Pack your bags, put on your shades, and slide on your shoes. Former-Wonder Girl and solo artist Sunmi is back and taking fans on a trip with her new retro mini-album. After five months since her last EP with “Tail,” Sunmi dropped 1/6, with six songs total, on August 6. Sunmi stars in her own action-packed Zombie apocalypse thriller for the music video of “You Can’t Sit With Us.”
SUNMI 3rd MINI ALBUM [1/6]
2021.08.06 18:00 (KST)
— 선미 SUNMI (@official_sunmi_) August 5, 2021
A Retro Title Track
The title track “You Can’t Sit With Us” was written by SUNMI, Melanie Joy Fontana, Michel “Lindgren” Schulz, and Ross Golan. It is a fast-paced pop song with a retro vibe. Compared to her last release the music is brighter, which contrasts the anger portrayed by the lyrics.
The lyrics depict a toxic relationship where the two lovers can’t help but be together despite their complicated feelings. The lines express the frustration one has because they cannot seem to just let the relationship end. Sunmi has her own Mean Girls moment in her sassy delivery of the song’s chorus, “Who do you think you are? You can’t sit with us”— in line with the meaning of the song and a reference to the music video’s “high teen” concept.
A Fusion of Genres
The music video for “You Can’t Sit With Us” is not the typical high school romance. Sunmi adds her own twist to the “high teen” genre by fusing thriller and action elements to the plot of her drama.
The video starts casual— Sunmi sits in her pink room as her partner outside tries to win her back. Things take a turn for the worst after Sunmi throws a pot outside, injuring him. When Sunmi and her friends are out at a film store, they end up trapped inside the store. Soon after a horde of zombies led by her zombie-fied boyfriend break-in and attack.
With no better options, Sunmi and her girls fight in what appears to be a zombie apocalypse. With style and loads of guns— Sunmi certainly not new to guns thanks to her viral Gashina choreography— they are able to fight until her boyfriend apologizes. Once the video ends, Sunmi forgives him, hugging him in a spotlight created by police cars and helicopters.
SUNMI 3rd MINI ALBUM [1/6]
2021.08.06 18:00 (KST)
— 선미 SUNMI (@official_sunmi_) August 3, 2021
The Complimentary B-Sides
While the EP starts with a bang, the b-side tracks are not to be overlooked. Sunmi not only helped pen the title track, but she had a hand in each of the other songs on her mini-album. Each song has an old-school vibe.
Following Sunmi’s title track is the bass-heavy song “SUNNY.” Written along with Jake K (ARTiffect), Maria Marcus, and MCK (ARTiffect), “SUNNY” has an 80s pop feel. The lyrics describe how being with that special person makes everything feel sunny.
Then comes “1/6,” which shares the name of the mini-album. Co-written with FRANTS, “1/6” sums up the purpose of the album. With its funky guitar and distinct instrumentation, the song takes listeners on an almost mystical journey. When the chorus starts, she repeats “Don’t want to feel gravity” as the song slows down. The title is a clever reference to the difference in weight on Earth compared to the moon due to the differences in acceleration due to gravity. On the moon, people would weigh one-sixth the weight they do on Earth. In essence, the lyrics describe the desire to be weightless and escape from the problems in our lives.
The midpoint of the album is marked by the dance track “Call,” co-written with FRANTS and EL CAPTXN. “Call” is about wanting to end a relationship that isn’t working out. It expresses the desire to call for a break-up even when the other person doesn’t want to hear it.
The next song is “Narcissism,” by FRANTS and Sunmi. The pop song is notable for its retro synths. The song’s chorus line, “This is someone else, not me” reflects the song’s message. The lyrics express the confusion one feels when they are pressured to abide by the standards of others.
The nostalgic trip ends with “Borderline,” also created by FRANTS and Sunmi. A more chill song than the rest, “Borderline” has a jaded atmosphere created by guitar and drums that are reminiscent of 90s grunge. The song is about being on the edge— borderline if you will— and the verge of losing one’s mind.
— Miyayeah (@miyaohyeah) July 22, 2021
If there were a phrase to sum up the album it would be the line from her teasers: “On the moon where gravity is one-sixth, will the weight of anxiety also be one-sixth?”
New Music, New Sounds
Known for her dark and sensual concepts from her previous releases, Sunmi successfully created a more lively atmosphere in her mini-album, 1/6. Even though she has been around the K-pop scene since her debut with Wonder Girls in 2007, Sunmi is still showing off her versatility as an artist while staying true to her own sound. Due to her distinct releases, reporters have described Sunmi’s music as one of its own class, dubbing the genre “Sunmi-pop,” which she certainly lives up to.
Through 1/6 and “You Can Sit With Us,” Sunmi took fans through a nostalgic trip, boasting retro sounds and visuals. In a tough time, such as the one we are experiencing with the pandemic, this mini-album is the perfect escape from reality.
Need more K-pop music news? Check out our piece on Somi’s latest single here.
Thumbnail courtesy of ABYSS Company.