After almost a year-long drought, LOONA (stylized as LOOΠΔ) has finally returned with their new EP, #. Orbits and non-fans alike are hyped over this new release, and for good reason.
LOONA is a South Korean girl group comprised of 12 members. The group made their official debut in 2018, but they have been steadily gaining a following since their ambitious pre-debut project began in late 2016.
The group’s Korean name literally means “girl of the month”, referencing their month-by-month reveal of a new member until the group was completed. Although this debut project took more than the intended 12 months to complete, it succeeded in proving each member’s purpose within the group, as well as showing how they can each shine on their own.
After each member’s solo single, they were also split into three subunits to release EPs. The first subunit, 1/3, features light, elegant melodies mixed with a classic bubbly pop sound. Next, Odd Eye Circle brings its own flair with synth-fused R&B and pop sounds. The third and final subunit, yyxy, is perhaps the most musically varied of the bunch, with a combination of dark, retro, and even happy-go-lucky songs.
The group officially debuted as a full unit with the EP ++ in August 2018, continuing to prove their versatility with main tracks “Hi High” and “favOriTe”, both of which are on opposite ends of the cute/tough girl spectrum. They returned again in February 2019 with the repackaged album xx, with the title track “Butterfly” quickly becoming a fan favorite and gaining the group a bigger international following for the music video’s stunning visuals, breathtaking choreography, and a showcase of empowered women all being told to “fly like a butterfly”.
From their pre-debut solo and subunit projects to the group’s full debut, LOONA gained widespread international attention. Although they are still considered underdogs in their home country, the girls have been able to catch the attention of the likes of Charli XCX, Grimes, and even NASA and Chips Ahoy!.
Outside of listening to the group’s music and catching up on their appearances, fans are encouraged to look for deeper meaning within the group’s work, analyzing music videos and teasers in order to crack open the underlying storyline with each release. The fans especially had time to do this during the drought that followed “Butterfly”, in which the music label, BBC, faced financial troubles over a failed collaboration project. Fans rushed to the rescue, trending #SAVELOONA and causing their albums to re-enter music streaming charts.
Finally, LOONA has returned fiercer than ever with #. The title track “So What” is the girls’ toughest sounding track, with heavy raps and lyrics that confidently pronounce “I’m so bad, what’s wrong with that?” So far, the album has topped the iTunes charts and been streamed over a million times.
While “Butterfly” was an elegant celebration of growth, “So What” is the edgy confidence that we all need. Now more than ever, it is the time to “stan LOONA”.