We need to talk about LOOΠΔ.
More and more girl groups and boy bands are being spat out from the South Korean pop idol conveyer belt each year. But what happens when a group arrives…one member at a time?
The roll-out strategy behind LOOΠΔ, the still yet-to-debut 12-member (casual) South Korean girl group operated by Blockberry Creative (Polaris Entertainment), is so crazy-genius that it won’t come as a surprise if and when even more groups attempt this kind of ambitious debut in the years to come.
Rather than kicking off with a debut single, as is generally the go-to strategy for any rookie act, each member of LOOΠΔ is being introduced to the public one by one, releasing their very own single album roughly every month, beginning with HeeJin back in October of 2016.
One year later, and we’ve still only met nine of the LOOΠΔ members, with three more still to come. If you’ve done the math, you’ll note that the full LOOΠΔ roster won’t even be completely revealed until 2018 – two years after the introduction of their first member.
And that’s not all: they’ve recorded duets in various configurations, too – and they’ve already formed sub-groups.
Once the first few girls made their debuts, four members formed a sub-group called LOOΠΔ 1/3 (that’s the first member HeeJin, HyunJin, HaSeul and ViVi), releasing their debut EP in March called Love & Live, later repackaged as Love & Evil in April.
Then more members arrived as the music shifted sonically – including one of the year’s best releases, <strong>Kim Lip‘s “Eclipse.” A second sub-group called Odd Eye Circle consisting of three members (that’s Kim Lip, plus JinSoul and Choerry) released their own EP called Mix & Match in September, followed by their October repackage, Max & Match. (“Sweet Crazy Love” is truly beyond.)
Following along with everything? No? That’s fine. Just keep going.
As of this past week, we’ve just met a brand new member (Yves), who debuted with her excellent soultronica-style track “new,” who will soon be part of yet another four member LOOΠΔ sub-group.
“new” is a self-discovery anthem of sorts, in which she pledges to “be herself no matter what kind of hardships, pain, and frustration faces her.” (“I’ll trust myself, all my life / No matter what, by my life.“) And…it’s possibly a gay anthem as well? If you watch the roller skate, stuffed animal and claw machine-themed video, which co-stars previously announced member ViVi, there’s certainly some sort of chemistry between the two that might be more than friendly. Coupled with the lyrics about finding oneself, and the whole eating the forbidden fruit thing? Willa Ford wishes – Yves wants to be bad with you, baby.
Like the iamamiwhoami project (but without any tree licking – yet, anyway), the Loonaverse – their own term, not mine! – is a whole interconnected multimedia world of music and visuals and behind-the-scenes clips (LOOΠΔ TV).
If this all sounds overwhelming coming a group that hasn’t even been fully revealed yet, that’s because it is.
The roll-out seems to be effective: the girls are steadily charting higher and higher with each single. Their fanbase is growing too, as evidenced by the conversations and debates in forums and comment sections excitedly connecting the dots of the narrative that ties all of these LOOΠΔ releases together.
The imaginative descriptions beneath their music videos only adds to the mythology. For instance, this biblical description of “new” from Yves: “Yves asks a question in Eden. ‘Is it really a bad thing to disobey God?’ If someone has already decided our fate, wouldn’t it be a better life to stand up and against that fate? Even if it’s not something grand such as God or fate, Yves sings that she will not surrender herself to any walls or glass ceilings she may have to face.”
Yves is disobeying God.
Excited by the whole premise? Not sure where to begin? It’s not too late to dive in.
While we await the last few members to be beamed down to us from the Loonaverse, go ahead and acquaint yourselves with the rest of the girls who we’ve already met with their individual singles. Then, check out the releases by LOOΠΔ 1/3 and Odd Eye Circle.
By the time the girls finally do make their 2018 debut as a complete 12-piece, you’ll already be a full-fledged Loonatic.
ViVi (feat. HaSeul)