ONF are one of my absolute favourite boy groups. And while their discography may be small, I don’t think they’ve had a single miss yet. The group’s sound has been quite varied over their now 7 singles but each have managed to be absolutely stunning in their own unique way. New single Sukhumvit Swimming might not top June’s phenomenal New World but it’s another great entry into their discography.
On first listen Sukhumvit Swimming feels slight. Especially when compared to songs like New World and Why. Where was the soaring chorus or big drop? It was a track that oddly left me cold and I couldn’t quite believe it. It felt too plain, too standard for a group known for pushing musical boundaries. But sometimes all you need is that second listen. Seriously, my opinion took a complete 180 on my second listen and has only improved since then. In reality the song is full of charms and while I have my qualms with the word, is a song that genuinely feels quirky. The twisted synth loop that opens the track initially felt quite annoying but has only gotten more charming with time. And while much of the instrumental is trap influenced, the electronic and reggae!! influence far overpowers that particular issue. And while I wasn’t sure about the future bass inspired breakdown, I’ve since been won over to some extent.
But the real star of the show has got to be the production and especially those harmonised vocals layered throughout the song. It helps the track carry an unexpected amount of anthemic heft and really makes Sukhumvit Swimming feel much more substantial. Hwang Hyun always knows what elements can really help a track stand out and his magic touch is especially felt here. The entire song just feels so groovy and groove is something you can never have enough of. Swimming had the potential to go terribly wrong but it’s all held together by a producer who knows exactly what he’s doing and a group who have so much innate charisma that they can make an unconventional summer bop like this really pop. And while it does end up feeling a little too slight to really compete with the upper ranks of their flawless discography, it’s one of the most enjoyable tracks I’ve heard all summer. I’m going to be a little conservative with the rating but I expect it to rise over the coming few weeks.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10
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