MAMAMOO Return With the Commanding ‘Illella’: Watch

While MAMAMOO‘s future seemed uncertain when the K-pop girl group released their I Say Mamamoo: The Best greatest-hits compilation last year, their new single “Illella” proves the quartet is very much still together and coming just as hard as ever.

MAMAMOO returned Tuesday (Oct. 11) with “Illella” as a full-fledged reminder of their commanding vocal deliveries and artistic auras. One of the top K-pop girl groups in terms of recognition and talent, the new track is crafted around an experimental groove (in line with 2019 and 2020 singles like “Aya,” “Dingga” and “Hip”) but still serves powerful belts and sleek harmonies, most notably in the final chorus’ key change. From Solar in a frilly pink dress to Hwasa rocking yarn-emblazoned chaps and a group look inspired by phys-ed uniforms, MAMAMOO get to show a range of colors and styles that feel celebratory of each unique member while still displaying how cohesive they are as a unit.

This fall marks more than eight years together for MAMAMOO, the latest act going strong beyond the traditional seven-year contract for most K-pop groups. Even though member Wheein left MAMAMOO’s record label RBW, the singer remained signed as a member of MAMAMOO and will be until at least December 2023. MAMAMOO’s return with “Illella,” and its accompanying Mic On EP that features two more new songs, is a reminder that groups can continue together strong even as the individual parts grow and branch out as necessary.

Watch the “Illella” video below:

Jeff Benjamin