Over a month after the release of their pre-release single, ASTRO‘s Moonbin and Sanha are finally back with ‘WHO’ and their second mini-album – and it couldn’t be better! They surprised us all in 2020 with their debut as ASTRO‘s first sub-unit and the release of ‘Bad Idea.’ It’s fair to say that ‘Bad Idea’ and the entire release have aged like fine wine. So, of course, the expectations for ‘WHO’ and their second mini-album, REFUGE, were high. Yet, with this comeback, they took it to a whole other level and it’s simply mindblowing.
As incredible as ‘Bad Idea‘ is and how much success it had, Moonbin and Sanha didn’t get too comfortable and came up with something totally new and refreshing. Worry not, ‘WHO’ has everything we loved from Moonbin and Sanha’s sub-unit in the first place. It is a kind of dark song, and just like the lyrics imply, the song totally lures you into this incredible atmosphere. The pre-chorus is pop perfection and it is followed by an addictive and amazing drop. It is a song that not many could pull off, but of course, Moonbin and Sanha do it perfectly!
One of the best parts of this release is by far the music video. While the music video for ‘Ghost Town’ was pretty simple yet stunning, ‘WHO’ is on a whole other level. The cinematography is simply top-notch. The visuals are impressive and simply beautiful – and it still doesn’t quite describe it. The different settings in a church and imageries created in the music video are gorgeous and quite intriguing. Just like the song, it is truly hypnotizing! Moonbin and Sanha really created a masterpiece with this one.
Following IN-OUT‘s footsteps, it’s no surprise that REFUGE doesn’t have a single skip.
‘BOO’ and ‘DIA’ are both bright and fun songs. However, ‘BOO’ has this kind of dark twist to it. It’s still a fun song that mixes pop elements with a trap rhythm as a backtrack. ‘DIA’ is more retro and deeply influenced by disco. Not only is the beat incredibly addicting, but the drop is simply the biggest boost of serotonin.
However, the third b-side, ‘Distance,’ is on a whole different vibe. It is a beautiful ballad about the growing distance with someone they love. It’s about wanting to hang on to something that seems to fade away each day more. The acoustic guitar in the track and the melody creates this mixture of comfort and heartbreak – it is spectacular. And this is by far, with ‘WHO,’ the b-side that showcases the most their vocals. They sound absolutely mesmerizing – just like the entirety of the EP, to be fair.
REFUGE closes off on their pre-release single, ‘Ghost Town,’ released earlier this year to announce their first comeback. To read our review of the track, click here!
In many ways, one could interpret these songs as a story. We go from the beginning of a love story with ‘WHO’ and ‘BOO,’ to having fun and being in love with ‘DIA.’ We then move on to ‘Distance’ – a song about struggling to let go. And, finally, ‘Ghost Town’ is letting go of the hurt and moving on.
Moonbin and Sanha really went above and beyond our expectations, which were already pretty high, and released an incredible EP. No matter where you look at it from, REFUGE is an absolute masterpiece. And this is how you make your first comeback!
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