Without knowing what I was going into and especially with a title including the word for an unalive monster, I wasn’t sure what B.Mery would deliver through the EP. One doesn’t casually throw the word zombie into a project without some sort of expectation.
The two other zombie concepts I knew were from Kpop and each interpreted the sound and narrative very differently. One was a musically simple yet lyrically packed “Zombie” of Day6 or the other was the quirky, slightly unhinged “Zombie” of Purple Kiss.
B. Mery’s spin on the zombie concept was deceptive, a light song dressing up sad lyrics. It starts with a cheeky piano riff, has a harmonica solo, and stays in a major key for most of the song. And then it flips into a minor key in the last third, hinting at the lyrical content of the song.
“Zombie” played off a similar concept to Day6’s interpretation of a zombie as a numb person caught in repetition.
살아도 살아있는 것 같지가 않아
Though I’m living, it doesn’t feel like I’m living
이 세상에 죽지도 못하고 살고있어
In this world I can’t die and am living
왜 이름도 얼굴도 기억 하지가 않아
Why can’t I remember names or faces?
왜 이렇게 살아 있을까?
Why am I living like this?
And yet without looking at the lyrics, the song overall seems light. The vocals by Son Yeji reminded me of musical theater due to the melody itself and the vocal performance. Even when it does dip into a minor key, the production remains simple, letting the vocalist shine more.
But instead of staying in a minor key, “Zombie” returns to the original piano riff at a slightly slower, weighted tempo. It ends not with a question but with a description of repetitive days, almost as if acknowledging that nothing will change.
오늘도 어제와 같은 똑같은 하루를
Today, like yesterday, is the same day
내일도 오늘과 같은 똑같은 하루를
Tomorrow, like today, is the same day
Most of the other tracks in the EP stayed in the similar acoustic folk space of “Zombie” except my favorite track, “New Town.” Coming after the first track “Blue Love” which started in a fuzzy tape recorder sound before snapping into clarity, “New Town” kicks off with a bossa nova melody. As the song progresses, it becomes richer in the soundscape with additions like strings and an accordion. The overall effect is a song that I think would work well over a montage of a city in the early evening, slowly gearing up for a vibrant nightlife.
Memories of the Blue Town and the Zombie does what it says it’ll do, bring us through a certain town and introduce us to a zombie. It was interesting to listen through as the track list went from folk to a bossa nova groove back to acoustic then ending on a lullaby.
While not doing anything too drastically beyond reach, I did wish for something leaning more towards “New Town.” But we’ll have to see what B.Mery does after this EP. The lyrical and production contrast of “Zombie,” the sound of “New Town,” and the vocals of Son Yeji have charmed me enough to tune in to the next release.