K-pop girl group Aespa's first EP ‘Savage' blends creative storytelling with addictive dance-pop

Asia's Tech News Daily

K-pop girl group Aespa’s first EP ‘Savage’ blends creative storytelling with addictive dance-pop

Aespa have gone to the next level with their first album, Savage, which arrived on October 5.

A six-track EP, Savage comes almost a year after the K-pop girl group debuted with their first single, Black Mamba, last November. Fronted by a single of the same name, Savage arrived about five months after the group’s May single Next Level, which became a viral hit in South Korea and turned the rising rookies into one of the industry’s most prominent female acts.

Formed by K-pop company SM Entertainment, Aespa (stylised “aespa”) is a distinctly conceptual group featuring a sci-fi storyline and virtual “ae” counterparts of each member, all of which feature across their music and related video and social media content. This ties into SM’s larger plans for a companywide, music-based fictional narrative and metaverse known as the SMCU.

Since their debut, the group has focused on a powerful experimental style. On Savage, the quartet continue this through addictive tracks that show off the distinctly quirky flare of dance-pop that Aespa has become known for, embracing Y2K aesthetics and sounds for inspiration. The album also features numerous references to Aespa’s fictional elements, which are immensely fun for those who invest time in the band and their concept, but may put off casual listeners.

K-pop girl group Aespa’s first EP ‘Savage’ blends creative storytelling with addictive dance-pop

Aespa with their virtual “ae” counterparts. Photo: SM Entertainment

The album kicks off with aenergy, an uplifting anthem that explores the group’s members and the characteristics they showcase throughout their superheroine-like story, declaring each members’ in-universe skills and abilities.

Uplifting with its singsong chants and propulsive beats, aenergy leads into the title song on the album, Savage. Like its precursors Black Mamba and Next Level, the song Savage is brilliant in its eclectic blend of genres, including trap, dubstep and intense power balladry, as Aespa show off their charisma and vocal runs, while in the music video they take on their characters to combat their enemy and meet their ally, Naevis.

“In our new song Savage, we finally confront and come face-to-face with ‘Black Mamba’!” Giselle said during a press conference for the album’s release. “Befittingly, we wanted to show a powerful side of us that’s also nonchalant and relaxed at the same time which comes from having confidence in defeating ‘Black Mamba’.”

If you’re a fan of in-depth world-building and multifaceted storytelling, Aespa’s music and general concept provide a lot for you to embrace and think about. References to the band’s fictional storyline are featured liberally through the album, so if you’re familiar with Aespa’s villain Black Mamba, their “ae” alternatives and their digital ally Naevis, who exists in the digital world known as Kwangya, the album will help you continue to enjoy the story they're telling.

“I’m going to Kwangya, game in / Defeating a subtle alienation / And make me drift apart from my ae,” declares Karina during the song Savage. “My Naevis we love u,” the members all sing later, with Winter following it up with, “My victory, one Synk Dive.”

Watching the music video to Savage, or if you’re already one of Aespa’s dedicated fandom members – known as “My” – these lines may make more sense. But if just casually listening, these verses and others across the album referencing Aespa’s narrative come across at best random and at worst bizarre.

While in general pop music, and K-pop especially, doesn’t need its lyrics to be high literary art (though it can be) or even comprehensible, the fact that Aespa are telling a story through lyrics is an experience that certainly elevates their musicality, but may be too immersive for some.

That said, we are living in an era where millions keep up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s various stories across different films and television shows. So perhaps Savage the album will lay the groundwork for a distinct era of fictional storytelling via pop songs, and Aespa will be considered progenitors of a genre dubbed “fictive pop” or the like.

K-pop girl group Aespa’s first EP ‘Savage’ blends creative storytelling with addictive dance-pop

Aespa’s members (clockwise from top left) Karina, Ningning, Giselle and Winter

Beyond the intro track and Savage, the rest of Aespa’s first album continues to showcase all they have to offer musically, but takes a bit of a step back from the fictional metaverse.

