sweet juice (cabin fever); purple kiss

feb 15 2023

Purple Kiss debuted in 2021 with "Ponzona," a song I appear to be the only person on the planet to like. I thought it was an elegant, interesting, and dark song and concept that wasn't quite like what anyone else was doing at the time. The production of the song wasn't amazing, but I'm a sucker for Kpop groups who blend more typical pop instruments with an orchestral touch. The group after that seemed to struggle to find their creative identity, switching around from elegant horror to playful horror with a confusing left turn into Aespa knockoffs, then back to campy horror. I was curious to see where the group would eventually land with their concept, and right now it seems to be a mix of playful and dark horror.

Their new ep, Cabin Fever, takes it back to their debut with what I can only describe as an upgrade of "Ponzona." "Sweet Juice" is dark and alluring, catchy without being overly repetitive, and has a lot of small touches in the production that elevate the song to a new level. The chorus has the line "U want some 'Sweet Juice'? / 깨물어 pop it pop it / 조금씩 drippin' drippin'," and the instrumental prominently features a percussion sound that somehow simultaneously sounds like a pop and a drop of water. It's the small details that make me think this song has really clever production. The song and music video (which is gorgeous) feel like they took the best parts of groups like Dreamcatcher and WJSN and made it their own.

I'm just really pleased with this track. The bsides are all fine, "T4ke" being the standout while I could take or leave the rest, but "Sweet Juice" is just on another level. It's definitely my favorite song to be released this year, which is surprising considering all the songs being released by artists I like way more. Nothing against Purple Kiss, but my previous interaction with their music has been mostly me liking only one or two tracks from their albums, usually a bside (special shoutout to "Oh My Gosh" and "Love is Dead"), so it's crazy to me that this beats out my beloved TXT and Choi Yena for best release of 2023 so far!