Of all the diverse musical genres explored by K-pop groups, one avenue that has always lacked footsteps is “Shoegaze“. Shoegaze emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is marked by its distinct dreamlike sound as a result of obfuscated vocals, generous use of guitar distortion, and feedback, giving rise to the moniker “dream-pop”. One of the few K-pop acts to tread this avenue is Loona with their track LOONATIC.
LOONATIC was released in the EP Mix & Match by Loona’s subunit ODD EYE CIRCLE is K-pop’s take on shoegaze. ODD EYE CIRCLE consists of members Jinsoul, Kim Lip and Choerry from the agency BlockBerryCreative. An English version was released in the limited edition of the repackage album Max & Match on September 21, 2017, to much fanfare in the west.
The entire Mix & Match EP is considered to be one of the greatest pieces of auditory media to stem from K-pop. As a testament to the EP’s appeal, Mix & Match is the highest-rated K-pop EP of all-time on Rate Your Music. It also ended up #2 on Rate Your Music’s best EPs of 2017. It is the only K-pop EP to enter the top three in any year’s top EPs list. I, personally, have witnessed listeners who were initially averse to K-pop, being hooked after taking a dip in Mix & Match.
Although LOONATIC isn’t the most famous song to come out of Mix & Match, it stands as a shining example that exhibits Loona’s sonic prowess and experimental approach to music. G-high, the producer from MonoTree, who was responsible for the production of LOONATIC is quoted to have produced the song on BlockBerryCreative’s request to include a song that sounded like Grimes, which is prophetic considering how Loona’s third subunit, yyxy, went on to work with Grimes for their single love4eva.
Listen to Max & Match on Spotify here!
Loona brings their own take to the table, blending the girls’ vocals with the instrumentals to provide a surreal listen for those who have never experienced shoegaze, while long-time patrons of the genre would enjoy the harmonization of K-pop and dream pop.
Image, Video and Music Credits – Danal Entertainment (on behalf of BlockBerryCreative)