Nearing the 9th anniversary of their debut, veteran girl group Apink have quietly gone onto become one of the longest running girl groups in the industry. And while their early years consisted of more bubblegum influenced pop, the’ve experienced a sophisticated resurgence of sorts over the past few years. Aided by mega producer Black Eyed Pilseung, the girls have supplied us with two incredibly strong singles in 2018’s phenomenal I’m So Sick and last years strong %% (eung eung). The bizarrely titled Dumhdurum is their first release in over a year, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Ok let me say this first. Whoever came up with that godly synth riff deserves a freaking medal. It’s easily one of the most instantly addicting synth riffs of last few years, and I bet both Pilseung and Apink know it, giving the instrumental much more breathing space than we are used to. And boy is it satisfying. It’s the type of sound I go gaga over, and with Dumhdurum, Apink have perfected it. Honestly, if you would have told me that it was produced by Sweetune, I would have believed you. It sounds exactly like something Kara or 9muses would have recorded circa 2012/13, perfectly recalling genres like 80’s synth wave into a dynamic pop package. This is a very, very good thing.In fact, the entire track is awash with smooth atmospheric synths providing a wonderfully refreshing soundscape in an era dominated by hard hitting EDM and trap beats.
It’s a near perfect mix of the groups last two songs, combining an I’m So Sick esque soaring hook with the pitch perfect soundscape of %% to create not only one of Apink’s most instantly enjoyable songs, but also one of 2020’s most instant tracks . The chorus is memorable from the first listen, stringing together a number of addicting hooks into one epic centrepiece. And the best part about all of this? The girls actually sing! Over the past few months there have been a number of solid girl group singles sabotaged by a certain kind of over caffeinated aegyo esque vocal work. While that might work for some people, it’s something that almost instantly takes me out of a song, and I’m so happy that Dumhdurum is performed as effortlessly as its excellent instrumental.
Final Rating: 9.25 / 10