K-Pop's Dreamcatcher Continues Road To New Music With Teasers and Track List

The group moved ever closer to their 2nd comeback of 2023 with more reveals and surprises.

K-Pop's Dreamcatcher Continues Road To New Music With Teasers and Track List
Dreamcatcher group teaser for VillainS, Version 1. Source: hf_dreamcatcher (X/Twitter)

If I had to use one word to describe the lead-up to Dreamcatcher’s latest comeback here in late 2023, that word would be “intrigue”. Concepts, mood, and visuals are a big part of the pre-comeback push, and creating excitement and hype go hand-in-hand on the road to release. Dreamcatcher, of course, is no stranger to making these kinds of things happen - their mystery code puzzles and sometimes large variance in concept images have delighted fans for years. But this time around, things have gotten a lot more interesting and thought-provoking with speculation about a new story arc, the alternate reality game campaign, and images that have drawn a bunch of discussion about what Dreamcatcher is cooking up this time around. We saw some expected teasers but also a couple surprises this past week, along with the usual continuing content drip, so let’s take a look!

A double helping of Dreamcatcher’s Notes graced the official YouTube page this past week, with behind-the-scenes for Handong and Gahyeon’s first pitch/hit work for KBO team Doosan Bears and the other part of the group’s recent North American tour being uploaded. It was nice to see that the Bears were able to re-schedule Gahyeon after a rain-out caused her to miss her first pitch opportunity, and also to have Handong participate as well. I did find it funny that they called out Handong not being taught how to hold the bat properly, but maybe we can chalk that up to her holding back her previously-displayed brute force strength so she didn’t accidentally smack a homer into the stands.

As for the tour, it’s always nice to see some of the things we get to see that accompany the usual tour content, such as TikTok media and covers, which take a bit of work and preparation to put together. Yoohyeon, in particular, seems to be the architect of quite a bit of these bits and it’s not the first time we’ve seen her do it, either. The thought processes and interesting context for some of the in-concert content were interesting as well (such as finding out JiU and Handong didn’t even rehearse their part-switched “Troublemaker” cover and still nailed it), and of course, it was nice to see that everyone came out of the tour happy and healthy. It’ll probably be 2024 before we see the group on the road for a multi-city tour again, and my personal hope is that they give North America a bit of a break and try to hit up Europe, Latin America, or Southeast Asia if at all possible.

It’s always cool to see off-comeback variety appearances, and this past week we got an unexpected guest appearance by Main Vocalist Siyeon on Kang Soojin’s Voice Actor Classroom on the Nerds of Light. Like when we saw Dami get excited at meeting Sunny from SNSD, Siyeon got to talk, interact with, and even do a couple scenes with one of her favorite voice actors from childhood. Best known in South Korea as the voice of iconic characters Inu-Yasha and Monkey D. Luffy, Kang Soojin seemed all-too-happy to hear about how his work inspired Siyeon at an early age, and also to be impressed by her career arc into becoming a musician. Fans know that Siyeon is a big anime watcher, so arranging this had to have felt much less like work and more like just getting to meet someone she looked up to.

As long as we’re talking about the unexpected, Dreamcatcher pulled another one of their out-of-nowhere Special Clip drops with Yoohyeon doing a brief cover of (G)-IDLE’s “Oh my god”, with fellow ‘97 liner Dami teaming up with her to drop in her version of the iconic Soyeon rapverse. IDLE’s my third favorite group, so seeing one of their best songs get the Dreamcatcher spin was a really cool treat. Yoohyeon’s bright blue hair and the somewhat gothic-like setting and fashion set this up to be a darker version of the song, which is totally in Dreamcatcher’s wheelhouse. As a bonus, Yoohyeon even added later on paid chat platform Fromm that she drew inspiration from how she thinks fans might respond to Dami. Considering the kinds of reactions Dami draws when she drops in with her raps in Dreamcatcher’s discography, it’s a totally fair source to pick from. Either way, this parachuted in without preamble and even though it’s less than two minutes, has earned many a replay on my YouTube playlist.

