Flowing with soft synth notes and mesmerizing vocals, Love X Stereo (러브엑스테레오) returns with their latest new song “Zero One!” Annie Ko, the main vocalist of the duo, and Toby Hwang, producer, make up the Seoul, South Korea based group Love X Stereo. This is my first glance at anything created by Love X Stereo and film director Nick Neon, a Korean-American, but it was a great introduction to their creative minds. The music video follows Nick Neon as he lives the life of someone who is dealing with relationships of all kinds with music to mirror the drawn-out times between life and love.
Here’s the video on YouTube if you would like to take a gander before reading!
The music itself was very calm, a sudden contrast to the occasional quick cutting and violent arguments presented by the music video images. The echo placed onto the singer’s voice made the lyrics seem more drawn out, elongating the feeling given off by her soft voice.
Repetitive lyrics made it easy to follow the song and consider the different meanings of the words. The bridge section was gorgeous, and the vocals were very angelic. With longer held notes and higher range, the singer easily captured my ears and left me swaying to the soft flow of the background track.
Of the lyrics, I felt like the lines “Love is dead/ It’s over/ You can’t feel anything,” aside being repeated the most, matched the most with the music video vibe in the beginning. There was a lot of conflict immediately introduced, and it was reflected through the voice of the singer. It seemed to be like the singer was singing in an empty room, or felt alone, and the echoing made it seem like the lyrics were inner thoughts being said out loud.
Not long after listening, I wanted to put the song on a playlist. It feels like it could belong on one of those “Radio 24/7 Lo-fi” playlists for Korean music. The light bass was nice to move along too, the vocals were soft, and the synth’s drawn out notes made it an almost celestial experience. I could just float along, doing my work, and listen to this song for hours (and I totally did while writing this).
Overall, the video was unique, illustrating a candid look at the city of Seoul. A diverse cast in ethnicity and sexuality was also present. Even the very beginning, with its intriguing story, easily pulled me in. As for the story, it was easy to get the surface details, but felt like there definitely was a snapshot of a much larger story. The video is, however, part of a movie called Zero One, so it makes sense that I was not fully following the story line. It was fine to watch without any background knowledge on the story beforehand.
The music video was not afraid to show the dirty parts of life: drama, breakup, and trying to put things back together. Despite the darker parts, there was hope given in the lyrics, especially at the end of the chorus, where the lines are “Although life is breaking us apart/ I’m never giving up/ Although love is tearing us apart/ I’m never giving up.” It made the video seem more hopeful for better days beyond the difficulties of keeping relationships, as there were more peaceful interactions than aggressive ones by the end.
Aside from the connection to the lyrics, the video was also very aesthetic. The cool colors used, like blue, along with the pops of pink and purple made the video very nice on the eyes. The editing, such as the cuts to the beat, were also really pleasant to see. I could guess when a frame would change and when it did, I felt really satisfied. It helped move along the plot with changing of scenes, to moving along specific actions like the main singer moving around to the main character dealing with the aftermath of the fight.
The use of familiar shots, such as the main singer staying in one spot was a new touch on the idea of “one-take” videos, and it was nice to see the familiar face throughout the plethora of people introduced in the video. Even the changing of angles in the main character’s room helped show a progression in time. The room started out messy, yet empty as the character laid around. Later, it was lively with the main character cleaning and moving with more purpose.
One super cool part of the video was the idea of sexuality. It was shown that the main actor was part of the LGBTQ+ scene as there were a few intimate scenes with the man and other possibly male people. I think it is great of the group to push for the idea of sexuality not only being between a man and a woman, let alone someone of an Asian background with someone of another ethnic and or national background, in the more conservative country of South Korea, and it was a breath of fresh air to see a kind of life not often shown in entertainment and public media.
This music video is super re-watchable due to its intriguing plot and along with great music, and I would recommend giving this group a look further into their discography. It combines newer and older film techniques, as well as newer and older themes in love and life. That, and the video adds a new layer to Seoul with the relationships shown and actors used. Having more representation is awesome, and I really hope that it can be appreciated by everyone because being “diverse” or “different” is exactly what the “normal” can be for someone else.
I can totally say that this was a music video I will not soon forget!
Just the Facts
Love X Stereo