbreak and loss that we all have to deal with sometime.”
Jubi outfit is clean cut and refreshing blue and white, expressing how her mind is free of excessive pain (following the cleansing.) In the flashback of Jubi crying, she’s seen wearing a confining white shirt, symbolizing the grasping, restriction of her feelings. At the end of the video, when Jubi seeks Kota, Misung, and Seungah out for help, and instead of their earlier white and gray (clean and fresh) outfits, they’re wearing complex, dark, black and red witch-like outfits to show their power over memories.
I really thought that Here I Am is a beautifully made song, musically, lyrically, and visually expressing its message perfectly. I started to like Sunny Hill because of their unique style in Midnight Circus and following intriguing concepts, but even when doing a seemingly simple song like Here I Am, the group brings in complexity and mystery. I think that the different sounds in Here I Am could make a great dance, but Sunny Hill has yet to perform the song on any music shows so I’m still looking forward to a live performance.
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