Popular K-pop boy group SEVENTEENof PLEDIS Entertainment released their new single “Darl+ing” on April 15. The group’s 13 members – S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino – amazed fans with this fully English track — the first they’ve ever released as a group.
SEVENTEEN teased the release of the song on April 9 with concept photos and a music video teaser that showcased a perfect spring-like ambiance that posed as a stark contrast from the concept of their last mini album — “Attaca.” Although many CARATs, their official fandom name, did not know what to expect from “Darl+ing,” they were certainly not disappointed when the music video was finally released. From the days leading up to the release, CARATs raved on Twitter and trended the hashtags “#SEVENTEEN” and “Darl+ing.” Since the music video’s release, CARATs have also taken to streaming “Darl+ing” and many of SEVENTEEN’s other music videos on YouTube, as well as streaming their music on platforms such as Spotify, Shazam, and Melon.
Much of the music video was very colorful and included various Studio Ghibli-esque features such as flowers, wheat fields and other greenery elements. Noteworthy sets included a cave full of vibrant floral decor and eye-catching painted walls, as well as a room with a dance stage that showcased the group’s impressive choreography. While the start of the music video evoked a playful atmosphere with DK, Dino, Hoshi and Woozi throwing themselves on the floor and covering one another in paint, the end of the music video later took a dark turn when the members free fell from their euphoric scene and plummeted into a colorless and gloomy cave. Some fans who are excited to see where SEVENTEEN leads with this riveting concept speculate that it’s meant to tie into the lore for their upcoming album..
Despite “Darl+ing” being their first English track, fans were left in absolute awe after hearing the lyrics. Vernon opened the song with “You know, without you, I’m so lonely/ When you’re not here, 911 calling,” implying that this is a love song. Other lyrics in the song such as “You got my heart like it’s yours/ Don’t wanna say goodbye” and “We can be all we need/ Promise I won’t take you for granted, never,” also emphasized romantic emotions throughout the song. However, this is not your average love song.
When discussing the English track “Darl+ing” during an interview with Rolling Stone, the members revealed the meaning behind the song. “It’s like a gift to our CARATs,” Joshua said. “Our international fans, even though they may not understand Korean, love us for who we are and love our music so much, so we just wanted to make a song they can easily listen to and understand.” International fans were absolutely touched to know that “Darl+ing” was dedicated to them and made the song feel all the more special, especially knowing that member Woozi, a main producer of SEVENTEEN’s discography, helped with the production of “Darl+ing” from the arrangement to the lyrics.
Prior to the release of “Darl+ing” SEVENTEEN held their sixth fanmeeting “SEVENTEEN in CARAT LAND” in late March. The event, which lasted three days, was where the group announced their plans to release a fourth studio album set to debut in May. “Darl+ing” serves as a precursor to the future album “Face The Sun” and gives fans a glimpse of what’s to come. Although the expected release date of the album was not revealed at the meet and greet, a post made by SEVENTEEN’s official Twitter account on April 21 announced the release of the music video and album on May 27. Since then, pre-orders for the physical album have opened on various sites such as Target, Amazon and WeVerse.
Though many fans enjoyed the bad-boy, rock concept of their previous mini album “Attaca,” others seem to enjoy the change in concept that the latest single brought along. From the tune to the aesthetic, SEVENTEEN delivered a mesmerizing track that captured the essence of their love for CARATs, which is evident through the title’s meaningfulness. As mentioned by DK, the plus sign is a symbol of unity between SEVENTEEN and fans, so as to say that they become one.
For many, “Darl+ing” was not only about the fans, but about SEVENTEEN’s relationship with each other, especially since this single marked the beginning of their first full album release after contract renewals. It also marked the start of their “TEAM SEVENTEEN” project, which is believed to include a world tour. Come what may, “Darl+ing” confirmed SEVENTEEN’s intention to grow in the Korean and American music industry and provide fans with enjoyable content. SEVENTEEN’s love for their fans is what makes this possible, and they couldn’t be happier.
Brisa Ramirez is an Entertainment Intern for the spring 2022 quarter. They can be reached at email@example.com