aespa’s latest single “Hold On Tight” – released on March 31 – is a part of Apple Original Film’s Tetris soundtrack, which comprises of 15 other songs from various artists, including the lead single “Benevolence” by Aaron Hibell. Using the familiar sound fans have come to recognize from the famous arcade game, the K-pop girl group delivered a song that does justice to its original inspiration.
Alongside the girls’ impressive vocals, the techno track’s upbeat melody has been praised for its fresh sound even though it samples age-old music.
The lyrics also help to drive the sci-fi nature of the sound, which features a pulsating electro groove, and the vocals by instructing listeners to imagine what it would feel like to buckle up and going on the ride of our lives. “Baby, you and me are a twisted fantasy / Buckle up and take a seat, hold on tight,” Ningning sings in the intro.
“Situation critical, it’s heavy / A million blocks of obstacles, you help me / See a different POV (Givin’ back all my) / Faith in a catastrophe (It’s alright),” the first verse, with its curious little homage to Tetris – “a million blocks of obstacles” – sounds like something we can expect to hear in an action movie.
“Keep on movin’ (Movin’) / Beat the system, autopilot cruisin’ (Cruising) / Tunnel vision victory, no losin’ (Losin’) / Heaven knows it’s one hell of a ride / Better hold on tight, better hold on tight / For your life,” the pre-chorus continues with its lyrics inspiring a sense of adventure. The lyrics are said to reflect the protagonist’s rough journey to Tetromino.
“Hold On Tight” is accompanied by a visualizer that sees colored Tetris blocks falling on a picture of the girls, who are rocking combat-ready attires. The music interpolates two nineteenth-century Russian folk songs more commonly known as themes from the Tetris games – “Kalinka”, written by Ivan Larionov, who is credited on the track due to the sample, and “Korobeiniki.” Alongside Ivan Larionov, Aaron Hibell, Boy Matthews, Dave LaBrel, and Georgia Ku also worked on the track as writers, with Hibell producing the track.
Apart from the song lacking a bridge, fans are also wishing that it was a little longer. However, many have confessed that they’ve had it on a loop since hearing it for the first time.
It seems right to have aespa on a video game-inspired song, as each of the girls remarkably exists as an avatar in the virtual world.
Directed by Jon S. Baird, Tetris is a biographical thriller film that follows Henk Rogers, who discovers the game and risks everything in order to make it accessible to the masses.