CLC Revamps Style With HyunA Co-Written 'Hobgoblin'

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CLC performs at MTV Asia Music Stage on Sept. 4, 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The girl group returned with a darker, sexier image than they've showed in the past.

Following 4Minute’s disbandment and Beast’s departure from Cube Entertainment in 2016, the Korean music agency started 2017 with a shift in direction from its newest girl group CLC. The act’s new album Crystyle was released Tuesday and featured the single “Hobgoblin,” which promptly rose to the top of the U.S. iTunes K-pop chart.

“Hobgoblin” is an EDM trap song co-written by HyunA and the team of writers who wrote 4Minute’s 2015 hit “Crazy.” Fittingly, “Hobgoblin” is a sonic sequel to the 4Minute song, with its frenetic snares and dramatized raps delivered over a building, uptempo beat. The new single marks a turning point for CLC, thanks to its heavy integration of rap and overall a more intense sound. In contrast, the septet’s 2016 releases -- "No Oh Oh," "High Heels," and "Chamisma" -- were bright pop songs.

The music video for “Hobgoblin” also transitioned CLC away from their previous colorful and innocent image, and instead featured the women in more dramatic, and sexualized, fashion-forward outfits. The song’s powerful sound is paired with a forceful dance, while the climax of the song matches pace with the members as they destroy a variety of objects using all sorts of weapons.  

The song’s title “Hobgoblin” is similar to a popular Korean television show known internationally both as Goblin and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. In Korean folklore, goblins, known as dokkaebi, are mischievous creatures that play tricks on bad people and reward good people. During a live-stream broadcast on Monday, the members of CLC described themselves and HyunA as hobgoblins who have lured audiences into the single’s sound.

“Hobgoblin” was co-written by Seo Jaewoo, Big Sancho and Son Yeongjin and contains lyrics co-written by HyunA, the only 4minute member to remain under Cube Entertainment after the group's contracts expired last year. HyunA also acted as a creative director for the music video and helped orchestrate the choreography for “Hobgoblin.” She’ll be heading to North America in February and March for a solo concert tour held throughout Canada and the U.S.   

The Crystyle EP contains six songs including “Hobgoblin.” Watch the music video right here: