A South Korean girl group who fuse mysterious horror and fantasy themes with slick dance-pop, rock, and metal, Dreamcatcher rose quickly into the K-pop mainstream with a series of loosely thematic EPs in 2017 and 2018. A breakout act at home, the seven-member group also found a more widespread international audience which they fostered over the next two years with tours of Europe, Asia, and South America. Their largest audience outside of South Korea emerged in Japan where they released the 2019 full-length album, The Beginning of the End.
Formed in 2014 by Happy Face Entertainment, the initial lineup of Jiu, Sua, Siyeon, Yoohyeon, and Dami released a handful of singles and the 2015 EP, Love Shake, under the name Minx. As Minx, the group's songs trended toward a bright, bubbly K-pop style with a decidedly cheerful youth-oriented aesthetic. They enjoyed moderate success during this early phase, but by the end of 2016, Happy Face announced that Minx had taken on two new members, Handong and Gahyeon, and would soon reemerge in a darker-toned version under the name Dreamcatcher. Distancing themselves from the wholesome image of their early days, the seven-member Dreamcatcher fused adult-oriented dance music with elements of rock and metal. Their edgy new sound and look was further enhanced by the use of horror and fantasy themes which they quickly established on singles like "Nightmare" and "Chase Me." Released in July 2017, Dreamcatcher's first EP, Prequel, quickly found an audience at home while also charting in Japan and on the U.S. Billboard World Albums chart. One of the year's breakout K-pop acts, the group entered 2018 with another horror-themed hit, "Full Moon," and a major tour of Europe to nurture their growing international fan base. Following the May release of their second EP, Escape the Era, Dreamcatcher traveled to South America for their Welcome to the Dream World in Latin America. They ended their banner year with a third EP, Alone in the City, which hit number two on the Korean chart, making it their highest placement yet. Appearing in February 2019, The End of Nightmare EP marked the final entry in the thematic arc that began with their debut single, "Nightmare." It's lead single, "Piri," mixed their trademark rock sounds with the double-reeded Korean instrument, the piri. A major tour of Asia and Oceania acted as a build-up to the September release of The Beginning of the End, Dreamcatcher's first Japanese full-length album. Around this time the group launched their highly anticipated official fan club, Insomnia, which was open to both South Korean and Japanese fans. Their Korean comeback EP, Raid of Dream, arrived a mere week after the Japanese album, led by the single "Deja Vu," a song written for the King's Raid mobile game. Dreamcatcher ended the year (and decade) on a high note with another large-scale tour of Europe. ~ Timothy Monger
HOMETOWNSeoul, South Korea