February was a busy month in Kpop, that’s for sure. In the midst of comebacks from big names like Red Velvet, BTS, Twice, and Taeyeon, I feel like the lesser known groups may have gotten pushed to the side a little. Don’t get me wrong: I loved some of the songs released by these popular artists. But at the same time, I’d like to shine light on some of the gems released in February from the “nugus” of the Kpop industry. Without further ado, here are my picks of February comebacks that deserve a little more love.
1. “1.2.3.” by B.I.G
Released February 12th, the first up on my list is B.I.G.’s song “1.2.3.” I’m going to be honest and say right now that I prefer this track to most of the hyped up February comebacks. The song is funky without really being bright, and that makes for such an interesting mix of sounds. The chorus is also completely addictive. I’m absolutely in love with the vocals showcased in “1.2.3” across the board, but the chorus especially draws you in with its high notes. The play between the chorus and the much softer slow build of the pre chorus is seriously perfect. There’s nothing dated, discordant, or underwhelming about this track. Something I unfortunately can’t say for some bigger name groups this month. So if there’s one song I want you to take away from this list, it’s B.I.G.’s contribution to the slew of February comebacks.
2. “Circle’s Dream” by Subin (Dal Shabet)
Up next is another one of my favorite songs of the month. It’s called “Circle’s Dream” and was released by Dal Shabet’s Subin on February 23rd. Subin released an additional track called “Strawberry” that is lovely as well, but “Circle’s Dream” stole the show for me. Probably my favorite female release of the month, this track is light and whimsical. A quirky but simple instrumental lets Subin’s always beautiful vocals really shine and she really uses this to her advantage. There’s something vaguely Lorde-ish about her sound this comeback, and it’s something I totally love. All in all, it’s a very sweet, playful track that suits the approaching months of spring perfectly.
3. “I’m Still” by EDEN (featuring Kwon Jinah)
The song “I’m Still” is the next February release I’d like to draw a little attention to. Released on the 17th, this track is sung by artist EDEN and features Kwon Jinah‘s vocal talents on the side. It definitely has a different vibe than the previous songs mentioned. This track is an R&B ballad and fittingly melancholy. EDEN’s vocals certainly has the tone for this type of music. And Kwon Jinah pops in just at the very end, to sing her few given lines with her sweet voice that fits well with the overall sound of the track. It’s not a particularly exciting song, but it’s not trying to be. The snowy MV and overall somberness is very typical of a wintery release. And while some of the songs I’m featuring were looking toward the spring, EDEN chose to stay with present and drop a beautiful, easy on the ears ballad.
4. “Kiss on the Lips” by Melody Day
“Kiss on the Lips” by Melody Day is the next February release I’m featuring on this list. This fun little track was released on February 14th; a Valentine’s Day comeback. Switching up genres, this track is much more poppy and upbeat than the previous one featured. It stays away from the typical Kpop EDM approach with its jazzy beats and guitar motif. The comeback is admittedly a bit reminiscent of the Wonder Girls’ “Why So Lonely”, but more for the vaguely reggae sound and beachside music video than anything else. It’s nothing earth shattering in terms of sound or concept, but overall a nice addition to the slew of February comebacks. I feel that “nugu” girl groups were a little underrepresented this month, so I was happy to find this bright, jam-worthy comeback from Melody Day. It’s not what I’d expect from a February comeback, but a welcome addition nonetheless.
5. “Drought” by Jang Joon x Young Taek (featuring BéE)
Up next is a song by two of Woolim’s trainees for their upcoming boy group: Jang Joon and Young Taek. A February 13th release, this track is called “Drought” and features BéE. It’s a hip-hop track predominantly, but stays comfortably away from the hep-hap sub genre. This prerelease did it’s job in peaking my interest in the upcoming Woolim group because everything about this track – vocals, rap, and the song’s general arrangement – is fantastic. It’s not a dark or hard hitting type of hip-hop, instead it borders R&B. In actuality, “Drought” comes off as kind of cute song to me. There’s something very sweet about this track that really suits the upcoming springtime. All in all, this was probably one of the biggest surprises of February for me, in the best way possible. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for these boys in future, and hope they continue with this softer sound.
6. “Roar” by SF9
“Roar” by SF9 is the next song on this list, another boy group. Released on February 4th, this track has a more mature sound than some of the other boy groups featured. Personally, I would consider it a hip-hop song, but it features some really great vocals and dance beats on the side. I get BTS’ “Fire” vibes from this track a little, like the producers tried to hop on the noisy hype-song bandwagon for the chorus of the song. But I think the verses are where the best parts of “Roar” come through. They feature solid vocals over a simple yet distinctive instrumental with aggressive rap pre-chorus. This song breaks into very distinctive sections of high and and low energy and the effect keeps the song dynamic. I can’t say this track is something I’m always in the mood for, but it’s fun and quirky. I think a fair amount of Kpop fans would enjoy it, as the genre is very similar to what the majority of boy groups stick with nowadays.
7. “Pale Blue” by SOMA
This next song is a bit of an odd one, but one I couldn’t help but include. It’s entitled “Pale Blue” and sung by an artist named SOMA. This track was released on February 18th and is definitely the most chill song to make this list. SOMA is an unknown to me, and I’m pretty sure I came across this dark, mysterious music video for “Pale Blue” from my recommended videos on YouTube. She certainly isn’t getting much press from ifans at least. But this slow, mellow track deserves some attention. The gloomy, almost stark instrumental matches well with SOMA’s smooth, clear vocals. The song is actually sung entirely in English but the lyrics themselves are somewhat repetitive. Not in an annoying way however – in actuality it gives the song a strangely hymn like sound to it. There’s also some weird vocal distortion that ends the song
8. “Venus” by VAV
Now we have another funky track on the list, VAV’s “Venus.” Released on the 16th, this song came towards the middle of the February comebacks. This song features some nice very brassy trumpets combined with some upbeat synths to create a fun, throwback sound overall. There’s not too much rapping, which suited the song’s sound and played to the vocal strengths of the group. If you were put off by VAV’s previous releases, I would take a chance with track because it’s definitely a different sound for them. I know, I less than love the more… unique tracks from VAV, but this is a completely different musical direction. It’s all around just a feel good, playful track and doesn’t try to be anything deeper. Regardless of musical preference, I dare you to not enjoy the “Let’s get physical” line.
9. “Zombie High” by Grace
Wrapping up my list is “Zombie High” by Grace. Though officially released on February 4th, the music video didn’t actually drop until recently. Questionable references to a doll franchise in the title aside, this song is actually very cool. I especially like the deceptively soft church bell chimes and hymn like vocals that start the track. It sets off an almost eerie vibe for the song, which quickly enters into some hard-hitting beats and rapping that I’d expect from Grace. Her rapping in this song is almost lyrical actually, like some middle ground between singing and rapping. The instrumental break down isn’t quite as distinctive as I’d expect though. I would have liked a throwback to the sound that started the song, but overall it’s a catchy track. If you don’t like dark hip hop concepts maybe it’s not for you, but I appreciated it in midst of all the February comebacks.
Well, that’s it for the songs I wanted to shine some light on. Any February comebacks or debuts you loved this month that you feel got overshadowed? Let us know in the comments!