Umu: So now you’re reacting to a solo artist who is an ex-f(x) member, Sulli, and her solo debut song. This song is a conversation between a woman with a dissociative disorder, aka multiple personalities, (James: Damn.) and the other people living in her head. (Daniel: Whoa.) Umu: The randomness of the lyrics reflect this. Her agency describes this song as organic pop with a French sensitivity and it expresses the different ways she is perceived by herself and others. The song is composed by Johan Gustafsson and Cazzi Opeia, and the lyrics are written by Sulli. Do you want the lyrics beforehand or after? Henry: Um, I think I’m actually okay. Alright, you ready? Elizabeth: Always. Henry: THREETWOONE. Stephen: Well, that’s going to be intense. James: I love this documentary style. Kevin: This almost looks like a video-heavy type of song. Isaac: Wait— Kevin: Oh…the music video does remind me of a European art film. Aaron: It’s really beautiful cinematography. Aaron: I get Renoir vibes from this. Nick: I’m interested to hear how they start the song, because the intro is so long. Aaron: Interesting! It’s like a music box. Nick: Yeah, with the glock. Kevin: Wow, I like the minor-major chord progression. Interesting. Nick: That’s a weird bass to choose, I think. Aaron: It’s like kind of funky, yeah?
Nick: Yeah. Nick: And it’s also so far, registerally from all the other instruments. Aaron: It’s got like the high percussion. Is that an accordion? Fiona: It sounds so happy now.
Daniel: It sounds like Lilly Allen. Fiona: Yeah!
Daniel: Yeah. Fiona: There’s such a lightness and quality of playfullness. It’s like she’s playing hide-and-seek with her other identities. Seiji: Quarter notes are upbeat! So…and the piano. Fiona: I’m loving these subtle harmonies thrown in here. Daniel: Yeah there are like these huge… Polar separation between like the twinkling… (Fiona: The highs and the lows) Daniel: Yeah, the highs and the lows. James: She has a beautiful voice. Melissa: Yeah… James: Whoa… Fiona: So whimsical!
Daniel: Yeah… Fiona: What’s going on here? Nick: It’s interesting. They kind of started off with the same block chords in the piano Aaron: Yeah. for the Sulli 2 and Sulli 3 And then the same glock right before Sulli 3 that they had in Sulli 1. Henry: Whoa. Henry: This—I’m just very wrapped up in this video. It’s really, really interesting! Elizabeth: Ooh, and now we got sextuplets in the… Charm, I guess? Kevin: Oh wow, okay. That’s uh… Dorian, Dorian 4? Dorian…. Yep. Kevin: Ha! The knock tie- The knock… Lining up with the drums. Fiona: I like the [claps], it sounds like time passing.
Daniel: Mhm. Daniel: Interesting. Fiona: I like how that is like every other beat. Fiona: Twinkles! (Daniel: Yeah) They add to that eerie side of her. Elizabeth: That ended with dissonance, didn’t it? It was like, one dissonant note in there. James: Hmm. James: Interesting, I really like it. I get the vibe, and I’ve gotten this vibe a few times reacting on this channel. But I get the vibe from her that she really like… Like high art. I get the vibe that she really knows what she’s doing and that she’s making a statement. And I think she’s a phenomenal vocalist, even though the song was short and it didn’t showcase that much. She was really able to like pack in a lot in there. I think just aesthetically and as a vocalist. Just the production of the song too, I thought it was all really, really, really well done. Henry: I wish I had seen the lyrics before now that I’m in hindsight. Because I can tell that it sort of was like serving that, but at the same time I know that— Again, sometimes we’ll watch songs that are sort of like… The song and the textures are sort of like the backdrop for what the words have to say. Sometimes the words are just kind of like bullshit so that you can just like jam out. So sometimes because of that like sort of duality sometimes one suffers because you’re paying too much attention to the other one. I felt like that wasn’t true with this. Even though I don’t quite know the lyrics are, I feel like there was equal amount of attention paid to —or at least enough attention paid to all the aspects of this. The video, the lyrics, the song, the production the choice of like… Sonic aesthetics in terms of like what instruments they used, the way they processed drums. You know, there was a lot of stuff. Like, they had sort of a crunch filter on… The drums at one point. They did like some gating and shit like that, it was really cool. They put a lot of effects just on the drums! But like that wasn’t the only thing that they did, you know? They made a lot of really smart choices. I like that term “organic pop”. It very much felt like… I’m not sure I would know how to define it, but I know that this is it! Nick: I thought the instrumentation was the most wide a variety of things instead of— I expected there to be just a whole bunch of different sections in the song that (Aaron: I swear—) Nick: —came one after another.
