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(2nd LD) BTS unveils single 'Black Swan' in the run-up to official album release next month

All Headlines 21:21 January 17, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 11, 15)
By Park Boram

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- K-pop super band BTS on Friday dropped "Black Swan," a track from the band's upcoming "Map of the Soul: 7" album, scheduled for official release next month.

The song hit major South Korean and overseas online music streaming services in the evening ahead of the full release of the fourth full-length album and second "Map of the Soul" album on Feb. 21.

"Black Swan," BTS' exploration of their inner selves as artists, is a continuation of the theme of exploring one's ego, from the 2019 album "Map of the Soul: Persona," inspired by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung's theories.

These images from the art video of BTS' "Black Swan" are provided by Big Hit Entertainment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Laced with trap drum beats and lo-fi-style guitar tunes, the echoing emo hip hop song delves into the seven BTS members' meditations on their dedication to music.

Along with the single, BTS released a YouTube video matching the new song, which features a modern dance performance by Slovenia-based MN Dance Company.

The art video is the K-pop band's latest venture to combine pop with modern arts after the band launched art exhibition projects featuring modern fine art creators in London earlier this week in its experimental "Connect, BTS" project as part of the second "Map of the Soul" album release.

"Black Swan" is richer in musical narrative and artistry than BTS' previous songs, inviting the group's devoted fans to the band's famous social message-laden musical journey to discover and love oneself.

"Black Swan" is a confession of BTS as globally sensational artists, according to a specification of the song provided by the band's management agency, Big Hit Entertainment.

The song compares the terrifying moment of the end as an artist that is lurking inside the BTS members to "black swan."

When the members encounter the black swan in their inside, it ironically awakens them to music's true value and meaning, according to Big Hit.

"(In the song, BTS) suffers from a fear that the longer it does music, the less music impresses or thrills them, but the moment the band comes face to face with the 'black swan' deep in their heart, they ironically realize that music is their only thing," according to Big Hit.

The artistic dedication by Martha Graham, a legendary American modern dancer and choreographer, was the key inspiration for the new BTS song.

The iconic dancer's famous statement, "A dancer dies twice -- once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful," was cited in the opening scene of the art video released Friday.

Filmed against the backdrop of a vacant, run-down theater, MN Dance Company's video adds to the song's mystic and meditational air, by bringing up the image of a struggling black swan through movements performed by seven dancers.

This image of the album cover of BTS' "Map of the Soul: 7" is provided by Big Hit Entertainment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Within less than three hours of its release, "Black Swan" topped major domestic online music charts, including those by Soribada, Naver Music and Bugs.

A week earlier, BTS released "Interlude: Shadow," a hip hop number performed by member Suga, as the trailer of the band's imminent return to the world stage.

On Feb. 3, BTS is set to release its second trailer, "Eco."

Having scored its third No. 1 on Billboard 200 with its previous album, "Persona," in April last year, the new album is on its way to dazzling the music world and dedicated fans and bringing the band's global sensation one step further.

Pre-orders for the new album have topped 3.42 million copies in the first week since pre-sales began last week, the biggest pre-order volume ever for a South Korean album.

These images from the art video of BTS' "Black Swan" are provided by Big Hit Entertainment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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