In September 2014, Polaris girls group Ladies’ Code made all the Korean headlines for the most tragic of reasons. A car crash on a rainy highway claimed the lives of two members; 23-year-old Kwon RiSe and 21-year-old Go EunBi.
No-one would have blamed Ashley, Zuny and Sojung if they’d never wanted to return to the K-pop stage again, but we’re so glad they did. Comeback track Galaxy is a seductive, soaring song with a moody and stylish MV.
The five girls first debuted in March 2013, but some had already individually enjoyed some media exposure in their pre-debut days. Sojung had impressed the nation with her husky pipes; she won the attention of all the judges and ended up placing in the top 8 of the first season of Voice of Korea. RiSe, a former Miss Korea contestant was also singing on TV with MBC’s Star Audition. Ashley was a YouTube star with her own dance cover channel.
Their debut song Bad Girl performed reasonably well on the charts; they set a course for a retro-pop sound and fun, playful MVs. They’ve cited their influences as Brown Eyed Girls and Wonder Girls, and Sunye from the latter group tweeted her support of their track Pretty Pretty, saying it reminded her of their songs.
As well as releasing two mini-Eps, Code#1 and Code#2 they also filmed a reality TV show, The Reality of Ladies’ Code.
In the months following the tragic accident, as Ashley, Zuny and Sojung recovered and returned to their dormitory, fans pushed their previously-released track I’m Fine Thank You to the top of all the Korean charts. In August 2015 they were back together on stage to hold a memorial concert in Japan, honouring one of RiSe’s wishes to hold a concert in her home country. Kim Bum Soo, Yang Dong Geun, Ivy, Rumble Fish, Sun Wo and Han Hee Jun all joined the emotional show.
This week has seen not only the return of Ladies’ Code as a trio, but also the return of Sojung’s strong husky vocals to TV as she appeared as a semi-finalist on King of Masked Singer. She received praise from the judges, and as Soompi reports, later, in an interview off stage, she said, “I don’t want fans to be sad when they hear me sing. I just wanted to tell everyone that. And thank you so much for waiting for us. We’ll do our best.”
Welcome back, Ladies’ Code.
I’m Fine Thank You
Sojung on Voice of Korea
Ashley dancing to BoA’s I’ll Eat You Up