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Oneus sets off as a quintet with 'Pygmalion'

By Choi Ji-won

Published : May 9, 2023 - 15:44

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Boy band Oneus holds a press showcase for its 9th EP, Boy band Oneus holds a press showcase for its 9th EP, "Pygmalion," on Monday in Seoul. (RBW)

Boy band Oneus is opening its second chapter with its ninth EP, "Pygmalion."

"This album in one phrase is 'Oneus' new takeoff.' We've worked really hard to show a different side of us," Hwanwoong said at a press showcase in Seoul on Monday.

"Pygmalion" marks the return of Oneus after eight months, the group's longest break to date. It is also the group's first album dropped following the departure of member Raven in October, which left the group with five members: Hwanwoong, Xion, Leedo, Keonhee and Seoho.

"The eight months preparing for this comeback were especially meaningful for us. It's our first album as a five-piece group, so we invested much time into thinking about what we are really good at and how we could bring joy to the public," Keonhee said.

Born from the bandmates' deep self-reflection, the new album carries a message about persisting for growth and striving for one's dreams.

Leedo said the album was named after the Pygmalion effect, a psychological phenomenon where high expectations lead to improved performance.

Fronting the album is "Erase Me," an emo-pop track mixing orchestral sounds with EDM and expressing an emotional message through the change in dynamics.

"It's our first shot at the genre," Keonhee expounded on the song, adding, "The song starts off quiet, resonating with emptiness in the beginning, then progresses to unfurl the emotions dramatically, hitting an explosive climax towards the end."

Seoho noted the song shows Oneus' signature colors. "Just like our debut song, 'Valkyrie,' it's a song with a catchy beat that manifests the unique vigor of Oneus' music."

Along with the title song, the new album also includes an introductory song, "Intro: Lethe," and three B-sides, "Unforgettable," "Echo" and "Halley's Comet." Leedo is credited with songwriting and penning the lyrics on "Echo."

The music video of "Unforgettable" was pre-released on April 27.

"'Unforgettable' was also the title song candidate. Both the company and we though it was well-made. We couldn't wait to unveil it to our fans so we pre-released it," Hwanwoong said.

Hwangwoong recommended listening to the album in the track order. "This album boasts a profoundly high quality both for music and performance. If you follow through the songs in step, you'll be able to get our message through the coherent flow of the songs."

Oneus debuted in January 2019 under RBW with the act's first EP, "Light Us." RBW also houses K-pop groups Mamamoo and Purple Kiss.

"Pygmalion" marks Oneus' comeback after eight months since the release of eighth EP "Malus."

Returning after this period, the five members seemed resolutely ready to prove themselves.

"We spent the past eight years busily, holding a world tour and working on this album. And during the time, the members looked back on the past four-five years we had been together and talked about when we had felt happy, what fans had liked about us and what really made us shine," Keonhee said.

He continued, adding, "Based on our discussions then, we tried to pull the most out of us with what we were best at. We hope to take our next big leap and open our second chapter with this album."

Keonhee said they aspire for something more than high chart scores with this comeback.

"We used to aim for goals, such as music show wins or getting on charts, because we wanted to give back to our fans. But this time, rather than aiming for a specific number, we want to put out a really good album and a proper performance for them. We'll work hard to show our fans that this is Oneus' new chapter," he said.