The first quarter of 2021 has just ended a fortnight before but the dominance of the female solo artists on music charts, both domestic and worldwide through these 3 months, puts out an inspiring, bold statement of female power and artistry. Out of these stunning solo comebacks and singles of these soloists, the concept of “Ethereal beauty and aesthetic” seems to be celebrated the most, as we see these females delving into the celestial realms of music and visuals!
Let us take a moment to revel in and recall this sublime concept, specially handpicked and molded to add to the supernal appeal of each of these artists’ musicality.
1. Wendy – ‘Like Water’
Healing from an unfortunate accident that led to a year-long hiatus, Red Velvet’s Wendy is back with her debut solo mini-album ‘Like Water’ that shines with pertinacious optimism and heartfelt gratitude for all her fans whose wishes had given her strength through these tough times: “I just wanna thank you for believing in me.”
Likening her love to Water in the title pop-rock ballad (Like Water), Wendy infuses her powerfully emotive vocals with the warmth of acoustic guitar and folk melodies, managing to bring out the angelic quality in the sonics. The accompanying music video, however, is the one that truly brings to life the dreamy “Ethereal Elle” side of Wendy as we see her alluring delicacy penetrating through the wispiness of the ambiance. Draped in ruffled lace and tulle dresses that flow around her like water and suggest purity and fragility through their light pastel hues and small elaborate details, Wendy seems to exude an almost soft, celestial air that embraces the listeners in a heartwarming hug. The glistening water and rain motif, and the half-shining sunlight rays that penetrate it, add to this misty feel and concept of the track.
2. IU – ‘LILAC’
Coming back with a nostalgic tribute to her ending 20s and an open-armed welcome to her upcoming 30s, songstress IU’s album ‘LILAC’ resonates with weightless vocal-fluidity and polished versatility – testimonial of her more-than-a-decade long career.
The title track, ‘LILAC’ is a beautiful blend of funky City-pop, the 80s-90s Disco, and brassy instrumentation that kickstarts this journey of reliving the past and celebrating the future. The music video of LILAC mixes the ethereal and delicate concept with the vibrant yet innocent one, as we IU alternating between the graceful warmth brought out by her flowing Tulle dress and white wide-leg trousers paired with a trimmed lavender top, and the sprightly mature hues of well-fitted retro dresses. The light, fantastical quality of the softer color palette of the music video and the sweet-toned vocals of IU, alongside the uplifting confetti rain and dreamy animated landscape in the Bridge part, all combine to make IU’s concept of “Ethereal beauty”, an Elysian-yet-earthly fairytale.
She surely has done justice to her striking title of “Nation’s sweetheart” through the flawless performance of this diaphanous concept!
3. Sorn – ‘RUN’
Shot in different terrestrial landscapes of our bountiful Mother Nature’s embrace, Sorn’s solo debut single ‘RUN’ is a celebration of finding and running towards the missing “spark of life”. The uplifting pop-acoustic track which mixes in finger-snapping sonics with gay guitar-strumming and vibrant synths, puts the spotlight on Sorn’s mellifluent vocals as she sings a liberating tale in fluent English: “No fear, taking control/ I’m good with wherever we’re going/ So why don’t we, why don’t we run/ Do what we’ve wanted for once, yeah.”
The retro-film-styled music video also discovers CLC’s Sorn reveling in the natural surroundings of the lush green forest and the sparkling coastal beach as she paints her own picture of angelic beauty – innate chaste purity while rocking a satisfied, unpretentious attitude. Blending into, yet standing out amongst this natural scenery, Sorn is attired like a cowgirl (West-inspired boots, hats, and jackets) and as a tranquil nymph with her luscious locks flowing with the sea-breeze in the music video, that bring out this unique, Sorn-esque style of delicate charms.
4. Rosé – ‘On The Ground’
Rocking the street version of an ethereal goddess, BLACKPINK’s Rosé makes her solo debut with album ‘R’ and a light and airy EDM-pop title track, ‘On The Ground’. The all-pervasive fragile delicacy of this supernal concept steeps into Rosé’s wistful, emotional vocals and lyricism, and the impactful music video that accompanies the track, with its theme of coming down from the empyrean realm, back on the ground.
Alternating between equally eye-pleasing visuals – from a monochromatic two-piece with exquisite transparent sequins to a white stand-out embellished flowing dress to a vibrant dark pink one, and at the end, to the softest pink-hued Ruffled Tulle dress ever – Rosé seems to be establishing her own approach to this celebrated theme of ethereal aesthetics. She seems to be blending in the bold enchantress who has achieved great success as BLACKPINK’s Rosé, with the hidden, innate eloquence of individual, Roseanne Park, shining through. The juxtapositioning of the fire-explosion motif with the natural mildness of the flower-motif, also carries this “cohesive-divergent” approach of Rosé, effortlessly across to the listeners.
With just 3 months in, and a heavenly arsenal of otherworldly beauty (both sonically and visually), 2021 sure seems to hold great promise of demonstrating the female soloists’ graceful grandeur in weaving out soul-stirring tracks, using the lulling lyrical and instrumental quintessential elements of the whimsical delicacy and the quite romantic ethreal concept.