K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: GWSN – 4th Extended Play “the Keys”
GWSN searches for the keys to desire and order in their newest comeback!
About sixth months after their previous release, K-pop girl group GWSN, otherwise known as Girls in the Park, is back once again with a mysterious comeback that has fans on their toes! Releasing their album on April 28th, the group makes a stunning return following their last release in July with their fourth EP called the Keys.
the Keys Comeback Timeline
GWSN first released their promotional poster for the Keys, which featured a main quote reading, “Where nothing is in its place, lies disorder. Where in the desired place there is nothing, lies order”.
The quote is surrounded by a mysterious optical illusion of various doors. With fans eagerly anticipating their return, GWSN built upon excitement and released a poster for their comeback timeline on April 15th.
Following this packed schedule, the band proceeded to unveil the official album cover art on April 16th. GWSN are embracing their creativity this comeback. Miya, the group’s main dancer and rapper, features her original artwork for the cover!
Both promotional posters follow the lead of the first by including a quote to tease fans. In the comeback timeline, the group considers the contrast between dreams and disappointment; “What we want and what we get are rarely the same thing”.
In the official album cover art, a thematic quote is also included, reading: “We need a visible past, a visible continuum, a visible myth of origin to reassure us as to our ends, since ultimately we have never believed in them.”
The album photos illustrate GWSN’s newest concept as both alluring and mysterious. The members: Miya, Seoryoung, Minju, Lena, Anne, and Seokyoung, continue this vibe in their stunning individual photos, released on April 17th.
Earlier this month, the band announced the unfortunate ankle ligament injury of Soso. Due to the severity of her injury, she will be absent from this comeback.
While the members shine in their individual promotions, GWSN also shows their unity in the equally beautiful group shot.
The band boasts their visual strength by adversing the first round of promotional photos with a second. Contrastingly, the group offers a sporty chic look in their unit pictures which is much brighter than their first photoshoot.
The group’s release on April 24th showcases their more serious side.
By offering an exciting mix of concepts in their promotional photos, GWSN indicates the music of their new album will do the same.
Alongside the release of the promotional posters for the album cover and members, GWSN dropped the tracklist for the mini-album. the Keys features four tracks: “BAZOOKA!”, “공중곡예사 (Wonderboy, The Aerialist)”, “Tweaks (Heavy cloud but no rain)”, and “After The Bloom (Alone)”.
The album’s track titles hint towards songs of whimsy and curiosity, similar to the themes that the quotes in the promotional album posters discussed.
Along with the tracklist, the band revealed a bright neon music video trailer for the track, “BAZOOKA!”, inspired by the movie Alice and Wonderland.
GWSN followed this release on April 23rd by additionally unveiling the teaser video for the full mini-album.
As the members playfully dance to tracks, their fans are treated with short teasers of each song on the album. With a blend of moody jazz and upbeat synth-pop, GWSN puts their best efforts to appeal to every listener.
With only one day before the Keys’ release, GWSN dropped the last music video teaser as well as a choreography spoiler video.
Sounds of the keys: album impressions
GWSN’s title track, “BAZOOKA!” starts the album in an impressive manner. Founded on a strong hook that features the members playfully singing “watch me”, followed by their repetition of “bazooka!”, the song is definitely worthy of taking the spot of the album’s main track.
The lyrics proclaim the group’s dazzling strength as stars of their own universe, and promise their unwavering strength against any challenges. Ending the song by celebrating their fandom, Groo, that dances with them, “BAZOOKA!” is a cute, catchy title but also includes a heartfelt thanks to their supporters.
The second track titled “the Aerialist (Wonderboy)”, is the jazzier song heard previously in the album trailer. The song includes a strong piano introduction, and heavy use of drum cymbals and snapping.
Due to its more percussive melody, “the Aerialist (Wonderboy)” is a moodier song than the first. However, it still contains the whimsical spirit of the title track as the lyrics express the story of a “wonderboy” that shines in the night and urges them to keep flying.
“Tweaks ~ Heavy cloud but no rain”, the third song in the release, is an interesting change of pace and can be considered the extended play’s divisive marker between a more upbeat first half and a moodier second half.
Containing heavy bass and the album’s most simplistic instrumental melody, this track is more vocally driven. In this manner, fans are able to see the members’ vocal strengths shine and appreciate both their individual powers as well as their group harmonization.
The last track, “After the bloom (alone)”, continues the percussion heard in “the Aerialist” as it leads with what sounds like a similar snapping or an electronic snare drum beat at its beginning. However, this song is underscored by heavy, darker bass and a more sensual melody.
Coupled with the members’ airier vocal tones and lower rap verses, we found the last track as impactful as the title and perhaps the strongest b-side. Placing the punchy “BAZOOKA!” at the front of the Keys and leaving “After the bloom (alone)” at its end was a perfect way to highlight GWSN’s capabilities to pull off bright and dark concepts.
BAZOOKA MV afterthoughts
After the many teasers released by GWSN leading up its release, the music video “BAZOOKA!” was highly anticipated. Continuing the narrative quotes sprinkled throughout the comeback’s promotional contents, “BAZOOKA!” began with one more, which read: “Ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming?”.
This dreamy concept is extended as the video zooms outwards from a neon sign reading, “Follow the white rabbit!”, illustrating the music video’s inspiration from the movie Alice in Wonderland.
Member Seoryoung is shown finding a key, which opens a door to another world, matching the album’s entire concept. Once the door opens, “BAZOOKA!” begins to play.
The following scenes show the members basking in neon lights, switching between scenes of choreography and narrative in which GWSN find various objects similar to Alice in Alice in Wonderland.
GWSN radiate in various outfits, which match their promotional posters. Flipping between sporty chic and a moodier look, the members captivate audiences with their upbeat choreography to match the catchy melody of the song.
Mixing both the whimsical inspiration of Alice and Wonderland with their own unique charm, GWSN dazzles fans with their latest release.
Photo Credit: GWSN