When it came time to draft my Top 10 Rookies Of 2018 list, I wanted to find a place for NeonPunch. After all, their June debut was an early-summer highlight amidst a sea of similarly-pitched 90’s dance throwbacks. But, the girls came and went without much fanfare. With only one song to their name, it was hard to know what direction their future may take (or if they’d even have a future…). Thankfully, all is not lost. Seven months later and they’re back with “Tic Toc” — a worthy successor to “Moonlight“.
Composed by the same team (producers TENTEN), “Tic Toc” takes much of what made “Moonlight” fun and expands on it. A similar 90’s house beat drives the instrumental, overlaid with an extremely catchy vocal hook that’s pitched up to create bright texture. This element could have easily grated, but it’s used in just the right dose and greatly enhances the song.
The chorus of “Tic Toc” doesn’t explode in the way I might have hoped, but it still acts as a strong anchor. Interestingly, its pace feels slower than the rest of the track, but its sonic density is much more robust and gives it the kind of climactic appeal every good chorus should have.
This arrangement becomes even more engaging as electric guitar enters the fray for the song’s final 30 seconds. It’s a real early GFRIEND move, which makes me wonder if NeonPunch may adopt a similar style in the future. So far, they’re two for two when it comes to quality. I hope they can keep it up.