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[Analysis] NewJeans – Super Shy by Pianella Piano

NewJeans five member sposing.

"New hair, new tee, NewJeans, do you see?" If someone were to ask which idol group is creating the most fresh wave in the K-pop scene, many people would answer with "NewJeans." Having debuted on July 22, 2022, NewJeans has been gaining attention so that they are leading the 4th generation K-pop idol scene. With the unparalled success of their debut album, which includes songs like "Attention," "Hype Boy," and "Hurt," their presence cannot be ignored, even though they only recently debuted. NewJeans has been releasing songs that are considered the most successful K-pop songs of 2022 and 2023. This has fueled fans' curiosity about the kinds of songs that NewJeans will bring to the K-pop scene.

After a long wait for their fans, NewJeans finally released a pre-title track called "Super Shy." Following its release, fans have been allured by the fact that NewJeans has not only gained fame within Korea but has also started to influence people globally. For instance, their song "Super Shy" has been charting in the British music scene for four weeks, and they reached the 38th on the album chart. As a result, they have become the second K-pop girl group to chart in the U.K. Not stopping there, they have continued to make waves in the United States, where considered to be the strongest music industry that is uneasy to step in as a non-English musicians. However, they solidified their global status and raised expectations for their future success by charting their album on the Billboard 200. Aren't you curious about their secret to success? What makes them stand out? If you are interested in what made NewJeans so fresh and unique, here we are going to give you a clue. We are about to delve into an analysis of NewJeans' latest song, "Super Shy," in order to understand why NewJeans have come to be regarded as the "New hair, new tee, NewJeans" not only in the K-pop scene but also worldwide.

If you are interested, come find the differently arranged covers for NewJeans!

First thing we would like to say is their conceptual style, which has been praised as something new by K-pop followers, mostly stems from their music. For instance, they have released music that is not "loud" or "noisy," unlike other K-pop songs. "Hype Boy" and "Attention" in 2022, for example, received compliments due to their natural musical vibe, reminiscent of 90's minimal music and style, which resonated with fans. Many fans argued that the pre-NewJeans era was entering a phase where the general public could not comprehend, but only idol fans could. To differentiate from other groups, aesthetically, they brought back the 90's vibe of a simple yet catchy music style that could appeal to both older and younger generations. This was achieved by choosing a stable beat with no modulation and a repetitive melody.

"Super Shy," in this sense, is another prime example of how NewJeans has captivated fans globally. They continue their tradition of creating calming yet catchy music with this track. However, it is worth mentioning that their choice of genre makes their music not only calming but unique. Its genre, Jersey club, is a unique choice that had rarely been used in the K-pop idol music. Jersey club is a musical genre characterized by electronic and fast beats of sound. Mostly used in Hip-hop music, Jersey club was a genre that idols could not easily associate with their music while NewJeans were bold enough to bring it in. While it might have been challenging for young idols to grasp the concept of Jersey club, they managed to adeptly incorporate its musical elements into their own style.

We're not suggesting that its freshness only comes from the use of a rare musical genre, but also from various musical elements. For instance, "Super Shy" effectively employs the use of staccato, with keyboard synth arrangements that are designed to give a fantastic atmosphere into the song. Furthermore, to emphasize its title "Super Shy," of being shy, a subtle nuance has been added through the use of consistent rhythm of drumming. In contrast to many other K-pop songs, it avoids relying on multiple modulations even in the highlight of the song, resulting in a truly distinct atmosphere. This attracts Western listeners as well who are not used to the K-pop music with an unexpected modulation in the highlight of music.

Finally, don't forget their vocals! Each member's vocal style seamlessly blends with the song's summery vibe. In "Super Shy," it appears that they are putting their effort to convey a minimal and clean vocal style that aligns with the laid-back atmosphere of the track. Their careful vocals truly stand out in this song. Considering it was released at the onset of summer, people would have been able to sense the song's uncomplicated yet distinctly summery atmosphere through their vocals.

Piano Cover by Pianella Piano

If you've been following our exploration of why NewJeans has become a musically sensational group, we assume you might be interested in delving into their music yourself! If that's the case, why not play NewJeans' latest song "Super Shy" on your own? Here is a simple yet wonderfully arranged piano version of "Super Shy" designed to allow you to easily enjoy their music.

While NewJeans tried hard to maintain simplicity in their music, Jova Musique - Pianella Piano, an YouTuber who uploads cover music of pop songs, successfully covered NewJeans' musical aesthetic. By simply playing the main melody throughout the upper ranges, the left hand is designed to provide accompaniment with minimal variations. For example, the left hand mostly covers harmony and rhythm with arpeggios, playing notes one after the other, creating a flowing and harmonious sound. Moreover, when it comes to a different melody, Pianella attempts to incorporate a different type of rhythmic element - harmonic accompaniment. Starting from 00:45, Pianella tries to blend in harmonic accompaniment, yet rhythmic variations stood out. This offers an easy transformation from arpeggio to harmonic accompaniment while also adding diversity and emphasis to the main melody on the right hand.

Even more interestingly, Pianella keeps the sunny feel of the original song. Since it's tough to follow all of Jersey club's rules just on the piano, Pianella cleverly decides not to change the song's feeling. If Pianella had tried to use a lot of Jersey club stuff, it might have lost the originality and confused listeners. Also, it could have been hard to play for beginners! But this version is simple to play.

In short, this could be your next piano song to try! Here's Pianella's sheet that you can get and practice with. Before the summer ends, why not start playing it yourself?

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