K-pop girl band Loona launches official debut album with full lineup

August 20, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) — Following nearly two years of pre-debut promotional gimmicks, K-pop girl band Loona on Monday released their official debut album, bringing together all 12 members as a single act.

“+ +,” or “Plus Plus,” is the first extended play by the full lineup of Loona, whose Korean name translates into “Girl of the Month.”

The debut marks the culmination of the band’s management agency BlockBerry Creative’s “9.9 billion won” (US$8.8 million) pre-debut projects, which kicked off in October 2016.

BlockBerry unveiled the first member, Heejin and her solo single in October 2016 and three additional new members and their singles in each of the following three months before launching a female quartet consisting of the four members.

The other eight members were also unveiled month by month in the same manner in the lead up to the official debut with the full lineup on Monday.

The pre-debut project divided the girl band into three subunits — Loona 1/3, Loona Odd Eye Circle, Loona yyxy — plus Yeojin as a soloist, each releasing separate pre-debut EPs in the process.

The members feel under pressure as they debuted through the multi-billion-won project, but it’s also a source of motivation, the members said.

“It took the long time of two years to come as a full lineup act,” Heejin, who was Loona’s first member unveiled two years ago, said in a media showcase in central Seoul.

“It was a long time, but I practiced and made up for what I lack so we can turn up to the public in a more perfected form, so I am positive,” she said.

“It would be a lie if I say we are not under pressure,” member Yves said. “But this project is a source of pride and a driving force for us to march forward,” she said.

Member Haseul said her band longs to earn a nickname, “monster rookie,” meaning a band that overwhelms the K-pop scene as a novice girl group. They also aim to win this year’s rookie of the year award.

“Hi High,” the key track that fronts the new EP, is also a reminder of the girl band’s high ambitions.

“‘Hi High’ has dual meanings of saying hi to the complete lineup (of the 12 members) and expressing our goal to climb up to the top (of the music scene),” Loona members said, adding that the song is filled with the band members’ “high energy.”

Member Gowon said the two tracks have “contrasting” concepts, reflecting the different feels each track and each member has.

Including the two numbers, the new EP is a compilation of six tracks. The other tracks include the intro “+ +,” “Perfect Love,” and “Stylish.”

The music videos released in the lavish pre-debut period were filmed in a number of foreign countries including France, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Japan and Hungary, which, member Olivia Hye said, would walk its fans through the virtual sensation of a world tour.