It seems unlikely that "Traveler," the seventh track on the 10-song album "4 Walls" released on Tuesday by boundary-pushing K-pop girl group-turned electro band f(x), will be a featured single with an accompanying music video.
This is unfortunate, considering that inventive dance song, which features South Korean rapper Zico of the boy band Block B unleashing an impressive onslaught of double-time rhymes, could really find a home among the same Western indie audiences unbothered by lyrics in other languages that made Sigur Rós or Manu Chao huge international stars.
Sure, musically, "Traveller" sounds more like European acts like Gorillaz or The Sounds or Western acts like Santigold or Cibo Matto with an ear to the worldwide music scene. But regardless, this is music that would probably be embraced easier among these audiences (or perhaps EDM fans in general) than by the average K-popper. The music on "4 Walls," doesn't appear to be as solidly inventive and infectious as they are capable of as the group rolls out beats that have been mainstays of electronic dance music for several decades.
But when they get it right, there are few K-pop acts that can touch f(x).
Perhaps it is because they set the bar too high for themselves with the rhythmic and melodic innovation of "Traveller"--with it's hypnotic blend of classic '80s synthesizer flourishes and advanced modern pop chord progressions, the song is an easy contender for the year's best so far.
As these four f(x) vocalists sweeten the track with their tasteful confection of perfectly blended harmonies, with each member sharing the mic diplomatically, the result is uniquely unspoiled.
Zico's fiery performance is the final piece that sends this song into the stratosphere.
Listen to K-pop girl group f(x)'s song "Traveler" featuring Zico from their new album "4 Walls" RIGHT HERE