Sung in English, this future bass song is about overcoming hardships to be the best you can be. The song builds at the beginning with a trumpet sample and Ten’s pitched-down vocal chops. Acoustic guitar flanks the blaring synths while the percussion on the verses start slow and gradually grows frantic as it leads into the chorus. Ten’s falsetto perpetually swarms in the background, accompanying his main vocals. The anthemic chorus is hinged on the repetition of Ten belting out, “We’re the new heroes.” As his voice soars, the synth drops.
The phrase populating the song’s teasers — “the dawn won’t spread the brightest light if there is no darkness” — is reflected in the lighting and color scheme of the music video. The video opens with the ocean glittering behind Ten’s shimmering form, as he is illuminated by lights attached to his shirt. The music video is vaguely reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis given the shining silver aesthetic and Art Deco architecture.
Ten nearly bookends the second season of SM Station, as he was the second artist to open the series and the last to close it. SM Station features weekly releases by SM Entertainment artists, often in collaboration with outside musicians. “New Heroes” marks the 52th release of the second season. Ten will perform the song live for the first time during the SMTOWN Live World Tour VI date in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on April 6.
In a way, it’s a fitting choice for an NCT member to do the honors of closing this SM Station season. SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man unveiled the launch of SM Station during the same 2016 presentation where he introduced the concept behind NCT.
Ten’s previous SM Station song, “Dream in a Dream,” was included on his group’s recent album, NCT 2018 Empathy, which peaked at No. 5 on the World Albums chart last month.
2018 has seen NCT push hard for greater popularity as “New Heroes” marks the seventh group-affiliated music video released this year — and there are more to come. Ten promoted “Baby Don’t Stop” alongside fellow member Taeyong under NCT’s rotational unit, NCT U last month. The group’s omnipresence in the Korean music scene recently paid off on social media, as they shot to No. 3 on the Social 50 only a week after making their debut on the chart.
The release of “New Heroes” follows the news that Ten, who is Thai, received an exemption from Thailand’s military service on April 1 because of a past knee injury.
Listen to “New Heroes” below.