If you don’t know who twlv is, you might be interested in reading our previous post about him. Here is some useful information about 다신, 너에게 (Rewind):
- It tells the story of the end of a relationship;
- The couple is played by Gim Geum One and Cho Hyun Soo (twlv);
- twlv wrote the song just before a breakup;
- He thought about the music video while making the song;
- The music video is directed by Ro Rock Hoon;
- The gaffer (chief lighting technician) is Yeom Chan Ho.
I highly recommend watching the documentary Traces of your Echoes in which twlv explains the creation of the EP and his writing process. Without further ado, here’s the music video.
Time & Memories
Time and memories are two essential notions in both the song and the music video. The title is literally “Rewind”, and this word is also highlighted in the chorus when twlv asks his past lover, “Could you rewind this?” Many shots show a clock, and in some of them, the time is going backward. My favorite is the one with a mirror effect.
Some scenes look like a projected image as if twlv was reliving his past. The oblong reminds me of the slide of an old projector.
Despite the time markers (night sky, sunlight, clocks), my overall feeling is that I’m being propelled outside of time. The music video begins with the murder of a woman, which represents the end of their relationship. But after this scene, we jump to differents memories in a non-chronological order. I don’t think the killing takes place in the present. In my opinion, it’s just twlv’s most recent memory because the breakup is the last thing they shared together.
The red light emanating from the bathroom embodies the violence of the breakup, but it also reminds me of a darkroom. Pictures are like tangible memories, so I’m pretty sure the opening scene belongs to a past event.
The lighting also contributes to erasing temporal reference points because it takes us away from reality and leads us to a state between conscious and subconscious. Sometimes it’s brutal (red light), sometimes it feels strange (green light), and sometimes it’s like a dream that is now turning into a nightmare (blue, purple, pink, red gradient light).
Moreover, the chiaroscuro creates different frames of mind:
- The slightly blurred black and white adds mystery around the woman (she’s like a fantasy);
- The sharp black and white makes the scene more frightening (overthinking is not healthy);
- In the third image, the black background and high-contrast lighting emphasize that twlv is in a hostile place (feelings of guilt over his breakup).
The Messy End Of A Love Story
Euripides once said that love makes time pass and time makes love pass. I agree. And when love is gone, things can get really messy. As I said earlier, the breakup is symbolized by the murder scene. There’s something cruel and brutal in a breakup. I’m not talking about basic relationships; I’m talking about when you have so much love for someone that you feel like your body can hardly contain that amount of love. But a few months, a few years later, you realize that things are different. That’s traumatizing! In the lyrics, they both hurt each other:
- Pre-chorus 1: 네가 만든 상처는 아물지 않아서 [The woud you made doesn’t heal]
- Pre-chorus 2: 내가 만든 상처는 아물지 않아서 [The woud I made doesn’t heal]
However, there’s a slight difference between the lyrics and the music video. The ex-lovers are equally hurt in the song, while twlv is the most abusive on the screen. He cuts her hair, drags her to the ground, and finally stabs her. I think the three hairstyles of the woman represent the 3 different stages of their relationship:
- long hair: they are in the honeymoon phase, and love feels like a dream ✨;
- short hair: things start to go wrong, but there’s more good than bad ❤️🩹;
- shaved head: this is a nightmare, and this awful situation leads to the breakup (or the murder in the music video 🔪).
The downfall of their relationship is also represented in the following way:
- They used to share something sweet (the ice scream);
- They used to be passionate (kiss in front of a wood fire);
- At the end of their relationship, they shared something toxic (the cigarettes);
- But even if there was nothing left but embers and ashes, they kept trying to fix it (they smoke in each other’s arms or smoke as if they were kissing).
