BlackPink Releases Two New Songs on Halloween

BlackPink in the video for "Playing with Fire."
Courtesy Photo

BlackPink in the video for "Playing with Fire."

K-pop girl group BlackPink returned Monday with the dual releases of “Stay” and “Playing With Fire.” As the follow-up to their chart-topping debut singles “Boombayah” and “Whistle,” the new songs help add some variation to the rookie act’s burgeoning style with an emphasis on sentimental melodies and instrumental accompaniment.

“Playing With Fire” is a swinging tropical house track, while “Stay” introduces a completely new sound for the group -- and mainstream K-pop -- as an acoustic folk-pop song. The former opens with a jazzy piano melody before bringing in synths, snares and subtle 8-bit beats to create the song’s midtempo rhythm. The track’s bouncing style meshes with the quartet’s impassioned refrains before the song’s finale, when “Playing With Fire” drops a final chorus sans vocals.

While the styling of “Playing With Fire” is more reminiscent of BlackPink’s debut, “Stay” showcases BlackPink’s softer side. With little more than an acoustic guitar, harmonica, simple strings, and a clapping beat, “Stay” provides a backdrop to Rosé, Jisoo, Jennie and Lisa’s emotive vocals. The song’s sing-a-long style stands out among BlackPink’s limited catalog for its raw sound and ability to present this new K-pop quartet as something more than a dance-pop act. (The Square Two digital release also featured an acoustic version of “Whistle,” emphasizing the group’s shift toward a mellower style with their comeback.)

A day after their release, the cinematic music videos for “Playing With Fire” and “Stay” were viewed nearly 7 million times combined on YouTube.

The four-member girl group is the first female act from Korean entertainment powerhouse YG Entertainment since K-pop icons 2NE1 debuted in 2009. BlackPink is the third group YG has produced in as many years, following WINNER’s debut in 2014 and iKON’s in 2015, as the company expands its roster to remain competitive in the K-pop scene.