ADOY first came to my attention in the same way as they probably did for many others — “Wonder” cropped up on a playlist, and I was hooked. As stated on their Spotify page, many of the tracks on Vivid have a lot in common with their existing discography. However, with melancholy tracks like “Ever,” or the semi-tropical collaboration with rapper Woo, “Porter,” ADOY takes the chance on their new album to show us more sides to their music.
I’m a big lover of music that makes me think of nighttime. They’re the sort of tracks I put on a personal playlist called “drifting,” that I like to play while driving at night. ADOY has contributed a few tracks to this playlist for me, and it’s safe to say after listening to Vivid that I’ve added a few more.
Although ADOY does specialize in upbeat synth-pop, their more subdued tracks are still wonderfully dreamy. Expert use of reverb, stunning vocal harmonies, and vintage atmospheres are integral to ADOY’s artistry, and all of these aspects shine through on Vivid.
If you’re looking for familiar, upbeat ADOY tracks, I’d point you towards “Someday” especially, with lyrics like:
“Someday I’ll love again,
somewhere the sun is shining
Someday I’ll love again,
someday not too far away”
Or maybe “Lemon,” the first and one of my favorite tracks; or quick-paced, fun “Domino.” Want something more groovy? Check out “Pool,” which in my opinion really stresses the vintage feel with claps and great use of the guitar.
In the gray area between ADOY’s usual style and some of what I think of as the more major stylistic departures lies “Porter, on which they collaborated with rapper Woo. The lyrics are highly repetitive, and the presence of what sound like bongos make for an entirely new vibe.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that these upcoming tracks I am a bit biased towards. They’re all a little more melancholy, which I’m drawn to — but maybe that’s just because I’m caught in the midst of a Minnesota winter. In any case, I think tracks like “Ugly” and “Ever” are good introductions to this more mellow side of ADOY.
“Ugly” retains some of the same audio markers I’ve come to associate with them. “Ever” is one of their only tracks I’ve heard with Korean lyrics, and has some of the best harmonies I’ve ever heard from Dayoung and Juhwan; it also features strong instrumental elements, and ultimately it shot to the top of my list when I first heard it.
There’s also the Dayoung-dominated “Swim,” which is beautiful and a bit haunting. Rounding off the album are “Moondance,” an instrumental track I’d like to describe as a synth lullaby, and “Away,” whose instrumental has a similarly lullaby quality but this time accompanied by Juhwan and Dayoung, bringing the album to a sufficiently dreamy, atmospheric end.
Overall, ADOY truly delivered on this album. It’s hard to believe it’s their first full-length production, considering how polished their work always sounds. Vivid is a culmination of all of ADOY’s work, showing us the best of all their sides (musically), and getting me excited for all they have to come.