B-Sides: Rainy Day Mood
Depending on where you live, summer weather can be quite fickle. It can be very hot and sunny in the morning, but then be cloudy, humid, and full of rain by the afternoon. Summer rain seems to have a life of its own, so this week in B-Sides we will look at songs that go with the different moods of summer rain.
“Just Go” - iKON
It should be no surprise that a breakup song would make the list, and this track by the YG Entertainment boy group iKON is a good fit to accompany downcast weather in the daytime. The members lament how their significant other is clearly interested in someone else, so they should break up and just go to him instead.
The song has a swinging pop-rock ballad sound, but it is not a hostile break-up song. They sound defeated and perhaps a little bitter, but not angry. The piano arpeggios at the beginning of the song create a more innocent feeling to bring out their acceptance of the break-up situation.
Their bitterness does not come out until the former member and leader B.I.’s rap verse. His verse is sharp and more invasive as he is brutally honest about the necessity of their breakup. The stark reality of the rap verse is contrasted against the smooth vocals of the chorus. The chorus is simple but precise as the vocal line repeats their wish for their significant other to “just go.”
Overall, the composition of the song is very satisfying and a good companion for a slow walk in light rain.
“I Need Somebody” - DAY6
Day has become evening, and this track by JYP Entertainment’s pop-rock group DAY6 gives you a moment to reflect on your insecurities as a cold evening rain pours down from the sky. The members confess that they feel so alone even though they are surrounded by people, and the song itself reflects this desire.
Member Young K wrote and composed the song, and it is evident in the line distribution that he understands the strengths of his fellow members. He expertly captures the vulnerability of the song by bringing out their distinct vocals against the building backtrack.
The backtrack builds slowly in its emotional intensity. It begins simply with piano and picks up with repeated chords. However, when you think it will all open up in the chorus, they psych you out with just an acoustic guitar and a little bit of drums. It is not until the second chorus where all the instruments come out for a full chorus sound.
The song almost sounds like breathing because the backtrack and vocal line exchange short and prolonged notes that create a breathing-like rhythm. Sometimes, the backtrack and vocal line follow the same rhythm, and sometimes they do not, instead echoing the painful breathing involved in crying or deep breaths. The form of the song reflects the lyrics, and DAY6 pierces you to the heart with this vulnerable song.
“Diphylleia Grayi” - JONGHYUN
Evening rolls on to early morning, and this track by SHINee member Jonghyun soothes you during a 2 a.m. cold rain shower. Diphylleia Grayi, also known as the skeleton flower, is a type of flower that turns translucent when it becomes wet, and returns to white when it becomes dry. Jonghyun uses this nature imagery to describe how he has to hide how broken he really feels to the world around him. He wrestles with how something so apparently beautiful can be so deceiving and full of sorrow.
At the beginning of each chorus, he sings this hauntingly beautiful note progression that is reminiscent of a lullaby against slightly more cheerful strings. He starts softly, crescendos, and returns to soft, but this time with piercing harmonies. The backtrack is strings and piano in classic ballad fashion, but Jonghyun makes the song completely and uniquely his own. The sound is ethereal, heartbreaking, and gentle all at the same time.
I cannot lie—it can be difficult to make it through the whole song. Jonghyun sings emotionally, and there are points where it sounds like he is really breaking down in the song. Even though his life ended on a tragic note, his beautiful work is still left with us. In the end, this song is a good reminder to check in with the ones you love, because like the flower, they could be showing something on the outside that is very different from how they feel on the inside.