Dreamcatcher group teaser ver. 2, with a white background and farwaway shot with the group standing in front in black and white colors.
Dreamcatcher group teaser for VillainS, version 2. Source: hf_dreamcatcher (Twitter)

The main attraction of the week, however, remains the lead-up to Dreamcatcher’s comeback on November 22nd, and this continued onward with two new group teaser images with two very different looks. We got a peek at full outfits for both versions, which seem to exude two different ways of portraying what could be Dreamcatcher’s villain arc - the rebellious, lawbreaking gang on one end and the elegantly dressed and deadly masterminds on the other. While it’s not a guarantee that we see these outfits appear on stage during promotions, it does nevertheless provide an interesting insight into what is possibly in store concept-wise, especially with subtle details such as Dami’s blackened fingertips and SuA’s bloody boots.

Dreamcatcher POCA version details with blurred photocards of the members and a red and black background.
Dreamcatcher POCA version album details, revealing seven member versions. Source: hf_dreamcatcher (X/Twitter)

This kind of aesthetic, it seems, has bled (pun only mildly intended) into the album designs, the last of which (POCA version, featuring mostly photocards and a digital version of the album/assets) was revealed this past week. It seems that having only two versions of group teasers did not preclude Dreamcatcher Company from having more than that for album types, with a single limited, four normal versions, and seven member POCA versions. That’s a total of twelve versions and a wild investment for those looking to collect everything - an even harder prospect when you consider the POCA versions, which are already sent individually by random choice, themselves have random inclusions.

It’s understandable to see some trepidation and concern from fans about the sheer number of purchases needed to potentially “collect ‘em all”, but I would say that a robust group order management and trading market should lessen the impact somewhat, and that it’s always the customer’s choice to buy more or less as they see fit. In the end, like the decision to make thinner, more environmentally friendly magazine-type normal versions, this is a business call that will play out one way or the other, so I expect if this is seen as excessive, it just simply won’t make money to offset the cost. We’ll have to see - but it is, however, going to be nice to see a huge amount of variance for albums this time around. There’s so much different that it’s bound to create interest.

ymenehcra99 twitter image with a red curtain, statue and the hidden message of swallow me behind it
ymenehcra99 image from November 11th. Source: ymenehcra99 (X/Twitter)

Speaking of different, Dreamcatcher’s Alternate Reality Game (ARG) continued as well with X/Twitter account ymenehcra99 keeping up the mystery with several posts about bouts of memory loss, still being determined to find or follow the crown and the continuation of a couple of images that seemingly didn’t make sense. One in particular, which featured a statue in front of a red curtain with the hidden message “SWALLOW ME” on it, was of particular note, especially as the vibe seemed to match that of fairytale Alice in Wonderland’s “DRINK ME” potions. It’s not exactly the same, but nevertheless, the continuation of the ARG seems to point to some kind of fantastical or supernatural element to this comeback’s concept that fans haven’t quite connected. Whether or not it plays out that way is anyone’s guess at this point, but it’s definitely created a bunch of buzz.

Track list for Dreamcatcher’s 9th Mini Album “VillainS”. Source: hf_dreamcatcher (X/Twitter)

That said, for all the mystery and intrigue we’ve been seeing this past week from Dreamcatcher, there’s no substitute for solid info, and that’s what we saw with the track list dropping near the end of the week. We got confirmation that the title track is indeed “OOTD”, (standing, potentially, for “Outfit Of The Day”)  and that we would have an intro and four vocal tracks. Ollounder returns with the rest of Edenary to create more music with Kikoi as a new credited composer on the last track, “We Are Young”, ensuring that for the most part we will likely get the usual Dreamcatcher core sound fans have come to enjoy.

As with previous comebacks, it’s hard to tell what exactly we’ll be getting just from track names, but we may see something either in supporting articles or, of course, in next week’s audio teasers. OOTD has been called a “hip” song by JiU, and something that is completely different from prior title tracks. We do hear this as a general refrain in many teaser comments from K-Pop groups, but I’ve always been appreciative of Dreamcatcher for being a bit experimental with their music as it relates to their rock/pop core. We’ll have to see how things go, but as always, you can count on me reporting on all the latest and greatest for Dreamcatcher every Sunday - so for all of that, and more, I’ll see you then!

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