They were the musical guests last night (January 28) on The Late Late Show with James Corden and they brought an intense and spine-tingling performance of the new single from their forthcoming album, Map of the Soul: 7. Sliding across the stage with solemn faces, BTS's gliding choreography told a story of bleakness, wonder, and acceptance.
"Black Swan" is a pensive and honest collection of seven diary entries set to an unsettling, R&B beat. Each member of BTS deals with the heart-pounding realization that music just doesn't have the same shine to it that it did when they were a bit greener. The hard part comes after this lightbulb goes off in their heads. Sadness begins to tug at their shoulder blades and rub their backs, calling for them to sink into a pool of despair. Instead of answering this call, they just acknowledge it, leaving a glimmer of hope that they can find the key to coming out of this funk.
BTS's Corden performance recreated the bleak atmosphere of the song as a dark and unsettling forest. The group then took an English-translated lyric from J-Hope in "Black Swan"'s third verse serious: "Let my own feet carry me." They pranced around the stage without any shoes or socks, utilizing sharp movements and wave-like motions to ward off the plague-like malaise that threatened to surround them. Throughout the five-minute performance, members entered and exited the stage on a rotating basis, constantly keeping the audience, and viewers at home, mesmerized. If their smiles at the end of the performance are any indicator, then happiness can be found in the way that they dance and the fans that scream their names loud enough to break glass windows.
Map of the Soul: 7 is set to come out on February 21. Shortly after its release, in March, BTS are heading on a grand 18-date tour that's set to take them across North America, Europe, South Korea, and Japan.
Check out BTS's stirring "Black Swan" performance up above.