For You Friday — New Music From NCT 127, Omar Apollo, IVE, and Ado

Thumbnail courtesy of Mal Peterson

Another Friday, another soundtrack to your weekend with EnVi’s For You Friday. We’ve gathered the hottest tracks released this week and packaged them in a neat, curated playlist just for you! 

“Fact Check” – NCT 127

NCT’s Seoul-based unit, NCT 127, have made a striking return with their fifth full-length album, Fact Check. No strangers to pushing boundaries with their sonic catalog, the title track off their latest LP does not shy away from the experimental reputation that follows the K-pop group. Veering away from their R&B and hip-hop influence, the single which shares the same name as the album, embraces a more fast-paced, lively Afro-beat. 

“Fact Check” is driven by an intense repeated synth loop and an energetic Afro rhythm. NCT 127 also highlighted the unique vocal range that is present in their group with an array of baritone raps and powerful vocal runs. But what exactly does the nine-member K-pop group want to set straight with this boisterous title track? Simple — they have their own reputation to protect. NCT 127 proudly boast about their authenticity and abilities against any haters as they chant, “Check the facts, go check that / Check the stats, go check that.” Keeping up the energy until the track ends, the group proves that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Make sure to check the facts for yourself and check out NCT 127’s fifth LP, Fact Check!

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“Pendulum” – Gal Musette

Following the success of her debut album, Backwards Lullaby, Baroque pop artist Gal Musette has returned with her much anticipated sophomore album. The 11-track LP explores the swinging and ever-changing nature of mental stability. From tranquil moments to heightened turbulence, Pendulum features a wide range of emotions with songs that are intentionally placed in opposition from one another on the album. In a press release, Gal Musette explained, “The order of the record puts these songs in opposition, like the swinging of a pendulum (hence the album title) taking you on a song to song journey with sharp detours between these two mental states.”

The title track of the LP is delightfully haunting with its orchestration that mimics the feeling of falling, with descending piano chords and bell chimes. Gal Musette’s delicate voice is an uncanny contrast to the unsettling instrumental of “Pendulum,” which highlights the singer’s abilities. This track sets the tone for the album as it fluctuates between stripped down and climactic moments. Make sure to check out the rest of Gal Musette’s sophomore album, Pendulum, to fully experience the flourishing nature that accompanies our deepest emotions.

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“Off The Record” – IVE

K-pop girl group IVE teases the release of their first EP, I’VE MINE by dropping their second pre-release track “Off The Record.” The enchanting song contrasts the slow tune of their first pre-release, “Either Way,” beginning with a smooth melody and catchy chorus. The accompanying music video features the girls embracing both their mysterious and carefree spirits in various nighttime and daytime scenes. The cinematic visuals match the song’s exploration of love’s curiosity and playfulness.

“Sometimes, forbidden things are the most tempting,” vocalist Wonyoung sings in the bridge. In a showcase of their mischievous side, the girls express their desire to unlock the deepest and darkest parts of their lover. “Take off your innocent mask / Reveal your darkest desires,” leader and vocalist Yujin conveys. In return, the girls wish for their lover to fully embrace every part of them, leaving no secrets hidden. “Romantic psycho / Endure through it all if you want me,” they sing, embracing the intense chaos and passion that can come with love.

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“Live For Me” – Omar Apollo

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Omar Apollo has returned with his latest EP Live For Me. Totaling to four new songs, the standout is the soulful, melancholy title track “Live For Me.” The song starts off from an emotional place as Apollo sings “You told me you won’t live too long / And I wish I could say something to change / How you feel about the way your life is going” over a church organ and stripped down harmonies. 

As the track picks up with drums and a haunting chant, the pre-chorus is a pleading declaration from Apollo “Won’t you live for me / Could I live for you?” In contrast, the chorus goes fully instrumental, with funky undertones, sonically illustrating hope in response to the pre-chorus question.

The song ends with dedicated Apollo crooning “There’s nothing I won’t carry / So you don’t have to.” Prior to the EP release the singer expressed how personal the album was to him, and while this song in particular could be dedicated to someone in his life, the message is universal. 