Aaron: I heard an accordion somewhere. Nick: But I think it actually makes more sense the way that they did it because… They’re all kind of coexisting at the same time instead of being like, “Now you’re this person, and now you’re this person.” It’s like they’re all there and they’re all there at the same time. And it wasn’t that many instruments but they were just so odd together. Aaron: Yeah. Nick: I thought it gave it a really cool effect. Umu: Alright, so you’ll be comparing ‘Goblin’ to her B-side song called ‘Dorothy’ released on the same album. Umu: Dorothy is a new-age inspired song and the lyrics describe the different aspects of a girl who is no longer in the world. The song is composed by (Daniel: Simo and Min Kyu Jung) and the lyrics are by Sulli, once again. James: That shuffling noise on the and’s…it’s really interesting. Aaron: Well also like it’s—
Nick: The bird sounds-ish Aaron: It’s not balanced. Aaron: On like—
Nick: Is it not? Nick: Oh, you’re right! It’s stronger in the one I was listening less. Aaron: I love the sounds she’s making. It sounds like bird calls! Like, that’s so cool! Elizabeth: Oh, it does sound kind of pentatonic, doesn’t it? Henry: Yeah, totally.
Elizabeth: Yeah, it’s pentatonic. Kevin: Mhm! Kevin: Ooh nice, nice syncopation. Aaron: Ooh! OH! Aaron: Yeah! Nick: That’s such an interesting progression because—
Aaron: That gave me chills! Nick: I’ve never heard that in music that is not like… from Asia. Henry: Yeah! Elizabeth: She’s like entirely in syncopation this whole time! Wow… Kevin: Wow, she’s really doing these repetitions. I dig it! It really works in this context. Stephen: This is like such a nice song that just sets up an atmosphere that you just like… That a listener can just live in, it’s really nice. Nick: There’s like a cricket or something? What is that?
Aaron: Oh my gosh! Aaron: That little cricket noise, it sounds like she’s saying “Dorothy”. Nick: Oh… Aaron: Oh that’s so cool, I love this! Seiji: Ooh, alright. Stephen: That’s coooool, that is so cool!! That’s like contrast, that’s real contrast! Stephen: Mhm! Daniel: Yeah, and you also have the…. rhythmic dissonance here, three against two. Simple against compound. Stephen: Man, so many polyrhythms. Henry: There’s something about like having a really high energy, fast 4 over that like really chill 3 that just is like cognitive dissonance. It’s very interesting and a really smart choice! Daniel: It feels like the music is like splitting in different directions because of the meters Fiona: Oh… Fiona: That’s beautiful it’s like…
Daniel: It’s like it’s expanding… (Fiona: It’s like her mind.) Daniel: And it’s just voice like echoing while it’s like … Kevin: Nice, just cuts away. Melissa: Yo, that was so cool. James: Interesting. Umu: What was cool about it? Melissa: Like okay so reminds me so much of minimalism. Minimalism, like the style of music that’s like… Like Philip Glass, Steve Reich, like where they take—and other people too. Um, they just have like very sparse textures, I guess. James: And repeated motifs that occur over and over again. And sometimes they do displace a motif. So like it won’t line up with itself rhythmically. And it’ll just be like kind of aurally confusing texture and then they’ll go back to simplicity. So I feel like they did that a bit here. James: No, she’s singing about having an ideal and knowing that paradise is out there, but the world just like beats you down and you feel like very broken and… You look back on those ideals that you had and you’re like, “Oh…shit” like, “This sucks.” I don’t know! That’s sort of what I got from the lyrics. She feels very distant from the dream she once had, or the paradise she thought she would be able to get to. I really liked it! I thought it was cool. Isaac: Yeah, it was nice. It was very transient sounding. And then you have, I guess three distinctive breaks, of… The chorus. Because the first time it sounds very much held, as if there’s a tenuto mark on top. “Dorothy…Dorothy…Dorothy…” And then the second time, it starts kind of having a more… Propelled outlook of ends of the notes and the last one especially with the — It changed the ambiance to a more upbeat feel as opposed to stuck and kind of grounded to every every moment of… The passage and in each verse. It starts soaring even faster and faster so it’s very interesting to see her change the approach of saying “Dorothy” and it wasn’t it wasn’t one of those weird chance where it’s just, “Oh my goodness, we’re actually going to listen to this 15 times?” But I actually genuinely enjoyed listening to her say “Dorothy” and… Explaining what she means by “Dorothy” in the verses. Kevin: There’s this music meme where Binky, from the child TV show ‘Arthur’ Puts on some headsets and says, “When did they stop tuning their instruments?” “No, that is the music.” But this isn’t the case of tuning their instruments, but I definitely had that feeling where at the beginning… The piano sound wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t know what to do with it, because there were lines like [singing] But every note seemed very concrete and I was like, “Man, that’s not what my teacher taught me how to play piano.” But if K-Pop or K-Pop balladry has taught me anything, is that a certain piano sound does not indicate that the entire song is gonna be bad. (Isaac: Mhm.) And for this one, I definitely…there definitely hit that moment once she started singing, especially when she started repeating “Dorothy” the first time. I became when Binky started floating with all the colors, you know? Kevin: I was like—Yeah.
