On the Yves of OT12: A Retrospective of Loona Teasers

If you pay attention to K-pop, you may have heard of a group called Loona, or “이달의 소녀”. If you’re unfamiliar, this is a girl-group project that started in 2016, debuting its 12 members one at a time each with her own single and also promoting them across three subunits. This pre-debut process is now concluded, and on August 7 the full group is set to release its first single – that’s less that 24 hours from now, at time of posting. (I’ve also written about the group a few times for Hellokpop.)

Following this project has been a great ride, and I thought that it might be fun to do a little retrospective through Loona’s already eventful history so far. Now, people have done this already for albums and songs, but I’m not sure that we’ve ever really looked at the history of Loona’s teasers in one place.

Teasers can be a crucial tool for garnering interest in new acts, and Loona and BBC are somewhat special in that they’ve had two years of very frequent practice in making and using them. Under the direction of Digipedi, the group has put out some excellent teasers over this time: some are aesthetically pleasing, others are hype-inducing, and still a few more dip deeply into Loona’s burgeoning background lore.

So let’s turn the clock back to 2016, and track the path of Loona’s teasers to the present.

By my count Loona have put out 36 “content” teasers as of August 6, 2018. I’m excluding the LoonaTV arc teasers, since those are not polished for promotion, and also excluding things like album previews that have no visual element. Finally, the V App versions of the teasers didn’t seem like they merited separate inclusion.


HeeJin – “Seoul”

September 25, 2016. Link

As the group’s pioneer, Heejin is the only member to have a video teaser that isn’t the music video teaser. It’s mostly a montage of the Heejin teaser posters hanging in various public spaces in Seoul, with the girl herself showing up at the end to admire one. Also a nice “here’s how much money we’re putting into this” display for BBC.

Aesthetics: as Seoul goes, so goes the teaser.
Hype: pretty tame, with no real content to hint at yet.
Use of music: an instrumental cut of “ViViD”, decently curiosity-inducing.
YouTube commenter reaction: “I don’t know who you are but i’m ready to stan”

HeeJin – “ViViD”

September 28, 2016. Link

Now we’re in business. This was a bold, quick-cuts teaser that established a lot not only for Heejin, but also for the project as a whole: the animal and color themes, the intricate set designs, the cryptic imagery and symbolism. It’s all set to the gentle strokes of “ViViD”‘s acoustic B-side.

Aesthetics: colorful, striking, busy.
Hype: I didn’t actually see this teaser, since I only learned about the group when Heejin’s single came out. It would have been a pretty strong single coming from anybody, but the project descriptions that came with it made it extra intriguing. I remember reading the press release as I listened, and I was interested enough to make a mental note of the name.
Use of music: This is one of only two MV teasers to date that doesn’t actually use the song being teased. The acoustic version works well for this purpose.
YouTube commenter reaction: “”aesthetic” I see this word everywhere, what does it means plz?”

HyunJin – “다녀가요 (Around You)”

November 6, 2016. Link

“Around You” is an outlier among the predebut tracks in many ways, and the teaser – Digipedi’s first production with Loona – is indicative of that. It’s basically just a minute of Hyunjin walking in Tokyo and beckoning to a cat (viewer POV). No voice, and austere vertical wording at the end. I actually like this deviation a lot.

Aesthetics: ground-level and flush with greens.
Hype: Despite the freshness, it’s not the most explosive tease.
Use of music: birdsong serenity for the most part, followed by “Around You”‘s gentle piano intro.
YouTube commenter reaction: “Very beautiful and interesting beat at the end. It will be interesting to see here”

HeeJin & HyunJin – “I’ll Be There”

November 7, 2016. Link

In stark contrast with the lead single, Hyunjin’s B-side is loud and upbeat. The clip gives a little hint of the choreography at the beginning, but of course the main draw is the montage of 2Jin hanging out that also features heavily in the music video.

