ODD EYE CIRCLE - Girl Front
ODD EYE CIRCLE is upcoming girl group LOONA'S second sub-unit, consisting of members Choerry, JinSoul, and Kim Lip. These three girls were all impressive in their solo pre-debut acts, and I highly recommend that if you have not checked those out yet, to go and do so. "Girl Front" is the title track to the sub-unit's first mini album, Mix & Match. Having already set the bar high with their individual songs, and with the teasers sounding intriguing and unique, I was really curious to see what kind of vibe the three girls together would bring.
"Girl Front" is a cheery pop melody with a ton of emphasis on electronic sounds, incorporating some chiptune elements alongside a thumping bass and shifting synth. The song wastes little time setting up, jumping into the first verse where we get a taste of smooth vocals alongside a bit of quickly spat rap-talks, all over those delicious instrumentals that you can really sink your teeth into. The pre-chorus is so short that you almost miss it, slowing down the song for just a brief moment before an anthem-like chorus has you wanting to sing and chant along instantaneously.
It's easy to miss, but there's a very slick switch to a piano in place of the synth during the second verse that differentiates it just that extra bit from the first. The bridge slows down the song as well, fading back on nearly all of the electronic noises and instead blessing listeners' ears with a stretch of soft vocals before the final chorus kicks out and you're left with few options other than to hit the replay button. Every section is split off from one another by a distorted voice and a trap-like drop that manages not to be inappropriate or jarring due to both its established use at the start of the song as well as it fundamentally making sense with the rest of the instrumentals.
There's so many great uses of subtle sounds in the background of this song that it's almost like you discover something new upon every listen of it. For me, however, the slapping bass in this song is the standout instrument to me. It's such an refreshing and unconventional choice to bring a sort of funky sound out alongside the synth-focused beat. The entire song is so catchy right from the beginning and it seriously gripped my attention for the entire duration. I can't praise this song enough for being unique, fun, engaging, and just a delight from start to finish.
The video for the song opens up with us watching a tape being rewound, and then us cutting over to Kim Lip standing in the middle of a flood control channel right before she turns around suddenly starts running. Several scenes follow and show the girls each wandering about and apparently trying to navigate their way around southern California. There are several cuts of the girls dancing in a variety of backdrops, though most of it is shown in a bare white room.
After the first verse, the video starts getting much stranger, introducing a doppelganger while all of the girls suddenly get a lot more paranoid. We can see Choerry talking to either herself, or a doppelganger as her eye flickers with a creepy but cute pink outline, and all of the girls start to look over their shoulders as bizarre events keep happening. There's a scene where all of them look into the sky and see an eclipse of some kind, and then we get several cuts of bizarre things happening once more.
I honestly can't make heads or tails of the meaning behind the video, but here's my take on it. The tape at the beginning rewinding is akin to the girls doing things on a loop. There's some kind of weird event happening that's causing them to have an almost Groundhog's Day effect, though it seems that each time they are reset, they can actually interact with their past selves. Again, I have no idea what all that means, but if it's some gigantic metaphor for how fans will be playing this song nonstop, that's incredibly meta and genius. I like the video a ton even though I'm too dense to understand it fully.
I'll have to admit that I was not really all too interested in LOONA at first, but these three girls alone have changed my mind on them entirely. If the group's music stays focused on a more mature style with experimental sounds like these, I'll definitely be a fan. "Girl Front" is definitely one of my favorite songs from this year, and though I imagine it likely won't make a huge impact in Korea, especially with everything else dropping around its time of release, I think that the international crowd will absolutely adore it.