After over a year and a half of solo and unit releases, girl group Loona (stylized LOO??) finally marks their formal K-pop debut today (Aug. 20) with the release of their first EP [+ +] fronted by the single “Hi High.”
A bright electro-pop song full of quirky beats and synths, “Hi High” is the second song from Loona to feature all 12 members. As it builds towards its upbeat chorus and its titular hook, the track picks up and drops momentum frequently, flitting between tempos and enabling the dozen vocalists and rappers a chance to display their unique delivery styles.
“Hi High” was released via a vibrantly shot music video — directed by frequent K-pop music video creator Digipedi — that features the women running towards their future and coming together to perform vivacious, wave and heart-filled choreography.
Loona first started off in Oct. 2016 with a single by Heejin, and was followed by songs from each member as well as three units: Loona ?, Odd Eye Circle, and yyxy. Through their music videos and additional imagery, the girl group weaved an extensive storyline based around each member and the overall group, and that continues with the release of “Hi High.” According to the music video’s blurb, there are “countless visual symbolisms hidden in the scene,” a nod to the group’s extensive creative narrative known as the “Loonaverse.”
“Hi High” was preceded by [+ +] track “favOriTe” earlier this month as the first song to feature the combined twelve members of the girl group. Along with those two songs, Loona’s debut EP features four other tracks, including the intro track “+ +,” which is an amalgamated track based on the intro tracks from albums released by the subunits. The album’s title is meant to reflect the joining of Loona 1/3, Odd Eye Circle, yyxy, and 12th member YeoJin, who was not part of any of the units.
The extensive lead-up to Loona’s debut is unique in K-pop, and Yonhap reports that the act’s agency BlockBerry Creative invested $8.8 million into the extensive roll-out of its “Girl of the Month” group, the meaning of the act’s name in Korean.
Watch the music video for “Hi High” below.