IU Details the Toils of Being 'Twenty-Three' in Most Personal Single Yet
Since IU made her music debut in 2008 at the age of 15, she has grown up in the K-pop spotlight. Now, at 22 and firmly past her image as "Korea's little sister," the star is making some of her most personal music yet with her latest EP Chat-Shire and its lead single "Twenty Three," which was written by the star.
On her new disco-inspired tune, IU reveals her inner thoughts on this age of young adulthood. (Note: People in South Korea begin counting age at one instead of zero, so her "Korean age" is 23, thus the song's title, despite IU being born in 1993.)
Like anyone in their early 20s, the singer is a mess of emotions and personas -- struggling to decide whether she's ready to be an adult or would rather remain in childhood.
The lyrics even hint at IU getting sexual, which might be a shocking inclusion for K-pop's sweetheart. There are also fascinating insights to IU's personality as she sings about how her face never shows her real emotions and her problems with anxiety. The chorus details her pretending to embody different animal-like personas -- namely "a fox that pretends to be a bear that pretends to be a fox," according to translated lyrics.
The "Twenty-Three" video sees IU going through a multitude of crazy outfits and situations, akin to a young adult's wild mind, getting trippy with the EP's title Chat-Shire (a play on the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland) theme coming into play as IU bounces through colorful worlds.
Following May 2014's A Flower Bookmark, IU experimented with synth-pop and even Britney Spears-like production, but this newest EP Chat-Shire. focuses mostly on classic genres of yesterday like soul ("Shoes") with the standout being the melodica-led ballad "Shower."
You can stream Chat-Shire on Apple Music now.