Aesthetics: faux-home-recording feel with the timestamp.
Hype: “Wait, they’re going to combine members in each of the solo debuts?”
Use of music: bubbly “I’ll Be There” played pretty straight, with instruments backing out at the end of the chorus.
YouTube commenter reaction: “it would be like almost 23 songs in total for predebut oh my god”

HaSeul – “소년, 소녀 (Let Me In)”

December 11, 2016. Link

It’s the first teaser that makes it really obvious that they did location filming, what with the expansive establishing shot of the frozen Icelandic plain and the airplane wreckage. Haseul’s standing shot is a bit abrupt, though.

Aesthetics: pristine.
Hype: ramping up.
Use of music: string intro of “Let Me In”. It’s fine, but not too impactful.
YouTube commenter reaction: “IS SHE GONNA BE A POLAR BEAR OR A FOX OR WHAT”

HeeJin, HyunJin, HaSeul – “The Carol”

December 13, 2016. Link

Loona heads to London (not that you can tell from this), and the mood is appropriately festive. This is one of the most girl-group-stereotypical videos they’ve done (and done well), and the teaser really sells it with the individual smile closeups.

Aesthetics: soft bloom and Christmas.
Hype: “They’re going to combine all the previously revealed members on each solo debut?”
Use of music: slow instrumental intro that splices into middle of the “The Carol”‘s chorus. Wish it’d be a little more of the vocal chorus, but it works.
YouTube commenter reaction: “SUDDENLY I LOVE CHRISTMAS”

YeoJin – “키스는 다음에 (Kiss Later)”

January 11, 2017. Link

It basically just goes and shows you how the actual music video is going to open. The teaser also shows quite a bit of the final product’s choreography and set design, setting up a fairytale atmosphere and theatrical flair for Loona’s youngest member.

Aesthetics: handcrafted and plucky; especially enjoy the kitchen scene. (MV behind-the-scenes when, BlockBerry?)
Hype: “Did they spoil the ending?”
Use of music: features “Kiss Later”‘s magnanimous escalation.
YouTube commenter reaction: “i think kiss later will be like vivid: a big bop”

HeeJin, HyunJin – “My Sunday”

January 12, 2017. Link

Deciding to keep the B-side collaborations at three members or less, BBC assigned to Yeojin’s single two sidetracks that are identical except for the chorus. 2Jin get to adventure in Taiwan in another wholesome montage.

Aesthetics: sunny and joyful.
Hype: hopes of a rock ballad.
Use of music: the song’s hearty chord progression flowing with abandon.
YouTube commenter reaction: “i thought they already have their own song”

HaSeul, YeoJin – “My Melody”

January 13, 2017. Link

The YeoSeul version keeps the same vibes as its counterpart, but I suppose it’s supposed to look more sisterly than friendly. (It’s still astonishing how related these two look.)

Aesthetics: still sunny, with a clearer urban-rural balance.
Hype: perhaps a dash of concern that it’s basically the same song – though I now think that each song justifies itself, and maybe even prefer “My Melody” slightly.
Use of music: all the corresponding parts to “My Sunday”, but in acoustics.
YouTube commenter reaction: “can you believe they invented going outside???”

1/3 – “New Project”

February 5, 2017. Link

The very first sub-unit teaser! It’s also the only clip to date that I actually dislike. There’s not much going on here other than recapping the filming locations thus far from Paris to Taipei, and showing the four girls in order. Flashing their names several times in different fonts seems tacky to me. The “choose three and add one” twist was bold.

Aesthetics: all over the place. Stylish logo, though.
Hype: exciting given the previous track record.
Use of music: It’s “Into the New Heart”, the intro track to Love & Live. Just so-so.
YouTube commenter reaction: “3 + 1? BUT THERES ALREADY 4 AFKAMFAFMK”AFM”

1/3 – “???”

February 11, 2017. Link

I like this one a lot better. Still not telling us the album name or the fourth unit member’s identity, the teaser instead shows the girls completing various tasks like a mini P.E. eval and talent show. (Cue Hyunjin’s athleticism.)

