IU - Last night story
If you don't know who IU is, you haven't been in the K-pop scene for very long at all. It was not too long ago when we got the news that IU was making a comeback with an album consisting entirely of remade songs. "Last night story" is the title track for that album, and it's a song from before a lot of our times. For those as unfamiliar with the song as I was, it's a song by the group 소방차 (Firetruck) that was made all the way back in 1987. All of that aside, I had no idea what to expect at all heading into this, as the teaser barely had any bits of the song in it.
The song opens up with a fast-paced drumbeat quickly followed up with some awesome surf rock styled guitar licks. Right as IU starts to sing, we drop back onto just the drums alongside a simple bass guitar, with the occasional drowned out synth chord. As we're pulled into the pre-chorus, a lot more of the instrumentation becomes focused on bright synthesizer sounds, really drawing out the retro 80's vibes. The guitar is also brought back in, though it plays backseat both to IU's vocals and the synth. We get some bits of song that are just the instruments, playing up the catchy hook of the song before we head right back into the fun yet downtrodden vocals. IU uses her voice brilliantly to bring out an incredible, contradictory sort of vibe to the upbeat sounds.
Look, if you can't tell already, I'm in love with this song. This is everything I needed that I never knew I needed. This song is just so fun about how it purposely has conflicting emotions presented simultaneously. It's clear that IU had a great time remaking this song and twisting it into her own. The instrumental choices to replace the old ones are all well done, and her additions to the song change it up enough to make it sound modernized while still managing to retain an old school vibe to it all. The "oh oh oh oh" part is something that wasn't in the original and it makes for a fun part of the song that's super easy to sing along with, for example. I've got nothing bad to say about this song whatsoever, it's literally perfect to me. I'll just end my praises at that.
The video starts off with IU coming home and looking dejected and miserable from what we can only assume is a night out due to her little black dress. We're then quickly shifted over to a more quirky IU bobbing her head along to the music as several throwbacks to the 80's are flashed across the screen (most of which are unrecognizable to a lot of people now). Two guys in suits show up from nowhere and start dancing behind IU at some point, and then we get some flashes of IU at some kind of disco party. We get a clear hint that she's upset watching somebody else having fun without her, and that's essentially the reason she's upset at home.
There's a ton of fun, wacky ideas in the video, too. For instance, the firetruck that rolls by is obviously there to pay respects to the original group that created the song, and it's an awesomely semi-subtle way to do it. The color orange is a massive part of this video, covering all of the walls and nearly every object in the video. IU even changed her hair to a shade of of the color. Orange is symbolically a color that represents happiness, and can generally can be ascribed to being a color that helps uplift people in rough times. Coupling that alongside the hints of plot happening in the video, and with the lyrics of the song, it's pretty obvious why there's so much of the color all over.
This video is just as incredible to me as the song. I love it so much. I love that IU made a video showing off a sad person learning to enjoy things and have fun instead of just staying miserable. It matches so well with the contrast of the upbeat sound of the song and the lyrics, and all of the quirks and uniqueness that one can expect in an IU video provide the icing on the cake. Again, I could praise this video forever or I could just leave it at that.
Every bit of this music video was everything that I expected, and it's also everything that I love about IU. She never fails at bringing something incredibly unique into her releases and "Last night story" is no different. If you're a fan of K-pop, or a fan of IU, you're only going to be hurting your own music selection by not checking this song out. I'm super excited to check out the whole album, and I'll have that review out hopefully at the start of next week.