Three piece band Dandelion kicks off their career with their sunny seven track EP 0530. A warm collection of songs based in various shades of rock, the EP explores both the late night aspect of 5:30am if you stayed up, or the excitement of waking up early.
Paradise / 밤에 낙원 (Night’s Paradise)
The EP starts with “Paradise” which quickly introduces us to the main vocalist’s warm voice and a dreamy atmosphere. The dreamy sound expands in the chorus as the drums get a bit louder and the vocals go higher, floating over everything. “Paradise” quiets down towards the end, only to actually end with a cheeky guitar glissando.
The titular track of the EP, “5:30am,” is a song that would be very fitting for a road trip or a day at the beach. It’s brighter than the previous track and moves more, with an electric guitar bouncing around with riffs in the background.
And then we reach “KA-NO,” which threw me off at first listen. It doesn’t actually start with music; it starts with someone saying “한번 더 할께요” which translates to “I’ll do it again.” And right after he says this, someone starts clapping. It’s like we’re listening in on rehearsal and is oddly refreshing to hear.
Then the music starts with a guitar that sounds off kilter, doing a sort of scale that swerves back and forth. The track goes back and forth between a fuller sound and moments when it’s just the guitar and clapping. And the lyrics are in English as well. According to the band’s Instagram, the title is nonsensical and picked to reflect the idea of a dream that makes no sense after you wake up.
After the cheeky “KA-NO,” “Lucien Carr” starts with steady drums and an electric guitar that sounds more gritty. This song also features lyrics in English, notably the repetition of the phrase “even hate you.” There’s also a bit of cheekiness in the track after the chorus, where the electric guitar copies the melody of “even hate you”. The song ends on “even hate you”, swelling to almost distortion, only to end on a blip.
“SUPER 8” brings respite from the abrupt ending of “Lucien Carr” with sweetness. It’s a type of sweetness for an end of the day, something that’s lovely but a bit sad, and the song has a nice swing to it. And just as you get into it, though, it ends, as the EP’s shortest track standing at only 1:39.
Now squarely in an evening sound, “Childhood’s End” sounds like the existential questioning of someone who’s stayed up until 5:30am. The track is steady with the guitar and drums but then deepens along with the repetition of the lyric “Why can’t I go back?” This continues at a quieter mood until suddenly an electric guitar brashly enters the mix, almost as if representing the actual frustration of the sentence that’s being repeated.
Sweet Dream Bonus Track Version
After the different colors the band has taken us through, they end the EP with a lullaby. The track is lo-fi and feels very cozy, swinging comfortably between the rhythm. It also features a return to Korean lyrics that are soothing, addressing the audience directly.
Through this first EP, Dandelion cover different sounds within their genre while also showing bits of cheekiness whether it’s through how a song starts or little moments in the song. 0530 took me from brightness to evening time, all the while maintaining warmth in their sound. The EP serves as a well rounded introduction to the band and it’ll be exciting to see what they do next.