Ateez's next chapter: Groovy beats, summer nights and Spanish lyrics

Ateez poses for the camera during its "Golden Hour Part. 1" press conference held Thursday afternoon in central Seoul, ahead of its Friday release. [DANIELA GONZALEZ PEREZ]

Ateez topped the Billboard 200 chart last December and became the first K-pop boy band to take the stage at Coachella. The boy band is now opening a new chapter in its career with “Golden Hour: Part. 1” — featuring new colors and styles.

The boy band's latest lead track, “Work,” is a more groovy and addictive entry to the band’s discography.

“Our latest album talks about the ‘Golden Hour’ that Ateez will build as we continue our journey,” San said during a news conference for the band’s 10th EP, “Golden Hour: Part. 1,” at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul in Jongno District on Thursday afternoon, ahead of its Friday release. Listeners will witness the band “going forward to achieve even bigger goals,” the Ateez member said.

“Golden Hour: Part. 1” comes six months after the December release of Ateez’s second full-length album, “The World. EP. Fin: Will,” which landed atop Billboard’s main chart the same month.

The latest EP also opens a brand new “Golden Hour” series of albums after the boy band completed its saga spanning “Treasure,” “Fever” and “The World” — a new direction about which the eight members were visibly confident and excited.

The album “opens a new series, and you can see new sides of Ateez,” said Hongjoong, the band’s leader who, alongside bandmate Mingi, is credited for the lyrics of all but one of the EP's tracks.

Ateez's “new” side was first reflected in the EP's concept photos, which ranged from sexy to cool and refreshing. The lead track's music video also included a somewhat enigmatic scene depicting the youngest member, Jongho, buried up to his head while playing a pipe.

“We tried a variety of styles with the concept photo releases because we wanted to showcase different sides of Ateez,” Hongjoong said, explaining that the group “has the desire to try something new and adventurous.”

“If you watch the music video, you might even understand that everything is all connected in some way. If not, I just hope people enjoyed looking at the different sides of Ateez.”

“Golden Hour: Part. 1” features six songs: intro track “Golden Hour,” “Blind”— an exciting and addicting track that Seonghwa hopes to sing at a festival — lead track “Work,” “Empty Box,” “Shaboom” and Siren.

Hongjoong chose “Empty Box,” as a pop ballad suitable for a summer night, as his favorite B-side. The song “introduces the vocals of each member in a refined way,” according to the member.

The EP also includes Spanish lines in two of its songs. “Work” mentions Ganso que pone huevos de oro — the Spanish title of the Aesop fable “The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs” — and “Blind” sees the members singing that “Love is blind” in Spanish.

“It’s not like we specifically had Spanish words in mind, [but] we ended up using those phrases because we thought the lines touched us,” Hongjoong said. “If it fits, we will use them without hesitation, even when it’s from a language we don't speak.”

It seems as if the band has achieved it all, having topped the Billboard 200 chart and been named the first boy band to perform at Coachella. In the next phase of its career, the band hopes to look beyond the numbers and focus on its music — and its fans.

“We always try our best to express our music, and we perform as if there is no tomorrow. That’s all thanks to our fans, Atiny, who have been supporting us for a long time,” Yeosang said.

“Following the Coachella stages, our members have been saying that we now hope to receive standing ovations no matter where we perform,” Hongjoong said. “It’s not going to be an easy one. It’s going to be a very big goal for us.”

“Instead of caring about the numbers, we should be someone with skills that matches our achievements; someone who can lead the stage.”