When most people hear the word “K-pop,” they think of pop music but in Korean and with more dancing. For the general public, K-pop music has one distinct sound and is one genre on its own. However, this isn’t exactly right. K-pop is a generalization for what is considered ‘Idol Music’ in South Korea, but K-pop artists take influence from genres beyond pop. One of the best examples of a K-pop group who brings in non-pop sounds is Kard.
Kard is a South Korean mixed-gender group formed by DSP Media which released its first EP, “Hola Hola,” in 2017. The group is made up of four members: Somin, Jiwoo, BM and J.Seph. Unlike other K-groups, Kard’s discography is filled with Latin and hip-hop influences. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest — if not the biggest — mixed-gender South Korean groups, with music that will make anyone with rhythm want to get up and dance.
The group released its second pre-debut single and music video in February 2017 titled “Don’t Recall.” The song itself is a post-breakup jam set to a tropical house-type beat that uses the group’s male and female vocals to create a two-sided conversation about the after-effects of a relationship. While Somin and Jiwoo sing about not being able to remember the good parts about the relationship, BM and J.Seph rap about not wanting to let go of their significant other. Throughout the track, Kard is able to accomplish what few manage to do well — blending its vocals and unique rap styles to tell a story from different viewpoints.
While Jiwoo and Somin tell their partners “don’t touch me” and “pretend you don’t know me,” their counterparts plead “Don’t get any farther away from me” and that “it’s miserable to live” now that the relationship has ended. The music video also aids the song’s storytelling with scenes of Jiwoo and Somin looking disgusted and physically turning away from the others, while BM and J.Seph are shown in clear discontent, throwing their bodies into the rap as if putting enough power behind their words would reverse time and heal the broken relationship. The blue and green color hues of the music video highlight the heartbroken mentality of the men as their ex-partners push them further and further away.
But, as mentioned previously in this column, you can always jam out to music without knowing the exact lyrics or meanings behind it. While knowing the background of a track can increase your appreciation of it, songs like “Don’t Recall” are just as enjoyable when screaming the lyrics in your room at three in the morning. The song’s Latin-influenced beat will make you want to learn Korean just so you can have the perfect shower concert, belting out “I gave you all my love (love)”.
So, whether you’re trying to hold onto a broken relationship, push away from the fragments or just enjoy funky music, add Kard’s “Don’t Recall” to your playlist now!