Aesthetics: quick cuts, pink everywhere, and all of the moon intros so far.
Hype: holding pattern.
Use of music: I actually don’t know what this song is – they’ve never released it. But it’s got a bouncy beat, upbeat flute, and a lot of fun.
YouTube commenter reaction: “This has got to be one of the cutest teasers I’ve ever seen”

1/3 – “3월을 기다려 (Valentine Girl) Preview”

February 13, 2017. Link

BBC has since done some album previews (for Kim Lip and the subunits), but this remains the only time that an individual song got a preview. They actually put more effort into this than the album previews, creating one of those Instagram-timeline lyric videos covering the sidetrack’s first minute. Having just been unveiled, Vivi makes her first “video” appearance here.

Aesthetics: Instagram sleek. The punctuation in the captions are cute.
Hype: “Valentine Girl” is a nice track, but nothing to blow us away.
Use of music: the actual song played straight.
YouTube commenter reaction: “anyone realise that the captions are the lyrics of the song?”

1/3 – “Love & Live” TV CM Version

March 4, 2017. Link

After spending February in a “loading period”, 1/3’s debut was imminent. This TV spot, a first for the group, essentially serves as the teaser to the teaser.

Aesthetics: introduced Loona relay squad and some sweet logo-branded uniforms.
Hype: Every notable spending decision tends to increase hype. A TV spot qualifies.
Use of music: an expectant piano intro and about three seconds of “Love & Live”‘s chorus. Just enough to hint at the sound design.
YouTube commenter reaction: “Heejin ran so fast that she lost her pigtails while running”

1/3 – “지금, 좋아해 (Love & Live)”

March 9, 2017. Link

It’s an expanded edition of the TV spot: we hear the full chorus and see the now-infamous wiping-brows move. Scenes from both the New Zealand and Hong Kong shoots are shown, expanding the color palette. It would have been fun to try and fit in a hint at the Android Vivi plot, but that’s very difficult to do.

Aesthetics: doubles down on the schoolgirl theme.
Hype: Upon release “Love & Live” was a little underwhelming to me, and the teaser couldn’t make up for the song. But in a 30-second clip the bold synths and harmony are enough.
Use of music: In addition to the chorus and intermission, there’s a slight denouement that closes with Hyunjin’s “now”. Impressive compression.
YouTube commenter reaction: “HASEUL UNNI DANCING!”

ViVi – “Everyday I Love You”

April 13, 2017. Link

Vivi’s delayed solo was a full-blown retro throwback: alongside “Rain 51db”, the most pointedly era-specific piece that Loona has done to date. The stack of cassettes and the dusty CRT gives you a hint, but it’s right in your face once the roller rink with all the girls comes into view. If I’m not mistaken, this is also the only teaser that has a boy appearing (sort of).

Aesthetics: 1990s. And pink.
Hype: “Now this is a concept.”
Use of music: “Everyday I Love You” has a wonderfully punchy beat, and having it pop with Vivi’s cassette player was fantastic.
YouTube commenter reaction: “I poop my pants when the chorus hit”

ViVi – “Everyday I Need You”

April 15, 2017. Link

I do wish Vivi would have gotten a proper B-side, but due to whatever reason – crimped scheduling, perhaps – it ended up being a re-skin of EILY. As of now, this is also the final solo sidetrack to have a music video made.

Aesthetics: Vivi in Hong Kong’s urban bustle.
Hype: BBC had released the tracklist for Vivi’s single on April 12, so people knew that an unrevealed member named Jinsoul would be featured on this track. The teaser itself doesn’t add a ton of hype, though.
Use of music: just the laid-back arrangement of EINY.
YouTube commenter reaction: “who says vivi can’t sing? turn on your location i just wanna talk. ”

1/3 – “Love & Evil”

April 23, 2017. Link

Right on the heels of the Vivi solos came 1/3’s repackage, and at the time it seemed like the most drastic stylistic departure the group had done. “Sonatine” turned out to be different indeed and it was excellent, but it also wasn’t the about-face in concept that this tantalizing teaser hinted at. (It was also Loona’s most lore-independent song, which is opposite of the expectation I had from the teaser.) The “LIVE” flipping into a blood-red “EVIL” at the end was fantastic.

