Baekhyun Returns With Dark, Suave EP ‘Bambi’
The EXO member’s third solo offering showcases a more mature, sensuous side side of his artistry
South Korean pop star Baekhyun reminds us of his penchant for heady, immersive R&B with his latest EP Bambi. The record is led by a single of the same name and follows the EXO member’s previous solo EPs City Lights (2019) and Delight (2020), each of which explored various branches of R&B to showcase his expertise in the genre. “It really shows off my vocals much more compared to my past albums,” Baekhyun explained in a press conference earlier this morning. The singer added, “‘Bambi’ is sort of that stage of maturing, and that’s what you’ll be able to see. A more matured Baekhyun that holds a different line of emotions compared to ‘Candy.’ There’s a wide range of emotions and expressions that come out through this album as well. Not putting so much pressure/power, yet still being able to show that ‘sexy’ side as well.”
Produced and written by R&B artists SAAY and DEEZ, “Bambi” uses slow guitar and synth-based instrumentals to let Baekhyun’s stellar vocal runs, adlibs and falsettos shine. The singer goes all out, fully unleashing his incredible vocal capabilities while still making it seem effortless in its execution. The lyrics use various references to fairytales to describe a dreamy love story or express desire, “I selfishly want only myself to be living in this fairytale called you/ I sometimes wonder if you know how I feel/ The world I’ve known isn’t the real world, but fake I’ve been waiting for you, Tinkerbell/ Up high, high, high, make me fly high/ You’re my only Bambi Bambi/ It’s a perfect night for you.”
“It’s definitely one you’ll listen to and think that’s a ‘Baekhyun’ track,” stated the vocalist. “From the first time I heard it, the hook ‘Bambi, bambi,’ was very catchy and knew right away this track is for me.” On the meaning of the title, he explained, “There’s two [meanings,]–night rain, and the Bambi character. Both appear in the lyrics, and you’ll be able to feel the difference between the two ‘Bambi’ when you listen to the track. When recording, I focused on the pronunciation and tone, making sure even though it’s the same word, it gives off a different vibe.”
The music video sees Baekhyun moving through a dark train as he performs sleek, sexy choreography. His wardrobe switches between a suit and a leather jacket-jeans combination and he wears a fedora pulled low over his eyes to create a sense of mystery and danger in the plot. The singer revealed he was extremely involved in the video’s making, insisting on scenes that were important to the song’s meaning–for example the clips of him in the rain. “From the start, I provided a lot of references on what I wanted to create,” he said at today’s press conference. “Even when editing the MV, I selected the cuts/scenes that I wanted to include because I wanted to show what I had been visualizing for this track, and what I had in mind. More than directly showing myself singing like before, I wanted to draw on the emotion and carry out the story, focusing on the vibe/mood that I give off.”
Bambi comprises a total of six tracks and sees Baekhyun reunite with longtime collaborators like producers Colde and LDN Noise, plus lyricist Kenzie. The EP raked in a record-breaking 833,392 stock pre-orders as of March 29th and will be the singer’s final release before he enlists for mandatory military service. “This album came right before enlistment and in my thirties as well, so I prepared this as a present, but feel like I’m receiving more than I’m giving,” stated Baekhyun about Bambi. “I’ve made a new personal record with the number of pre-orders and I’m very thankful. I’ve wondered whether or not I’d be able to achieve such records again. I thought I was lucky last time, but I still feel that way now. I really want to thank everyone for the love and support, and hope I can give back even more.”
An earlier version of this article misstated the date of Baekhyun’s military enlistment. The date has not been officially announced. We apologise to our readers for the error.