Never say that K-Pop is only bubblegum pop and guyliner, because it sure isn’t. Sunny Hill’s Midnight Circus is chaotic, frenetic and dreamy. The lyrics are a not-so-veiled indictment of Korea’s idol studio system. The music video is creeptastic.
Of course, that’s all speaking relatively, because at the end of the day, Sunny Hill is still a part of the above studio system. (And yes, there is guyliner.) But we’ll take all the shimmering flashes of originality we can get. When this song first came out, I had it — and only it — on repeat for days.
P.S. If you want to have a chortle, the YouTube description here perfectly encapsulates the ridiculous amounts of awkward adjectives and buzzwords that permeate the industry. Try this on for size:
The title song “Midnight Circus” is an acid jazz dance song, with all instrumental sources played through real performances and acoustic sounds. The vintage charm of the song has been enhanced with trendy sounds by adding synthesizer sounds to the member’s plain vocals, instead of using auto-tune.
The music video symbolically portrays the sadness and pain behind the eeriness and spectacles of the circus. The charm of the circus in a dreamy atmosphere has been filmed with sensational technical esthetics, reinterpreting a vintage them through a modern direction.
I mean... golly. I’m sure some of this comes down to translation, but if I had a nickel every time a K-Pop press release described an idol as “fresh-faced”, or a song as having a “trendy sound”, I’d be ankle deep in Jeffersons.