Throughout each of the other four tracks the quartet’s powerful vocals are put on display, contrasted with singsong raps and eclectic ad-libs. The revenge track I’ll Make You Cry is particularly intense, scattering wailing siren synths and twinkling beats over the chaotically harmonious dance tune, which is at once dramatic and beautiful.

The drama is followed by the more lighthearted Yeppi Yeppi, a hyperactive and energetic take on “pretty” in Korean. With a bit of a bouncy house feel, it’s an all-round fun moment that is built to be grooved to while throwing your hands up in the air and holding a party for yourself in celebration of your beauty.

Yeppi Yeppi is joined by Iconic in the way it features some brighter, festive moments, but kicks off first with strong hip-hop. Then, once it gets a few moments into the song, it turns into a series of alternatingly sweet and sassy verses all about how I-C-O-N-I-C Aespa is.

Throughout the album, the harmonising and power belts of members Winter, Ningning, Karina and Giselle are put on display in a big way. All of their sleek vocals come to head on the final song Lucid Dream, a dreamy alt R&B tune that emits a hazy, ambient vibe, but features one glitchy electronic bridge that feels in line with Aespa’s futuristic concept.

As a long-awaited first album after only three earlier singles, Savage is successful in showcasing what the members of Aespa have to offer as one of most ambitious newer female K-pop acts out there. The six tracks each offer something new while creating a cohesive listening experience that is invigorating and satisfying, and which shares more about what Aespa’s musicality will be like moving forward.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Vegetarian pizza, vegan kebabs and other Asian recipes with a meat-free twist – why this sauce-maker encourages freestyle cooking in the kitchen

I was a bit worried that Simran Savlani’s book A Spark of Madness – an Amalgamation of 116 Vegetarian and Vegan Asian Staples (2021) would be just a way for ... Read more »

[From the Scene] Fans paint LA purple and orange ahead of BTS concert

A “Permission to Dance” cup-sleeve event takes place at Dragon Boba in Koreatown, Los Angeles, Friday.LOS ANGELES – With locals having flushed out of the city for the Thanksgiving holiday, ... Read more »

Rare Whisky mulls auction hub for market-beating spirits investments as Hong Kong buyers drive regional sales

Rare Whisky Holdings, a Hong Kong-based investment group that focuses on rare and exclusive bottles and cask investment, is considering setting up an auction hub in Asia to help owners ... Read more »

What is epilepsy? Its causes, treatment, triggers and seizures, how it affects the body, and the story of one mother who had no warning signals

One in 10 people have at least one seizure in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Neurology. Around 50 million people globally are estimated to live with epilepsy, ... Read more »

China fines Caifutong, Tencent's WeChat Pay operator, for breaking foreign exchange rules

China has fined Tenpay, an online-payment unit of Tencent Holdings, 2.8 million yuan (US$438,000) for violating foreign exchange rules amid growing regulatory scrutiny of the nation’s fintech industry. The unit ... Read more »

From CBD oils that do nothing to getting high, myths and reality explained by Hong Kong cannabidiol advocates CBD Peoples

After discovering and falling in love with CBD (cannabidiol) brand Hemptuary Hawaii, Hong Kong-based Christina Ko and Loretta Chen decided to bring the label to Hong Kong. As they started ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Meet Daniel Park, creative mind behind JTBC series 'IDOL: The Coup'

Daniel DPD Park, who developed the JTBC series “IDOL: The Coup” / Photo by Johnny Tran By Dong Sun-hwa Dramas about K-pop stars are not a rarity these days, but ... Read more »

KOCCA, KBS team up for immersive K-pop show for global fans

Mamamoo’s Hwasa performs “I’m a B” on KBS music program “Music Bank” on Friday. (KBS Kpop YouTube channel)The Korea Creative Content Agency and state-run broadcaster KBS are joining hands to ... Read more »

The best Chinese, Japanese, Indian and English teas, an exceptional tea-drinking experience – from a French company? The story of Mariage Frères

The serious and dapper clerk approached the checkerboard wooden cubicles that line the walls, creaking the floorboards while reaching for a trio of large black tea tins. Removing the lid ... Read more »

