Korean septet BTS are set to release their highly-anticipated album Love Yourself: Answer later this week, and just confirmed that it will be fronted by a single titled “Idol” through the release of a short teaser video.
The next single from BTS was teased through a 40-second clip that revealed it is a traditionally inspired track. The video hints that “Idol” is an atmospheric dance track built around classical Korean instruments, with the steady clang of a kkwaenggwari, a brass gong, introducing the rest of the tune. The members of BTS are similarly styled, and are seen in hanboks of Joseon-era gentry, known as yangban, with modern embellishments amid a bright yellow pavilion floating in vibrantly-hued clouds. The clip also features a tiger, which is a representative symbol of Korea, and the declaration “ulsoo” (??) by RM, a phrase regularly used in pansori.
The “Idol” teaser ends with the seven men performing brief choreography that emulates traditional Korean dance moves, and then concludes cryptically with Jungkook coughing before smirking at the camera.
The group had released a track list for the album earlier this week, but the lead track wasn’t confirmed until BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment released the teaser video today (Aug. 22). The song’s name appears to refer to the group’s place in the world of K-pop idols, though the interpretation of the word by the double-entendre-loving group remains to be seen until “Idol” is released. The title was hinted to in their teaser images revealed last week, some of which featured outreached hands and cameras aimed at the members in what appears to be a nod to the intensely-watched lives of Korean pop stars. In the past, BTS has addressed their place in the South Korean music industry on multiple songs, including June’s “Ddaeng.”
Love Yourself: Answer will conclude BTS’ current Love Yourself album series, which began last September with Love Yourself: Her and was followed by the release of Love Yourself: Tear in May. The latter album made history as the first-ever album from a Korean act to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single “Fake Love” went to No. 10 on the Hot 100 chart.
Along with “Idol,” fans have heard several songs off of Love Yourself: Answer, which is an extended, 2-disc album that features both old and new music from BTS. Aside from this hint of “Idol,” BTS has already shared one pre-album-release track from Answer, Jin’s “Epiphany.” The new album will also feature five other brand new tracks: “Trivia ?: Just Dance,” “Trivia ?: Love,” “Trivia ?: Seesaw,” “I’m Fine,” “and “Answer: Love Myself.”
Answer’s release on the 24th leads into the start of BTS’ Love Yourself world tour, which begins in Seoul on Aug. 25. It will head to North America next month for over a dozen sold-out stops, including the first-ever stadium show by a Korean act at Citi Field on Oct. 6.
The song will be released on Aug. 24 at 5:00 a.m. EST/2:00 a.m. PST. Watch the teaser here: