ADOY and its electronic indie pop is back after their first full-length album, Vivid, in 2019. Based in Seoul, the band features Oh Juhwan (vocals/guitar), Zee (synths), Jung Dayoung (bass/vocals), and Park Geunchang (drums). Together, they have caught local and international attention thanks to the success of their EP Love in 2017. Today, the quartet shines once again in a brand new release entitled her.
With its languid rhythm, echoey vocals, and minimalistic synth, “Simply” feels like slowly sinking underwater, a certain peace taking over you as the song unfolds. The tranquility of it strikes greatly with the lyrics, a passionate love confession that sounds at times like a surrender: “I’m sinking on my way home / I’ll be a boy again with you by me.”
“Antihero” is grounded in its production and effects, but has this dreamy aura around itself. The band blooms on this rock-infused track, showing a great palette of genres for an electronic pop band. “Antihero” is rooted in an illusion and the pursuit of happiness, referencing Hollywood and admitting that the life you’re idolizing is a movie in your head: “It’s the life that’s not my own.” Despite this realization, ADOY still wishes to have a friend by their side to keep loneliness at bay once again.
“Saint” has a very triumphant sound to itself that is reminiscent of early 2010s indie pop: upbeat and grandiose production with lyrics centered around questioning oneself or youthful confusion. A typical musical paradox that I personally enjoy. “Saint” evolves with us; the lyrics grow from a quiet determination to improve oneself, to a more feisty resolution by the end of the song:
“I’m coming around and heaven knows now
Look at me, take a chance, Messiah
Could I be a living man?”
“Baby” strays away from the previous songs and stands out with its city pop melody and funky beat. The infectious song, led by the band’s vocalist Oh Juhwan, explores infatuation and the familiar doubts that come with it. Despite being sonically different, Baby still retains the quality we’ve seen so far in the EP.
“NY,” referring to New York, is as lively as the city. With its heavy use of synth (especially in the final part of the song), NY is bright and loud which is perfect to make the listeners feel restless. The lyrics express a desire to enjoy the peculiar life in town, the parties, alongside with her, the omnipresent and eponymous figure of the EP.
This song might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s perfect to show the full musical talent of ADOY, which serves as an ideal prelude to the final song, “Up,” a fully instrumental track. The three-minute synth song closes the album with melancholia and yearning notes, ideal to watch the nightfall through your window.
ADOY doesn’t have much to prove nowadays, with successful releases lining up since their debut. Despite this, the new EP allows them to explore new musical territories while keeping their eclectic colors intact. her is still limited by its length and core theme in my opinion, as it would have been interesting to see how far the band could have gone with its melancholic tone instead of stopping at six songs.