Bolbbalgan4 drops ear-tickling album to match spring season

April 2, 2019

 After a nearly one-year hiatus, female indie K-pop duo Bolbbalgan4, also known simply as BOL4, on Tuesday dropped a new album comprising five ear-tickling tracks to match the blooming spring season.

The new record, “Youth Diary 1: Flower Energy,” is unusually fronted by three main tracks — “Bom,” “Stars over Me” and “Mermaid.”

Composed and written by the band’s vocalist, Ahn Ji-young, “Bom” features the heart-fluttering feelings of the spring season and adolescent love.

Acoustic guitar and string sounds combine with the song’s throbbing lyrics and Ahn’s ringing voice to elevate the spring mood of the track.

“Stars over Me” and “Mermaid” were also created by the vocalist.

Female indie duo Bolbbalgan4 showcase their new album "Youth Diary 1: Flower Energy" during a media event on April 2, 2019. (Yonhap)
This image shows Ahn Ji-young, the vocalist of female indie duo Bolbbalgan4, during the band's media showcase of their new album "Youth Diary 1: Flower Energy" on April 2, 2019. (Yonhap)

Female indie duo Bolbbalgan4 showcase their new album “Youth Diary 1: Flower Energy” during a media event on April 2, 2019. (Yonhap)

The first track, “Picnic,” is the only one of the five tracks written by the pair’s guitarist, Woo Ji-yoon. It is a revised version of an earlier song by the band that was used in a TV commercial.

“Returning (to the K-pop scene) after one year, I put up this album with a lot of fun and without much difficulty after recharging myself during my leave through travel and pursuing hobbies,” Ahn said. “I am very excited and nervous about how people will like this album, which is full of spring moods.”

Woo added, “As the current season is spring, there will be many pretty events like festivals. I hope our songs will be played against such backdrops as picnics and time spent with good friends.”

The former high school classmates became an instant sensation after releasing their first full-length album, “Red Planet,” in 2016. Several of their songs, including last year’s “Travel,” have topped local music charts.

As if mindful of claims that the band’s music style is repetitive, Ahn adopted urban electronic rock sounds to breathe a chic and mystic feeling into the album’s fourth track, “Seattle Alone.”

“In fact, that was one of the concerns and questions many people posed every time we came up with an album,” Ahn said.

“So since ‘Travel,’ I happened to venture many new attempts, but, to be honest, (the elements) that people take to be repetitive may be our own unique color,” she said, adding that they tried to break away from that pattern with “Seattle Alone.”

Bringing the new mood-elevating album to the spring pop scene, the duo also plans to hold two days of solo concerts on May 4 and 5 at Blue Square in central Seoul.