Best known for his work in K-pop group VIXX, actor and singer Hyuk is closing 2019 with his solo EP Winter Butterfly, a solid five-track release after a run of singles earlier this year.
Boy With a Star and Way To You are arguably the standouts here, both breaking out into windswept choruses despite their stylistic differences. The former features warm, drawn-out piano chords which gel perfectly with the 24-year-old’s cyclical melodies and sustained strings for a powerful ballad. Way To You builds from chugging palm-muted guitar chords into marching drum rolls and trip-hop beats which help lift the airy, falsetto-fuelled feel of the chorus.
An Daeun duets with Hyuk over some slinky, coffee-house acoustic guitar picking on If Only, before A Long Night closes with a tender two-note piano melody, which again evolves into a much denser affair – with full string arrangements, distant electro drum booms, call-and-response choruses and a questionable trap hi-hat pattern which slightly undermines this otherwise heartfelt tear-jerker.
If Hyuk can maintain this level of quality, there’s no reason why his solo career can’t blossom into something stunning.