China's ‘dual-credit' policy that spurred the EV sector will be revised in bid to ensure high quality growth

China’s decision to revise a “dual-credit” policy on carbon emissions that helped electric vehicle (EV) makers boost production is likely to hurt the industry leaders in a trade-off for long-term ... Read more »

Capitalism rethink: innovation needn't come at the expense of worker protection

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted major weaknesses in both the US and European capitalism models. In the United States, the crisis has shown the limits of an economic system that ... Read more »

A landmark of Hong Kong's dining scene, Yung Kee restaurant looks to the future by celebrating the past

Most Hongkongers are familiar with Yung Kee, the three-storey restaurant on Wellington Street, in Central, where myth has always had it that the higher the floor, the more expensive the ... Read more »

Itaewon Class soundtrack singer Gaho talks K-dramas, his first LP, Fireworks, and sharing his emotions and stories

While Squid Game and Hellbound are the biggest K-drama hits of 2021, in 2020, everyone was talking about Itaewon Class. And everyone who had watched that show was listening to ... Read more »

Music therapy for better sleep and stress relief … in a Canto-pop song? Jocelyn Chan explains her use of tuning forks in Sound of Silence and the theory behind it

Do tuning forks have any place in a pop song? Yes, says Hong Kong singer-songwriter Jocelyn Chan Ming-hei – her song Sound of Silence, which recently topped city public broadcaster ... Read more »

Xiaomi to build its first electric vehicle factory in Beijing suburb

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is building its first electric vehicle factory in the outskirts of Beijing, according to a local government announcement, marking an important step for the firm as ... Read more »

China Evergrande's electric-vehicle unit gets US$200 million from returning undeveloped land

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group returned several undeveloped land plots to the Chinese government in exchange for 1.28 billion yuan (US$200 million) to alleviate its cash crunch and keep ... Read more »

Victoria's Secret lingerie challenged by Parade, a start-up selling underwear for all body shapes, founded by 24-year-old Cami Téllez

Cami Téllez never liked buying underwear, but maybe that’s why the 24-year-old is suited to take on Victoria’s Secret. As a teen in Princeton, in the US state of New ... Read more »

Hong Kong nightlife veteran Richard Feldman on why Lan Kwai Fong is ‘a magical place' and opening his new gay bar, Petticoat Lane

I was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1965. Back then, Montreal was much more anglophone, an English city in a French province. My mother is from France and I grew ... Read more »

How Song Hye-kyo took the fashion and beauty world by storm, from Fendi to Bottega Veneta – but which products are in her new K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up?

After a two-year sabbatical, legendary Korean actress and fashion icon Song Hye-kyo makes her return in 2021’s long-awaited SBS K-drama Now, We Are Breaking Up opposite heartthrob Jang Ki-yong. Fans ... Read more »

Why Chinese electric cars are causing a buzz in Thailand

Veteran Thai journalist Nithi Thuamprathom has covered the automotive industry for two decades but it was only recently, at an exhibition in Shanghai a few years ago, that Chinese electric ... Read more »

China Overseas Land sells stake in Kai Tak land plot for HK$1.35bn amid gloomy mainland market outlook

Leading Chinese developer China Overseas Land & Investment (COLI) has sold part of its stake in a plot in Kai Tak, site of the city’s old airport, as the mainland ... Read more »

The world needs more Elon Musks to turn zero-emission planes and ships into commercial reality to help reverse climate change

When Tesla beat expectations in 2017 and delivered 102,000 electric cars to customers, the feat inspired an entrepreneur born in the former Soviet Union to think big: one day, battery ... Read more »

How to buy and sell data? Shanghai starts new exchange for trading massive amounts of data like commodities

The Shanghai Data Exchange opened for business on Thursday, marking China’s latest attempt to build a vast market for data – dubbed the new oil of the digital economy – ... Read more »

ByteDance said to launch new wave of education job cuts, as employment prospects dim in China's tech sector

Beijing-based ByteDance, which operates TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, is expected to cut at least 1,000 jobs at its education unit, marking a sharp contrast to this time a ... Read more »

