Red Velvet is ready for spring. The group, made up of members Joy, Yeri, Irene, Seulgi and Wendy declared themselves queens of spring on their latest EP, The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm, when it comes out in March. In the lyrics to their upbeat and whimsical single, “Feel My Rhythm,” they encourage fans to stop and smell the roses — the right vibe for a release after two years stuck indoors.
“[‘Feel My Rhythm’] has a classic, modern sound,” says Irene Daily Elite. “Above all, it’s a track with an energetic yet elegant vibe that Red Velvet can showcase very well, once again showcasing our unique identity.”
The group takes care. Recently, they released two Korean EPs: Queen in August of last year and The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Beat last month. They also just released their first Japanese studio album, Bloom, April 6. (Feeling the floral theme?) The disc featured a few new tracks, as well as Japanese versions of previously released songs. But the feel my rhythm EP best illustrates where Red Velvet’s head is today as they return to their main K-pop discography.
The record bursts with the desire to let go. It’s a fitting aesthetic for the band because, as the EP makes clear, Red Velvet reinvents their sound, blending their fierce hooks with classy instrumentals and introspective lyrics about life. The result is a concept that is both powerful and thoughtful.
In 2019, the band released two EPs and a compilation album around the concept. Their 2021 offering is their first official return to the fantasia ReVe. “We wanted to express the uniqueness of Red Velvet imaginary world”, says Seulgi on the inspiration behind their latest musical era. She refers their Dream Festival series, which is a combination of “imagination” and “reality”.
Of course, ReVe has several meanings. It’s an abbreviated version of the band’s name and the French word for “dream”. This “imaginative” world created by Red Velvet is a dreamlike place where anything is possible, and it’s all there. The Dream Festival track list. It’s filled with play and, yes, imaginative songs, starting with the catchy single “Feel My Rhythm” which combines EDM and trap with the classic violin sounds of Bach’s “Air on the G String”. While the genres featured in the song couldn’t be more different from each other, Red Velvet blends them seamlessly and effortlessly.
Red Velvet showcases their versatility on their disco-inspired “BAMBOLEO” B-side, which is all about dancing like nobody’s watching. The group also exudes positivity in their R&B number “Good, Bad, Ugly.” The track features lyrics as sweet as its melody. “Sometimes good, sometimes bad and ugly, even though I love myself,” the girls sing. In the song, they also recite the famous Forrest Gump line, “Life is a box of chocolates.” Yeri says the lyrics were inspired by the metaphor of “choosing and trying different parts” in life.
Red Velvet then closes their album with the hauntingly beautiful track “In My Dreams,” which speaks to the all-too-universal feeling of languishing. The song begins almost like a lullaby with shimmering instrumentals and the girls’ whispering vocals before launching into its powerful chorus. “Don’t wake me / Trick me softly into my dreams,” sings Red Velvet.
Maybe that’s how ReVeluv, the name of Red Velvet’s fanbase, feels now. To celebrate the release of their EP, Red Velvet was to present two special performances called The Reve Festival: Prologue in March. The shows were to take place the first weekend of spring. According to Soompi, the shows would have been their first performances together as a full group in over two years.
After several band members tested positive for COVID-19, both shows were put on hold and have yet to be rescheduled. “I was disappointed it had to be postponed, but it was fair to wait for circumstances to improve as everyone’s health and safety comes first,” Wendy says.
Still, the girls are optimistic that they will reunite with their fans soon. They hope to embark on another world tour, but an uncertain world stifles any official plans. “We’re working hard to put together some amazing performance for when the time comes,” says Joy.
In the meantime, fans have The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Beat EP to troubleshoot. “I personally get a lot of positive energy from listening to other artists’ music, so I hope ReVeluvs will feel the same energy from our new EP,” says Wendy.
It is likely that the EP will do just that. The songs succeed in immersing listeners into their fantasy world filled with endless possibilities. As Yeri tells fans, “We put our heart and soul into this album and appreciate all the love you’ve shown us so far. Stay tuned for more amazing music from Red Velvet.
Red velvet’s The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Beat EP is now available on all streaming platforms.