By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — Girl group April on Wednesday jumped into the early fall music chart race with its fourth EP album, backed by a pulsating-yet-innocent new dance track titled “Hold My Hand.”
“After first listening to the song I thought this is it. I knew that this had to be the lead song,” leader Chaekyung explained to reporters of the new song at a media showcase held at Ilji Art Hall in southern Seoul.
“Hold My Hand” is part of April’s fourth EP album “Eternity,” its first batch of new music after “May Day” released four months ago. It sings of unrealized high school crushes but also rocks a surprisingly hard EDM beat with dynamic string arrangements that reminiscent of a lot of hit songs of rival act GFriend.
“We tried to carry along the girl image but highlight a bit more mature aspect of April,” said Choi Hyun-joon of V.O.S, who co-wrote and produced the track. Choi, who has had a working relationship with the April for some time, recently joined the group’s agency DSP Media as an in-house songwriter-producer.
While it isn’t easily discernible, the team said it tried to share a more mature aspect of the band in a nuanced way, without playing the obvious sexy card as do many other female idol bands.
“There was a desire to come out of the school girl facade. But the team couldn’t change radically. We tried to emphasize the team’s maturity and growth in a more subtle way,” said Choi.
The team’s morale is high but, objectively speaking, the team faces a steep uphill battle in the chart race. The market is currently occupied by big-name boy bands such as EXO and BTS, while female singers making strides are mostly solo artists such as IU and Heize.
Also, with two public broadcasters currently on strike, opportunities for TV publicities have also decreased substantially.
“We’ve prepared hard for four months after ‘May Day’ so we’ll do our best to show our all by adapting to the situation,” member Chaewon said.
Chaekyung chimed in: “Since there aren’t many girl groups on the charts, I think it’s a great opportunity to promote ourselves.”
When asked about its long-term goal, April said it hoped to produce songs that emotionally heal the listeners.
“I think we’ll be doing similar music in the near future. Our goal is to become a ‘healing-dol.’ We want to hear from listeners that they’re emotionally healed when listening to our music,” said member Yena.