South Korea has one of the fastest-growing and most sonically exciting Pop scenes in the world, so we have decided to bring you “The K-Pop Bulletin”, a column highlighting some of the hottest K-Pop singles of every month. Today, we take a look at the finest releases of June 2019.
Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Boogie Up
Cosmic Girls (WJSN) is the most recent — and perhaps ideal — example of an interesting phenomenon in today’s pop; take a band known for their spacey, synth-heavy production, then add tons of groove and timeless disco dynamics, and you will get the most perfect soundtrack to modern summer. “Boogie Up” can potentially become the blueprint of K-Pop summer jams to come, and at the same time, it honors the tradition of Sistar, the absolute queens of the format.
ATEEZ – Wave
“Wave” accomplishes an increasingly rare feat; getting pretty tiresome genre trend tropes right. In their case, ATEEZ tackles the already dated formula of the acoustic guitar-led tropical pop track, but add enough personality, production flourishes, and energy to make every singles second work. But the true highlight is their vocal performance. Summer rarely sounds this clear.
Stray Kids – Side Effects
If there’s something to be said about JYP darlings Stray Kids, is that they just never stop surprising. This time, they take an extremely unlikely style — psy-trance, courtesy of producers 1-Take & TAK —, and the incredible confidence and strength of their performance play their magic, for a track that is as unique in the big-agency K-Pop universe, as it is exciting for pop music in general.
U-Know – Follow
SM Entertainment is seriously experimenting with several variants of slick, dance-centered, robotic funk. NCT‘s “Superhuman” set a brilliant example, but to give us a true follow-up, they just needed a solid, seasoned performer. Enter U-KNOW, which is the new project and nom de guerre of veteran Yunho, from the legendary duo TVXQ. His new title-track “Follow”. with its MJ-indebted groove exploration, the elegant synth work, and the cool demeanor of his singing, offer a much more mature take on a trend that can still show some longevity.