There’s so much I love about Kim Lip’s “Eclipse” that it’s difficult to pinpoint anything I would change. It’s produced by Daniel Obi Klein (which is mentioned on the Spotify version of the track), a Danish producer who has worked with SHINee’s Taemin on tracks like “Ace” (my favorite Taemin release by far) and “Already”, Red Velvet’s The Red and also “Automatic” (one of their strongest tracks from the “velvet” side), and the critically acclaimed 2015 e.Sens album, The Anecdote (please check it out it’s so good). And this track is a another great song in an already strong list of credits for the producer.
“Eclipse”, like many of Klein’s other tracks, combines R&B and electronica/house into a sort of danceable R&B whose collapsing beat structure and strong synthy chords offer a dreamy alternative to the more dance-hall heavy R&B currently popular in the USA. Every part of the arrangement is well balanced, the synths blending into one another effortlessly and Klein knows just when to add and then pull back the layers in order to create more effective transitions from verse to verse and bridge to hook. Kim Lip’s vocals and their harmonizations match perfectly in terms of tone and like the synths, Klein knows exactly what level and which space each vocal line should occupy, especially in conjunction with the instrumentation which never overwhelms the soft and airy quality of Kim Lip’s voice. The song is entirely satisfying and I wish it would never end. If the LOONA team, or even just Kim Lip, whose delicate and dreamy vocals match extremely well with Klein’s style, decide to pursue future collaborations, I think LOONA can expect further success and recognition.
This single is a strong contender not only musically but also visually with a music video that adds to the overall aesthetic of “Eclipse”. As part of the LOONA marketing campaign, different members of the group have different colors, sounds, parts of the world they represent, etc. If you couldn’t readily guess, Kim Lip’s representative color is red and her colorful pop of scarlets and rubies in an otherwise sparse landscape of dark nature and washed out industrialism creates a beautiful contrast and one can’t help but follow along as Kim Lip moves, entranced by the well-placed and infrequent moments of color. This prismatic dichotomy is also used well for the interior soundstage shots of choreography which jump between black and white and slightly overexposed red-filtered images. Paired with sweeping camera angles, the whole thing is dreamy and subtly sexy, almost otherworldly (matching the “Eclipse” concept well). And the closeups of Kim Lip with the vermilion orbiting light source? Beautiful and striking.
LOONA’s team also released a choreography version, full of the B&W and red contrast I loved so much in the original music video. Kim Lip doesn’t necessarily look like the best dancer (she was doing that choreo in heels while the other female back dancers wore sneakers however) but the choreography is well executed. Simple and smooth and thus matching both Kim Lip’s skill level and the song’s production perfectly. The choreography is more concerned with creating interesting visual images and less with telling a story, which is fine. What I like the best is Kim Lip’s centrality to the choreo. She is often surrounded by the other dancers and as she moves, smooth, wave-like movements would either match up with her own or propagate from her central location. I also like the inclusion of the male back dancers, who made the second verse and second run of the chorus more interesting to watch visually. I just really like when Kim Lip and the two male dancers do the arm wave movement at the chorus while the four female backup dancers do it as well while surrounding them. And matched up with the overexposed red image? Ahhhh. So satisfying. So aesthetically pleasing.
All in all “Eclipse” is one of my favorite releases for the month of May and although I’m not much up to date on whatever the LOONA Project is (and it does have a very complex story/marketing gimmick going on), I’ll keep my eye on LOONA from here on out and definitely anticipate future Kim Lip releases.