By Sarah Bathke | @sarahrobotke
Rookie boy-group Enhypen recently released their first comeback, BORDER: CARNIVAL, and it’s lead single: “Drunk-Dazed.” With a thirst for success for their first comeback, as well as blood as they delved further into their vampire concept as a group, Enhypen have shown in their first comeback why they’re a group to look out for.
Getting “Drunk Dazed” with Enhypen
When Enhypen debuted with their hit “Given-Taken,” their vampire concept seemed set back in time, the music video filled with old photo coloration and film grain, as well as the harp and piano in the actual track. In “Drunk-Dazed,” however, they bring us blurring into the present with a club anthem that makes you want to jump til you can’t feel your feet.
Their music video sets them in a modern day house-party, seemingly a “bloody birthday party” as indicated by the invitation shown earlier in the music video, and it only gets wilder from there. The vampire-idols have a full night of partying; including cake, dancing, and general vampiric house-party fun. The musical background for the eventful night is filled with powerful percussion and even stronger horns, especially highlighted in the bridge, all mixed with the highly-affected voices of the even members. Though voice effects can sometimes overpower a song, they only elevate “Drunk-Dazed,” adding to the disorienting and “drunk-dazed” feeling they want the listener to feel.
The high pitched exclamations in the chorus perfectly contrast the thudding bass pounding throughout the song, reminding the listener that the budding vampiric idols will always be around the corner with a musical and conceptual surprise.
B-Sides That Go Beyond the BORDER
Before the title track and other songs on the EP, an intro titled “Intro: The Invitation,” plays, filled with the hauntingly eerie sounds of children singing with dreamy synths, transporting us to an old-timey and hazy carnival, where a poetic narration from members Jake, Heeseung, and Jay invites the listeners in to the “carnival of the dazzling night.”
Following “Drunk-Dazed” as the third track on BORDER: CARNIVAL is “FEVER,” a song comparing the burning feeling of love inside a person to a fever. It’s a nice change of pace after the club-thumping track that is “Drunk-Dazed,” slowing it down with an almost tropical feel mixed with dark fantasy. Following the theme of the carnival calling to them “from the great beyond,” the person they desire in the song draws them closer, even when it hurts them, with the members singing “Even if I push it away, it burns inside me / Even if it becomes ashes, the flames bloom / Like a fever, fever, fever / I want to suffer from you.”
The fourth track on the EP, “Not For Sale,” is a more light and happy track, well placed in the middle of the album as a mood-lifter after the previous three tracks that had more serious tones. It speaks to their desire to keep their lover only to themselves after their heart has been thawed by this person, and expresses how their partner’s heart is “no longer for sale” now that they’re together.
“Mixed Up” is the final full track on BORDER: CARNIVAL, and it’s a track for the ages. The Enhypen members sing of how they’re all “mixed up,” as they’re now wading into idol life and the feelings that have come after their recent debut, which they’re expressing in their first comeback. The evolution of their experience throughout the song as new idols is evident, as they start the song questioning “Mixed up, is that him?” wondering why they’re being treated as “the center of the topic,” if they’ll ever have peace in their lives again, and if they’re really being themselves with all the attention. As the song continues, the members sing about spiraling in their newly found fame and how overwhelming all the attention is as newly debuted idols, concluding the song by finally accepting that they “became the main character.” Now, “Mixed up, that’s him” is a statement and a way of being for them in idol life, as opposed to how they resisted being “mixed up” in the beginning. They say they’ll “enjoy it again,” but also ask “leave me alone,” showing just how hard it is to balance the public image of happy and joyous rookie idols with the stresses that they’ve never felt before then.
Bookending the EP, “Outro: Wormhole” is another poem being recited, this time alone by Jake. The instrumental accompanying the recitation builds with the intensity in Jake’s voice, coming to a grand climax with synths and white noise overwhelming the senses as he declares “I face a completely different me / Thy fair imperfect shade / Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes / Doth stay.” As the noise fades and disperses as if pushing through to the other side, another dimension Jake mentioned in both “Intro: The Invitation” and “Outro: Wormhole” he asks, “And when we wake at this tunnel’s end / What vision awaits?”
Only the Beginning at the BORDER: CARNIVAL
If there’s one thing this EP shows about Enhypen, it’s that they’re ready to go beyond the border as artists and idols. Their musical range displayed in the EP, as well as honesty and openness about the struggles of what they’ve faced as rookies will take them far. As they open up and explore how to express how they’re feeling through their art, they’ll develop and grow as both artists and young men, seeing as the average age of the group is still only 17.5 years old. BORDER: CARNIVAL is a fantastic first comeback and has already helped solidify them as rookies to look out for, as they took home their first, second, and third music show wins as a group with “Drunk-Dazed.” As they grow and mature as a group, as well as release more music, Enhypen are going to show just how far beyond the border they can go.
Did you love Enhypen’s comeback? Check out the teasers from their fellow labelmates TXT!
Thumbnail Courtesy of BELIFT LAB