BTS is returning with their fourth Korean LP, MAP OF THE SOUL: 7. The septet just kicked off the album’s rollout by dropping a comeback trailer for “Interlude: Shadow”—along with a jam-packed release schedule. This will be their first album since last year’s MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA.
The hyper-prolific superstars took a 10-month break following the string of album releases that earned them three consecutive No. 1s on the Billboard 200, putting them on par with The Beatles. Last August, the seven members made international headlines when Big Hit announced that they’d go on vacation.
As we wait for 7 to drop, Genius rounded up everything we know about the project ahead of its release.
The Release Date
Earlier this month, Big Hit Entertainment announced that the album will arrive on February 21.
The group’s first single will arrive on January 17, followed by the comeback trailer for “EGO” on February 3.
The group is gearing up to release an art film performed by MN Dance Company, and the map is stocked with mysterious bullet points for “CONNECT: BTS” in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York City.
In a press release for 7, Big Hit noted that “global fans are eager to discover how the story will continue on from the previous installment, which explored the message of finding joy in love and reaching out to the world.”
Map of the Soul’s first installment, Persona, played with the notion of Jungian archetypes, the idea that people have unconscious archetypal traits. Murray Stein’s book Jung’s Map of the Soul—the series’ namesake—even sold out on BTS’ online shop.
My shadow, I wrote and called it ‘hesitation’
It has never hesitated after becoming that
It keeps appearing under the stage or the light
Keeps glaring at me scorchingly like a heat wave (oh shit)
As Genius user milkmmxe pointed out, the “shadow” is a Jungian archetype that reflects the darker part of someone’s personality.
Suga builds on that idea in “Interlude: Shadow”:
Yeah, hmm, shadow at my feet
Look down, it’s gotten even bigger
I run but the shadow follows, as dark as the light’s intense
Naturally, the boy band’s comeback has already sparked plenty of fan theories. On January 11, a tweet by member Jungkook prompted the hashtag #CONNECT_BTS to trend worldwide. Their fandom, ARMY, followed the breadcrumbs, connecting the main vocalist’s wall art to Antony Gormley’s “Clearing VII” and Mark Rothko’s “White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose).”