HA:TFELT - Pluhmm
HA:FELT, also known as Yenny or Yeeun from her Wonder Girls days, is a solo artist under the Amoeba Culture label. The last time that we'd heard from her was last October, when she dropped the album MEiNE along with two music videos for it. I didn't have the opportunity to review either of those releases last year, but I loved both of them. Her solo career is incredible to me musically, and I was so happy to hear that she was making a comeback this month. Expectation-wise, I didn't really know what I wanted besides another great song from her.
Right from the get go I could tell that I was absolutely going to love this song. The guitar plucks and quirky synth melodies compliment her sensual voice here impeccably, and the percussion throughout the song was pretty fantastic. I'll admit that this is not the kind of song I was expecting to hear, but I was sold pretty damn quickly on the concept as a whole. Instead of piling on tons of production, "Pluhmm" keeps things simple which is refreshing in a way. The choice to have HA:TFELT sing in an almost whispering tone added texture to the piece while also making it feel almost personal to listeners.
The instrumentals are very straightforward, but that ends up really adding to the song in a unique way. It's just a style that isn't very mainstream in K-pop. I personally think that she's fully aware this is not something that's going to be topping the charts, but I think she's okay with that. Rather than trying to go with something with massive appeal, I feel that HA:TFELT has always gone for a more creative, almost dramatic style, and "Pluhmm" does this in a way that's very distinct to her past releases.
For those that didn't really catch what's going on conceptually, it's sort of a followup to her previous releases. With MEiNE's videos and concepts, it seemed more like HA:TFELT was exploring herself as both an artist and a person. She was trying to find herself and figure out who she was. Deine, which is German for "yours," is now all about her showing off what she's learned about herself. This is shown visually in a few different ways.
Firstly, and probably most notable, is how she's nude in the tub, or generally very uncovered, for several shots. She's exposing herself for people to see all of her. We see her reading books and the stacks disappearing, which seems to imply that she's learned a lot not just about herself, but about the world she lives in as well. Her reflection in the mirror sings while she seems apathetic about it, which I would venture to say means that she's done trying to fit in with other people's perceptions of who she is or should be.
The video was fun and had a lot of weird, interesting moments that caught me off guard, which I think actually added to the charm of it overall. There's tons to gleam from this video, surely, but I think there's also room for personal interpretations as well, which makes it a great video in my opinion.
HA:TFELT's music in the past has always felt very artistic and intentional, filled with passion and unbridled effort. "Pluhmm" takes a different approach, veering away from the emotional path and pulling her towards a more peculiar one, though one that still manages to feel like a logical progression for her musically. If you enjoy mellow yet eccentric styles of song, this is definitely worth a listen.