Dreamcatcher opens up about their new music, how they approach summer in their own unique way, and what they hope to achieve in the future.
With every passing month and year comes a new generation of K-Pop groups and idols hoping to reach superstardom. With so many groups and artists vying for attention, some groups come with their own unique concepts and charms with the hopes of helping them stand out. But no group, in recent years, has attracted the attention and growing fanbase thanks to their concept quite like Dreamcatcher has.
Aside from their talent, the seven-member K-pop girl group has mesmerized fans around the world thanks to their unique storytelling and distinguished music style incorporating edgy punk-rock and metal sound. Since debuting in 2017, the girls have been on an upward climb as they carve out a distinct space of their own in the industry. When it comes to Dreamcatcher, you can expect from the group that they’ll deliver both their signature rock sound as well as mixing things up.
SUMMER, DREAMCATCHER VERSION
That was on full display when they dropped their latest EP, [Summer Holiday], this past July. The special album focused on summer, but through the unique point-of-view of Dreamcatcher. The six-track EP presented a love story unique to Dreamcatcher filled with themes of love, obsession, and summer nights all told through the genres of pop, EDM, rock, metal, and city pop.
The album starts with the electronica-inspired Intro. It is then followed by the main track, BEcause, a song that showcases Dreamcatcher’s unique sound mixed with horror elements to give it an eerie vibe. The group then switches it up with the synth-inspired and the upbeat Airplane and its relatable story of wanting to travel across the world. Afterward comes Whistle with its addicting melody and rhythmical guitar tunes that paint a picture of summer nights filled with dazzling stars. Alldaylong stands out as one of the best songs on the album as the girls do a genre they don’t normally do, city pop, and do it so well. [Summer Holiday] then ends on an emotional high note with the ballad A Heart of Sunflower.
Dreamcatcher’s unique and different approach not just with [Summer Holiday], but with their music in general has helped establish the group as one to watch out for. Who else is going to talk about summer while incorporating horror elements into it? The group doesn’t chase trends, they spin it and turn it into something that’s uniquely Dreamcatcher but still can be enjoyed by many people.
NYLON Manila recently caught up with the girl group to chat about their new music, how they approach working with different genres, and what they hope fans can talk away from the EP.
As you started working on [Summer Holiday], what was your vision for the album?
JI U: Dreamcatcher’s new title track BEcause is based on melody and overall atmosphere of pizzicato sound and vocals, which express the horror and chilly elements. It tells a story of a doppelganger! And the album was named as [Summer Holiday] by Dreamcatcher! The reason why it was named as that is because we wanted to specially fill the album with Dreamcatcher’s summer story!
The lead single BEcause features your signature pop-rock sound with horror elements. But the album is called [Summer Holiday], which for some people might seem a bit far from one another. Why then did you feel that BEcause would make for a great lead single?
GAHYEON: [Summer Holiday] is overall based on the theme of summer holiday where love, obsession, summer nights, and sunflowers are explored. We wanted to allow our fans to hear Dreamcatcher’s rendition of summer, so we have presented this through our title track BEcause. And since the lyrics are about love and obsession, BEcause has been chosen to front our special mini-album that contains our definition of summer holiday and love.
[Summer Holiday] is such a diverse EP. It features sounds familiar to Dreamcatcher, but also show off your more pop/EDM side. How did you decide upon the different sounds and styles you wanted to feature on the album?
SU A: We chose the style and sound in order to show diverse charms to Dreamcatcher. It gave us the opportunity to present our members’ variety of styles! We will continue to work hard to achieve more and show even more diverse charms of Dreamcatcher.
SIYEON: Since this was a special album, we wanted to present various sides and colors of our music style. I think we succeeded in this.
When working on an album that shows off different sides of the group, do you think that’s harder than working on an album with a more cohesive sound?
YOOHYEON: As an artist/musician, it is a lot harder to present something new compared to what we have normally shown. Since we are expressing music in a different manner, we think hard about how we could express it well.
HANDONG: To provide a different perspective from YOOHYEON’s, it is also not as difficult if we think about how much we had enjoyed exploring a different sound. I personally enjoy challenging ourselves with something new, so I had fun working on an album that contained a new style.
Alldaylong stands out as one of the most memorable tracks on the album, which is interesting because it has an 80s inspired city pop sound that you aren’t really known for. How did you approach the song and why delve into city-pop specifically?
JI U: I personally love retro sound and music. City-pop genre songs are always part of my playlist. One day I thought that a City-pop song might be a good fit for Dreamcatcher so I dived into working on a song for this album. In order to express the retro sound, I focused on the instruments and vocal mastering to nail the retro sound. Since then, I started to listen to various types of City-pop songs and worked on developing a song with our producer for the song.
[Summer Holiday] ends with the ballad A Heart of Sunflower. Why did you decide to end the EP with this song?
SU A: The song contains a message for our fans so we decided on A Heart of Sunflower to end the album, so we are hoping that our fans could be comforted by our voices.
Which song on the EP was the most memorable or fun for you to record and why?
SIYEON: Recording our title track was the most fun. Since it was a style that we haven’t attempted before, it made it that much more exciting. The chorus part and the adlibs were all enjoyable to record so I really loved it.
DAMI: For me, Airplane was new and fun. We were using playful and fun tones in our vocals for the song instead of going for the usual strong, charismatic vocals. So, expressing these versatile sound was extremely new and fun.
From the songs on the album, which would you recommend that people play during their summer vacation and why?
SU A: I would like to recommend Airplane! You’ll be able to visualize the cool ocean and the vast galaxy which will definitely bring your mood up with this cool song! And when the sun starts to set Whistle will be the most perfect song to listen to.
HANDONG: I also recommend Airplane. It’s an extremely bright and exciting song so it will be extremely refreshing to listen to during your summer vacation.
YOOHYEON: I would recommend Airplane as well! Oh, I also recommend Alldaylong! It’ll be great to listen to both songs while you’re on a drive! Alldaylong will go well with the sunset while “Airplane” is perfect when the sky is clear during the day.
If [Summer Holiday] will be the first time someone listens to Dreamcatcher’s music, which song would you recommend them to listen to first and why?
GAHYEON: I would like to confidently recommend BEcause! BEcause is the closest to Dreamcatcher’s signature music style. And it’s a great song to listen to during the hot summer weather as well.
When you make music, do you take into consideration how your songs might be received by your international fans who aren’t fluent in Korean?
HANDONG: I feel that whichever language songs are sung in, our hearts will always be delivered through our songs to the fans. Music itself is a language that does not have a language barrier.
With every new release, the group grows bigger and bigger. Do you feel a pressure to top yourselves every time you have a new comeback?
JI U: There’s definitely pressure. However, we believe and trust ourselves that we will do our best each time!
GAHYEON: Yes, of course! We do have the pressure that we have to do better. However, having this sort of mindset sort of motivates us to achieve more as well! In a way it helps pushes us to go further and further from where we are!
What would you like to achieve next as a group?
DAMI: We want to be able to approach more people. We hope that our voices reach people across the world through our music.
What do you hope for your InSomnias to take away from the album?
SU A: We hope that our InSomnias can see that we, Dreamcatcher, do a great job at making sure that Dreamcatcher style story and music are being delivered! And that Dreamcatcher’s vocals and voices are unique! I hope that this has been delivered through our music and hope that our InSomnias could feel that!
SIYEON: I hope that our [Summer Holiday] album provides our fans the opportunity to be able to find Dreamcatcher’s signature style in another version through Dreamcatcher’s rendition of summer concept. I also hope that our InSomnias will be able to feel our hearts through the lyrics and our songs!