By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korean idol band GFriend on Tuesday released its fifth EP album “Parallel,” throwing down the gauntlet in this year’s fierce summer chart battle.
“We’ve prepared the new record with the mindset of a fresh restart,” member Yuju told reporters at a media showcase held at Yonsei University in western Seoul, expressing hope that the new songs become music that fans can listen to comfortably for a long time.
The band’s new EP album, released just five months after its previous album “The Awakening,” holds seven new songs, including title track “Love Whisper,” a medium tempo retro dance track accompanied with the team’s signature dynamic string arrangements.
Similar to “Fingertip,” the latest EP record is highlighted with an overall retro sound. “One-Half,” “Ave Maria” and “Red Umbrella” are throwbacks to ’90s synth dance and disco arrangements, while “Falling Asleep Again” is an R&B ballad dedicated to the group’s fans.
The title “Parallel” is a metaphor for the love between two people that fails to connect or materialize. Aesthetically and conceptually, members said they adopted this time an image of “power up innocence,” introducing choreography this is pure yet dynamic. According to SinB, the choreography for “Love Whisper” was the band’s most difficult dance to-date.
Before their comeback, the members traveled overseas to meet their foreign fans while also participating in mini concerts, such as the recent KCON held in New York last month, Umji said.
“We’ve spent the time well, catching up with practice and also having some free time. We watched movies, read books and even did some shopping together,” said Umji.
Sowon recalled how the band was delightfully shocked after being greeted by fans in Hong Kong at the airport.
“We recently went to Hong Kong, we’ve been there for award shows before but it was our first time there on our own. We were worried whether fans would greet us, but were later shocked at the welcome we received at the airport.”
The six-member act — Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB and Umji — has emerged as one of the fastest rising K-pop girl groups today, having several back-to-back hits, including “Rough” and “Navillera.”