Everglow on new single ‘First,’ Boy Group comparisons and style inspirations | Sunday Observer

Everglow on new single ‘First,’ Boy Group comparisons and style inspirations

12 June, 2021

“Is there anything Everglow can’t do?” Sihyeon playfully shouts in Korean, as the newly-anointed leader of the global girl group looks at her bandmates expectantly. They answer her call with a loud, jubilant “No! There’s nothing!” It’s midday in Seoul, and the six members of Everglow want me (and now also you) to know that they are limitless. Like the warrior space witches they embody in the music video for their thumping new single ‘First,’ they’re not bound by mortal constructs of time and gravity. They can, and will, do it all.

In the two years since their debut, Everglow have carved out a space in the crowded K-pop landscape that is uniquely their own, where sassy headbangers meet bold, breathless energy and lush aesthetics. They’ve also racked up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube in the process. For their latest mini-album, Last Melody, released on May 25, the confident sextet transforms into a group of badass ‘futuristic Avengers,’ as rapper E:U puts it. So, technically, not space witches, but Onda does rock space buns.

The girls of Everglow are quick to proclaim that “this concept fits us well” – and that’s easy to say when every concept fits them like a perfectly tailored suit. Militaristic desert ravers? They did it with 2019’s ‘Adios.’ Retro synth femme fatales? Already aced it in 2020 with ‘La Di Da.’ Full-time ice princesses, part-time EDM-bumping anarchists? They’ve tried that too with ‘Dun Dun,’ and it was loud and bombastic. That’s the thing about Everglow: They aren’t afraid to go big, to dial up the bass and attitude, and to always apply more glitter.

On stage, they wield this power with agile precision and impenetrable charisma. Here, via Zoom, they display a different kind of effervescent charm, softer yet equally as potent. They’re distinctly down to earth. In fact, Sihyeon, E:U, Mia, Onda, Aisha, and Yiren relish a lot of the same things most twenty-something women do: crop tops, YouTube tutorials, trendy joggers with elastic waistbands, hair dye, and ’Gossip Girl’ — the original, not the revival.

With their online concert, The First, slated for July 25 and amid a hectic promotional schedule for ‘First,’ Everglow spoke to Teen Vogue about their personal style, what they really think about those boy group comparisons, and what Forever – their official fandom name – can expect next.

Teen Vogue: When I listen to your music, I feel a lot of power and intensity. [Sihyeon gives a thumbs up.] How would you describe the signature Everglow sound?

Sihyeon: We really wanted to come back strong and not give something that was in-between or bland. So, for this comeback, we wanted a strong performance and strong expressions. We gave all that we could give, and that’s very much the Everglow way.

Aisha: I would say our music has a lot of energy.

TV: The music video for ‘First’ looks like a sci-fi film with lots of special effects and warrior-type ‘fits. ‘La Di Da’ was very femme fatale and inspired by the film Sin City. What’s your favorite part of trying so many visual concepts?

E:U: Until now, we’ve done many concepts, but rather than picking a concept we like the best, honestly, we wanted to show all our Forever multiple sides of us. ‘La Di Da’’s concept had its own charm, and ‘First’ has a powerful and cool charm. Looking forward, we would like to [continue to] show various sides of us to Forever.

TV: How would you then define the concept and style of ‘First’?

Sihyeon: Aesthetically, it’s a mix of dark and light. Mia and Onda have dyed their hair very bright colors, but our facial expressions are very strong. We work on our expressions a lot. Our strength is our performance, and this comeback shows how strong we can be.

TV: Is this your most difficult performance?

Yiren: Definitely.

E:U: Yes, this is the most difficult comeback... the choreography. This is the most difficult dance among all the performances. We’re doing promotional activities and even on stage, all the members are having a difficult time [exhausted]. Despite the difficulties, it’s brought results we can be proud of, so I’m happy.

TV: Sihyeon, you have a moment in the choreography where you have to stand on the backs of some of your dancers.

Sihyeon [in English]: It’s tough, mentally. I’m so afraid when I go up on our dancers’ backs. But every time, I think to myself, “Okay okay okay let’s go, I can do this!!!” It’s too scary.

TV: And you’re dancing in some really chunky boots. Do they feel as heavy as they look? What’s it like breaking those in?

Sihyeon: We wear them from the time that we’re practicing until it’s time for our comeback during rehearsals, so it’s fine.

Aisha: We wear it until we’re used to it as much as possible, so it’s not heavy anymore.