K-Pop and K-Dramas: Dreamcatcher

Photoshoot still of (from left) Lee Ga Hyeon (Gahyeon), Lee Si Yeon (Siyeon), Kim Bo Ra (SuA), Lee Yu Bin (Dami), Kim Yoo Hyeon (Yoohyeon), and Kim Min Ji (JiU) of ‘Dreamcatcher’. Han Dong (Handong) not pictured. Copyright of HappyFace Entertainment (now Dreamcatcher company).

Hi! It’s Annie!

After watching a popular K-pop covers video that featured this band and noticing that all of the comments were about them, I knew I had to check them out. Meet one of my new favorite K-pop girl groups! I am not saying they are better than any other girl group, but they are extremely good. If you haven’t guessed, this is my newest recommendation. I should preface this by saying that I grew up with rock music. It was something that both of my parents liked and I eventually ended up going with them to quite a few rock concerts because of it. My taste in music is eclectic, so I really like all types of music. Obviously, my current favorite band is BTS which does not fall under the genre of rock. But rock is one of those genres that I definitely have a soft spot for because it was such a big part of my childhood. When I looked up ‘Dreamcatcher’ I was not expecting to find a band with rock influences. I just saw them covering other girl groups music because of the nature of the video I was watching and comments telling others about how much they were all sleeping on this group. ‘Odd Eye’ came out a few days ago, so that was the first music video I clicked on. I was absolutely delighted when I heard the electric guitar and, after hearing a couple of their other songs, I figured out that this was their sound. They are a glorious mix of pop sounds in K-pop that you love and rock influences.

The Members:

JiU: Meet the eldest, one of the main vocalists, and the leader of ‘Dreamcatcher’. She probably has the most traditional K-pop sounding voice of the vocalists, which is definitely not a bad thing! One thing to note about this group right away is that they all are amazing vocalists. There is not a member of this band that feels misused or out of place. JiU can be slightly chaotic but she’s definitely very caring. She also feels almost intimidatingly elegant. Instead of colors each member of the band represents a fear in order to help conquer it; hers is the fear of being chased.

SuA: One of the other main vocalists. She’s also one of the most chaotic members of the band. She’s freaking hilarious. For one Halloween she dressed up as Hell Boy complete with a fake six pack. She danced to many of their songs like that and it made it hard to take her too seriously in an absolutely delightful way. Her fear is the fear of restraint.

Siyeon: One of the lead vocalists of the band. She has a powerful voice that packs a punch. When I watched the music videos I found her incredibly intimating, probably the most out of everyone. So it’s really funny when you see her outside of that and she’s making the others laugh while making baby noises. Her fear is claustrophobia or the fear of tight spaces.

Handong: She is the only person not to be pictured above and that is because she was absent from the band for about a year. Unfortunately, that year she was gone was when the band really seemed to start gaining traction and she just got back, so newer fans like me are just starting to get to know her. She seems really nice if not a little shy and her lower register voice is beautiful. Her fear is scopophobia or the fear of being stared at.

Yoohyeon: The other lead vocalist of the group. Her voice absolutely slays me. It’s distinctive and one of the most powerful voices I’ve ever heard in my life. Her voice was the first thing I noticed about the band. Hearing her call down thunder in ‘Boca’ changed my life. She’s also the biggest puppy in the group and another hilarious chaotic mess. She’s a very romantic and bright person with a badass stage presence. The band has a lot of funny members and I love them all for being so hilarious. Her fear is mazeophobia or the fear of being lost.

Dami: The other member that intimidated me. She’s the lead rapper in the group and she knows what she’s doing. Her rap verses are some of the best I’ve heard in anything and it’s difficult to not fall in love with her. She barely sings, but she has a beautiful voice. She also has a really chill personality that just makes you want to hang out with her. I will warn you right now that it’s really difficult to not have her as your bias, especially after her rap in ‘Boca’. She’s the member where if she isn’t your bias she’s probably your bias wrecker. She also absolutely hates horror which makes her appearance in this band both comforting and hilarious. Her fear is agliophobia or the fear of pain or scars. She’s my sister’s bias.

