April? But it’s July. I know, but hey, discovering new music doesn’t mean it has to be current. April had some great girl group releases, on the other hand, boy group releases weren’t as spectacular. Hope you find something you haven’t listened to yet!
April - LALALILALA
From the first note, April’s LALALILALA had me hooked. The amount of energy harnessed in the chorus is massive. Revolving around the titular refrain during the hook, the surging synths brings the song to new heights.The wistfulness mixed with the bright vocals make this song one of the memorable ones. What a great return to the industry for April, let’s hope there is more to come with this release.
Apink - Dumhdurum (덤더럼)
Continuing with the maturation of Apink, Dumhdurum begins with a catchy synth loop just like I’m So Sick. With an airy and effortless vibe, I love how the song doesn’t rush to a beat trop or a trap breakdown. The synth loop is really what holds the song together as the hook is good, but isn’t as impactful as I’d like. The girls perform with an air of sophistication providing the wispy vocals for such a breezy cool song. I love the way Apink is evolving and hope they release more than a track a year.
NCT Dream - Ridin’
Continuing the trend of moody, dark boy group releases, Ridin’ is a standout because of the instrumental. Filled to the brim, the frenetic nature of the instrumental heightens the track giving the vocals a bigger spotlight. The constant mix of vocals, swooping instrumental, and bass line gives the song so many different textures. Very reminiscent of old EXO’s sound, Ridin’ has its share of power ad-libs. Like a blast from the past, NCT Dream’s latest song is a welcome listen.
IMFACT - Lie
Another moody group song, but Lie’s bright instrumental paired with deep house elements make this one to listen to. Starting rather dull, the song quickly gathers momentum layering atmospheric synths until the subdued chorus. At first the chorus stalls the energy, but it really leads to a more impactful song giving the song emotion with its push and pull of energy. The push and pull dynamic had me coming back for more.
Chungha - Stay Tonight
90’s beat with atmospheric synths, Stay Tonight is relentless from the beginning. The song unfolds spectacularly well with its pulsating groove and its endless energy. I love the oriental instrumental opening the song. The most memorable part is the sultry-feel drop in the chorus which is right up Chungha’s alley. Stay Tonight is a great showcase of Chungha’s strength and the reason why she will be this generation’s most memorable soloist.
Solar - Spit It Out (뱉어)
A total 180 from Solar’s typical repertoire of ballads, Spit It Out continues the sound of Mamamoo’s Hip. Very much like a successor to Hip, the pulsing percussion has an addictive rhythm to it that I enjoy more than Hip. Solar’s performance is more breathy and subdued than usual, but her charisma still shines through. Compelling from the beginning, Spit It Out doesn’t get tiring even with the song revolving around the same hook making the dance track an easy-listen.
Oh My Girl - Nonstop (살짝 설렜어)
A tropical track with a nostalgic feel, Nonstop is Oh My Girl’s latest comeback. Oh My Girl’s charisma really boosts an otherwise middling song. The song is more rap-heavy allowing Mimi to shine, but the track is all over the place. I don’t like the high-pitched nonstops and the trap segment halting the momentum of the song. The saving grace is the pre-chorus with an arrangement highlighting the vocals.I love the build towards a memorable instrumental chorus. I’m glad to see the Korean public joining the Oh My Girl hype-train as the song charted really well.
GWSN - Bazooka!
They had me in the beginning with the aegyo chants, but thankfully Bazooka settles into a peppy, retro instrumental. The “watch me, watchme” parts give a sense of urgency needed for the song as the chorus is sort of lackluster. It’s a nice chorus, but the cheery bazookas didn’t do it for me. The arrangement of the instrumentals is what really keeps this song on repeat as well as some of the production choices. Bazooka showed hints of GWSN’s uniqueness which keeps me listening.
GOT7 - Not By The Moon
Looking forward to GOT7’s latest comeback since You Calling My Name; however, Not By The Moon doesn’t reach the same heights as the latter. We get the same style with angsty vocals with trap-beats. The chorus is the best part giving the song the emotional cathartic release it needed. The finale feels more anthemic with added instrumentals, but in the end the song isn’t as exciting as I hope it would.
(G)I-DLE - Oh My God
Continuing the aesthetics from Lion, (G)I-DLE’s latest release builds on that success. Oh My God dramatically begins with church bells moving into a standard verse over a trap/hip-hop beat, definitely (G)I-DLE. The jarring moment comes in the pre-chorus with the melody intensifying with layers of instruments and vocals culminating in a drop that doesn’t really hold up to the energy built. Enjoyable at the beginning, the song has lost its luster with its repetitive drop. I still enjoy the song’s catchy verses and the amazing pre-chorus.
DALsooobin - Dive
Dive is not your typical Kpop song. When I first heard this song, I felt like I had to share it with everybody because this isn’t something you hear often. Dive has the indie-pop feel with southern flair. The choir of voices complements DALsooobin’s soaring vocals so well dialing up the emotions of the song. Those backing vocals invigorate the track during the powerful chorus. Climaxing in a frenzy of gospel choir, male ad-libs, and Subin’s vocals, Dive leaves you wanting more.
ONEWE- Q (모르겠다고) (Feat. Hwasa)
ONEWE has so much potential as an idol band; however, Q doesn’t really showcase their potential as a band. You wouldn’t know they were a band unless you watched the music video. Hwasa is a great feature, but she really does steal the spotlight from the band. Instrumentally, the repetitive nature of the melody gives it a nice groove, but just a tad too much. The jazz guitar break is refreshing and my favorite part of the song. Overall, Q is a groovy song that fits right into my Korean chill playlist.
HA:TFELT - Sweet Sensation (ft. Sole)
HA:TFELT’s Sweet Sensation is one of those songs you can vibe to. The song doesn’t do anything crazy, but really welcomes the listener with effortless vocals. Sole joins in during the bridge and the final chorus, but with such a brief showing, it doesn’t really have an impact on the song. However, at least Sole’s appearance didn’t undo the breezy, calm appeal of the song. The chorus is just catchy enough with the summer-y vibes to stick around.