The music has got BTS going in their new single Permission to Dance, and nothing’s going to stop how they move.
Released on Friday (July 9) as the B-side to May’s song Butter , the summery Permission to Dance is a euphoric pop song meant for celebrating. A physical album featuring the two songs also dropped on Friday.
Accompanied by a music video that evokes Americana and a bright future where we can all dance and throw off our masks in a post-pandemic world, the English-language song is said to spread “the message that you don’t need permission to dance to your heart’s content, dedicated to anyone who is having a bad day or is discouraged in the face of reality”.
The song features BTS’ seven members exuberantly singing lyrics based around optimism and dancing to your own tune without anyone’s permission. Musically, Permission to Dance is brassy and full of bright string instrumentals, and feels like a pure bit of ear candy.
The song notably has a bit of a boost from two popular British music icons: Ed Sheeran co-wrote the song, while Elton John gets a shout out early on the lyrics.
The music video’s choreography appears to incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) in some of its moves, with members signing words featured in the lyrics such as “dance”, “talk”, and “walk”. Fans rapidly took note, and applauded the inclusivity of it.
Sign language artists often interpret songs for hard-of-hearing music fans, and several BTS songs have been interpreted into various sign languages for members of the band’s fandom, Army, to enjoy.
The date of the song and album release, July 9, coincides with the anniversary of BTS naming their fandom Army.
Army is an acronym for Adorable Representatives M.C. of Youth, and the millions of BTS fans across the world have accompanied the band on their journey since their first release in June 2013, and helped propel the South Korean septet to history-making heights.
Permission to Dance is BTS’s third English-language single following the release of Butter and last year’s Grammy-nominated hit Dynamite. Both those songs made history several times over for BTS. As of this week, Butter has notably topped the US Billboard chart’s Hot 100 singles ranking for six weeks in a row.
The new single’s release precedes that of BTS’ upcoming album, set to arrive later this summer.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.