SKarf: Doing as fairies do with ‘Oh! Dance!’
Ahhh… to be lithe and graceful. The girls of Alpha Entertainment‘s first group SKarf have finally released their title track ‘Oh! Dance!’, along with its MV, after individual and group teasers of the four members came out a couple of days ago. The concept? Sweet-looking girls in floaty white dresses against a dreamy forest garden. They also have a little tea time get-together. Cute!
Like I’ve mentioned previously, 2012 has had a considerable amount of debuts, and while the first half was dominated by mainly male groups (B.A.P, EXO,NU’EST and JJ Project to name a few), it looks like we’re set to see a lot more femme action before the year comes to a close. Seriously, where do they all pop out from?? I’ve yet to check out the girls of many of the new acts such as AOA, EvoL and D-Unit, but already we’re introduced to yet another girl group. So how do they hold up?
To start off, the quartet consists of Tasha, Ferlyn, Sol and Jenny. Despite being the oldest member at 21, Sol is…surprise, surprise, not the leader. While this isn’t a first, seeing as how most groups in the industry place a large emphasis on age as a deciding factor when choosing leaders possibly due to the perception that with age comes maturity, I’m pleasantly surprised that 19-year-old Tasha takes the reins here. Despite being the second youngest member, she is seemingly holding the title well with her calm and serene-like demeanour.
Given that girly concepts are a dime a dozen, SKarf’s image isn’t terribly exciting. What I like however, is that the girls don’t seem to be gunning for a totally cutesy look. ‘Oh! Dance’ might just be a tentatively safe step into the industry. Much of the MV showcases the girls smiling prettily into the camera or dancing, which would transit into a lackluster, cold zone if not for the fact that it does go well with the ethereal, pure visuals of the set. If you’re thinking that you might have seen all this somewhere not too long ago, it’s probably because A Pink had an almost identical concept last year with ‘I Don’t Know‘.
The instrumental of ‘Oh! Dance’ has a slightly nostalgic 90s feel to it, and I really like how the verses of the song have an uplifting beat that complements the vocals before the repetitive, airy chorus. I personally prefer the singing bits a lot more than the chorus, but it’s the latter that’s stuck in my head and reminds me a lot of former SM group S.E.S‘ 1998 hit ‘Dreams Come True‘. It’s got that enchanting celestial sound that girl groups hardly cover anymore, so I think it’s a great idea that SKarf is exploring it.
Vocally, none of the members strike me as particularly outstanding, but judging from what I’ve heard so far, Sol seems to have the strongest voice while Ferlyn seems to rap just that little bit better than Tasha. I’m a little worried as to how they will fare when promoting the song live, since their singing might come out passably bland when their singing abilities are still pretty weak, but we’ll have to see. Tasha has a wonderfully low, husky tone to her voice, but the saccharine tone of ‘Oh! Dance’ doesn’t do her much justice. Jenny doesn’t make much of an impact either, which is a shame because the girl’s really rocking the green dip-dyed hair.
Similarly, the choreography doesn’t boast any powerful moves or solo dance breaks so we don’t have any inkling as to which girl’s the better dancer (Tasha does have a good background though, her grandfather owns a dance studio in Singapore). I do like the chorus where they do their ‘Oh, dance, ohhhhh, dance’ bit though!
While SKarf might currently only be generating hype due to it being the first ever Korean-Singaporean girl group to debut, I’m psyched by the potential they have. Female Chinese members like Fei and Jia of Miss A have been doing well in the K-pop industry so far, and I’m hoping this means the Korean audience (and the rest of the world as well) is beginning to open up to the idea that slowly, other talents from neighbouring countries could possibly make it as K-pop stars too. While most might still prefer it if our idols remain well, pure-bred Koreans, I’m honestly okay with ‘foreign talent’ so long as they have the X-factor and most importantly, the passion for the music that they do. I think EXO-M is a good representation of that, but that’s a whole other article altogether. For now, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for these girls, and I can’t wait to see them in action once they join the line-up of weekly music shows.
Check out the MV for ‘Oh! Dance!’ below: