EVNNE Displays Their Fearless Versatility in Refreshing Third EP ‘RIDE or DIE’

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The stars are aligning for rookie group EVNNE. Through their third EP RIDE or DIE, released on June 17, EVNNE (short for “Evening’s Newest Etoiles”) shares a new, refreshing contrast to their previous body of work that still encapsulates their audacious rascal concept. The EP contains six new songs for fans, including Korean and English versions of the title track “Badder Love,” making it the septet’s first fully English release. Members Keita, Park Hanbin, Lee Jeonghyeon, Yoo Seungeon, Ji Yunseo, Mun Junghyun, and Park Jihoo truly take fans and listeners on a ride as they experience love.

EVNNE’s previous EPs, Target: ME and Un:SEEN, consisted of rap-heavy songs with the vocalists and rappers of the groups typically sticking within their assigned roles. Notably, RIDE or DIE keeps the intense rap to a minimum, with each member opting to showcase their vocal versatility and ability. 

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The EP establishes its strength with the title track “Badder Love.” A shift from their Baltimore club-inspired debut “Trouble” and “Ugly,” their edgy techno sophomore release, “Badder Love” presents a more melodic, youthful track that encapsulates the essence of summer in a song. The Korean lyrics express a desire to pursue love despite the obstacles that threaten to separate you. Featuring a nostalgic synth and strong guitar, the upbeat track evokes a sense of wistfulness within the listener.

EVNNE’s previous title tracks contained an “in your face” energy that wouldn’t be out of place at a club. In contrast, “Badder Love” highlights the members’ softer tones and melodic rap abilities. Main rapper Jeonghyeon particularly stands out with his soft opening croon that sets the tone for the rest of the track and demonstrates his impressive vocal control. Main vocalist Seungeon, who usually delivers the difficult high notes in the group’s songs, showcases his range by utilizing his lower register throughout the track.

The song comes to a mystical climax as Hanbin delivers the bridge. The song comes to a deliberate pause where the instrumental backtrack drops out, leaving only the sounds of dramatic heavy breathing. The moment mimics the feeling of diving off the edge of a cliff, (which is exactly what happens in the accompanying music video), the wind whipping through your hair as you drop. As the music and vocals fade back in, the listener feels as if they are submerged into a deep body of water, refreshed, as EVNNE delivers their heartfelt message to fans.

The track’s music video perfectly captures the nostalgic essence of the track. It depicts the members frolicking through fields of grass while soaking up the sun, training together in a makeshift backyard boxing ring, and dancing beside the sea against the sunset. The warm summer visuals of friends and the grainy film texture of the video pair beautifully to physically express the dreamy nature of “Badder Love.”

The EP continues with the endearing love song “I <3 U (I love U).” The cutesy track’s lighthearted lyrics portray an innocent, budding romance over a stronger bassline. The song feels like a musical manifestation of the butterflies fluttering in one’s stomach when speaking to a crush. The whimsical choreography of the song emphasizes the song’s youthful energy.

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XO” is a standout track on the mini-album and features elements of DnB (drum and bass) and garage. The song hooks the listener in from the moment it starts with its addicting guitar riff and bouncy beat. Jihoo’s rap skill distinguishes itself with his distinct vocal tone highlighting the catchy way he delivers the English lyrics, “Come on just say it, out loud and mean it.” Additionally, “XO” also marks leader Keita’s third writing credit under EVNNE, participating in the lyric composition of the song. 

The rapid beat of “XO” then transitions into the slower R&B ballad “2X,” another track where Keita contributed his writing. The group’s vocal ability is particularly highlighted here as they express their love above a relaxed, swaying piano melody. Yunseo, Hanbin, and Jeonghyeon display their mellow falsettos while Junghyun’s deeper timbre colors the track in warm tones.

EVNNE continues their lovestruck streak with the song “Boom Bari,” a quirky, upbeat track about a love so good that you create your own universe. “Boom Bari” tells the story of EVNNE and their significant others watching the stars while holding hands and dancing in circles in a made-up galaxy. The darling track ends with the members laughing sweetly as the music fades out, leaving listeners yearning for a romantic universe created entirely for them.

RIDE or DIE concludes with the English version of the title track “Badder Love,” continuing to appeal to their growing international fanbase as they sing about diving headfirst into love without doubting their feelings. Keita’s verse is especially heartwarming as he raps, “I love your high and low, your mood and tone, your breath and soul. You’re every day and night.”

EVNNE has proven their versatility as artists with their third EP RIDE or DIE while still remaining faithful to their rascal concept. It is a refreshing, brighter vibe to the group’s discography, their overarching message rang true through their lyrics expressing young love. The seven members have undoubtedly shown that they have grown technically in their vocal and rap abilities and are adaptable to any genre they choose to explore.

Readers can listen to RIDE or DIE on all major streaming platforms. Promotions for the EP are beginning to wrap up, but you can support the septet as they embark on their first North American showcase tour, Ride with EVNNE, which will kick off in Montreal on August 7.

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