Six-member Korean boy band ASTRO returned Tuesday (July 24) with the release of “Always You,” their first single of 2018.
“Always You” fronts the boy band’s Rise Up album. Sonically, the song is a change for the group, switching things up from their typical bright synthpop leanings in favor of melodramatic EDM. With airy, echoing vocals and despondent raps leading into the turbulent synths and powerful belts of the chorus, the single shows a new side to the group. It was co-written by popular South Korean duo Duble Sidekick, who have produced for SISTAR, Kara, 2PM, MBLAQ, Mamamoo and many other top K-pop acts.
“Always You” was released with an aesthetically pleasing music video that uses lighting to emulate the gravitas of the song itself. Unlike the usually ebullient offerings of ASTRO, this cinematic experience focuses on the members as they’re exploring a variety of Spartan, color-blocked sets.
Dancing scenes are interspersed through the clips of the members forlornly walking through rooms and sitting in cars, though there is no single shot of the entire group performing choreography. Instead, individuals are seen dancing on their own, and a trio of members perform sweeping and jumping moves along to the song’s pulsating chorus. The finale comes awash in black-and-white light as the six come together.
ASTRO’s latest comes over half a year since November’s Dream Part. 02 EP and several months of hardship at the group’s label Fantagio following the ousting of its CEO by Chinese investors. Fantagio recently lost its standing in the Korea Entertainment Management Association (KEMA), though several actors and singers under the label are still active in the South Korean entertainment world. Both ASTRO and labelmates Weki Meki have been delayed in releasing new music due to the ongoing issues, but Weki Meki is expected to put out new songs later this summer following the release of ASTRO’s album. Since they got their start in 2016, ASTRO has been well-received on the World Albums charts, where they’ve seen five albums appear. Last year’s Dream Part. 02 peaked at No. 5
Watch the music video for “Always You” here: