Best K-Pop Songs for Summer 2022

Best K-Pop Songs for Summer 2022

Over the past few years, the music industry in South Korea has grown exponentially thanks to the help of international superstars BTS, who have emerged as one of the biggest bands of the 21st century. The fast-paced and exciting K-Pop industry has reached far beyond the borders of South Korea, becoming one of the largest pop markets in the world. Today, we’re highlighting the best K-pop hits during the summer of 2022.

BTS – “Not Coming Yet”

In a pre-recorded special released as part of FESTA, an annual celebration associated with BTS’s debut anniversary, the group announced that they will be taking a break from the group’s activities to focus on their solo work. Three days later, the group released their first anthology album Evidence – proofand her pioneering path “yet to come”. The track develops into the same topic discussed in their earlier era, known as, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, as the group discusses the onset of youth, a period characterized by endless possibilities but also a restricted sense of anxiety about insecurities about oneself and doubts about the future.

To pursue the same theme, “Not Coming Yet” is the nostalgic track that symbolizes the closing of their twenties, with most members entering their late twenties and early thirties. The track is simultaneously nostalgic and optimistic, with the V members chime in the foreground,”Yes, the past was honestly the best / But my best is what comes next / I’m not playing, definitely not. The members remember the best moment of their past but also realize that their greatest moment still awaits them. It is these messages of hope that are laced with songs like ‘Life Goes On’, ’00:00 (Zero O’ Clock)’, ‘Spring Day’ and Now” Yet to Come” along with BTS’ ability to be transparent through their music sets them apart from the rest of K-pop and helps them connect with a larger audience.

Nayeon – Pop!

During his nine years as a group, Twice achieved such tremendous success that every member outside the group was recognized. However, even with this popularity, none of the two members released a single until June of this year when lead singer Nayeon released her first self-titled mini album with her lead single “POP!” The track is filled with elements that one would assume a summer pop version of for sound and feel. The buoyancy of the chorus, the proactive hook that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the moment you hit the chorus, and the upbeat rhythm all together make the song a pop classic, so it’s time to stray K-pop away from all the unnecessary chorus-filled tracks and embrace pop hits ​The fun, like “POP!” Again.

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In the spring, Seventeen released their fourth album, facing the sunwhich became a huge commercial success for the group, becoming their highest charting and first ever Top Ten albums chart on the Billboard 200. A month and a half later, the group released the repackaged version of the album, titled sector 17, Along with her lead single “The World”. The song mixes funk and R&B and is reminiscent of its old versions of electronic dance music and pop. While some might say Seventeen plays it safe with the “World” version, for fans and casual listeners of the group, that’s just Seventeen in their element.

The song doesn’t rely so much on gimmicks, such as autotune and TikTok dance moves like their previous release “HOT”, instead it is voice-driven, with lead singers, Seungkwan and Joshua, leading the hits. The song is light and sweet with its gentle funk feel and silvery vocal delivery. In comparison, the song isn’t groundbreaking in the same way that “HOT” wasn’t, but it still contains the same Seventeen aura that once helped them become the world-famous band they are today.

NewJeans – “Attention”

As third-generation K-pop groups disintegrate, discontinue, and become less popular in general, there have been a slew of new, rising groups. Some of these groups have already become known locally and internationally, but most of these groups struggle to reach any local and later international success as well. NewJeans, a girl group that debuted in July this year with their single “Attention”, is the latest contender for a group that could dominate Generation 4 both internationally and domestically, and their lead single is proof of that. “Attention” has every element that fourth generation K-pop groups lack. The song is well-produced and unique with mid-2000s pop and R&B influences, unlike the mass-produced EDM tracks frequently released by their peers. The vocals are the highlight of the song rather than the choreography and music video, which helps them stand out among other fourth-generation groups that focus a lot on other elements.

A pleasure to listen to, the song uses minimal production with the group’s sweet vocals. Simple choreography also plays a force, as it makes it even more unique. All of these elements in the emergence of NewJeans were present in many other songs of K-pop groups from previous generations and were the reason for the success of those groups. So, it’s safe to say that if NewJeans keep up with what they’ve done in “Care”, they can also become a leading force for the next generation of K-pop.

