By: Kya Brodgon | 4, January, 2023
Two days before the end of 2022, ATEEZ returned with the song of the year. After two world tours, appearances at KCON LA, and three albums; ATEEZ rounds out 2022 with another mini album entitled Spin Off: From the Witness. Composed of two new songs — the title track “HALAZIA” and the instrumental of the album “Outro: Bluebird” — and three remixes of existing tracks, Spin Off is the perfect conclusion to ATEEZ’s 2022 discography.
An ode to their 2019 title track “HALA HALA (Hearts Awakened, Live Alive),” “HALAZIA” tells the story of finding hope in the darkness, and becoming that light for yourself and others to escape bad things. In the lyrics, ATEEZ questions, “우린 무얼 위해 / 이토록 침묵했던 것인가 / 이건 누구를 위한 어둠 속인가” (translation: “What have we been so silent for? / Who are we in the darkness for?”). The last line of the chorus is a desperate plea of “빛이 되어주오, oh, Halazia” (translation: Be the light). With the echoing of church bells in the background and the chant-like singing of “Hala-hala-hala-hala-halazia,” it’s next to impossible to not feel inspired to rise up against anything and everything that is holding you back from chasing what you want to achieve in life. While this is a common theme in ATEEZ songs, something about this song just hits harder. I don’t know if it was the cinematic experience of a music video they released or what, but this is quite possibly my favorite ATEEZ title track ever.
Not only is the song just incredibly good, but it also is used to fill in some blanks in the current ATEEZ lore universe. Confirmed by leader Kim Hongjoong himself in a lore Q&A (transcription and translation available here), Spin Off is the continuation of their lore just told from a different perspective – hence the album title Spin Off. Therefore, the music video reveals much-needed information in order to round out the lore and leave room for their next albums to continue on in the story.
More information on the overall plotline and details of the ATEEZ storyline can be found here. If you have any interest in the dystopian genre, I highly suggest taking a deep dive into ATEEZ’s lore, it’s my favorite lore storyline I’ve ever come across in music.