It’s coming to the end of March 2017, and that means that it’s time for another Music Release Roundup! We’ve picked lots of good listening material for this month, which was especially difficult because there were so many songs to choose from! Read on and listen to music from Code Kunst, EDEN, Justin Oh and Hyorin, Min Chae, Gugudan, Oohyo, B.A.P, Jinsil and B.I.G!
Just before we get started with the above list…we’d like to slot in 2 quick mentions! The first, is about indie acoustic duo ‘Seenroot’. Their song ‘Sweet Heart’ (오빠야) has taken off in a big way, and spawned a large number of imitations on variety shows. Listen to it here! Next, is the second parody song by Boys Generally Asian (BgA) called ‘Who’s It gonna be’ with a 10 minute video poking fun at (poo!) lightsticks (a reference to their first song), choosing a fandom name and one member being popular than the rest. There are even outtakes! The song is doing so well on the iTunes Kpop charts, watch it by clicking here!
Code Kunst (feat G.Soul and Tablo)-‘Fire Water’
A great one to start things off, ‘Fire Water’ is a collaborative effort between Code Kunst, G.Soul and Tablo. G.Soul especially shines in this track with his smooth R&B vocals, and his falsetto makes the chorus one to remember. The video highlights the contrast between fire and water. The HIGHGRND label is continuing to do very well with putting out quality music. If you are a fan of Code Kunst, or indeed have become a new fan, check out the rest of his new album ‘Muggles’ Mansion’. There is a song on there called ‘Don’t shoot me MAMA’ which features Car, the Garden, and is great! If you haven’t heard of Car, the Garden before, read our K-SPOTLIGHT on this artist here.
EDEN 이든 (feat. Kwon Jina)-‘I’m Still’
We are sorry for being a little late with this one, it was originally released mid-February. ‘I’m Still’ sounds like a winter song, but it isn’t a slow ballad, so we think it is still a good song to listen to now. EDEN and Kwon Jina both have beautiful voices and although ‘I’m Still’ isn’t anything groundbreaking and new in terms of songwriting, it is a nice vehicle to display their vocal prowess. A calming song with sad lyrics about missing someone and hoping that they will come back.
Justin Oh (feat. Hyorin)-‘Jekyll and Hyde’ (Korean version)
SISTAR’s Hyorin has been keeping herself busy lately, having recently performed at the SXSW festival (K-Pop Night Out) for the first time, and now collaborating with Justin Oh in this EDM track. We’ve chosen the Korean version because Hyorin sings through the entire song, whereas in the English version, she is limited to the choruses. A good effort by Hyorin here; the buildup generates a decent amount of hype and the drop blends into the song fairly well. If you like trap music, you may find that you like this one!
Min Chae-‘What Can I Do’
A complete contrast to EDM next, with Min Chae’s ‘What Can I Do’. Min Chae’s soft vocals make this song a relaxing one. The lyrics are contemplative, ‘the purpose of life, when will we ever know, no one can tell me where I should be going…’ and the simple chorus is quite beautiful. Listen to it below!
Gugudan-‘A Girl Like Me’
Girl group Gugudan are still promoting their song ‘A Girl Like Me’ in full force on music shows. This is a much improved effort from ‘Wonderland’, and is VERY catchy. One of the good things about ‘A Girl Like Me’ is that the members are allowed to sing in their natural range, and this has benefited Nayoung especially because she has a lower register. Her sections in the song stand out for us and Mina does a good all-round job with her various parts too. The music video is a high quality one, and shows off the members in different outfits. The use of colour is particularly striking, and it was an effective decision to give each girl singular shots and screentime, as the members who took part in Produce 101 have already caught the public’s attention, and so the remainder need to gain more recognition too.
OOHYO is back with the intriguingly named ‘Pizza’! It is a song sung in English, and OOHYO has been quite creative and witty with her lyrics. The scenario is that she is missing someone, and wants them back. She chooses to verbalise this notion by singing ‘Pizza sucks without you’ during the chorus. We can hear OOHYO’s development in her writing within this song, and it seems like she is full of confidence now! The MV is fully animated, and the lyrics are there if you find yourself wanting to sing along! If you’ve just discovered OOHYO, go back and read one of our early K-SPOTLIGHT articles about her here.
B.A.P-‘Wake Me Up’
B.A.P have comeback with a bang, with this explosive song! ‘Wake Me Up’ is a little dark, and has its aggressive moments which make it edgy and cool. ‘Wake my other self within me, fading light that was dim’; the lyrics and message of the song touch on finding emotional redemption within yourself, The chorus stands out in ‘Wake Me Up’ with effective hooks. We admire B.A.P for creating a music video that highlights the struggles that people face, for example eating disorders, mental health and beauty perceptions. Moreover, the use of a mixture of actors with different backgrounds is commendable. We really like this one, so check it out!
Mad Soul Child’s JINSIL-‘Get Back’
Jinsil of Mad Soul Child (which incidentally is one of the greatest names for a group ever in our opinion!) wrote ‘Get Back’ after watching the trailer for the Wolverine movie ‘Logan’. If you watch the trailer yourselves, it is hard to imagine any other song fitting in so well with the feeling of the film. The guitars conjure up images of dusty plains, and the whistling sections remind us of westerns. Jinsil is known for possessing a distinctive voice, and this studio live version serves to show us the best of it. She is able to sing with a slightly whispery yet crackling vocal, yet also increase the power through the emotional chorus. This one is great! Highly recommended.
We finish up with the song ‘1.2.3’ by B.I.G. This is such a well-crafted pop song! It was overlooked by some of the bigger names, but we think that ‘1.2.3’ deserves some more attention. They even introduce this track with a whispered B…I…G.!This uptempo track has an infectious melody, a rap section that fits, and there are scattered sections that contrast with the fast parts making for an enjoyable listen. Hopefully future releases will catch more attention for the group, but we think that this is a very good song indeed!
That brings us to the end of the Music Release Roundup for March 2017! Did you like our selection this month? Let us know by commenting below!
As a thank you for those who read all the way to the end, we have a bonus video to recommend…a remix cover version of K.A.R.D’s ‘Don’t Recall’ by soon-to-debut group ‘A.C.E’, also featuring a female vocalist only known as ‘fla4free’!
Featured image source: © ‘OOHYO Single Pizza release’. Mun Hwa In Co. Ltd. 27.03.2017. OOHYO’s official Facebook page.
A.C.EB.A.PB.I.GBgACode KunstComebackcoverEDENfla4freeG.SoulGugudanHIGHGRNDhiphopHyorinJinsilJustin OhK-indieK-musicK.A.R.DKOREAN MUSICKpopKwon JinaMad Soul ChildMarch 2017Min Chaemusic release roundupMusic VideoMVOOHYORAPRecommendRecommendationsSeenrootSISTARTABLO