I made this collage to make the explanation clearer:
In the scene that looks like an interrogation room, twlv is the only one wearing handcuffs. Maybe because he’s the one who ended the relationship, or he blames himself for some things he wishes he had done differently. “What if we had” questions can drive you mad. Hence his restless sleep and the scenes in a hospital (most likely an asylum). But deep down, he knows they would still be apart, even if he had acted differently. That’s why he says, “ultimately, the end would be the same” (English translation of “결국 끝은 똑같겠지”). The chorus is like the conclusion of a thought that keeps coming back.
Echoes & Freedom
In his documentary Traces of your ECHOES, twlv said, “We are just people going on and off relationships. […] These relationships will repeat themselves and spread out like “echoes”. Thus, the album title.” After a breakup, echoes linger in the memory, which is why his girlfriend appears beside him as he looks at her dead body.
This is the first time she seems to have an unhealthy hold on him. Look at that evil smile! It’s like she’s saying, “Now that I’m dead, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. You’re stuck with me forever! ” Before this scene, she exerted a kind of fascination on him that made him follow her. She comes and goes like a ghost. Moreover, the actress Gim Geum One expresses so much emotion through her eyes. Her acting highly contributes to creating this aura of mystery that surrounds her.
At the end of the pre-chorus, twlv says, “I don’t look back” (English translation of “뒤돌아보지 않아“). Yet he does the exact opposite in the music video. I think this is because everything we see on screen doesn’t reflect what actually happens in reality. We are inside twlv’s mind. Every time he tries to move on, memories get in the way.
Shortly after the murder scene, twlv finds himself alone on a highway. The foggy sky and the soft focus symbolize his mixed feelings about the breakup. He’s in a state of confusion. His dead/ex girlfriend suddenly appears, then he does turn around and follow her.
On the subway, we can read “Now playing Allie” on the screen of his iPod. It’s probably the name of the woman. twlv takes off an earphone as if someone called him and looks back. Then, we are again thrown into his memories. I would like to draw a parallel between sound (music) and echo. An echo is the reflection of a sound and (in this context) a symbolic way of expressing a memory. So basically, “Now playing Allie” means he’s thinking about her.
When we are on a highway or on a train, we have no choice but to go straight ahead. So I think twlv is resolved to move on, but memories don’t fade away so easily. That’s why twlv can’t stop thinking about the things they used to do together. In the bridge, twlv sings:
너무 눈부시던 그때로
그저 꿈만 같던 그때로
Back then, it was so bright
Back then, it was just like a dream
And there’s one shot that I particularly like because it visually expresses two different timelines at once (them being a happy couple and them being nothing anymore).
The lighting, the set decoration, the staging are so captivating! We can see a happy couple on the left; this is the brightest part of the image. The right side is way much darker. I don’t know if you remember it, but the right side is also the murder scene. So we have a left side representing love; a right side that symbolizes the breakup, and between them, there’s a refrigerator. Fridges preserve food just as memories treasure an event.
In the pre-chorus, twlv sings, “우린 서로를 너무나 잘 알아서” [= we know each other so well]. When you have shared so many moments with someone, the memories can’t fade right away. The fridge symbolizes the memories, the echoes that stick to your brain. Besides, many stickers and pictures are stuck to the fridge door. We can even notice a drawing of a camera and a poster in French on which it is written: “La photo, c’est Radio Pygmalion” [= This picture, that’s Radio Pygmalion].
At the beginning of the music video, time is going backward. However, at the end of the bridge (so when the song reaches its highest climax), time returns to normal, and we go from 11:59 a.m to 12:00 p.m. To me, it means that twlv accepts that these echoes are now a part of him. He understands that there’s nothing to be saved anymore, and he’s ready to move on. That’s why he says in the last chorus, “Don’t you rewind this” and instead of “Could you rewind this?” The ending scene shows a nurse tending his cuts, or maybe he’s about to undergo surgery, either way, this might suggest a healing process. So don’t let your emotional baggage hold you back.
How does twlv describe the music video?
Guess we’ll never know 🤷♀️. But tell me what you think of the music video in the comments.