Welcome to Part 2 of my Dreamcatcher Music Video Reviews series.
They’re the perfect group for me, they’ve got vocals and visuals for days, yadda yadda yadda…
This time, let’s just skip the preamble and jump straight into dissecting the music and its accompanying video!
So first off, the music box melody. It’s reminiscent of the kind you’d use to soothe a baby to sleep, except it sounds really creepy and accelerates in speed before a drum hit drops to prepare you for when the full band blasts into your ears. This time around, they wanted to go straight to the rock and man that lead riff just screams anime intro. Plus, it’s the same melody as the music box, so A+ for reusing a melody with a different instrument. It always gives a refreshing feeling to familiarity.
The 1st verse seamlessly quiets down, but maintains the heavy feel with a distorted palm muted riff that’s backed with an acoustic drum kit (keep that in mind for later). I like how it kinda teases you a bit with a full band burst coupled with power vocals for just one bar before returning to the main riff. This time it’s not palm muted and the drums are starting to pick up with headbanging crash hits to prepare you for what’s next.
The pre-chorus kicks in with a bassdrum counting us in, and the closed hi-hat whispering what will soon be in full force with crash symbals in a few seconds. The guitars in this part is like Chase Me, once again doing some sustained single chord strikes per bar and we plummet into the first chorus, and..
It kicks ass!
It involves a vocal trade between Siyeon and Yooyeon, the main and lead vocalists of the group, and it’s amazing how their individual voices alone are enough to carry the chorus. Many K-Pop groups simply stick to using the whole group harmonizing or singing the same melody together to give a sense of power to it, and that’s with much softer instrumentation. The girls in Dreamcatcher are more than capable of individually belting it out to suit the high adrenaline instrumentation.
Now for the 2nd verse, we introduce the rappers Handong and Dami trading lines over an electronic hip-hop drum kit. That main riff from the first verse is back of course, but backed up by a drum kit that sounds more suitable for a rap section. It’s got that deeper, more sustained sounding bass kick that you would hear at a club, and a muted sounding snare hit that’s a cross between a clap and rim shot. Little touches like this give the song a lot of character as each section lends itself well for whichever vocalist happens to be showcasing their talent at their designated parts of the song.
Yooyeon’s belted vocals then welcomes back the full band along with the acoustic drum kit, yanking us back into 2nd pre-chorus and chorus that are pretty much the same as before, but that’s okay because something special happens a bit later anyway. No need to get too technical just yet.
The bridge in a way feels like how a dream does. Or more in particular, a nightmare, wherein it seems to calm down not once, but twice, or maybe even more times before you’re shaken out of your skin. We’re given some gently strummed acoustic guitar chords and softer vocals that gradually pick up in volume, and just when you think Siyeon’s power vocals are leading us back to the heavy stuff, we get a surprising anti-drop to an appregio piano riff. The exasperation at the end of Siyeon’s part also gives me chills as it adds to the effect of trying to escape a nightmare. You can scream as loud as you want, but you’re still trapped.
Then finally, Jiu gives us some cool distorted vocals to make way for Yooyeon’s final delivery of the chorus. Something interesting happens that throws me off every time, and that’s a momentary key shift for one bar. That’s it. Instead of bringing the whole song to that key it only does it once before resuming back to normal, and as much as I love musical complexity to the max most of the time, this isn’t one of those times. I just don’t think a full modulation would work for this song, so kudos to the composers!
The Music Video:
My God, this is where the fun of fan theories begin. So much happens in this music video and since we only have the limitations of quick cutting and visua language to go on, the story might be to comprehend, but I’ll give it a shot.
We come back to the ghost hunter guy having found a study room packed with books that could possibly give him some answers. Meanwhile we see the girls dressed in white night gowns running through an eerie forest as they’re being chased by masked and cloaked figures. This could possibly be a flashback alluding to the night the seven girls were murdered.
As the ghost hunter is going through the room collecting clues, the present day ghost versions of girls become increasingly aware of how close he is to solving the mystery. Maybe he wants to help them, but they just don’t want to? Maybe they’re enraged and are content living on as Nightmares, and if they were to be exorcised, they might cease to exist? Either way, they are watching from the other side of the mirror.
A book with a chain lock on it seems to be pretty important. Important enough that one of the Nightmares snatches the book off the desk to bring it into the mirror world where I think they begin to rip and burn the pages. This is what leads me to believe that a lot about their murder could be discovered, but are refusing to be understood so they can continue their haunt.
What I found pretty cool is how in the mirror world the girls are tearing up books, and as the camera focus shifts back to our realm, the ghost hunter dude is just standing there seeing a bunch of books get ripped up all on their own before he himself gets trapped into the mirror world. The Nightmares are then presumably taking physical form entering our world after trading places with the ghost hunter.
As the music video ends, the cloaked figures are walking around unmasked and they look just like the very same girls they were chasing. This could either mean these girls were chased by their evil dopplegangers, or they over powered the cloaked figures and fought back? I’m not quite sure, but I bet those wooden crosses they fashioned out of branches and hung on trees might hold some answers. If anyone with more knowledge on the whole occult stuff can educate me on the meaning of those, along with anything to do with dreamcatchers in general, I’d greatly appreciate it!
One of the cloaked figures happens to drop that same book with the chain lock on it, and it’s hard to tell if it was deliberate or not. Though it does raise the question; how did that book find its way back to the mansion?
Ah, the mystery thickens and I’ve never been so invested in a music video’s narrative before until now!
Stay tuned tomorrow for my review on the Prequel to all this madness.
What are your thoughts on Dreamcatcher’s music and their music videos?
What are some of your favourite narrative concepts in music?
Are there a set of lyrics, a set of songs, or even an entire album that you love that is dedicated to exploring an overarcing theme or narrative?
Let me know in the comments below!
And just like Chase Me for those who want to see more of the choreography, here’s the dance video for Good Night. That intro sequence with the puppet choreo is awesome.