For our Track by Track feature, artists open up about the stories behind each song on their latest album. Today, SEVENTEEN take us track by track through their ninth mini-album, Attacca.
Welcome to Attacca: aptly named after an antiquated word describing moving forward without pause, the EP is SEVENTEEN‘s ninth mini-album, the fourth during the pandemic era alone. The group has been going nonstop.
As is par for the course for SEVENTEEN, the album features writing, composing, and arranging credits for all the group members, along with trusted collaborator Bumzu. It’s not all too common for K-pop artists to have such a heavy hand in the process, but the members of SEVENTEEN (along with many other artists under the HYBE umbrella) are enthusiastic exceptions.
This album arrives to slot itself into the group’s “Power of Love” series. Breaking down some of the themes within the collection, S.COUPS says: “Love is the main message that we wanted to relay… love is a timeless message and crucial element that everyone always needs in their lives, and the kind of message we tried to convey through Attacca is that no matter where you’re from, or what you may look like, you are extremely cherished and loved.”
He continues, “We’ve always poured our all into our music, but we really feel that this EP is our best work yet, and we hope it adds more love to the lives of our listeners.”
Like most other Korean artists, SEVENTEEN has only been able to perform virtually for almost two years now, and, this week, the group announced an accompanying “Power of Love” livestream show set for November. Says DK, “We love and miss our CARATs so much, and we hope that they receive strength, comfort and warmth from Attacca.”
For more insight into Attacca, the members of SEVENTEEN have broken down the album in our latest Track by Track interview. Read on for details about each of the record’s songs after the stream.
WOOZI: “To you” was one of the first songs we created while working on Attacca. It is a song that tries to express the message of “Power of Love” in a more comprehensive and diverse way. So rather than referring to a specific subject, the song tries to portray gratitude and all the forms of love that can be found in our lives.
To tell you a funny story, there is a lyric that goes, “To you who always will welcome me when I open the door.” This actually came from thinking of my pet. This is a fun part that is open to each of the listeners’ own interpretations. “You” can be your family, pets, or whoever that can be your strength.
“Rock with you”:
WOOZI: “Rock with you” is a song that expresses our determination to do everything and anything for the one we love and our passionate yet sincere feelings that cannot be controlled or stopped. It depicts a passionate and absolute love. Guitar was the main source of sound we used in order to express this bold message, so I hope you guys can feel it as you listen to it.
VERNON: WOOZI came to JOSHUA and me, and asked us to explain the exact meaning of “rock with you” in Korean, which was a bit difficult for us to do at first because it’s such a versatile phrase. But we thought these slight nuances as well as one of its many direct meanings of “I want to be with you” came together in such a comprehensive way that it was the perfect phrase to use to express this directness and boldness, yet also the sensitivities of love at the same time.
WOOZI: Along with “To you,” “Crush” is also one of the first tracks that we worked on for Attacca. But unlike “To you,” we tried to be musically more explicit and straightforward in demonstrating the word “passion,” the main keyword of Attacca. I really wanted to express the fiery passion of love through the overall mood of our song and lyrics and that is probably why the entire process of working on this was full of passion.
HOSHI: With lyrics like, “you’re the air of love that inflates me,” we wanted to compare our steadily growing feelings of love to a balloon that slowly inflates with air. As this love increases, it eventually culminates in a “PANG!” the sound of a balloon popping, which expressed our emotions of being overwhelmed and nervous in front of the person we love (“I’m afraid it’s going to explode!”)
DINO: I wanted to express the feeling that I’m in a state where I can’t resist my feelings towards this “you.”
JEONGHAN: When recording, we had to go back and forth to master all the details. However, when I heard the final output of the five of us in such great harmony, I still remember how great it felt, and I hope CARATs would feel the same.
SEUNGKWAN: The chorus part when all members sing together was very impressive. We tried to focus more on the harmony of the members’ voices when recording.
“I can’t run away:”
WONWOO: S.COUPS was actually the one who suggested that this song would be a perfect fit, and that was when I started working on it. During our self-quarantine period back in June, I worked on the lyrics and melody, communicating with our team through online meetings, and I think it was a very different and interesting process with us all working on our own. And I remember recording right away when we got together again.
MINGYU: The song “I can’t run away” was actually a song that WONWOO and I made when we worked on “Bittersweet.” We then thought that it would be better to proceed with as our entire hip-hop unit, and I remember S.COUPS really liked it when he first heard it. I think it was a perfect song for us to work on together as a unit.
“2 minus 1″:
VERNON: Other than the language that was used in the song, everything else was just the same. We were in the middle of discussing whether we should try a full-English track, and I suggested pop-punk, as I recently heard this genre coming back and have been listening to it a lot.
JOSHUA: I think it was a smoother process of being able to express what I feel inside in English. That’s why I became more confident and threw creative ideas more actively. I thought pop punk would be a perfect genre that could convey the message as it matched the theme of the track.