GFRIEND - Sunrise

 
 

 

It’s been a good six months since we’d last heard from GFRIEND, so it makes sense that the group is coming back to start their year off early. GFRIEND, for me, has reminded me what I love about the group and definitely reignited the spark of excitement I get when they announce a comeback. Unfortunately I didn’t really have the time to check into any of the teasers going into this one, so I just hopped in hoping for something amazing from the group. After all, the last time they released a song in the month of January was “Rough.”

The Song

Similarly to how “Summer Rain” served as a sequel to “Love Whisper,” this track seems to be more of a sequel to “Time for the Moon Night.” The instrumentation, while following the classical staple of what GFRIEND has essentially always incorporated, also features similarities to their most recent comeback. One of my critiques with the “Summer Rain” and “Love Whisper” releases was that the tracks were too similar in sound, giving me less of something new to hear and instead almost feeling like a different rendition of the same song. With this release, however, that critique seems to be null and void, with “Sunrise” having a very different overall sound and atmosphere which is a lot heavier and more dramatic.

The flow, buildup, and pressure of this song is almost suffocating with its intensity, and I absolutely loved that aspect. It was a great new sensation that GFRIEND hasn’t really attempted before and I think that they absolutely nailed it. Vocally I think it’s safe to say that Eunha blew everyone away this time around, and that it wasn’t just Yuju shining for the nth time. There were interesting combinations of tones, ranging from cutesy to absolutely pained wails, and this juxtaposing of ranges helped to add in that feeling of tension and apprehension. The song literally ends on an energetic finale, suddenly dropping out and fading - something that I found was an interesting and great choice.

My only real problem with this song is that I didn’t really feel like it was all that catchy. The verses were fairly forgettable apart from Yerin’s variation in the second verse, and the chorus itself isn’t sticky in a way that pop songs tend to be. That’s not a bad thing - it’s still an incredibly powerful chorus that affects you in a completely different manner, but I did find it just a tad lacking in that regard. Still, the song itself features whimsical theatrics both vocally and instrumentally, and it carries that undeniable GFRIEND vibe. I like the song and I’m sure it will only grow on me from here on out, and I actually think it will do really well on the charts.

The Video

I’m definitely going to have to put up something on my YouTube channel explaining this video, but suffice to say, I loved this one. Just like the song serves to extend and expand upon their previous release, this music video does the same. My theory about Eunha having been dead and the other girls going to meet her seems to be confirmed in this video, and that only excites me even more. The colors in this video are much more washed out and have that nice filter that generally seems to convey that a lot of this video is more of a flashback rather than current day, which would actually make this a prequel leading up to “Time for the Moon Night.”

I won’t get to far into that because I do want to have some content to dig through at a later time, so let’s talk about some other aspects.The symbolic imagery in the video and callbacks to their previous release are abound here. The slices of cake and the puzzle are a bit more on the nose in terms of their meaning, though I certainly didn’t mind that. The dance this time around seems a lot different in comparison to most of GFRIEND’s previous comebacks, though it retains a lot of impressive aspects that they’ve always had. The synchronization is just as amazing as you would expect, and I love how much more inter-member portions we’ve been getting out of GFRIEND for these more recent releases.

There did seem to be a solid balance of screen time per member here, though I think it’s obvious that Sowon has finally been getting some attention that she hasn’t really had in the past. I do wish that we’d gotten a lot more shots with the girls dressed in the darker outfits, as I personally think that it fits the feel of the song more, but I also understand that with the gradual buildup it makes sense to have the white dresses as well. Overall, it’s a great video that gives more details on what happened in “Time for the Moon Night.” I was a huge fan of that video, so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe that I love this one, too.

Conclusion

“Sunrise” is a comeback that straddles the line between a darker, more matured atmosphere, and the more innocent, cutesy styling that we’ve often seen from GFRIEND. It’s somewhere between sequel and prequel to “Time for the Moon Night,” with the song going one direction and the video going another, but overall it’s a solid and cohesive piece of what I can only guess is another trilogy for the girls. If you enjoy songs that have a lot of buildup that eventually leads somewhere, this track is a damn safe bet.