Gahyeon: She is a sub vocalist, a sub rapper, and the maknae of the group. She does it all and she’s really good at it all. She generally gets a handful of the rap verses along with some singing lines for herself per song. She also has the cutest and brightest persona in the band. Seeing her rap while cutting to scenes of her in a pastel pink dress was badass in ‘Boca’. Sometimes the dark aesthetics of a band can tip my mood nowadays, but she always has an aesthetic that is bright enough to get me to enjoy the music fully again. Just like a typical maknae, she is cute and sweet but she can also be hilariously sassy. Her fear is basophobia or the fear of falling. My bias.

I just love that despite the dark aesthetics of the band, they are all so hilarious and so bright when you see them interact. They are all the kind of people that you just want to be friends with. How much they care about each other is tangible, and it makes that much more fun to watch them interact.

Their History:

They started out as a group called MINX without Handong and Gahyeon and they were a fairly typical K-Pop girl group. They didn’t have any of their rock influences, they just debuted as a regular girl group. They were pretty quickly buried by the competition, but the company thought all of the girls were really good and instead of getting rid of them, they decided to rebrand with the addition of the two new members. The idea behind ‘Dreamcatcher’ was to do something that wasn’t expected in the K-Pop community. It took a while, but they gained some footing with a cult following and now more and more people are becoming aware of their unique sound that doesn’t necessarily match with what the rest of the industry is doing. So if you’ve been looking for something different, this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Their fanbase is growing now more than it ever was before, so you aren’t alone!

My Recommendations:

The songs that really sold me on them were ‘Scream’, ‘Boca’, and, of course, ‘Odd Eye’. Those would be my main recommendations for them, but they have plenty of other good music that sounds different from their traditional rock sound. For example, I would also really recommend listening to ‘Jazz Bar’. It’s a slower, jazzier, tune that’s also something you don’t hear often in K-pop but is really well done even though they took a step outside of their usual genre. These girls have absolutely mastered the idea of “different”.

Controversies:

I would be remiss if I sent you to check this band out without being up front about some of their controversies. They have had a few that I know of, none of which was the fault of the girls. One was that on a variety show the company put on, one of the girls was forced to wear a dreadlock wig as a punishment for losing a game. The company quickly apologized for this. Most companies have had to apologize for something like this and this is definitely another sign that the industry needs to learn about cultural appropriation really quickly. This leads me into the next controversy, which is the company’s decision to brand this group as ‘Dreamcatcher’ and using Native American appropriation when first advertising this group. They haven’t used that connection since, but that doesn’t change the name of the group. The group has also used some satanic imagery in their music videos, but their songs are not about the devil and none of the girls chose this or are devil worshippers (which should be obvious). I’m not quite sure why that was an issue. The next two are potential TRIGGER WARNINGS. I find a lot of bands in the rock genre do stupid things to be edgy. What they have done is fairly tame compared to other groups, but it’s still wrong. They released a puzzle video that features a bridge known for people committing suicide off of it in South Korea, they quickly took the video down again and now it is not accessible. They also, in one song, had a dance move featuring scarfs where they do an apparent hanging motion. Whether this was intended to be this way is not clear. Either way, I think referring to suicide in any way that isn’t meant to talk about mental health in a helpful way just should not be done at all, but that’s my opinion.

Again, it should be said that none of these controversies have to do with the girls or the music that they make. They had no say in this, most (if not all) of these were, as usual, company flubs. The girls are complete sweethearts who promote self love and have even shown disapproval towards extreme dieting. Which is a huge thing for South Korean artists. They also promote getting over one’s fears, which is something I really respect. The company has made several mistakes, but is also known to be one of the K-pop companies who treats their trainees and employees the best and is quick to address issues and take down videos, so I have mixed feelings on them.

Anyways, there you have it! A brief introduction to one of my new favorite bands! I really hope you enjoy their music and I really hope their fanbase continues to grow!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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