Le Sserafim drops 1st studio album on eve of 1st anniv.

May 1, 2023

K-pop girl group Le Sserafim returned to the music scene on Monday with “Unforgiven,” its first full-length album since debuting about a year ago.

“We’re pleased and think it is meaningful that we came back with a studio album on the eve of the first anniversary of our debut,” member Sakura said during a media showcase in Seoul to promote the album. “We have exerted effort to showcase how much we have grown so far because it is our first full-length album.”

Including the first full album released at 6 p.m., the quintet has released four albums since it debuted with its first EP “Fearless” in May last year.

“Unforgiven” conveys the group’s “determination to pave their own path together without being backed down by others’ judgment,” according to the press release for the album. This is a step forward from their attitude in “Fearless” and “Antifragile,” the band’s second EP about its resolve to become hardened and stronger despite hardships and shocks.

“If we showed our independent attitude in our previous albums, we exerted a lot of effort to show a more three-dimensional side of us this time. We focused on conveying diverse voices while trying new genres,” member Huh Yunjin said.

K-pop girl group Le Sserafim is seen in this photo provided by Source Music. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
K-pop girl group Le Sserafim is seen in this photo provided by Source Music. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The album has 13 tracks, of which seven are new songs and the rest are from the band’s previously released EPs.

The title track “Unforgiven” combines hip-hop and funk rhythms and samples the main theme from the original soundtrack of the American western film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

The band introduced it as the song that best represents its attitude to others’ prejudice and judgment.

“So when filming the music video for the song, we were directed to look a little sleazy and arrogant,” Hong Eunchae, the youngest member, said with a laugh.

Huh agreed, saying, “I was also asked to sing as if I were teasing someone else. After trying to imagine what it feels like breaking out of the rules, I made efforts to portray the character in a witty and fun way.”

The band shared how the sampling of the film’s famous soundtrack, composed by the late maestro Ennio Morricone, became possible.

“I understand it all began from an idea of Hybe’s producer and chairman Bang Si-hyuk. Our label then called the family (of the late composer) and Morricone’s son pleasantly allowed us to use it for sampling after listening to tracks from the band,” Sakura said.

The band is managed by Source Music, a music label under Hybe, the K-pop powerhouse behind K-pop supergroup BTS. The track “Unforgiven” also got a lot of attention from music fans for featuring Grammy-winning American guitarist Nile Rodgers.

K-pop girl group Le Sserafim is seen in this photo provided by Source Music. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
K-pop girl group Le Sserafim is seen in this photo provided by Source Music. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

After making splashes with “Fearless” and “Antifragile,” “Unforgiven” has surpassed 1.38 million copies in preorders ahead of its release. The figure is twice the corresponding number for the band’s previous release, “Antifragile” with 620,000 copies.

“We’d like to perform well on the music charts, succeeding with this favorable atmosphere,” Kim Chaewon said, adding that she aims to top major domestic music charts with the title track.

The members also shared how they feel about their first anniversary, which falls on Tuesday.

“I still can’t believe it’s been a year since our debut,” Kim said. “It was a thankful year as we made a debut, performed on many stages and were loved. We want to work hard with a sense of responsibility.”

Sakura said she is getting more comfortable standing on stage.

“When I debuted a year ago, I was very nervous and felt lots of pressure,” she said. “I came to enjoy performing on stage a little more and feel more relaxed.”

She expressed hope that she wants to be a singer who can have a great influence on people with music while continuing to communicate with fans with songs about the band’s thoughts and feelings.