Isaac: Whoa! I really got this feeling that I was sort of in space just floating. Just looking at Planet Earth and stuff. And that’s someway halfway through that. The music did not change at all and then I realized, wait a minute. What if this is about something more spiritual because… As Umu introduced, the song is about… You know, a girl who is not in this world anymore, that could mean physically, but that could also mean like spiritually, or in some sort of a zen place, (Isaac: Metaphysical.) Metaphysical place, exactly! But the music was able to evoke that as well and then…and this part is just my interpretation. But once the beats started kicking in, it was almost like, “I have returned… “Return to the world after my voyage and I was able to see…” You know like when people are crossing the street but they like play it in fast motion for dramatic effect? Like people, just like cars just moving, and the traffic lights. That’s kind of what that fast beat reminded me of. It’s like seeing through the matrix. You can suddenly see we’re all in such a hurry, but to what? Yeah, it got really philosophical without saying… without being very, you know, very… Verbose, it’s not the most poetic thing. But it’s just evocative enough and even repeating “Dorothy” over and over again was able to evoke all this stuff and I really liked it! Stephen: It’s really interesting how sometimes you can create this really weird kind of… Rhythmic attention. So for example, they’re like [singing] So like three 16th notes and then it goes back to the triplet but because both of those subdivisions sixteenth notes in eighth note triplets, they’re not like related to each other. Like sixteenth notes and then eighth notes are, right? Where they’re not in between so they mash up against each other. Stephen: It creates this really kind of weird… Syncopated feel. So that’s what I think like, that’s what I hear with what she’s doing. It’s really cool how she had like different meters going on towards the end with a really fast break beat. And then… Just like that triplet 6/8 feel that Seiji brought up. Also, what’s really cool is if you notice like in the chorus like [sings] “Dorothy” right? So like…it’s just really cool how the lyrics match what is going on musically. So for the chorus, even though it’s different pitches, it’s like a three note repeated motif and then she kind of reflects that in the verse where… All the lyrics like melodically were grouped into like the same melody notes. So like three notes and then three notes, like so just this repetition of like groupings of three. It was really cool. Daniel: I liked how the repetitions, especially the word “Dorothy” It’s like her in conversation with herself over and over and over again. It’s just expanding…and expanding from like a single focus.
Fiona: Maybe it represents thoughts never leaving your brain. Fiona: …Always just there.
Daniel: Maybe, or I mean— Daniel: It seems like it’s taking up space, so like…
Fiona: It was positive too. Daniel: It’s not even in her head or like maybe it’s the idea that her head’s expanding? You know, like her head space? Daniel: I don’t know.
Fiona: She has meditated… 10,000 hours. That’s all I got to say. Umu: Do you like ‘Dorothy’, or ‘Goblin’ better? Fiona: ‘Dorothy’ Umu: Why? Fiona: Because… Umu: Probably because period. Fiona: Because. Daniel: I like this, because I feel this way right now. I’m kind of tired actually so it’s just like… Hearing her voice just like echo and echo and echo just feels like rest. Fiona: I like the repetition and how there was so much variety in it. But it was just repeated a lot. And like Daniel said, everything just expanded so it had this kind of nice light yet exciting energetic vibe. Daniel: Yeah. Aaron: It puts me in my feels! Just like the way the piano part is this like… chromaticism to it that goes both ways of like… Uplifting and downlifting but then also it’s just such a unique… Like her voice. Well then also it’s simple.
Nick: Yeah. Aaron: But also there’s a lot… texturally going on And I love that when you have to listen for like the good parts. And then also, I love a great voice leading in counterpoint, so… *claps* bravo.