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Prior to the release of the repackaged version of the fourth studio album, sector 17, And its main track “_WORLD”, the SEVENTEEN leader’s sub-unit, made up of S.Coups, Woozi, and Hoshi, dropped their single “CHEERS” along with a music video. The pre-release single follows the same vibe found in the last single called “HOT”, with Ottoton returning to sing along with a hip-hop production of the song, except this time, SEVENTEEN blends hip-hop and Asian rhythms. The song reflects how far the band has come since their humble beginnings as artists from a small company.

The song “CHEERS” is a great teaser song and a compelling illustration of SEVENTEEN’s willingness to experiment acoustically. However, their experiences don’t just stop producing the song. Even the choreography made them try new things, like Bollywood’s hip-shaking moves at the end of the song. It is certain by now that SEVENTEEN knows what kind of voice will ensure that they get a sound. However, even with this knowledge, they seem to have a passion for the experiment, adding to the excitement about what kind of sound the group will make next.

NewJeans – “Hurt”

The pre-release single, “Hurt” by HYBE’s new girl group, emphasizes how well the group sings. Sticking to the throwback concept, “Hurt” is reminiscent of contemporary 2000s R&B, with its light-hearted production and softer lyrics. Again, the simple song production helps accentuate the group’s soft vocals. Besides, the music video and design add to the throwback concept. The track is one-dimensional in the sense that it lacks the peak and any dynamic vocal changes but instead slips on a static groove. Nevertheless, the song still shines in the display of melodic variation. The track, while simple, still has a lot to offer, and with most fourth-generation K-pop girl groups shifting most of their focus to concepts of dance and girl crushes, it’s refreshing to see a new group trying something new for a change.

IVE – “After admiration”

K-pop has been known for many things, such as high-budget music videos, stunning visuals, and frequent sampling. Basically, all of these elements help make K-Pop so widely successful, and they also happen to be present in IVE’s first comeback, “After Likes.” The dance-pop track first starts off with the familiar instrument sample from Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and builds up to the chorus, as the sample’s sound is used in the background. However, the track isn’t exactly retro, with the addition of the upbeat Deep House instrumentation adorning the rest of the track. Although there is more modernity to IVE’s “After Like” than just the iconic sampling, it lies in the great music video and catchy dance shots. Perhaps one of the best K-pop music videos released this year and the best on this list.

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The only drawback to IVE’s first comeback is how the song overshadows the cliched choreography. But even this shortcoming is not bad compared to all the terrible choreography-driven versions by their peers.

Talk that Talk – Twice

Since Twice began their transition towards mature concepts, they’ve been met with mixed responses, especially from Korean fans. Some of these comebacks have been no worse, but they still lack the Twice charm most fans know. “Talk that Talk” is the most mature concept with the familiar Twice-esque vibe most fans are familiar with. The upbeat compound pop track has a hooded bridge and chorus paired with a stunning music video in which girls look beautiful in chic outfits. The music video stays true to the old concept of the song, with a retro sci-fi movie aesthetic. However, the most surprising aspect of the song is the vocals, with the three singers, Jihyo, Jonghyun, and Naeun, carrying the most impressive parts of the song. Undoubtedly, the track offers some of Twice’s best vocal work, which is hard to find on a main track from a seven-year-old girl group. Overall, the track is lively and addictive, just like the previous title tracks, but it also introduces a new side of Twice that has never been seen before by fans.

The Boyz – “Immortal”

After their 2021 release of “MAVERICK,” it looked as if The BOYZ were switching from their usual bright, sound-driven productions to fit the trends of rap-driven, instrumental-infused songs. However, that may not quite be the case, as evidenced by their summer release of “Timeless”. The medium tempo track basically acts as a message to their fans that their love for them will be forever. It’s a beautifully sounded track with a nice message for its fans and is one of the group’s best lyrical songs. Hopefully, with this release, BOYZ has permanently moved on from whatever they were trying to achieve in “MAVERICK” and are geared toward creating more sonic and lyrically enjoyable music, like “Timeless”.


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About the Author: Omar Dzaki Khawarizmi