PURPLE KISS are still less than a year old: debuting in Feburary of 2021, RBW’s first girl group since industry veterans MAMAMOO feature Ji-eun, Go-eun, Dosie, Ireh, Yuki, Chaein, and Swan. In their first EP, INTO VIOLET they made a solid name for themselves via electic album that showcased the skills of the group and set up hopes that there were great things to come from these rookies.
HIDE & SEEK surpasses these expectations from the get go with disco anthem ‘Zombie’. Released just in time for Halloween parties all over the world, the track taps into disco and retro trends to create an earworm that is even stronger than their debut song ‘Ponzona’. It’s music video has racked up ten million views in just three days (at time of writing) suggesting that the track has made its mark with not just existing fans, but has also brought in plenty of new listeners. The music video itself is just as fun, playing off bright zombie themes to create the teen zombie rom-com storyline that you never knew you needed to see.
‘2am’ and ‘ZzZz’ are the ballads of the album, with ‘ZzZz’ more soulful than ‘2am’, which is the more traditional ballad out of the two. Vocalists Swan and Goeun shine in particular in these two tracks, though all the vocalists in the group get their moments and don’t get lost in the album at all. From just the vocal tracks alone you get the impression that PURPLE KISS has only scratched the surface when it comes to how far they can take their vocals in the future and any acapella opportunities they get in future will surely be a treat to hear.
‘So WhY’ and ‘Twilight’ are dance-friendly earworms that help to ground the album in a more commercial sound than their previous record, with the latter track summer party friendly. Both songs are fun to listen to and easy favorites for the casual listener despite not being the most distinctive in sound on the tracklist.
However, ‘Cast pearls before swine’ is the other title-track worthy song in the album: a complete contrast to ‘Zombie’, it’s an upbeat electro track that feels like a sister song to ‘Skip Skip’. Both tracks possess a more distinctive, unique sound than some of the other tracks they stand alongside in their respective albums, and the group promoting it alongside ‘Zombie’ suggests they’re also aware of the track’s strengths. With ‘Zombie’ posessing the more general-public friendly sound, ‘Cast pearls before swine’ does a great job of showing that PURPLE KISS’ also plays with more interesting soundscapes.
HIDE & SEEK is a cohesive album continues to highlight PURPLE KISS’ strenghts as incredibly strong vocalists. Rapper Yuki stands out across the whole album with her distinctive tone and flow, reflecting the conviction that threads throughout the album from the entire group.
The first year of being a K-Pop rookie is never easy, where it’s just as important to keep showing growth whilst also establishing a solid sound that is also distinctive whilst not being too alienating. All PURPLE KISS needed to do was continue to put out a record improving on their first, already solid record. Yet in HIDE & SEEK, they show a level of confidence and musical ability that surpasses any expectations one might have from a rookie’s second EP.
If the growth they showcase in this album is anything to go by, PURPLE KISS’ star will only keep rising.