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K-Pop Double-Take: Forget The Bad Press! Lovelyz 'Candy Jelly Love' Is Synth Pop Gold [VIDEO]

By John Chiaverina | December 10, 2014 06:31 PM EST


K-Pop Double-Take is a periodic review column highlighting recent releases that have yet to receive the attention we feel they deserve.

After a troubled debut, which included one member hospitalized for stomach pain and another in the psych ward, Woollim Entertainment's newest K-pop girl group Lovelyz 's first single, "Candy Jelly Love," off of the album "Girls Invasion," was released on Nov. 17.

"Candy Jelly Love" is a synth-driven piece of K-pop that melds together elements from multiple sub-genres and eras of electronic music into an adorable whole.

Formed earlier this year by Woollim Entertainment, the Lovelyz lineup consists of Baby Soul, Jiae, Jisoo, Mijoo, Kei, Jin, Sujeong and Yein. The members are all between the ages of 16 and 22.

"Candy Jelly Love" is resolutely playful and romantic and feels just as indebted to modern dance styles like dubstep as it does to more antiqued forms of synth-pop, giving the track a pleasing sheen that goes beyond K-pop and moves into a sonic realm that resembles a lot of current Western indie-electronic music.

The verses of "Candy Jelly Love" are anchored by a half-time dubstep-esque beat and glistening keyboard melodies that wouldn't sound out of place on a track by Scandinavian electro-pop singer Robyn. While the chorus goes double-time and is driven home by a ridiculously bouncy bass line and accented sawtooth synths.

Although the half-time drums on the verses of "Candy Jelly Love" do point to dubstep, there is nothing aggressive about the interplay between them and the shimming lead synth line, which feels wistful in the way that only great synth pop can feel.

"Candy Jelly Love" is produced by 46-year-old South Korean musician and actor Yoon Sang. Although Sang has never before worked with a girl group, he has in the past made music with famous Korean singers like Kang Suji, BoA, and TVXQ.

Perhaps Sang's experience and age played a role in the creation of a track that, while certainly modern, also feels connected to a musical vein that transcends the current moment.

Whatever factors went into creating such a productive collaboration, it is a perfect example of a positive multi-generational musical exchange, and it will be interesting to see what the two entities come up with in the future.

"Candy Jelly Love" deftly synthesizes modern electronica with a more timeless synth pop feel, the end result being something that could appeal to fans of indie electro just as much as more mainstream K-pop supporters and to youngsters, just as much as people who grew up on New Order.

Although they only have one album under their belt, Lovelyz are a group that shows great promise.

Let's hope that they collaborate more with Sang in the future, because if "Candy Jelly Love" is any indication, this is one K-pop match that will continue to bare candy jelly fruit for all parties involved.

Watch the video for "Candy Jelly Love" by Lovelyz RIGHT HERE.

John Chiaverina is a musician and journalist living in New York City. He has performed in over 18 countries, including two tours of South Korea, under the name "Juiceboxxx."

Tagged :  lovelyz, Woollim Entertainment, lovelyz


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