Kim Dongryul & IU Whisk Us off into a Festive “Fairy Tale”
The remnants of autumn have finally passed us, and if the bare trees, colder temperatures, and desperate need of hot chocolate is anything to go by, winter is here. If that isn’t enough of a sign, then Kim Dongryul’s new single featuring IU most definitely is an indicator that the magical season of Christmas is finally upon us. On December 7, Kim Dongryul released a music video filled with childhood innocence and lost magic. Since its release, the track has already reached number one on real-time charts MelOn, Bugs, NAVER, and Soribada. It also managed to land a number two spot on Genie and Mnet.
Drawing open the curtains to a very Disney-esque instrumental courtesy of The London Symphony Orchestra, “Fairy Tale” is a track expressing the lack of magic that comes with growing up. When we were young, our dreams were limitless, filled with imagination and aiming for the stars; however, as people grow older imagination tends to take a backseat and in consequence they end up forgetting to dream. The track sings of renewing our “child-like” instincts and to dream. Starting off with IU singing in a lower register, one we don’t get to hear that often, we float into the fairytale world of imagination. Her crystal clear voice blends with Kim Dongryul’s throaty, full baritone to create the warm, grand atmosphere that you only get from the animation films of your childhood.
The music video works perfectly with both the instrumentals and the atmosphere of the song. Through the hand drawn animation done by Kim Youngjun, we see two young children, a girl and a boy, going on various adventures as the lyrics sing of how we used to dream of fighting evil and how easy it was for us when we were younger. The music video then reveals the young girl, now all grown up as she lays down all of her stress and taps into her inner child again. She goes, with the young boy from the beginning, on an adventure that has no limits to its imagination. Towards the end she, along with the young child, look into a clear lake that reflects them as unicorns. This being a nod to the lyrics claiming, “When I was young, on my little forehead I had two horns.” While melancholic, the soft colors of the animation keep it fresh and light while at the same time increasing the excitement for Christmas.
When I first heard of this collaboration, I expected that we’d get a ballad. What I did not expect was a sound as grandiose as this. Now that I’ve heard it, I can’t imagine having a plain old ballad as opposed to what can only be called Christmas in a song. Along with the beautiful instrumentals, the lyrics of the track are very much relevant for every individual past the age of 15. The song sings of hopes that we will not give up on our dreams and will continue to let our imaginations run wild; that no matter what difficulties we face in life, we still have the power to dream and pursue these dreams. Very much in the essence of the season, as Polar Express has taught us: we need to remember that true spirit lies in our hearts because while seeing is believing, sometimes the most real things in the world are things we can’t see.