Most of you probably do not know who Sunny Hill is but for second generation K-Pop stans like yours truly, they are one of the best acts that the genre has to offer. Starting out as a co-ed trio in 2007, Sunny Hill transitioned from being a ballad group to envelope-pushing pop stars with a pack of unique pop songs to boot.
For those who know them, you’d probably remember Sunny Hill in their critique of the manipulative idol life with the sinister “Midnight Circus” or their reinterpretation of Aesop’s classic (which actually is a jab to those who take life a little too seriously) with “The Grasshopper Song”. These socially relevant songs have set the group apart from their contemporaries as they have tried to marry the commercial with the creative. If I were to introduce K-Pop to any of my friends for the first time, I’d probably play some Sunny Hill for them to understand that I don’t just follow K-Pop because it’s “banging” or “colorful”. I’m not that petty, excuse me.
Anyway, now on their ninth year, Sunny Hill has once again evolved – they’re under a new label since 2009, became a full-fledged girl group, and somewhat returned to their roots with their mid-tempo and ballad releases. This is evident in their newest track called “On The Way Home”. The song features dreamy strings and an ABBA-like groove which greatly complements with the song’s main theme. On The Way Home is a bittersweet ode to our families aka the most important part of our lives that we often disregard in this fast-paced society. This song tells us that with all the sham and drudgery that this world has to offer, it will never be a bad idea to retreat to our homes and to be with the family that raised us to the persons that we are now.
Unfortunately, most of the comments that I read online would say that Sunny Hill isn’t the group that they were before but I beg to disagree. Sure, they may not be mannequins in a circus or cute little ants singing about how cruel our society can be, but that doesn’t mean that they have lost their substance. If for anything, Sunny Hill’s music became extremely relatable – especially for the working young adult. It’s similar to how The New Republic would argue that Carly Rae Jepsen’s music is normalizing. This time, Sunny Hill peeks into to the struggles of adulting and if you think that’s crappy, you’re completely missing out on a lot of great stuff!
Hence, this volume of Bingsoo Mix will honor some of the most maligned and overlooked Sunny Hill songs:
- Prince and Princess Charming – This song goes out of the radar for people who listen to Sunny Hill but Prince and Princess Charming is actually an empowering statement about looking beyond the exterior of the people we deal with. It’s catchy, it’s relevant, it’s purely Sunny Hill.
- Goodbye to Romance – This was one of the group’s big hits commercially and this is where they started transitioning musically. Sunny Hill has a penchant for songs about nostalgia and this one is about finally letting go of a first love that never seemed to work out.
- Darling of All Hearts (featuring Hareem) – is one of my favorite Sunny Hill songs because the lyrics are funny and extremely relatable. If you are single af or if you have been third-wheeling all your life, Darling of All Hearts is our anthem. The fusion of folk and polka music also adds an organic touch to this wonderful song.
- Monday Blues – Another favorite of mine, which also happens to be extremely misunderstood. The quartet may look like they have sold out with their AOA skirts and gyrations but Monday Blues is not your ordinary heartbreak/falling in love idol pop song. Monday Blues is about freaking Mondays and if you are still not a part of the capitalist workforce, then you wouldn’t really understand this. You wouldn’t understand the feeling of an extremely manic Monday (of all days) in the office but your minc is wishing that you’d be somewhere else and then you need to render overtime because of your work backlog. That’s what this song is all about.
- Child In Time – carries the similar nostalgic theme of Goodbye to Romance and On The Way Home. This song is a temporary step back from the harsh realities of adult life by letting us bask on the momentary chance of being young again. Child in Time awakens the young, innocent heart within us and that is something that we need once in a while.
So the next time that you dismiss Sunny Hill as being the inferior group than they were before, kindly do yourself a favor and click the CC button on Youtube. 1theK usually provides English subs to Sunny Hill videos and from then you’ll understand that they are still the socially relevant group that they’ve always been. Okay? Okay.
By the end of On The Way Home’s music video, we can see the girls giving a last look to the idol life that they have for the last nine years or more before entering their respective homes. It may be interpreted as to how the group will move forward past this comeback but as to whatever that direction may be, Sunny Hill will always remain to be one of the greatest K-Pop groups to have graced the industry so you better go on a Sunny Hill marathon now!