IVE Boldly Reinvents Themselves with Second EP, ‘IVE SWITCH’

They’ve done it again. The six members of IVE have dropped a powerful, well-rounded EP that encapsulates the core of who they are: creative, confident, assertive women who always overcome. Out of a body of work that is intrinsically strong, IVE SWITCH joins the ranks as their most compelling release yet, debuting at number 11 on the Billboard South Korea Songs chart. With the contrasting double title tracks “HEYA” and “Accendio” forming the foundation of the six-song album that was released on April 29, Yujin, Wonyoung, Liz, Rei, Gaeul, and Leeseo have revealed even more of themselves as artists. Following their first full-length EP I’VE MINE, where they bared their souls and grappled with their identities, IVE SWITCH reflects on change and transformation triggered by universally relatable catalysts: careers, love, and the unexpected.

[RECAP] IVE Showed What They Got at The Kia Forum

Bursting onto the scene is the dynamic first title track, “HEYA,” a fresh IVE reinterpretation of an old Korean folktale. The original tale revolves around a tiger who devours a woman, assumes her identity, and attempts to prey on her children. Through trials and tribulations, the children pray for salvation, and ultimately two ropes fall from heaven to pull them to heaven where they become the sun and moon while the tiger ultimately falls to his demise.

Elements of this tale are intricately interwoven throughout the lyrics, melodies, and music video. In the hip-hop-inspired song and video where this tale is reinvented, the members embody the tiger, pursuing the sun while calling, “Heya, Heya, Heya,” which means “Sun, Sun Sun.” It’s a bold move by IVE to present the narrative from the villain’s perspective – perhaps a reflection of their own ability to reinvent themselves. Leeseo sings, “Tiger eyes shining in the darkness
 / Approaching while in disguise / 
Mesmerizing you with crimson words / 
Claw the moment you let your guard down.” The lyrics embody the actions of the predatory beast and blend beautifully with the added story element of a woman determined to capture her beloved. The spirited opening rap and subsequent verses mirror the confident stride of the tiger, while the anthemic chorus promises to capture the sun: “In a snap / I’ll swiftly catch ya.”

“HEYA” marks a departure from their previous work, as they seamlessly integrate traditional elements into their signature style. IVE champions the message: Go after what you want, and don’t let anyone stop you. It is further reinforced through their captivating music video, which cleverly blends Joseon-era artistry with contemporary flair, encapsulating their distinctive chaebol crush ambiance. As the song progresses, the music video takes a visual journey through dynamic sets reminiscent of old paintings while the girls showcase choreography inspired by the grace and strength of a hunting tiger. Their attire, adorned with tassels and ribbons, evokes the spirit of tiger tails. During the anthemic chorus, the choreography takes on a majestic, aggressive quality, with arm movements mimicking the ascent of the sun and gestures reminiscent of a tiger’s claws, all executed with the group’s trademark femininity and poise.

Casting a musical spell is the EP’s second title track, “Accendio.” Crafted by Dynamicduo’s Gaeko, Seo JiEum, and Seo JungAh, the lyrics conjure a mysterious atmosphere, showcasing IVE’s versatility as artists in its stark contrast to “HEYA.” Delving into the perilous nature of love, the song’s trap drums and breakbeat provide a swift undercurrent that propels the bop forward. Moving fluidly over the beat are captivating lines like Wonyoung’s “Oh beautiful but chilling / First impressions, the stronger the better,” sung with a delicate touch and no vibrato. The catchy hook “Cast a spell ‘Accendio’” acts as a vortex, drawing the listener deeper into the dangerous realm of love.

“Writing lyrics that convey a strong attitude, different from the songs I previously participated in, gave me an opportunity to reflect on the different sides of myself.”


The next tune marks the sixth songwriting credit for member Wonyoung: “Blue Heart.” Inspired by her experiences in the industry, the lyrics paint a portrait of a resilient woman navigating the challenges of the modern world, likening her fortitude to a blue heart – frozen and devoid of the tenderness and vulnerability associated with a warm, passionate heart. “Give you that frozen smile with my blue heart / I’m being reborn,” pens Wonyoung, hinting at a necessary transformation amidst the harsh realities of show business. During a Q&A about her writing process, Wonyoung remarked, “Writing lyrics that convey a strong attitude, different from the songs I previously participated in, gave me an opportunity to reflect on the different sides of myself.” Supporting her lyrics are pulsating synths and drums that ebb and flow throughout the song, amplifying the drama of this metamorphosis. Together, these driving elements converge to create a sonic landscape reminiscent of a guarded, beating heart, ready to explode.

Ice Queen” begins with arpeggiated synths reminiscent of flowing water that seamlessly transitions into Liz’s chic, cool opening line, “Everyone hesitates and can’t come close.” Despite the ice queen’s unapproachable demeanor, the lyrics depict a brave — albeit cute — boy who dares to approach, only to be challenged: “Can’t you handle it?” The melody delicately weaves around a single note, lending an air of mystery to the encounter. The breathy repetition in the chorus underscores the solitude and maturity of the ice queen and hints at the possibility of a suitor brave enough to breach her icy fortress walls.

Sitting in the EP’s penultimate spot is “WOW,” a catchy bop that narrates the girls’ unexpected attraction to someone who is their opposite and the shock that follows. Its vibrant, upbeat vocals harmonize vintage synths and a snap track. The verses intricately paint the picture of their disparities through winding melodies that spark curiosity, while the jaunty chorus emphatically exclaims, “Oh my God, I’m shocked,” encapsulating their astonishment at being drawn to this individual. Warm and hopeful, the song serves as an intriguing prelude to the next track, which embodies very different sentiments.

Rounding out the EP is “RESET,” a sassy track encapsulating the sentiment of its lyrics, “Why didn’t you treat me right when I was around?” The sextet delves into the narrative of someone who attempts to mend a broken relationship with too little, too late efforts, illustrating the typical interactions between ex-partners on social media. Anchored by a rhythmic Afrobeat, the girls remind their lackluster ex to spare them “the tearful Stories” with a monotone chop on “TTTT” (symbolizing tears) and “ㅋㅋㅋㅋ” (symbolizing laughter in Korean). This low-key groove plays with sing-songy, breathy voices and mellifluous floating lines, contrasting the silly texts with the girls’ unimpressed reactions.

IVE SWITCH is a transformative album that highlights the group’s creative evolution and versatility. Each track, from the dynamic “HEYA” to the sassy “RESET,” reflects the members’ growth and their ability to reinvent themselves. With this release, Yujin, Wonyoung, Liz, Rei, Gaeul, and Leeseo continue to demonstrate their artistry and resilience, solidifying their status as fourth-generation frontrunners. IVE SWITCH is more than an album; it’s a testament to their transformation journey.

You can follow their journey even further even though promotions for IVE SWITCH have come to a close. IVE is not done. In June, their Show What I Have world tour continues to four more continents. The girl group will also appear at “Lollapalooza Chicago” alongside Stray Kids and VHCA and at Japan’s “SUMMER SONIC 2024” in August.

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