2021 was easily the worst year I have ever lived through and I am very happy to see it go. However, one of the things that got me through it is *cue surprised gasps* K-Pop! I admittedly mostly listened to older favs but thanks to my fellow chick with accent Getter and this list by Teen Vogue, I was able to fill up some blind spots. In fact, I was so into some of them, I thought why not come back to my rusty old blog and talk about them!
If you are among the few awesome people who still know me from my blogging days, I think you are well acquainted with my love for BTS. Some day I might write about them in detail but in case you're remotely interested in exploring the world of K-Pop, I wanted to help you get started on that journey :P This is a vast, varied and extremely fun genre that's obviously becoming a huge thing now. I know probably only like 10% of what is out there but this year I want to enjoy just being a fan of things, and hopefully write about them too. So please do enjoy this list and I hope you find some new favourites too!
It's an impossibly sweet song with a very catchy chorus that just makes you wanna bop your head.
9) Peaches by Kai
I'm going to give you all One guess what this song is about... The video is absolutely mesmerizing and Kai looks like an absolute dream.
8) Rosario by Epik High ft. CL and Zico
It is an absolute perfect collaboration. The song has a great vibe and a great entry point for someone who doesn't like the stereotypical K-Pop song.
7) Feel Like by WOODZ
I had really fallen in love with a Woodz song a couple of years back and then I sort of forgot to check back with him which was clearly a mistake because this song is a VIBE! Listen to it and tell me if it didn't make you sway...
6) Life is a Bi... by BIBI
This is one of the songs that I came across in the Teen Vogue article and it completely rocked my world! It is very catchy but at the same time, the lyrics are quite kooky and angsty, which just makes the whole thing more fun. BIBI in this video makes me think of all the fucked up heroines from the Korean New Wave cinema which was, hilariously, my introduction to South Korean entertainment before BTS (it seems absolutely nuts to me now but oh well).
5) Bad Love by Key
An absolute goddamned banger. This has very Weeknd feels, both in terms of music and lyrics. The red outfit Key wears in the video is absolutely tattooed in my brain now.
4) LMLY by Jackson Wang
This was the second song I found through the Teen Vogue list. I adore Jackson as a K-Pop idol and had somehow completely missed this release even though it is literally everything I love in a song. I have a huge soft spot to 80s inspired sad love songs that one can dance to. The video, that is co-directed by Jackson, is an homage to Wong Kar Wai films so that's an added bonus.
3) Butter by BTS
*Of course* this is the song that I have heard the most from this list or even outside it this year. I have been a BTS fan for 4 years now but even I wasn't prepared for the absolute suaveness of Butter. This is the best they've all probably looked, and the song is truly an earworm. Very retro, very pop- all good!
2) Lilac by IU
This song is IU saying farewell to her 20s and it's wistful and dreamy. Her voice is absolutely incredible and you kind of want to exist within the song, which is maybe the point of being at the end of your 20s, not wanting to let go of this idealized part of your life. I too am turning 30(!!!!!!!!) in 2022 so the song just hits a lot of right places.
1) 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) by TXT feat. Seori
A lot of the songs in my list have a retro feel but none feel as nostalgic to me as this one does. This reminds me of the angsty pop rock I listened to as an early teen and not to beat a dead horse but I am turning 30(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) this year so "I Know I Love You" just completely knocked me over. I was very surprised by this more rock turn by TXT and they completely committed to it and Seori's soft voice compliments the highs of this song so well. A total triumph.
I hope you had fun with this list and I really really wish 2022 is great for all of us!