Aesthetics: a nocturne on white and street lights.
Hype: through the roof.
Use of music: It’s really a teaser for “Sonatine”, but uses the track “Love & Evil”. At any rate, it’s a somber mood-setting piece.
YouTube commenter reaction: “is this the curse of haseul”

Kim Lip – “Eclipse”

May 19, 2017. Link

The Odd Eye Circle era began here, and you could tell something was different right away. From the black-background moon intro to the bold styling to the slower-paced editing to the… owl, the teaser asserted a drastic break from 1/3. The teaser closes with a beat drop timed to an aerial zoom-out (also shown in the music video), as the letters L I P in  “ECLIPSE” are highlighted red. It’s a striking composition.

Aesthetics: moody, smoky, red. The abandoned school is a weirdly pleasing setting to look at.
Hype: “Eclipse” is the single that got a lot of current fans’ attention for the first time, as well as the first serious looks from critics. The teaser captures the song’s strengths well.
Use of music: a lighter cut of “Eclipse” without the background elements; disarming yet setting up for a bang. (It’s also notably got Kim Lip’s vocalizations instead of Charli Taft’s, which were the set actually used on the song.)
YouTube commenter reaction: “WOW I DIDN’T EXPECT THIS, ALREADY LOVE THE CONCEPT”

JinSoul – “Singing in the Rain”

June 20, 2017. Link

The color and animal are front and center, as the teaser is awash in deep blue and Jinsoul holds her blue betta while watching goldfish swim. Doubling down on a theme from “Eclipse”, there’s now an oppressive loneliness to the visuals.

Aesthetics: dark and nocturnal, resembling the song; the empty background in the airport tarmac scene in particular. Screen distortions add intrigue.
Hype: A continuation of both girl-crush and electronic sound? Sign me up.
Use of music: “Singing in the Rain” is my favorite Loona song, and I wonder if the hype wouldn’t have been more explosive if they spliced in the drop and cascading synths. Too much of a spoiler? As it is, it’s a muted intro and chorus line.
YouTube commenter reaction: “this unit’s concepts are basement-related aren’t they”

Choerry – “Love Cherry Motion”

July 24, 2017. Link

Purple plains and a field of mirrors: Choerry’s world is the most visually strange one that we’ve seen so far, and the video ended up being one of the most lore-heavy as well.

Aesthetics: On top of the funky colors and vistas of Jeju, the camera is very active throughout with wide angles, extreme zoom, and upside-down views.
Hype: I’m a sucker for surreal landscapes. There’s nothing more I could ask for.
Use of music: So this is a little misleading, in an interesting way: they used a muted instrumental of “Love Cherry Motion”‘s drums and bass and Choerry’s whisper, making it seem like a straight house track. So the real LCM, with its bright melody and turbulent intermissions, was a shock on arrival.
YouTube commenter reaction: “I love that they kept the whole walking in a school uniform with a backpack thing for this unit”

Choerry – “Love Cherry Motion” #2

July 25, 2017. Link

Want to hype up a song more? Make a second teaser and drop it the next day. Choerry joins Haseul and Yeojin in a game of Jenga, having switched out of the uniform shared with Kim Lip and Jinsoul.

Aesthetics: indoors with a bit of a lazy Sunday feel.
Hype: “Is there going to be lore advancement here?”
Use of music: again with the muted beat, although it’s a bit less washed out here and they include the pre-chorus in this version.
YouTube commenter reaction: “OMG. IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE AN OT8 VIDEO. IM CRYING edit: IT’S AN OT5 MV AND I’M STILL SO BLESSED. ”

Odd Eye Circle – “Reveal”

August 29, 2017. Link

They had sort of teased this teaser with a clip of OEC members reacting to it. It was worth the wait. The reveal teaser had everything: it was visually gorgeous (made possible by new footage from “Love Cherry Motion”‘s landscapes), filled in story beats (who gave Choerry the cherry that awakened her? Turns out Jinsoul paid her room a visit), and hinted at interesting themes (the triplet moons rising, each member’s eyes glowing in a crescent) without giving anything away. Even the logo animation is top notch. It’s surely one of the greatest teasers in K-pop history.

