IU is one of the the queens of K-Pop for a reason: across her thirteen-year career, she has mastered the trick of creating earnestly meaningful and comforting pop that can somehow reach out to anyone, no matter where you’re from. Whether she goes for pop with a retro spin (Modern Times), pop with folksy roots (A Flower Bookmark, pts 1 & 2) or out and out mainstream pop such as in her latest release, LILAC, you know an IU record when you hear it: and not just because of her distinctive voice.
In her newest single ‘strawberry moon’, IU stays true to form. A breezy pop ballad based on a bed of piano instrumentals and light pop production, the song is as upbeat and adorable as its title suggests. The music video also lends itself to this bright song well, with the entire video soaked in a cotton candy pink tinge as well befits a song called ‘strawberry moon’. Here, IU dreams of travelling the heavens with her love (played by actor Lee Jong Won) until they ascend stairs into the sky to see stand before the moon itself. It’s a video that compliments the romance within the song’s lyrics well and feels like it could be stretched out into a full-on feature film.
With winter around the corner, the song is prime spring/summer escapism, with its mid-tempo pop sound ideal for those winter nights when the days seem a little long and your work or studies might seem a little too hard, a little too exhausting. As is usual for many an IU song, she whisks you away via peak nostalgia in her lyrics:
Over our youthful selves
A big strawberry moon, one scoop
Will you let me care [for you] eh-oh
Up across the wind
Flying high feels so cool
How could life be more perfect
IU is so loved because no matter your age or where you’re from, her music and lyrics are easy to connect to. Within her discography you’re likely to find a song your baby sibling loves, a song your grandma will sing along to, and a song even your work-jaded uncle isn’t afraid to cry to every so often. ‘strawberry moon’ is another IU song that taps into the universality of her sound and will, like many of her other songs, transcend generations by tapping into romance, nostalgia and emotion in a way many can identify with. IU’s music doesn’t always reinvent the wheel (though the evolution of her soundscape over time has been nothing short of epic), but what she does — create great pop that transcends barriers — she does better than most.
As the bitter cold of winter starts to finally arrive, the getaway comfort of ‘strawberry moon’ comes not a moment too soon, and no doubt the millions of listeners that will send IU back to the top of the charts agree as well.
This article has been reposted from Medium with the author's permission.
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