“Time of Our Life” is the kind of song that makes you want to dance. Or sprint a mile. Or maybe both. It is, after all, a DAY6 track — raw emotion and piercing harmonies poured over electric guitar riffs, piano melodies, dynamic chords, and an anthemic pop-rock chorus. But the Korean rock band’s latest single, their first in seven months, is all of that and somehow more; part triumphant anime opening, part kaleidoscopic ode to the start of something new, “Time of Our Life” pulls you in one playful drum fill at a time and leaves you breathless.
Written by bassist Young K and composed by the members alongside their “commander in charge” producer Hong Jisang, the energetic song captures the exhilarating, heart-pounding feeling of a new romance — or, the start of a “beautiful page of youth,” sings honey-voiced keyboardist Wonpil. From the opening cymbals to the sweeping vocals, the single and its prismatic visual never let up.
The message itself is uplifting and — to use Young K’s favorite word — “beautiful” even, but the melodies take on a slightly harder and more powerful edge. Inspired by the pop-punk bands of their youth (Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and We The Kings, to name a few), DAY6 tells MTV News that “Time of Our Life” is about human relationships.
“Since it’s the very beginning [of a new chapter], we wanted to deal with the start of a relationship,” they said. “And in order to start a healthy relationship, we thought it’s important to know yourself well enough to know others.”
The theme of connection — both the connection you share with other people as well as the intimate connection you have with yourself — courses throughout their new EP, The Book of Us: Gravity. A mix of genres, sounds, and sentimental lyrics from Young K (who’s a credited lyricist on all six tracks), The Book of Us is one of DAY6’s “brighter,” more positive releases, they said, noting that there’s a “time and place for all emotions,” and now felt like the right time to emphasize hope. But it wasn’t necessarily planned that way.
“We never really decide which direction we want to write for a certain album,” they added. “It’s always about reaching out to areas that we haven’t explored while staying true to who we are… We’re curious kids and we kind of just let our musical curiosity lead us to our next album.”
From left to right: Sungjin (vocals, guitar, leader), Jae (vocals, main guitar), Young K (vocals, bass), Wonpil (vocals, keys) and Dowoon (drums)
That curiosity led Sungjin, Jae, Young K, Wonpil, and Dowoon to stand-out cuts like the soulful “How to Love” — in which vocalist and guitarist Sungjin’s raspy timbre really soars — and the rousing album closer “Best Part,” which finds the band fully embracing the moment. “I’m living the ‘me’ today to the fullest,” they sing over bouncy synths, “so the ‘me’ tomorrow can be happy.”
And then there’s “Wanna Go Back,” a laid-back track from Young K and guitarist Jae with a catchy instrumental juxtaposed with wistful lyrics that long for the carefree days of youth. “Where did that innocent smile go? If it is possible, I wanna go back.” (But longtime fans of DAY6 will probably get the most satisfaction from the song’s bridge, which finally gives drummer Dowoon a chance to show off his cavernously deep vocals.)
It’s songs like “Wanna Go Back” that demonstrate the band’s evolution from “five kids who just liked music to the band we are today” — a band that likes a challenge, that continuously experiments with genres and melodies and instrumentation. But perhaps most impressively: a band that’s unafraid to start a new page nearly four years in.