Not long after the release of “Celebrity”, IU returned to the music scene on Mar. 25 with her fifth full-length album, Lilac. Known as the Nation’s Little Sister, IU is an artist who can adapt to different genres of music throughout the years.
In honor of her recent comeback, here are seven IU songs K-Pop fans should take a listen to. All songs on the list are in chronological order by their release date.
1) “Cruel Fairy Tale” (2011)
“Cruel Fairy Tale” is a dark fantasy-like b-side from her single album, Real+. This song tells the listeners that love and life do not last forever like in fairy tales. The song references popular fairy tales such as Charles Perrault’s Cinderella and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
2) “Havana” (2013)
From IU’s third full album, Modern Times, “Havana” can be described as a mellow Bossa nova track. The title refers to Havana, the capital of Cuba. It tells a story between the narrator and their romantic interest.
A song about two lovers cherishing the small things in their relationship while enjoying their vacation on a tropical island.
3) “Pierrot Smiles at Us” (2014)
From the 2014 extended play, A Flower Bookmark, “Pierrot Smiles at Us” is a cover of the 1990’s song of the same title by Kim Wan-Sun. This modern Jazz piece describes the narrator as Pierrot, a sad, lovestruck clown that always has a smile on their face. “Pierrot Smiles at Us” represents how people smile to hide their sadness.
4) Red Queen featuring Zion.T (2015)
“Red Queen” is an upbeat retro-inspired track from her fourth mini-album, Chat-Shire. The song is about a well-loved girl who is misunderstood by the general public.
In a chat show from her 2015 comeback, IU explained the self-portrait she chose to describe the track was a drawing created by her best friend, former f(x) member Sulli.
5) Black Out (2017)
In her fourth full-album Palette, “Black Out” is a pop-based track. The track is an upbeat song that places the audience in a party-like setting. While partying, they become more blissful and satisfy their personal needs whether it is mingling with strangers or enjoying the music.
The song does not shy away from its extravagant nature in the chorus. “Black Out” makes a notable reference to Mrs. Dalloway and her extravagant parties from the novel, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
6) Sleepless Rainy Night (2017)
Three years after A Flower Bookmark, IU released her second cover EP, A Flower Bookmark 2. The song “Sleepless Rainy Night” is a 1990 song by Kim Gun-mo. It is a moody mid-tempo song that tells the story of the listener staying up during a rainy night while reminiscing the old times with their beloved.
7) Above The Time (2019)
“Above The Time” is a ballad track from her fifth mini-album, Love Poem. It served as a follow-up track to the popular 2011 song, “You & I”. The song describes the feeling of waiting for a person for a long period before reuniting with them once.