I was first exposed to this song through the drama ‘High School King of Savvy’ (2014), with Seo In Guk acting as the male lead and singing this beautiful OST. To this date, I still loop it frequently.
In Guk launched his singing career upon winning the talent reality show Superstar K back in 2009, but never quite found his foot in the music industry. It is undoubtedly difficult to be a successful young solo singer in South Korea, as being competent in singing never seems to be enough. Being young, you inevitably get labelled as an ‘idol’ and are compared against other idol groups which, not only can dance and somewhat sing, but also have amazing appearance and physique.
Turning to acting, In Guk made a breakthrough with his 2012 cable drama series ‘Reply 1997’ (he was absolutely amazing in it!!). While the general public may be more familiar with In Guk the actor, rather than singer, he is adamant that music is at least equally important, and continuously works hard to build up his singer image.
‘What can I do? I don’t know how to find myself; can’t move on until I find myself.’
Going back to the song – as demonstrated by this reflective English lyrical line, the singer ponders upon his situation to think of a way forward, and this theme lingers throughout. In Guk’s vocals bring these feelings out really well, and are complemented by an effective selection of instruments: the first verse features a simple electric keyboard accompaniment, with the rest of the band instruments joining in from the chorus onwards. By opting for a simple band structure, rather than the fuller orchestral sound, a blander, thus more mellow and thoughtful mood is brought out.
As much as I like Seo In Guk and his singing, I have to admit that the electric guitar is the star here for me. The way it frequently repeats notes/chords in an echoing manner (e.g. at 1.56, 2.04) effectively mimics how our minds sometimes drift into their own trail of thoughts. Often in these moments, it is as if your surroundings have stood still and faded into the background, with only your mind running (echoing chords represent the stopping of time / fading away of reality). The last instrumental part of the song is my favorite, with the electric guitar playing a contemplative and gradually fading melody. All in all, this is a song that I always put on when I need to focus on what is on hand. It calms me down really well!