Aesthetics: a roiling mix of OEC’s three primary colors everywhere, coinciding with imagery of awakening, nature, and discovery.
Hype: uncontained.
Use of music: It’s a compressed version of “Add”, which wasn’t released until two months later as the intro track of OEC’s repackage album. The track has a new-age wonder and subdued sense of mystery, complementing the teaser’s atmosphere.
YouTube commenter reaction: “This was one of the bestest kpop teaser that i have seen”

Odd Eye Circle – “Girl Front”

September 17, 2017. Link

OEC members’ search for each other takes place among the Mojave desert and streets of Los Angeles, and the scale of each get fair treatment here. The teaser keeps everyone’s faces concealed until the beat drops, with cryptic imagery (are they ever going to talk about who was running circles around OEC?) peppering the sun-drenched outdoor scenes. The studio cut at the very end was perfect.

Aesthetics: Jinsoul once called OEC the summer unit, and that’s exactly what the teaser embodies.
Hype: still sky-high.
Use of music: “Girl Front” has rich detail in its sparkling and pulsing intro, which helps. But the scene-stealer is the deep, satisfying synths unleashed by the drop.
YouTube commenter reaction: “HEY BOY IS BACK”

Odd Eye Circle – “Sweet Crazy Love”

October 25, 2017. Link

The colorless moon intro was appropriate for this black-and-white teaser, and a return to the school uniforms, confined spaces, and body language of seeking hinted some sort of return to the early OEC aesthetic.

Aesthetics: a bleak montage of subways, tunnels and a darkened street market.
Hype: I think Girl Front didn’t deliver to its full potential, but the effortless attitude of this teaser was enough to get expectations back up.
Use of music: The song’s iconic string motif was a picture-perfect complement to the slow-motion montage that followed.
YouTube commenter reaction: “Is jinsoul a ghoul?”

Yves – “new”

November 23, 2017. Link

A new era, and a new moon intro. The image of Yves golfing on a rooftop against crisp urban skies immediately set the tone for this unit, and the fruit theme also came to bear with the apple being featured prominently (and gaining symbolic meaning as the third unit expanded).

Aesthetics: We were back in the real world: from chainlink fences to deprecated industrial buildings, the teaser is down to ground. (Despite the rooftop setting.)
Hype: It seemed like the third unit would carry on the musical strengths of OEC (which turned out to be well justified).
Use of music: The defining features of “new” – synthpop phasers and thick bass, Yves’ elegant vocals – all shine in the little snippet.
YouTube commenter reaction: “COME THRU 80’s”

Chuu – “Heart Attack”

December 24, 2017. Link

It’s a teaser for Chuu that opens with a close-up of Yves, which is of course thematically fitting. In a departure from the usual strategy, the teaser sets up the entire premise right away: Chuu admires Yves from afar, wants to be like her, and would like senpai to just acknowledge her.

Aesthetics: It’s very much a constructed space, with walls and props that pop in color and of course that big apple.
Hype: Chuu was a known figure in the trainee fan circles whose identity was guessed shortly after the first image teaser, so people perhaps knew more about her than any other member prior to debut. I don’t think the teaser gave us a ton to go off of, other than the unique premise.
Use of music: Given that “Heart Attack” is such a rich piece, the teaser is surprisingly sparse on featuring any of it. Basically just the drums. It did have the effect of masking Chuu’s unexpectedly powerful voice.
YouTube commenter reaction: “im sorry but the “damn” at the end killed me i cant stop giggling lmao”

Go Won – “One&Only”

January 27, 2018. Link

I think the teaser was actually even better than the song. The fading bells, Gowon under the veils, sharp shadows, and disembodied walkers all made for an unnerving, fascinating composition. The actual song and video, while pretty good in a different way, fulfilled that idea only halfway.

