Outside of Brown Eyed Girls, Sunny Hill are probably K-pop’s most interesting girl group. Since relaunching in mid-2011 with “Midnight Circus”, the former co-ed collective have never failed to deliver unique concepts and satirical, socially-conscious pop music, which has gained them a lot more credibility than most of their idol contemporaries. Their latest single, “Goodbye to Romance”, is a change of pace for the group, toning down their eccentric art-pop style and ditching the biting social commentary for a warmer, ballady sound that’s tailored for the current holiday season.
LOEN Entertainment’s signature writing/production duo of Kim Eana and Lee Min Soo are back on board, and thankfully, they’ve ditched their trademark symphonic pop sound and tried something new for “Goodbye to Romance”. The midtempo ballad straddles a fine line between the ’70s and the ’90s — it’s like an old Elton John song with a mid-90s R&B knock. Much like IU’s gorgeous “End of Every Day”, it’s a classic sound that can withstand passing trends, which is something we’ve now come to expect from the LOEN/Nega family.
Lyrically, Sunny Hill serve up a good dose of melancholy nostalgia, reminiscing about a high school crush and coming to terms with the fact that their first love is now nothing more than a memory of a past time.
“Goodbye, to my romance, goodbye,” they sing. “Those times feel like it was only yesterday / Now goodbye, to my romance, goodbye / Even the waiting was beautiful, and even the trembling of the first time / Now goodbye, though it’s sad, goodbye / My memory.”
The sentiment is further explored in the heartwarming music video, in which the members of Sunny Hill revisit their childhood and meet the younger versions of themselves.
As brilliant as all of the group’s music has been over the past two years, it was important for them to release a touching song that people can actually relate to for once. They couldn’t have picked a better time to do it either, as the Christmas season always has people feeling a little more emotional than usual. So unsurprisingly, “Goodbye to Romance” is shaping up to be the group’s biggest hit ever, having already reached No. 3 on the Instiz iChart, where it currently sits as of this posting. With early digital sales this strong, the song is likely in for a big debut on the GAON chart, and should become the group’s fifth (I think?) top ten hit (following “Pit-a-Pat”, “Midnight Circus”, “The Grasshopper Song”, and “Is the White Horse Coming?”).
With this many hits under their belt now, people are going to have to stop ignoring Sunny Hill and start recognizing them as one of K-pop’s more popular girl groups.