The nation's favorite sibling duo, AKMU (Akdong Musician), has surprisingly returned! The KPOP STAR 2 winners released a full-album titled WINTER in January of this year. It was said to be the last release before brother Chanhyuk’s enlistment into the military. However, the YG Entertainment siblings decided that they weren’t quite done yet for this year as they surprised everyone with an EP titled SUMMER EPISODE.
The EP carries only two songs, but such great summer songs they are. The first one is “DINOSAUR,” which is an interesting title to say the least. Also interesting is the change in genre for the duo. They experiment with house and EDM sounds, and they do it damn well. Props to these insanely talented siblings for being brave enough to move outside their comfort zone, and to do it so beautifully. Something about the song sounds nostalgic; it’s easy to get lost in old thoughts of playing outside as a child. Suhyun’s vocals throughout the chorus, as usual, are chill-inducing.
The song is great, and so is the music video. But first, the lyrics are very important. Basically, “DINOSAUR” is about AKMU’s childhood, and specifically the bad dreams that Chanhyuk used to have, which included those with dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are a metaphor for 채무자, or debt collectors who used to trash their house in order to instill fear. As many may or may not know, AKMU’s family used to be very poor—poor enough that eventually they had to move to Mongolia for a while to escape Korea’s more expensive lifestyle. Therefore, these dinosaurs that haunted Chanhyuk’s dreams represented their family’s struggle and the debtors who caused them fear. A better explanation of the backstory can be found on Naver.
While the story behind the song is sad and depicts a terrifying event for a child, the music video is more lighthearted. It reminds me a bit of a Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli movie, like My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away. It’s like a mini movie full of adventure and fantasy, and never without gorgeous scenery. I love this music video so, so much. This is what videos are supposed to do: effectively complement a great song with a visual story—a story that takes you away to another world.
The second song is called “MY DARLING.” This song is more reminiscent of their older songs, with that familiar acoustic guitar leading the charming melody. The song is… adorable? If songs can be adorable then this is definitely it, in the non-girl-group-aegyo sort of way. It’s a cheery sounding song with a contagiously giddy beat. This is such a beach vacation song. Seriously, take a guitar out onto the beach, gather a circle of friends, sing a happy song and wow… you basically have “MY DARLING” (minus Suhyun’s incredible vocals. But then again, no one can replicate that).
I’m so happy that AKMU delivered this masterpiece before Chanhyuk’s enlistment. But even when Suhyun’s brother leaves, we can rest assured of the fact that he has written many songs for her to sing for us in the future. Also, check out Suhyun’s new YouTube channel. How can someone be so cute? Here’s her debut “Daily Makeup” video!