Aesthetics: Claustrophobia reigns: the vertical aspect ratio appears to close in the walls, and Gowon spends almost all her time under a cover or inside a closet.
Hype: I was excited that we might be getting a right horror concept.
Use of music: The mystifying bells and sequencer intro was the right choice, I think. Gowon’s line at the end is maybe a little too lithe given the teaser’s mood (though it fits the actual song well).
YouTube commenter reaction: “It’d be funny if the song is a fast paced bop. Similar to peekaboo. Just do that everyone can be like what the?.. that’s not what to advertised;”

Loona – “2018.2.29”

February 15, 2018. Link

This was that unexpected teaser that dropped in place of the 12th member’s “Who’s Next Girl”. It was the first ever teaser billed under just “Loona”, and featured grainy footage of a lunar eclipse behind clouds followed by a date and a dimly lit logo. And of course, 2018 wasn’t a leap year.

Aesthetics: dark and spooky; I’m actually still not sure why they went for this, as it hasn’t been quite followed up by the things that it ostensibly was teasing at.
Hype: https://twitter.com/gowonpictures/status/964156742555918342
Use of music: N/A
YouTube commenter reaction: “IN THE LUNAR (LOONA) CALENDAR 29TH FEBURARY = 14TH APRIL”

Loona – “Cinema Theory: Up & Line”

February 28, 2018. Link

The first payoff from the “2.29.18” teaser was also our first look at all 12 members (technically). It’s a melancholy and aesthetically diverse piece with each member donning a different concept – some very different from their solos (Hyunjin, Yeojin) and others keeping it similar (Jinsoul, Gowon). Still not sure how this was relevant to the actual Up & Line screening, though.

Aesthetics: very diverse, but mostly weighty and serious.
Hype: We really had no idea what Cinema Theory was going to be, so that was one thing. But the hype at seeing everyone (even just the silhouette of #12) outweighed all else.
Use of music: They haven’t released this song either, and perhaps it’ll be part of the official debut album. It’s a nicely expansive piece that seems to propagate its notes into space.
YouTube commenter reaction: “this is so aesthetically pleasing”

Olivia Hye – “Egoist”

March 27, 2018. Link

The final solo debut came in March, and with it some unexpected turns: Olivia Hye fell (or was dropped) from a height, whipped out a lighter, bit into a blood plum with “blood” on her lips, and more. A harbinger of the darkest, most adversarial music video among the predebuts.

Aesthetics: a mix of Yves-industrial and abstract space.
Hype: It had been two months since the last release and it was the last member. The teaser raised a lot of questions, so this was fever pitch.
Use of music: They cut the murmuring vocalization of the post-chorus into the teaser, making it sound like the base beat. It would actually have worked pretty well as an intro too, I think.
YouTube commenter reaction: “THEYRE NOT HERE TO PLAY”

Loona – “Premier Greeting: Line & Up”

April 13, 2018. Link

And here was the second payoff of that lunar eclipse teaser, landing on the lunar-calendar equivalent of February 29, 2018. Studio clips are rare for this group, so the practice montage was fun, but of course everyone really lost their minds at the full 12-person formation revealed for the first time.

Aesthetics: not really a concern here, as it’s a practice video.
Hype: The 12-shot was a big deal, but more importantly there was a concert coming.
Use of music: an “Egoist” remix, that kind of sounds like it’s being sung by Hyunjin? Chopped and chilly.
YouTube commenter reaction: “Here before they get famous”

yyxy – “youth youth by young”

April 26, 2018. Link

The “Eden unit” was revealed right on time, with a biology-inspired unit name. The teaser had no new footage – rather a mixture of members’ solo scenes and another cool logo animation – but the juxtaposition of all that wildly different imagery teased at the possibilities.

