“dayfly”: A Look Into DEAN’s Deepest Haunting Thoughts
It’s been a minute since the R&B master dropped his critically acclaimed album 130 Mood: TRBL in March of 2016, sprinkling singles and hot collaborations with underground artists and superstars alike. But rather than amping up the production following the gloomy “instagram,” the artist does the exact opposite with this single. In fact, it is somehow even more chilling.
While “instagram” still showcased DEAN’s impressive vocal range, the singer never employs any fancy vocal techniques. His glossy vocals are complemented by Rad Museum’s slightly livelier tone and further topped by the honey smoothness of Sulli’s sweet voice. At one point, DEAN’s voice is only supported by American R&B artist Daniel Caesar’s muffled voice in the background. The instrumentals are deceivingly simple; an electric guitar sits over a lo-fi hip-hop beat also much like “instagram.” But DEAN peppers cool bits throughout the song, like the violin in the pre-chorus, the subdued harmonies during the bridge, and the whistles that conclude the track.
DEAN’s time away from the spotlight is largely reflected through the song’s glazed lyrics. His words, however, reach anyone who is so out of touch with themselves that it’s an accomplishment just to make it through the day. The haunting lull of having the same dreaded day repeat is a universal struggle that doesn’t get highlighted often in Korean music or media. Rather than ignoring these numbing thoughts and pleasing people’s expectations, DEAN gave into his dark side, liberating himself of his demons meanwhile creating art in its rawest form.
The creative direction DEAN has taken may not be flashy or even upbeat, but his candor with these last two releases has obviously maintained his relevance; fans continue to eagerly anticipate his next album 130 Mood: RVNG. Maybe it’s a good thing the music video hasn’t dropped yet. It gives fans time to construct their own imagery based on their own interpretation of “dayfly” before DEAN shows us what he envisioned.