EXID is one of those groups with a storied past. Theyve gone through member changes and switched agencies at one point. Like a number of idol groups, it was predicted theyd disappear into oblivion until a fancam of Hani dancing to Up and Down went viral. In underdog movie fashion, they rose up from obscurity to become a trending group. It would be a bittersweet victory for fans since it led to some polarizing releases that seemed to mimic Up and Down more than anything.
This may have been a blessing in disguise for their current album Eclipse. Its possible that the criticism of their lackluster releases after Up and Down led to a change in tactics. Theres also a chance that the disbandment of groups like 4 Minute, 2NE1, and Wonder Girls increased the demand for more mature concepts. Not everyone can relate to teenagers singing about first loves and crushes, so groups like EXID broaden the spectrum by covering topics their older peers understand.
Night Rather Than Day extends past the puppy love stage and delves straight into a more mature level of a relationship. Visually, it matches the coquettish nature of this song. Its this presentation of the song that best demonstrates how grown EXID is, in case anyone forgot.
EXID is cooing their lover to visit them at night because their day time schedules are too erratic for afternoon delight. They are no strangers to sexy concepts, but this video appears to disguise it a little more than previous ones. Unlike L.I.E., Hot Pink, or Ah Yeah, theres fewer tongue-in-cheek references to the topic of sensuality, and its actually not necessary here. The video sort of mimics the idea of this secret late night rendezvous by keeping things low key and chill.
It begins with shots of the members dreamily singing inside a subway car. Theyre dressed casually in denim and covered in sparkly makeup. Its become almost customary to use the urban aesthetic as a way of conveying toughness, but were seeing the opposite usage here. Theyre the girls-next-door who probably love to go bar hopping after a long work week. Theyre the ones you know have Instagrams dedicated to showing off their makeup skills and nail art. These ladies want a good time and will make it happen.
Thats made abundantly clear in the song lyrics that list all the reasons why they prefer meeting up at night over day. Their evenings are less stressful. The lighting makes them look hot. They want to gaze at stars while cuddling and feeling their lovers body heat. Whatever the reason, they are most adamant about not hooking up during daylight hours. Perhaps, theyre undercover vampires.
There are a couple of visual reinforcements that playfully showcase how little they care for day dates. Hani cuts up public transport cards. LE covers a car key in candle wax, implying that her lover isnt going home tonight. I enjoy these subtle details that get the message across in a lighthearted manner. Whats better is that the message isnt that deep, which is acceptable for a song with a laid back vibe.
Everything complements the jazzy pop track. The styling has a casual throwback feeling from the 90s with denim and neon combining for a fun, cool look. The choreography went well with the beat, too. It wasnt anything flashy, yet it caught my eye. EXID were so polished and clean with their moves, flowing in sync with the song. I know thats how it should always be, but sadly, it doesnt always work out for some groups. These ladies didnt suffer from such issues since the routine fit the mood perfectly.
Something else that caught my attention was that they didnt have a male love interest. Notice how Jeonghwa takes a solitary bath while Hyelin eats ramen and cake alone. Considering, there are lyrics referring to how theyll get sick eating if their date arrives too late, the Hyelin scene isnt all that strange. As for the bath, maybe Jeonghwa has one of those delicious bath bombs in there to prepare for their date. This all contributes to the anticipatory feelings EXID has for this midnight meeting. Theyre ready for sexy times.
For the most part, the song is chill and the video matches that. It walks a similar path to burlesque if you consider the sexual undertones of their nightly invitation to pleasure. Although, they dont quite say it directly, we get enough indirect clues to fill in the blanks. Its subtle, sensual, and a much-needed pre-summer jam. Im glad they toned things down for this song because this is the EXID I remember from their Every Night days, which included Solji, who is absent for health reasons. Hopefully, her health improves along with their music.
(YouTube, Images via Banana Culture.)
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