Aesthetics: The scenes they picked accentuate mystery and exude boldness. The garage lights flashing behind Olivia and the cut of Chuuves taking a step together are particularly striking.
Hype: basically the exact style a lot of us wanted from the final unit, I think. Felt like an answered prayer at the time.
Use of music: another “Egoist” remix, but just the instrumentals. Massive synth hits and pounding toms create scale.
YouTube commenter reaction: “LOONA stans: the Eden subunit. BBC: yyxy”

yyxy – “Love4eva”

May 24, 2018. Link

After another drought for the “loading period” (and fans tracking the location shoot to Budapest), we finally got our first glimpse at yyxy in the Hungarian castle. The uniforms alluded to an origin story and the plights of poor Olivia were hinted at.

Aesthetics: gorgeous architecture, a menacing forest, saturated colors. Very pleasant.
Hype: The story hype may have even outweighed the music hype for this one, I think. Probably a good decision to hint at the plot this much.
Use of music: The bubbly synth intro (sans Grimes) raised immediate “Gee” and “Very Very Very” comparisons. The teaser cut was standard Loona structure, with the arrangement shown off before culminating in a short vocal snippet from the chorus.
YouTube commenter reaction: “They eating flowers now. BBC’S bread shortage has  affected other girls besides Hyunjin”

Loona – “Go Into Orbit”

June 10, 2018. Link

Right on the heels of a successful Line & Up event, Loona’s first concert was announced for August. This also gave us a concrete date for the debut, and slyly leaked the fandom name a little early.

Aesthetics: nothing fancy, just some candid shots of the Line & Up fanmeeting and the 12-person choreography.
Hype: At this point, anything involving all the members is still hype.
Use of music: We didn’t know it then, but this turned out to be “favOriTe”! It sounds like this is a modulated-down version compared to the teaser proper, though. Pounding and powerful.
YouTube commenter reaction:
“IS THE TITLE A REFERENCE TO MY WIG BECAUSE ITS IN ORBIT NOW”

Loona – “+ +”

July 28, 2018. Link

The weeks following the concert teaser turned out to be a bit of a drought, as the yyxy repackage was ostensibly pushed back to post-debut. We got a Line & Up arc of LoonaTV, some promo material for LOONAbirth, and the lore clip “One” from Cinema Theory Busan, but very little in terms of content tease. “+ +” broke that with another cryptic clip on the night of the lunar eclipse.

Aesthetics: a grainy moon like “2018.2.29” but blood-red, as the titles of three subunit albums flash by in an instant.
Hype: a sort-of relief that something was going to happen before August 19th, and it gave fans just enough to go theorizing.
Use of music: N/A
YouTube commenter reaction: “All Loona has to do is drop a 17 second video of a blood moon and flashing words/symbols for us to freak out lmfaoooo 😭”

Loona – “favOriTe”

August 1, 2018. Link

After the image teaser that confirmed a pre-release lead single, we got a somewhat unexpected video teaser as well. It bucks Loona’s trend in a few ways – it was posted five days before the release rather than the customary two-day gap, and the focus is entirely on performance rather than story or setting. (It may just be that “favOriTe” will not tie into the lore at all, which could be sensible for a lead single.)

Aesthetics: abandoned industrial space (a Digipedi favorite at this point), and Heejin walks back towards the other eleven who reveal formation as the beat kicks in. The camera shakes are a great touch. And how about that finalized moon intro?
Hype: Look, at time of writing this thing has more views than several of the channel’s actual music videos. Fans are ready.
Use of music: a welcome intro by way of Heejin, and we get to hear a speedy bit of what might be the song’s chorus. A hip-hop base would be new for the group, and given the sample that might be exactlly what we’re getting.
YouTube commenter reaction: “she said “hello” and i screeched”


That brings us to today.  Writing this post little by little over the last several months, I had a few assumptions about how it would go: I’d be including teasers for yyxy’s repackage, I’d post this right on the eve of a lore-heavy OT12 album release, we’d know something about the mystery audio clips used in things like the Cinema Theory teaser, and so forth.

None of that happened, which is actually fitting given the general experience of following this unpredictable predebut project. But at least we can count on Loona and BBC to deliver some killer teasers alongside their music, and I’m looking forward to what they’ll do in anticipation of the full-on debut on August 19th and beyond. Here’s to being able to recap another 36 of these down the road.

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