BEST NEW K-POP: DAYDREAM TO THESE MELLOW SOUNDTRACKS
Hey there chingudeul, how’s it going? Any midsummer thoughts or inspirations? Most likely, our faves have been waking up to sunny skies and warm weather in Seoul. Latest in K-pop, we have a few idols toning down to an acoustic sound, while indies are soaring high up music charts with the sweetest mellow tracks as well. If you haven't yet found the soundtrack of your summer, We Are: The Guard has got the best options for you. Eumak (music), play!
WICE - I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYONE
No one can stop you now from daydreaming in your own K-dramaland to the nine lovely voices of Twice in "I Love You More Than Anyone." Almost six years after debut, this is the girl group's first ever original soundtrack (OST) sung for one of the most popular television series in South Korea, Hospital Playlist Season 2. Not only is the song a dream-come-true for Twice and the Once fandom, but feels-brought-to-life for the fanatics following the heart-fluttering love story of Ikjoon and Songhwa. The feels are real!
KANGTA - FREE TO FLY 2021
Fly high fangirl and fanboy hearts, the old and new generations of SM Town meet in Kangta’s latest single “Free to Fly 2021!” Continuing the futuristic Kwangya saga (theorized to be SM’s alternative universe but yet to be officially announced), the singer-songwriter from pioneer boy band H.O.T. shared his heavenly vocals in the pop-ballad track. NCT’s Sungchan and Aespa’s Winter make special appearances to watch out for. This moment will make a timeless memory to be marked in K-pop history!
HYNN - WEEKENDS WITHOUT YOU (DUET WITH KIM JAEHWAN)
A calm, farewell love song- sung on green grass, in nice and warm weather. The breathtaking chemistry between Hynn and Jaehwan’s harmonization. The lighthearted melody pretty much does not match the sad lyrics and my emotions are confused, but I am amused by this feeling! The playful track is perfect for the broken couples out there who need some figuring out to do. I say, if this song doesn't make you laugh together, let it go. Otherwise, why not add this to your couple's playlist and enjoy the rest of the summer?
ROCKET PUNCH - RING RING (ACOUSTIC VER.)
Ringing summer bells in an acoustic version of an originally retro-pop track is Rocket Punch for "Ring Ring." The six-member girl group has been serving strong and powerful bop after bop since their 2019 debut. By releasing this subtle track, we finally get to hear the girls' ethereal vocals more clearly. The summer morning vibes I get from this version are quite refreshing and energizing! Aside from their singing, Rocket Punch brought their natural visuals to light through their softer colors and light makeup. How adorable!
E.SO - ORGEL
Congratulations to E.SO for an awesome debut! Breakout artist E.SO aka Seoyul is shining bright under the solo spotlight, after the heartbreaking disbandment of K-pop idol group, Berry Good. The sexy, eccentric concept she serves in “Orgel” goes so well with her chilled vocals on top of the alternative R&B instrumental. The song has got those Red Velvet’s “Psycho” vibes to it and this genre is to live for. Don’t Seoyul’s facial features seem familiar? Fun fact, she’s the dongsaeng (younger sister) of AOA’s Yuna. The musical talent and visuals in their genes are just wow!
SAM KIM - THESE WALLS
Sometimes we gotta slow down and simply live a free life to have some peace of mind. I can agree with Sam Kim on this. In this chill and modern jazz track “These Walls,” the Korean R&B sensation sings about not letting walls or frames hold him in, and just living under his own control. Freedom is what we all need this summer. Whether you’re a superstar, a corporate slave, a part-time worker, or student- take control over your own path and sing along to this cool song to pave the way.
COLDE - WHEN DAWN COMES AGAIN (FEAT. BAEKHYUN OF EXO)
Any early-bird coffee grabbers here? Listen to this tune on the road while racing with sunrise and get your day going. The contrast between Colde’s relaxing R&B swag and Baekhyun’s bright and powerful voice blend well together along the urban jazz instrumental. Despite the vulnerable breakup lyrics, EXO-Ls are just happy to hear Baekhyun’s emotional voice once again. We gotta thank indie producer Colde aka Kim Heesoo for the blessed collaboration. It’s a bop to move on with.
DINDIN & MIN KYUNGHOON - I SHOULD NOT HAVE LOVED YOU
Prepare for more heartbreak. Produced by rapper Dindin, “I Should Not Have Loved You” is a rock-ballad track sung by Min Kyunghoon. If you’re not familiar with the singer’s rock band, Buzz, then you might recognize the oppa as one of the hosts on Knowing Brothers. The song is obviously about regretting to have loved someone so badly, and the pain in Kyunghoon's voice could not be conveyed any less with LOONA's Heejin and Lee Jung Hyun’s great acting skills. The intense drums and electric guitar create such dynamic instrumental, I prefer ugly-crying out loud and alone to this one.
WOODZ - THERE FOR YOU (PROD. AVIN)
The K-drama club is winning this week! “There For You” from the OST of romcom series Monthly Magazine Home is sung by all-rounded member of UNIQ and X1- Cho Seungyoun aka WOODZ. The dream-pop track filled with his honey sweet vocals on the easy-going beat and feel-good melody emits positive energy. Play this song for a loved one under a starry night sky and share a K-drama moment like Youngwon and Jasung’s. The “Like a dream” line in the chorus is just too catchy, this'll have me on LSS for a while.
ROSÉ (BLACKPINK) - ONLY EXCEPTION (COVER)
With good food, must come good music! The newest K-variety show, Sea of Hope, has got this mantra down. Good music? I mean from the one and only Park Chaeyoung aka Rosé of Blackpink. As the regular cast, who btw includes The Penthouse’s Lee Jiah and AKMU’s Suhyun, prepare a meal (literally by the sea), Rosé pulls up her guitar and sings her heart out to Paramore’s “Only Exception.” Her charming Aussie accent and unique vocal technique paint each note with sky-blue, sun-orange, and sand-white color palettes. Rosé's voice is just so warm and heart-touching!
That was this week's top 10 of the latest in K-pop! We’re all daydreamers here, so don’t be shy to choose the perfect soundtrack of your summer. I think Rosie’s cover of “Only Exception” is mine so far. Well, the mellow trend ain’t over just yet, because AKMU and EXO’s D.O are finally back. So, stay tuned till next week chingudeul, for the best new K-pop. Annyeong!
Hannah Lee is a Hallyu enthusiast from K-music to K-drama to K-food and even K-fashion. By day she takes her architectural apprenticeship, but by night she fangirls till sunrise. According to her latest MBTI test, Hannah is a perfectionist who has a lot of miscellaneous thoughts and is lazy... but passionate!