Blackpink made a major play to become the new K-pop girl group to watch by debut with not one but two blazing singles "Boombayah" and "Whistle." The confident club cuts were a major success for the foursome in both their native Korea and America, and the ladies are keeping fans intrigued by showing new sides of themselves with another pair of singles.
The first, "Playing With Fire," continues the synth-driven sound heard in their past releases, but blends in a heavy dose of melancholy as the girls wail about a dangerous love that one can't stay away from. While the topic of an intense relationship is a mature one for a young group to tackle so quickly in their careers, there is a youthful approach as they think back on their mother's advice and include the (sometimes-too-on-the-nose) lines like, "My love is on fire...now burn baby burn!" that indicate more relatable, not-wholly mature take on the topic. The accompanying video shows the members lamenting about said lover with the fire concept full-on pushed in front of the viewer as Blackpink dance among burning structures and leader Jennie plays with matches.
The second release "Stay" is even more unexpected as the girls show a sentimental side with a country-inspired, acoustic sound. Among tender guitar strums and an unexpected harmonica (a rare instrument to hear in K-pop), the ladies realized they played with a little too much fire, but still want their lover "Stay" with them. Despite their complicated feelings, the song is brought together with the adolescent-like "la la la" hook to give that extra punch of catchiness. Perhaps most notable here is member Rosé's guitar skills that we hope we'll be able to see in future performances.
Blackpink is undoubtedly of the most exciting new K-pop groups to hit the scene in 2016 and while these singles may not be guaranteed smashes like "Boombayah," they do play an important role in getting viewers to see more of the act as a whole. Most importantly here, the girl group is finding a way to distinguish themselves in a very competitive scene filled with new acts vying to make their mark.
Both singles come off Blackpink's new EP Square Two that features an acoustic version of "Whistle." Stream the new release via Spotify here.