Hyoyeon is back with another solo track to add to her list, and another side we haven’t seen before. The Girls Generation star gave herself a reboot with her latest song; “Sober” by giving herself a new stage name, HYO. This name will run alongside her EDM productions and already this has seen a lot of excitement. Collaborating with Dutch DJ, Ummet Ozcan, she has created three different versions of the song from a standard “Pop” mix and EDM original versions in both Korean and English.
The music video itself is jam-packed with aesthetic as expected for an EDM track. Many songs within the past few years have stuck with a softer image to show a blissful wonderland of escapism and melancholy. Just look at such as The Chainsmokers and the late Avicii in terms of video and the themes always appear. We do see Hyoyeon showcase her talents as an Idol, providing powerful performances with every instrumental breakdown but there is a very small story-line that can be picked out from the hazy imagery and exotic shots.
The small group that Hyoyeon leads appear to be all women, each getting ready for what appears to be a night together but there is no excitement. In fact, Hyoyeon seems forlorn and the others occupy themselves either through getting dressed or other small activities. One event in particular seems to be very curious as she fusses over her appearance in the mirror, in particular areas where she believes is not beautiful or fat. In the mirror, it appears that she has created what she believes to be the ideal face. This seems to be the only small insight of the characters within the video that we see, since a lot of it is kept small so Hyoyeon still have her talents shine but it is quite interesting when the girls do form together and travel through the streets of Taiwan.
In their travels, the girls don separate masks as if to conceal who they really are or to perform a dark task but again, that seems to be down to the viewer’s own imagination. What does happen is that they gather several flares and lights up the night sky in a field before throwing the flares ahead of them to burn out; possibly throwing away the sadness that was paved out at the beginning of the video and finally letting go. Hyoyeon does do something similar to this already when she shaves off locks of her hair, leaving behind a shorter style. The cutting of hair is often seen as letting go of the past or someone recreating themselves after trauma so this scene would fall into place perfectly with the unity between the group and running from the dull city at night.
Overall, it provides a soft image of escapism which blends into the catchy EDM track and also perfectly with what we see from Western artists. Hyoyeon does take centre stage with the little routines but aside from that, the romantic imagining fills out every extra second in order to cement the idol’s new side in the industry. We only see small parts to unite a story together but that is the joy of utilising aesthetics like this. It can also differ between the viewer how the story is told. With that being said, we would love to see your own Breakdowns, so if you see another interpretation in “Sober”; share them with us in the comments and share them through social media.