Jeon Hyo Sung and Oh My Girl returned with new singles this week touching on similar subjects. That classic idea of first love is something that is easy to fawn at, to claim you’ve heard it all before. That’s the thing about a topic as universal as this is that will always warrant new expressions from new experiences. These two very different female artists approaching the same idea means we almost certainly see something fresh. If not maybe the music will make you fall in love with the girls anyway (it definitely will).
Despite Secret being around for so long now, Hyo Sungs’s solo career is still young and often wildly overlooked. Her lullaby trap anthem “Goodnight Kiss” and silky smooth “Into You” are masterful works in overt but not desperate sexiness. She pulls off songs and concepts without being too talented at any given skill needed for a popstar. With her new single “Find Me” Hyo Sung continues her challenge to be the new and improved Son Dambi.
Oh My Girl on the other hand are a very young group with 2016 being only their second year in K-pop. They, however, are rising fast and are in their own battle with Twice to be the next Girls’ Generation. While they don’t have the same big company backing them like their opponents, they do have a quirky identity that is all their own. They also have two of the best songs of last year under their belt already so with new single “Liar Liar”, Oh My Girl look to stake a permanent place in the minds of K-pop fans.
Also on KultScene: Eric Nam’s ‘Interview’ Album Review
Hyo Sung “Find Me”
Hyo Sung is clearly taking advantage of Eurovision fever (the songs in the contest are currently being announced) with this Euro pop romp. “Find Me” mixes three major musical elements to tell a story of true love. A house beat and hand claps sustain the whole song while piano arrangements and synths deliver the big moments. That beat allows those sounds to pick up tempo and sound a little brighter. Usually a combo of piano and synths is used for more melancholic or subdued sounds but here it can flourish. It also contains my favourite detail from any song so far this year, the flute whisper in the chorus.
“Find Me” moves away from Hyo Sung’s last single “Into You” in an interesting way thematically. Love is such a common theme in pop music but is everlasting because of its diverse nature. Everyone reacts to it differently and Hyo Sung is showing that even first love can be varied for the same person. Where “Into You” had a more inquisitive sensual feeling of the latent sexual possibilities found in a new love, “Find Me” traces a more euphoric emotion, one filled with romance and comfort. The music reflects this brilliantly. “Find Me” bursts into life with a crash of piano, synth, and vocal. It rises from there into a chorus of unrestrained joy led by Hyo Sung’s beautifully emotive voice.
Oh My Girl “Liar Liar”
Oh My Girl also tackle new love but in a decidedly more adolescent way on “Liar Liar.” The girls are starting to think they “kinda like” a boy but are too afraid to confess to him. For young girls like Oh My Girl, this is as dramatic it gets. And as Seunghee sings, it’s an “emotional roller coaster.” To convey these feelings with music, Oh My Girl go back to their debut “Cupid.” From the cheerleader group vocals and drumlines, it’s easy to see this as “Cupid” 2.0 but with added bubblegum. This sound is perfect for those feelings though. The chaotic energy of it feels totally adolescent while not being too childish. Also, “Cupid” was maybe my favourite song of last year so I’ll take a retread of it anytime.
That being said, there are a few improvements that make “Liar Liar” even more worthwhile. The vocals notable are much better. The trinity of Hyo Jung, Seunghee, and YooA are as good as ever, but first time I noticed some of the others playing an actually worthwhile part in the song. Notably, Arin and JinE make a contribution by not being amazing singers but sounding very much like the teenage girls that they are.
The music video is an absolute delight as well. The single coloured crayola sets are fantastic and weird. The fight between all the girls to deem each other liars is so much much fun. Especially the staring contest between Seunghee and Hyo Jung as they hold pictures of the same boy (who I think is labelmate Gongchan from B1A4) that they like. The camera swings around both of them cutting between opposite sides of the table bringing energy to their stillness.
Also on KultScene: Hyo Sung, BESTie & the Hook in K-Pop
Hyo Sung and Oh My Girl tackle similar themes with completely different outcomes here. What makes them work for both parties is that they both stick to what works for them as artists. Hyo Sung is a woman clearly not afraid of her sexuality. She flaunts her body to express this physically and her voice to express it emotionally. This is one woman’s idea of fresh love.
Oh My Girl are essentially children so their expression of a first love is purely innocent. It’s about teasing out confusing feelings that are pointless in the long run but oh so important in the moment. They call themselves liars because they don’t actually know what it is they feel.
What do you think of Hyo Sung and Oh My Girl’s new songs? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.