The brazenly cool, rookie girl-group NewJeans have ensured that the new year for K-Pop music has already set the bar high. After releasing their debut, self-titled EP in August to immediate success and acclaim at its breezy, nostalgic direction, the group have released a new single, “OMG”, packaged with recent release “Ditto”.
Touted as a more wintery direction for the group, the songs nonetheless are imbued with the same 2000s throwback sound that has already given them their own sonic identity. “Ditto” is a woozy electronic track influenced by UK garage and finds the group searching for reciprocation of their feelings. “Stay in the middle / Like you a little / Don’t want no riddle,” sings member Hanni in her bright tone. The track best captures the “winter” side of the group, refreshing and slightly darker in the soundscape. The rhythms become more syncopated but never boisterous, ensuring that the overall chill atmosphere of the track is never compromised. While the vocal performances of the members casually glide across this track with confidence.
Meanwhile the effervescent “OMG” is a bouncy synth-R&B gem that explores the wholesome aftermath of telling your crush you like them and having them confirm that the feeling is mutual. The group sing about being able to have rely on a special someone whenever they encounter difficulties. The repeated refrain in the verses of “They keep on asking me who is he?” perfectly encapsulates that urge of talking incessantly about a crush but keeping some of the mystery to yourself. The highlight of the song is the addictive chorus (“Oh my – Oh my god / I knew this would happen / I was really hoping that he will come through”) which is a moment of pure euphoria and emphasises the fun, understated production. Although this pair of tracks contrast in vibe, they still fit the NewJeans canon easily.
Like many of their fourth generation peers, NewJeans is already achieving an unprecedented impact on the charts and in, pun slight intended, capturing attention. With these two new songs, they further establish themselves as a group to watch in their effortless execution of throwback R&B-influenced pop. To all the pop lovers, start your 2023 with the group’s perfectly crafted bops.
Watch the music videos for both “OMG” and “Ditto” below, or find the tracks on streaming services.
You can find NewJeans on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.