I am so yesterday when it comes to K-pop. In fact, I am more like yesteryear. Hopefully that misfit quality is endearing, and this habit of stumbling across music that is not a product of one of the big three agencies, nor current, is not as uncool as I am apt to sometimes believe. Hehe. Anyway, when a song and I unexpectedly cross paths, I like to think it is fate. Maybe we run into each other at a moment when some emotional rescue is needed; when my drained psyche needs reconstituting or, at the very least, a dance break. Imfact’s NaNaNa with its retro EDM vibe, sweet vocals, and catchy chorus is fresh, fun and very dance break worthy.
So, who are Imfact? Comprised of five members, Imfact (a blend of I’m Fact and Impact) debuted under Star Empire Entertainment in January 2016. You know, I am always blown away by the sheer number of K-pop groups that are out there. Honestly, I cannot imagine the layers upon layers of competition that these young artists face when pursuing their dreams. And, it never stops, even after debut. Imfact has been consistently releasing music since their debut and NaNaNa, their fifth digital single, was released on August 18, 2018.
The song. Lyrically, NaNaNa is a standard love song. Youthful and simple, it’s about finding that one person in all of the world who truly understands and completes you. It is also a common commentary on how attachment and the fear of losing something or someone wreaks havoc on the heart to the point of being debilitating.
나를 좀 안아 줘 [Hug me]
이 꿈에서 깨긴 싫어 [I don’t want to wake up from this dream]
나를 꼭 안아 줘 [Hold me tight]
따듯한 니 품속에서 [In your warm embrace]
내 손을 녹여 줘 [Melt my hands]
절대로 놓지 말아 줘 [Don’t ever let go]
니 가 없이 나 [Without you]
아무것도 할 수 없어 [I can’t do anything]
Pretty standard, right? It’s the music (composition, arrangement and line distribution) that grab me the most in this one, however. The gentle synth opening is made even more atmospheric by Ungjae’s deep-toned vocals. And then one by one, Jeup, Sang and Taeho sweep us further into that atmospheric glow slowly building until the ether clears and we are dropped onto the dance floor. I love it! The drop into the chorus transported me for some reason back to the 80’s where alternative dance music with its heavy synth sounds were the rage.
I so appreciate the fact that Ungjae handles the foundation of the chorus throughout the song. It’s consistent and keeps things balanced. I realize line distributions are easier when there are only five members in a group. But whoever was behind the production and arrangement of this one really did a nice job. Ungjae leading into Jian’s rap break felt organic and natural. And, Sang and Jeup on the bridge? Heavenly. From a listening standpoint, this one really hit the spot. Can you tell?~☺️
The MV. While NaNaNa can easily be construed as a lament in way of finding, holding onto, and ultimately fear of losing love, the lyrics are nevertheless buffered by the overall upbeat energy of the music. The MV serves up a similar vibe. The colors are rich especially in contrast to the scenes filmed in black and white; and, the five members move through various landscapes at various times of the day and seem anything but troubled or sad. Then again just hanging with friends and enjoying some fresh air could easily shift perspective even at our most forlorn.
Even though we met two years after its release, I suspect NaNaNa, Imfact and I will continue seeing each other. In fact, I want to dig deeper into the group’s discography and listen to more. Vocalists Jeup, Taeho and Sang are solid which in and of itself piques my curiosity in what they may have to offer in way of ballads. Nevertheless, my psyche will always up for a dance break.
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