Korean-Canadian artist Jiwoo has been on everyone’s radar for some time, however with his most recent release he smashes right through and demands to be heard. The singer-songwriter often dives into dark, haunting threads of R&B and levels up on his third EP, Evergray, and its lead single of the same name.
Signed to celebrated South Korean producer and singer Colde’s label Wavy, He initially made a name for himself as a DJ, producer and rapper under the moniker Hayake and was part of the Korean hip-hop and R&B collective WYBH–other prominent names in WYBH include rapper Giriboy and DJ SQ. After signing with Wavy, he officially debuted as Jiwoo in 2019 with his first EP, Maison.
ritten by Jiwoo and produced by 37° N 126° E, “Evergray” is a lavish offering of alternative R&B, combining rich synths and dashes of acoustic guitar. Jiwoo keeps his vocals sensitive, merging with the synth and breezy background ad-libs to deliver a dream-like effect. In the lyrics of “Evergray” Jiwoo tells his lover that they are forever tied to him, no matter how much they attempt to deny it; “Until you let yourself out/ What’s left unsaid will surround/ In evergray, we’re found/ And to me, my love, you’re bound.” It’s elegant, but also simmers with a sense of foreboding which is the true brilliance of the track.
The music video for “Evergray” appears more like a fashion editorial thanks to its sleek, minimalist sets and crisp, slo-mo shots of Jiwoo and his female co-star, model Rinae. The visuals play with silhouettes, shadows, monotone shades and overlays, adding to the darkness of the track’s sound and lyrics. There’s also a subtle haze that falls across each frame, mimicking a retro vibe from the late Nineties or early 2000s. The music video also features a transition into a short clip of Jiwoo performing “Into The Blur Of The Rain,” the second track on Evergray.
The English EP comprises a total of five tracks: “Evergray,” “Into The Blur Of The Rain,” “Lake Olive,” “Wake” and “Kurkdjian,” all of which highlight Jiwoo’s brand of smooth, slow and decadent R&B. If you’re a fan of Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Khalid or other similar names, this is right up your alley.