On May 10th this year, a Korean all-vocal rock band, DAY6, halted promotions when a couple of their members suffered social-anxiety disorder. The next day, their sixth extended play released on all Korean and worldwide music platforms, The Book of Us: The Demon, with a title track called ‘Zombie’. Quoted from TIME, the title track ‘Zombie’ is arguably one of the most emotionally impactful songs of the year that ironically delivered without any trace of emotion.
The album, The Book of Us: The Demon, is DAY6’s sixth mini-album, continuing the series of The Book of Us. Before The Demon, DAY6 released The Entropy in October 2019 with the title track ‘Sweet Chaos’. DAY6 initially wrote the album based on the many irregularities that we experience throughout our lives. Through this album, DAY6 wanted to provide a small bit of comfort for those who might be suffering or struggling with imbalances in their emotions. The album itself consists of eight new tracks with seven Korean tracks and one English track.
Reaching number one on the biggest Korean music platforms right after its release, ‘Zombie’ holds a special meaning to the singers and the fans, MyDay. Intentionally or not, ‘Zombie’ was released at the same time as the pandemic strikes the whole world. People were (and are still) in quarantine, feeling lonely and trapped inside their houses. Some listeners stated that ‘Zombie’ helped them to get through the hard times. ‘Zombie’ puts the spotlight on an individual and his meaningless existence. Wonpil of DAY6 came up with the word ‘Zombie’ when he looked outside the window of his car and saw people came home after work. They looked very tired, walking seamlessly with their eyes on the phones. It seemed like they were “breathing but dying inside”, just like Zombie’s English lyrics.
The Korean song started with the lyrics “What kind of day was it yesterday? Was there anything special? I’m trying to remember, but nothing much comes to mind.” Young K, the lyricist, wanted to depict that living a busy life, we tend to just run in circles. Every day is the same and there’s nothing to look forward to tomorrow as tomorrow would be no different. The song cuts deep and painful for me the first time when the lyrics go, “Am I the only one struggling?” and “Since when have I ended up like this?”. The voiced thoughts and questions were all too familiar to me. The song continues by saying that “This meaningless life, though I want to just let go, though I want to just dream on, there’s nothing I can do no more.” This part strongly depicted that feeling void of purpose in one’s life. When someone is too depressed, they often keep feeling sad that they aren’t able to make their purposes work. Thus, they continue to fall deeper down the spiral. DAY6’s ‘Zombie’ perfectly portrays that a life without purpose is a life without a destination as depicted in the music video where the main lead just walks soullessly to and from work as if he just lost his purpose in life.
The song came to an end with the lyrics go “I walk on, drifting aimlessly. Tomorrow will be no different. I live counting the time ’til I close my eyes,” portraying that even though tomorrow would just be the same as today, DAY6 reminds the listeners to keep walking and still looking forward to tomorrow. Despite the dark lyrics, ‘Zombie’ was written to give comfort and it certainly holds the power to make listeners feel less alone on their own.
2020 has been hard for everyone to go through and we should applaud ourselves for making it safely. As the year is ending, ‘Zombie’ is continuously giving comfort to those who are struggling with their worries and letting them know that other people are supporting them too, that they are not alone. Following the success of the song, ‘Zombie’ brought a win to DAY6 for Best Band Performances in Mnet Asian Music Awards 2020 and is still being the talk among Korean and foreign music critics about how ironically relatable it is for the year of 2020.