China's world-class business environment plans ‘address' some concerns, but ‘implementation key'

China is ready to open new economic areas and provide more conveniences to lure foreign talent and investment in the latest bid to build a market-oriented and law-based business environment ... Read more »

Ant Group applies to China's central bank to set up personal-credit scoring joint venture with state-backed partners

China’s central bank said it has received an application for a personal-credit scoring joint venture between Ant Group, state-backed Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group and four other investors, allowing the fintech ... Read more »

US-China tech war: state media questions Washington's intent on demanding chip supply data from TSMC, Samsung amid ‘targeted sanction' concerns

China’s official state media has accused the US government of hatching a plot to obtain more information about the country’s semiconductor industry and hold back its development, following Washington’s recent ... Read more »

Paytm shares rout deals painful reality check for India's ‘casino' IPO markets

India’s booming IPO market has suffered a painful reality check with mobile payments start-up Paytm’s shares tanking in their trading debut. The rout is seen as scooping some of the ... Read more »

Beijing looks into setting up digital asset exchange to push the e-yuan

China is exploring setting up a virtual asset exchange as the government lays out the next step to complement its pilot of the digital yuan, according to a blue print ... Read more »

Hong Kong's secondary home prices fall by the most in 14 months in October as banks turn cautious on valuations

Hong Kong’s lived-in home prices dropped by the most in 14 months in October after peaking in August, with buying sentiment cooling as banks become more cautious in valuating property. ... Read more »

China food delivery giant Meituan reports 10bn yuan loss after paying antitrust fine

Meituan, operator of China’s largest food delivery and on-demand local services platform, reported a worse than expected loss in the third quarter, after swallowing a fine by China’s antitrust regulators, ... Read more »

[Today's K-pop] Woodz floats poster for December concert

(Credit: Yue hua Entertainment)Woodz, also known as Cho Seungyeon, will hold a concert in Seoul Dec. 11-12.  Under the theme “The Invisible City,” he will bring his fans to a ... Read more »

5 K-pop idol siblings to know: Blackpink's Rosé and Jisoo's sisters look like they could be stars, while J-Hope of BTS' sister Jung Ji-woo is a fashion influencer

The K-pop world is filled with beautiful faces; some idols were even scouted for their striking looks at a young age. And it comes as no surprise that many Korean ... Read more »

Flat head syndrome – facts about the condition behind the helmet-wearing baby fad and how to prevent or fix it

To this day, Susanna Koh remembers the time a father walked into her clinic and asked staff to help treat his baby boy’s flat head syndrome. Before she could say ... Read more »

Chinese state media renews warning against NFT ‘zero-sum game', flagging ‘fraud' risks as digital collectibles gain recognition

The People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, has spoken out against the investment fever around non-fungible tokens (NFTs), questioning whether it is another “zero-sum game hyped by ... Read more »

29 Korean stars who tested positive for Covid-19 – Blackpink's Lisa just did, following Exo's Xiumin, Ateez's San, Dreamcatcher's Gahyeon and K-drama actor Ji Chang-wook

Around the world, attempts to restart the music industry have had mixed results as a wave of stars continue to contract the virus. Now Lalisa Manoban – better known as ... Read more »

(Yonhap Interview) 'Hellbound' is universal story of life, death, humanity: Yeon Sang-ho

By Kim Boram SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) — Director Yeon Sang-ho of the supernatural horror series “Hellbound” said he was stunned to learn that the film debuted at No. 1 ... Read more »

Are Chinese property developer stocks a good buy right now?

Up to September, the Chinese property sector had come under increasing pressure from market controls ranging from credit tightening to purchase restrictions. Home sales and land acquisition slid across the ... Read more »

Korean variety shows the world has copied, from Running Man and The Masked Singer to parenting reality TV series Mom is an Idol and The Return of Superman

On November 12, the streaming platform Disney+ premiered Outrun by Running Man, a spin-off of the popular South Korean variety programme Running Man. The new show features several of the ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic