BTS Piece Together their Fictional Universe in ‘Epiphany’
Vocalist Jin is caught in time loops, regret and multiple realities in the group’s latest comeback trailer
BTS seem to finally be wrapping up their tremendous fictional universe with the release of their latest video “Epiphany,” the comeback trailer for their upcoming album Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer.’ The track follows the group’s highly successful third LP Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ and continues their tradition of the members taking turns to feature solo on comeback trailers, this time with vocalist Jin.
The South Korean group are known for the highly-symbolic fictional universe they have built in their music videos, believed to have originated in 2015’s “I NEED U” and leading right up to 2018’s “Fake Love.” The story is a coming-of-age saga that shifts between reality and fantasy, life and death as it outlines the struggles faced by seven young men in their journey to find themselves.
Vocalist Jin’s character has long been considered the key to understanding the complex storyline–over the years, there have been several theories that assume he is on a journey to prevent his friends from meeting the tragic fates that lie in wait for them at the end of the video for “I NEED U.”
With the release of fictional diary entries titled ‘The Notes,’ BTS began taking a step towards making Jin’s role clear; the most recent note hints at time travel, multiple-realities and even a possible case of history repeating itself from one generation to another.
The video for “Epiphany” seems to feed this popular theory, portraying Jin in an endless time-loop as multiple versions of him repeat the same cycle again and again. In between, he walks out of the room he is in to stand in the rain and watch it reverse before heading back to begin the exact same cycle again. The video changes from black-and-white to color and then back, perhaps to indicate changes in eras and the futility of his actions.
The track is primarily alt-rock, a little reminiscent of the mid-2000s, as it blends soft acoustic guitar with wavy electric riffs. Jin’s vocals are dreamy and particularly striking on the background harmonies and adlibs. The lyrics are a literal epiphany about the fact that to love others, you first need to master the process of being able to love and accept yourself: “I finally realized, so I love me/Not so perfect, but so beautiful/I’m the one I should love.”
“Epiphany” began trending worldwide on social media upon it’s release and gathered nearly half a million views on YouTube within the hour. Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’ is slated for release on August 24th, following which BTS will embark on a world tour through Asia, Europe and America. The tour will begin in Seoul on August 25th and includes a night at Citi Field stadium in New York on October 6th, making them the first Korean artist to hold a solo stadium concert in the U.S.