Compared to 2015, this year’s summer in K-Pop arguably hasn’t been nearly as much of a riot. Charts-wise, some of the hype has been somewhat hampered by the overpowering popularity of Show Me The Money’s releases (even though that has pretty much been the norm since the show’s inception).
Nevertheless, here are several tracks released so far this summer that’ll get you grooving with your headphones on. You could risk turning the speakers up if you’re not too worried about pissing your neighbour off!
Wonder Girls – Why So Lonely
Their second comeback since their pleasantly unexpected creative renaissance after a three-year hiatus, Wonder Girls have returned once more with their chill, easy-listening reggae track Why So Lonely.
This is the perfect song to listen to while enjoying a cool, iced drink in the sun with your favourite pair of shades on, just like Sunmi in the music video. These ladies have clearly grown even more confident in their musical direction and skills; it’s incredibly satisfying to behold.
EXO – Lucky One
Overshadowed by its more dramatic, hard-hitting other half (Monster), Lucky One is the funky head-bopping brother, infused with the type of EDM that is clearly LDN Noise’s signature sound.
The song is just so much fun, the kind that I would play in the background on loop as I futilely attempt to cover the dark circles under my eyes before leaving the house. It’s also definitely worth taking your time to listen to the instrumental version on its own.
Seventeen – Very Nice
Very Nice is a big band influenced track that is sure to send people reaching for their dancing shoes. At first, it comes across as a discordant mess, but it’s actually a real summer jam.
A standout rookie from last year, Seventeen appears to have figured out their own identity, reflected in their discography’s consistent theatrical style that is reminiscent of musicals. It translates pretty well into their choreography too.
EXID – L.I.E
Shinsadong Tiger and LE’s past collaborations for EXID left me dissatisfied for a long time. But L.I.E is a good return to form, even if not all of South Korea seems to agree.
Just like Seventeen’s comeback, this took a few listens to get used to. I usually find Junghwa’s tone jarring, especially whenever she’s given more lines, but the ones that she has been assigned to in L.I.E actually do suit her. The dance break in the chorus is incredibly addictive, and great to dance along to. Get those body rolls in with L.I.E!
Luna – Free Somebody
Originally the main vocalist of f(x), Luna has finally been granted the solo debut that her fans have been waiting for.
Although Free Somebody has been met with lukewarm commercial response, Luna remains the solo goddess the K-Pop world deserves but not the one it needs right now. Free yourselves with this summer anthem through Luna’s soaring vocals that are near immaculate in her live performances.
SISTAR – Come and Get Me
As the age-old adage goes, what’s summer without SISTAR? I’ll be honest and confess that while I’m glad that I Like That finally managed to satisfy more international fans this time around, it’s actually one of my least favourite SISTAR title tracks, even as a fan.
However, Come and Get Me appeased me. With its combination of sensuous bass line and SISTAR’s signature vocals, it’s possibly my favourite from the album. Dasom, who’s often panned for her singing, fits into the song perfectly, a pleasing counterpoint to the stronger voices in the group with her sweet voice.
All the songs in this playlist have been arranged for your maximum on-repeat listening pleasure. Enjoy!