In the track’s accompanying video, Seventeen — S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, The8, Mingyu, DK, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino — are hanging out in a tranquil, dreamy space when a shadow is cast that introduces a darker side to the clip and tips to the challenges a relationship can experience.
“You know without you, I’m so lonely/When you’re not here, 911 calling,” they sing on the romantic chorus. “I’m a treat you better/I’m a see you better/Kiss me baby.”
Self-produced by Woozi, who cowrote the lyrics and composed and arranged it alongside frequent collaborator Bumzu and Hwang Hyun of Monotree, “Darl+ing” is the K-pop boy band’s first English-language song. The use of a plus sign has multiple meanings, including togetherness when it comes to a love interest, a link between the band and their Carat fandom, and the link between people when they face difficulties in a relationship, per a statement.
The importance of symbolism appears to run deep with Seventeen, who spoke to Rolling Stone early last year about the strength of numbers. “Seventeen is a team comprised of 13 members, who are categorized into three different units to ultimately make one team. Those numbers (13 + 3 + 1) together add up to 17,” S.Coups explained. “The 13 of us have different backgrounds and strengths, but we take advantage of these differences to create something unique to us, and to make the most of our music and performances.”
Their new album will mark their first LP since 2019’s An Ode, though they put out several mini-albums in the interim. In 2020, they released Heng:garæ, Semicolon, and a Japanese project 24H, while last year saw the arrival of Your Choice and Attacca. In November, they spoke to Rolling Stone about Attaca single, “Rock With You.”