While K-pop fans would agree that seeing artists write and compose their own music is becoming a more common (not to mention respected) aspect among its stars, it'd be a tough argument to say the music is letting them learn more about the musicians themselves. Since her 2008 debut EP Lost and Found that was fully written and composed by hit producers, IU has been on a gradual mission to taking full artistic control of her music. Her latest album Palette is proving to be not only a creative accomplishment with it almost entirely written by the young star, but a body of work that reveals what's going on in her head and has rewarded her with new levels of success.
Palette opens with the seemingly nonsensically-titled "Dlwlrma," that actually doubles as IU's Instagram handle -- the only major social media platform the megastar actively uses which establishes that this is her speaking to us. From the first lyric, it's clear we're about to hear something special as she sings, "This is a secret" (via Korean translations) and details how she's telling the listener a story she hasn't told anyone before. "You'll ask with big eyes / 'How how how?' / ...Whatever," she continues as if it's part of an internal conversation. IU has gone from teenage idol and being known as the "Nation's Little Sister" in Korea to a grown woman who's had her fair share of K-pop "controversies" (from dating rumors to supposedly inappropriate lyrics and album artwork on 2015's Chat-Shire). But now, in 2017, IU's taking us inside her mind to give a sense of how she really feels. As "Dlwlrma" continues to unravel the singer, the lyrics tell us that she's doing all right and that "Life is cool cool cool."