I just woke up and immediately opened YouTube (as one does) and I was greeted by the sight that is a notification from the SMTOWN Channel that a new single for their ‘STATION Project Season 2’ was just released today.
I usually skip the main STATION releases (ones that have their bigger artists featured in them) and so it made sense that I was about to scroll down and ignore the video (it had TAEYONG’s name in it…he’s from the newer boy band ‘NCT’ that has like, a gazillion sub-units that basically has all the same members in rotation) until I saw ‘HITCHHIKER‘ in the title. I clicked because I have not heard a new release from him since September and I needed more weird tunes to add to my Sounds Of Life Playlist–which is just dominated by
hipster avant-garde music label genre PC Music and Alice Vicious (She was previously known as ‘LiVii’.)
Back to what I was saying, Hitchhiker is a producer for SM Entertainment and has probably written a lot of your bias’ favorite songs. If I’m not mistaken, he made a song for Girls’ Generation. So anyways, he makes these weird and really awesome songs and if you’ve heard of him, you know how quirky his songs as are.
Back in 2014, he released the single “Eleven” with no fanfare or promotion through SM. This oddly terrifying and addictive song was one of the gems that signaled SM’s true departure from being known as a “K-pop idol big house” that dashes out hit tracks with ultra-mega-catchy hooks.
Fans were surprised and a bit worried because they didn’t get to see their oppas’ or unnies’ new music video. Instead, their eyes (just like mine did) feasted on this:
3D graphics that were dancing all over the place and the realism of images edited into the video really hooked me in along with that ‘wawawa’ that turns out to be his (then) three-year-old daughter. (The thought of f(x)’s Krystal doing this originally made me laugh so hard.)
He also had these other singles promoted through SM, ‘cept for that second one –which may be familiar to some people since it was used for a show (???). I’m not really keen on that since I just scrolled through the highly-acclaimed YouTube comment section. Obviously, I did almost zero research, I’m totally just going with what I know. This bit of info doesn’t really matter, what does matter is the music and visuals these awkward 3D renders are serving:
As always, detail and editing’s fun and really varied between all of his four music videos. It’s not boring, and they’re all really interesting to look at. Mostly because you can’t look away. Your head is too busy processing the tin foil man breakdancing on your screen. I honestly can’t get enough of it. I’m trash and this ISN’T trash music, but I’m totally trash for it.
The one with Taeyong is called “Around” and the most refreshing part of this was the inclusion of a more prominent human life form in the scenes as opposed to humanoid characters mixed in with a crowd or lone strangers for three minutes. At least that’s what I think. Also, I think this is the only Hitchhiker video where they actually put effort to put an actual description int the description box. Huh.
My favorite part if at 0:52; that Google street view illusion made me smile. Because I am a goof. That’s why.
Also, if anyone wants to check out the hidden underrated masterpieces in the Station line-up, the here’s the official playlist on YouTube. I recommend skipping all the boring ballads for a moment and come back during your downtime to listen to them. ‘Cause that’s what I do. For real though, the STATION tracks are nice, and the project shows immense potential to “branch out” and (in a way) break barriers that categorize all Korean music as idol music and hinder recognition for artists that should be taken out of that mishmash of a “genre” that is Kpop.
This has been your weekly dose of kpop trash, from a person who advocates bombarding NBC about #Powerless and believes that aliens do exist.
Memes make me relevant,