Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

New K-pop group gives industry a breath of fresh air

TWS makes debut with their latest album, ‘Sparkling Blue’

At the beginning of 2024, I found friends and family carrying out their New Year resolutions — whether they involved going to the gym or spending more time alone. However, I spent the new year anxiously waiting for the debut of TWS, a name that stands for “Twenty-Four Seven With Us.”

K-pop group TWS’ music romanticizes the high school life I wish I could have, emanating the feeling of running through the halls of their schools and laughing with one another. (Photo from Pledis Entertainment)

They are a new six-member K-pop boy group working under Pledis Entertainment, which also produced the popular boy group SEVENTEEN. They debuted almost nine years ago, which heightened my expectations for this new group. 

The track “Oh Mymy : 7s” was my first taste of this band. The song alludes TWS to have a more swaggy, skater-boy approach to their upcoming album’s theme. The song deceives listeners in the beginning with a beautiful string ballad but suddenly switches to a hip-hop-type beat for the rest of the song. 

Additional mood switches occur in the song such as the transition from the pre-chorus to the chorus, where the music switches from repetitive ascending lines to a chant of “Oh my my.” This song gave me a great first impression of their vocal and dancing abilities. The choreography in this song’s music video is difficult but the members make it look playful, tempting me to make a dance cover of this song.

My anticipation for the rest of the album eased with the release of their first mini album, “Sparkling Blue,” on Jan. 22 – and they did not disappoint. 

Before their release, Pledis Entertainment teased fans with highlights of each song in their album, which made me realize that the skater-boy aesthetic from “Oh Mymy : 7s” was not their only theme. The video captured a very different look with youthful aesthetics, featuring a romanticized school day, peaceful walks through a rural neighborhood and the members having a day at the beach. 

The visuals precisely reflected the small snippets of music, capturing its refreshing concepts through upbeat melodies. I knew TWS would hit the K-pop industry like an ocean wave on a hot summer day. 

The album starts strong with “plot twist,” giving a preview of the album’s overarching theme. The song is full of fun, pounding instrumental followed by vocals that effortlessly flow throughout. 16-year-old Kyungmin, the band’s youngest member, is highlighted throughout this song with his voice perfectly complementing the instrumental.

Another favorite of mine is “unplugged boy,” entirely sung in English, which I appreciate as an international listener. The chorus uses direct calls such as “Hey!” or “Ya!” which connects each of the members’ lines, making the song flow. Their lyrics create a sense of comfort as the members include the listeners in their lyrics, like in the repeated lyric, “We face it all together.”

The album lives up to the name “Sparkling Blue” because it provides me with refreshing songs to add to my playlists. As a high school student, the album stands out to me because its aesthetic is catered toward the experiences of my peers. Although it is impossible to explicitly spend “24/7 with them,” I would recommend anyone to start with “plot twist” and spend “two minutes and 32 seconds with them,” because I can guarantee you will feel the ocean breeze through their music. 

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About the Contributor
Mackie Vu, Design Editor
Reaching the supposed hardest year of high school, Mackie is pumped for his second year with The Epitaph. Apart from working in the exhilarating class as a design editor, you can find the junior spending time with his friends when he can and in the fall, stressing over his messy schedule when he partakes in the HHS marching band. Mackie will attempt to take the design of the newspaper to new limits while having a matcha latte in hand. 

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