Bol4 released the new single “Leo,” featuring Baekhyun of EXO, on Thursday.
Released as one of two lead tracks from the one-man band’s upcoming “Youth Diary II” EP, “Leo” is a relaxing love song that fits this warm spring season. Balanced by jazz piano and string ensemble sounds, the mellifluous song teems with an array of instruments, adding layer to the lighthearted melody. Read as “Butterfly and Cat” by its Korean title, “Leo” kicks off with vocalist Ahn Ji-yeong’s airy vocals and leads into Baekhyun’s part, where he delivers his soft, sleek tone.
The duet had especially made headlines for featuring the EXO member, who is also known as an established vocalist himself. It marks the first time Bol4 has teamed up another artist for Bol4’s own album. The dulcet-toned pop sound from “Leo” also shows that Ahn has returned to her signature sonic style, as her previous anthem “Workaholic” had experimented with a more mature and groovy sound.
In an introductory note for the song, Ahn wrote, “What makes cats attractive is that they pay attention to precious little things in this world with curiosity, their large round eyes. They just stand by them, watch them.”
“In this song, cat Leo did the same to a butterfly. Just like the song’s lyric, ‘I’m fine just gazing at you./If you feel uncomfortable with me, you may hide from me,’ I think love resembles how cats view this world.”
The note also gave a scoop of what’s to come from her new album. Ahn explained that “Youth Diary II” would touch on emotions that come along with growing up, while her previous album talked about growing pains.
Also known as Bolbbalgan4, Bol4 originally consisted of Ahn and guitarist-vocalist Woo Ji-yoon, who rose to stardom in 2014 after appearing on “Superstar K6.” With their unique folk sounds and songwriting prowess, the duo went on to become regular chart-toppers in the scene, boasting numerous hits like “Galaxy,“ “Some,” “We Loved” and “Travel” under their belt. Woo, however, recently left the team, citing concerns over her future career, and Ahn decided to continue the band solo under the same group name.
Baekhyun, who debuted as a member of EXO in 2012, has become a budding solo star. Known for his lush vocals and established musicality, Baekhyun dropped his first solo album “City Lights,” featuring lead track “UN Village,” in July last year, which has seen huge success on the charts. The musician is set to release his second solo EP “Delight” on May 25.
“Youth Diary II” is set to drop on May 13. The five-track album will feature the other lead track “Hug” alongside “Blank” and “Counseling,” all of which have been written and composed by Ahn.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)