“Ain’t no stopping now.” This powerful lyric delivered by BRANDNEW MUSIC’s newest nine-member boy group, YOUNITE, is also a promise to deliver something as energetic as them. Pulled from the title track of their recently dropped EP, YOUNI-Q, it reflects their strong forward momentum as they promote and continue to create. With this second EP that released mere months after their debut, members EUNHO, STEVE, HYUNSEUNG, EUNSANG, HYUNGSEOK, WOONO, DEY, KYUNGMUN, and SION invite their YOUNIZ to join them on a journey. A quest through five diverse tracks that rely heavily on clean delivery, clever lyrics, and sound production to set the mood, YOUNI-Q reflects the hope in this fourth-generation K-Pop group.
Without prelude, the boys declare “I’m a traveler” before the beat slips under their vocals in the opening song, “Traveler.” As an impressive aside, DEY not only contributed lyrics to this track, but to the whole album. Traveler is a rhythm-driven plea to a special someone where the members blend a mix of breathy singing and lines shouted with passion. Throughout the tune, the drum machines are pitted against melodic licks and punctuated delivery of the chorus, “Bomb your heartbeat!” The driving rhythm culminates in a harmonic break that is the most melodic point of the song before returning to the pulsing pre-chorus and chorus.
A stark contrast to their debut double title tracks “Everybody” and “1 of 9,” YOUNITE’s latest title track, “AVIATOR,” is playful and addictive. Where “Traveler” was a plea, “AVIATOR” is a declaration of determination. “Start it up we comin’ up,” they sing as the game-like music video explores the cosmos. Along their journey, the members, dressed in street chic and astronaut-inspired outfits, easily pull-off whip smart choreography. Each personality shines through the colorful sets, spaceship simulators and the universe’s inky blackness dotted with stars.
Following the promise of the title track that they will indeed go far, the boys shift gears into the sexy “Swish,” a veritable potential title track. After they lay down a literal “boom-boom,” the sound continues throughout the song, driving it forward alongside melodic percussion. It is the most musically insistent track with a melody and rap that weave in and out of each other as it climbs higher and higher in energy. The resonant electro swing-inspired bass highlights the boys’ flirtatiousness as they sing “You’re gonna change me like this.”
Fourth on the album is a cheerful tune that is a complete 180 from the sexy groove of “Swish.” Bubblegum sweet and lighthearted, “Come Around” is a call to YOUNIZ that invites them to dance and sing together. The most buoyant song on the EP, musically it keeps things simple with a drum set and keys as the boys show off their higher, breathier notes. It is also reminiscent of the equally joyful “1 of 9,” which neatly ties the albums together.
To close out the album, the quiet, wistful, R&B tune “널 좋아해” [I Like You] plays out over a running steel-string guitar-like accompaniment. Each member shows off an array of smooth vocals and flowing raps as a slow, groovy beat carries them along. “I don’t wanna kiss,” the boys sing as they appeal to a special someone. But before the album’s subdued yet flirty conclusion, they confess that they genuinely want to kiss her.
Even though they only debuted in April 2022, the 9-member group “ain’t stopping” any time soon. Check out their newest album on Spotify and be sure to follow them on social media for the latest updates from the boys and BRANDNEW MUSIC.