K-pop star Hyolyn is back with one of her most vulnerable releases to date. Out on Wednesday (May 22), “Youknowbetter” is a standalone single from the singer based on her personal experiences.
The new track, her first of 2019, is an impactful dance-tinged ballad that puts the emphasis on Hyolyn’s expressive vocal tone as she flits between airy breathiness and powerful, sweeping belts. Lyrically, the song relays the artist’s sense of loneliness and focuses on a relationship that ended in sorrow despite her putting her trust in it — “I needed a friend/ I guess you didn’t,” she sings — and shares how the singer wanted to hold onto it but knew that it was something she needed to turn away from. "I just didn't want to lose you/ I hope this will not happen next/ I was wrong again/ Why I had to let go of you/ You know it better,” Hyolyn asserts on the chorus.
The music video for the song turns the focus solely onto the star, doing away with the flash and flare often associated with the world of K-pop and instead pans over Hyolyn as she mournfully performs the dynamic track in a minimal space, with the only embellishment being writing that appears on her body midway through the clip.
Prior to the performance, the video opens with a segment where the singer expresses how she felt over the past year since going solo and launching her own company after the disbandment of former act Sistar in 2017. She shares how she has gone through a lot of changes over that time period, and ultimately ends with a determined outlook towards the future. "I hope I won't give up," she says, leading into “Youknowbetter.”
"Youknowbetter” was co-written by Hyolyn with Melanie Fontana and Michel "Lindgren" Schulz, who are frequent BTS collaborators and have worked increasingly with K-pop acts, including Everglow's popular debut single "Bon Bon Chocolat." The intimate lyrics of "Youknowbetter" were written entirely by Hyolyn, and the song is the first of the singer’s 2019 “#Xhyolynx” project.