K-pop stars (G)I-DLE have definitely started the new year on the right foot with the release of I Burn, the sextet’s fourth EP and one of the very first comebacks of 2021. Title track “HWAA” slots right alongside “Oh my god” from their previous EP, I Trust, confirming (G)I-DLE’s undeniable talent for grand-scale storytelling and visuals in both their songs and music videos.
(G)I-DLE have described the EP as a chronicle of the emotions felt “in the process of regaining happiness after separation” and have directly connected “HWAA” to their 2018 digital single “HANN” by placing a reworked version of it as the first track of I Burn — with the spot-on title “HANN (Alone in winter).” If “HANN” is the moment immediately after a breakup that leaves one reeling, then “HWAA” is when the anger and determination set in.
The meaning of the song is reflected back beautifully in the cinematic and grandiose music video, which has by now become an IDLE staple. Members Soyeon, Miyeon, Minnie, Soojin, Yuqi, and Shuhua move through sets that are cold and desolate before morphing into fiery triumphs of red and vibrant colors — their styling also compliments the sets, calling back to traditional dresses and accessories from East Asia.
Ultimately, “HWAA” is the decision to leave all painful memories behind and move forward. “I shall ignite a fire / so that my tears dwelling inside won’t live any longer / I shall make a fire, a bigger fire / to win back the spring that I’ve lost,” sings Soojin in the first verse, with both the pre-chorus (hands down one of the best parts of the track) and chorus rolling in to explain how it’s time to fight against a frozen and snowy heart by igniting even just a single spark, by blooming even just a single flower.
You can check out the music video for HWAA here:
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