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“Flower Storm” – Eve

Start off your week by departing on a wondrous adventure with Japanese singer-songwriter and vocaloid producer Eve, in his single “Hanaarashi”. Eve takes listeners and viewers on a tear-jerking yet inspiring tale of our heroine Tsuno, on a quest to discover not only her unknown past but her own self as well. Eve’s use of whimsical orchestral music brings both lyrics and story to life. Creating an otherworldly universe through his voice, Eve sings encouraging words to listeners, “…the most important thing is to believe / Nothing is impossible. Go break the limits!”

Main animator and director Kukka illustrates a music video which beautifully portrays the narrative. Kukka showcases a thrilling animation full of warm and vibrant colors, expressive body language, and detailed environmental settings. The ethereal music video perfectly embodies the fictive tail of our main heroine through the various artistic elements woven throughout the world of Tsuno.

Now, may this unique bravery be with you” as you embark with Eve on the journey of his new single!

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“You & Me” – Jennie

K-pop’s it-girl Jennie gave fans a nice surprise with the release of her new single “You & Me,” after BLACKPINK’s Born Pink world tour came to a close. The singer takes listeners on a moonlit rendezvous with her sultry voice and fierce rap. Even before the song’s official release, BLINKs expressed their love for the single that served as her solo stage during the tour. Fancams of her Coachella performance took over TikTok with comments begging for Jennie to release the track. Released five years after her solo debut in 2018, her new romantic pop song amassed 1.4M views an hour after its premiere. 

Adorned in a luxurious red dress, Jennie boldly confesses her love to a snappy pop beat. Her elegant silhouette is backlit by moonlight as she shares a dance with her secret lover. Snares and techno take over the beat, and the romantic reminds us she is not one to play coy, singing “Look at you. / Now look at me. / Are you ever ever gonna find someone like this?” Jennie’s signature raspy rap verses transform the song as she declares she loves herself as much as, if not more than, him. The long-awaited, addictive song is a perfect metaphor for Jennie herself, sweet and fierce. 

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“Kura Kura” – Ado

Since fall season has finally rolled in, so have exciting new shows with new music releases paired alongside them! Widely known animated series SPY x FAMILY has returned for a new season with much more adventurous spy missions, humorous family moments, and heartwarming exchanges. Japanese singer Ado is here to make us even more giddy with her digital single “Kura Kura” featuring as the show’s season 2 official opening theme song.

To the cheerful playing of the trumpets and the enthusiastic drums, Ado accompanies the lively band with her powerful voice and colorful vocal expressions.

Although Ado has yet to release her official music video for “Kura Kura,” SPY x FAMILY have already showcased the animated show’s season 2 opening theme’s animation. The opening animation presents the show’s main characters animated in a bright glow and paired with various luminous, vibrant background designs. In company with the polished and striking animation, Ado’s telling of the split between the world’s rights and wrongs and the infinite piling of one’s true feelings harmonizes flawlessly with the hectic life of the main story’s family.

Ado’s animated music video officially premieres on October 7 on her official YouTube channel so make sure to mark your calendars and don’t miss out on the fun!

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“Throne of Mine” – Michèle Ducray

Enter dark pop singer-songwriter Michèle Ducray’s lucid fantasy as she takes you on a journey in her fearless debut EP Throne of Mine. Working with producer Liam Quinn (Peaches PRC, Rita Ora), Michèle wears her heart on her sleeve as she presents an EP full of vulnerability, individuality, and personality. Creating an immersive soundscape, title track “Throne of Mine” unites Michèle’s alluring vocals with a deep drum and amp bass, resulting in a peculiarly addictive track you can’t help but put on repeat.

As stated via press release, Michèle shares just how personal and special this EP is to her:  “The EP showcases some pivotal times of my life. Using both dark and light pop vibes, I reminisce about my childhood, bullying, failed relationships, and even sing about the world ending! It’s a deeply personal record and some parts were tough to record, but we got there in the end!” Throne of Mine features a total of four whimsical tracks, including “Monster,” “Psycho,” and “Ace of Spades,” taking listeners on a trip with Michèle to a time in the past.

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Other tracks in this week’s For Your Friday playlist include (G)I-DLE’s “I Want That,” “Already Over” by Mike Shinoda, Nessa Barrett’s “club heaven,” and DPR IAN’s “Don’t Go Insane.” Listen to everything mentioned and more, curated by Team EnVi only for you.

Want more of the latest releases? Follow EnVi Media on Spotify for more curated, themed playlists featuring all your favorite artists, and check out our previous For You Friday here!