Playlist Sunday: Circus
Nothing screams spectacle and entertainment like the circus. Even if you’re not a fan of clowns, there’s always a sideshow for everyone. Leaving the animals out of the discussion, the circus dates back to the turn of the last century as the first form of entertainment for a lot of people not living in the major cities in the U.S. Since then, every form of art has incorporated the circus in some way, especially music. So for this week’s playlist, we’re listing all the songs and music videos either about circuses literally or metaphorically.
Even if the music video has nothing to do with circuses, the now disbanded trio W & Whale‘s “Circus” was used as an OST for the horror flick “Cats: Two Eyes That See Death.” And while the video just features different scenes from the film, the actual song is an eerie electro pop tune about life being a circus. The metaphors include life being a tightrope performance, the greatest show on earth, and how you should just enjoy it if you can’t avoid it. With lead singer’s Whale theatrical performances, I can’t help but think that this would’ve been an awesome music video if it had been circus themed. Regardless “Circus” is still cool song.
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Circuses are supposed to be fun, right? Well, sometimes. There are shows with weightless acrobatics flying through mid air and animals filled with tricks. Then there are ones with bone chilling looking clowns and creepy ventriloquists. Sunny Hill decides to incorporate a little bit of both worlds in “Midnight Circus.” The song itself showcases the members of Sunny Hill’s stunning vocal abilities and unique style contrary to the eerie concept. If you’re able to look past the semi freakishly filmed scenes, you’ll be able to uncover the hidden message behind this creative music video. The video highlights the dark side of the Korean entertainment industry; animals that are in the circus are put through rigorous years of training, same goes for these idols. It portrays sadness, emptiness, and the sense of longing for both those involved in the circus and the idol world. “Midnight Circus” showed us that no matter how glamorous something may be on the outside, the feeling of loneliness can sometimes play an even bigger role.
While it may not contain any obvious circus elements, I’ve always thought Nine Muses’ “Drama” sounds like a raucous circus ride. It takes a strange structure by starting and ending strong rather than building up to a climax and mellowing out. It seems to last shorter that it is, just like when our parents had to drag us away from the fairground rides at the circus. Even though we may have been upset at that when we look back we know we had a great time. The song explodes into life thanks to blistering turns from resident rapper Erin and the nasally Sungah. It’s an unusual way for a pop song to move, having the most energetic part at the beginning but the song somehow holds together despite. From here the song moves up and down at random, rollercoastering its way through bombastic horns, sudden raps, and exquisitely high vocals. It’s held together by a wonderfully funky bassline which sounds like it wouldn’t fit with everything else but is the key to the success of this song.
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Needless to say, Block B makes the creepiest clowns. Their fun, hectic song “Jackpot” is definitely not your typical circus theme, but the music video for the song is all about the crazy circus world. The lyrics themselves the greed of the “circus” that is humanity and are incredibly deep. But then we have the music video that takes place in a psychotic circus, starring the clowns that make up Block B as they play around with their “toy,” actress Kim Sae Ron. You can’t get more circus, with fire eaters, hoops, and a large circus tent, but the clown makes from the beginning are just the most horrifying thing I have ever seen.
What’s your favorite circus themed K-pop song? 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.