Ready for our May 2017 Music Release Roundup? This is our compilation list of songs for the month; mainly K-pop, some K-indie, with a few older releases thrown in for good measure! There was a lot of music this month so you may notice that our list is longer this time! In our recommendations for May 2017 are: music from LOOΠΔ’s Kim Lip, Psy, Seventeen, Suran, Kei from Lovelyz, Marmello, URBANZAKAPA, O.WHEN, Ru mexx and Keego (featuring Rang of Ashmute and MaseWonder), BoA (that we just missed off from our April article), VIXX, Loco (featuring Hoody), and an older release from Ggotjam project that we recently discovered! There might also be a bonus song at the end to reward you for reading the whole article!
Before we get started, why not check out our featured K-indie artists this month? You can find out more about Ashmute and Stereotype’s music and read their interviews on the blog! We’d recommend starting your discovery with Ashmute’s ‘Heaven’ and ‘Scenery’ and Stereotype’s ‘Falling’ and ‘Denmark’. And check out the rest of our special K-Spotlight artists by clicking here!
Kim Lip – ‘Eclipse’
Girl group LOOΠΔ have been teasing the identity of their members in a very innovative manner with a unique marketing strategy. They have had sub-group and individual music releases so far, and haven’t even revealed everyone yet! Everything that is released into the public domain has been of very high quality, and no expense has been spared shuttling the girls to different locations for shoots. The most recent release has been that of Kim Lip, with the song ‘Eclipse’. We think she shows potential and it will be interesting how her more mature style fits in with the rest of the group. Although the song wouldn’t be considered unique in the K-pop world, combining it with watching the MV really elevates the whole thing! Some of the imagery and use of colour in the video is amazing; we particularly like the shot of the owl’s eye in red. See for yourselves! Definitely worth taking a look at this!
Psy – ‘New Face’ and ‘Luv it’
The very recognisable Psy made a comeback in May and released 2 videos, one for ‘Luv it’ and ‘New Face’. He’s already storming the domestic charts in Korea. Out of the two songs, we think that ‘Luv it‘ has the better choreography but ‘New Face’ is the more crowdpleasing song. If there was any doubt about Psy’s popularity, watch this short clip of him performing at Yonsei University – you can see he has the audience hooked!
‘New Face’ features Naeun of Apink in the video, and she has already experienced a surge in attention as a consequence of it. Surprisingly, she daps a lot! But this is all in keeping with Psy’s trademark style.
‘Luv it’ is best enjoyed while watching the MV, because you get to appreciate the dance moves with the music. You might recognize Lee Byung Hun making an appearance in the video. Psy knows how to make catchy tunes!
Seventeen – ‘Don’t wanna cry’
The boys are back with an energetic dance track for the summer! We think that this is the best offering from a male group this month! The official music video looks great and you can watch it below. There is also a performance version for the song which you can watch by clicking here.
Suran – ‘Wine’
Suran’s ‘Wine’ has been popular on the charts, and soon she will be releasing an album of her own which we are excited about! Her ‘live’ performance of this song impressed us a lot, so we wanted to show our readers too! The male support who does the backing vocals/rapping in this video was great; he reminded us of DEAN and his early work.
Kei –’ 별과 해’ (Ruler: Master of the Mask OST Part 4)
Kei’s song as part of the OST for this drama made it onto our list for the May 2017 Music Release Roundup! The strings in the background together with her vocals make a good fit in the song. You can catch clips from some of the episodes in the video!
Marmello – ‘Puppet’
Marmello are a new female rock band! We are always in favour of people playing their own instruments and this is a pleasant surprise because not much rock makes an appearance on the K-pop scene! This (light rock) song is a decent first offering for the girls, the guitar solo is great! If you are a fan of anime music or even ‘Like Ooh Ahh’ from Twice, you might enjoy this!
URBANZAKAPA – ‘Alone’
You can always count on URBANZAKAPA to provide a pleasant mellow song with quality harmonies. We were drawn to this track because of the lyrics in particular, which describe a person feeling lonely but outwardly trying to appear fine. Even though the main section repeats quite a lot, we didn’t feel it being too detrimental during the song.
O.WHEN – ‘No-one else’
This was the surprise of the month from male solo artist O.WHEN. A relative newcomer on the music scene, this singer-songwriter has a stable voice and his track is easy on the ears. Looking for something new? Have a listen to this!
Ru mexx and Keego (feat. Rang and MaseWonder) – ‘Wanna Go’
DJ and producers Ru mexx and Keego have been fairly active lately, and released this dance track with an upbeat tropical sound. ‘Wanna Go’ features Rang of Ashmute for two thirds of the song; to be honest we would have preferred that she sang the whole thing! She does a good job with a different genre, and it is refreshing to hear her voice with some faster tempo music. The best parts are the verses and the bridge sections where the lyrics allow her to speed up. An autotuned rap part comes near the end, which seems to be increasingly common in recent Korean songs. We think that male vocals would have suited the track better, but Rang definitely makes ‘Wanna Go’ worth listening to nonetheless.
BoA – ‘Spring Rain’
BoA participated in the SM Station project and released ‘Spring Rain’, a song that is suited to her style and some parts hark back to sounds of the 90’s. We think it is one of the best BoA tracks of recent years!
VIXX – ‘Shangri-La’
VIXX also made a comeback in May. We liked the oriental sounds in ‘Shangri-La’ and their album artwork for their mini album of the same name looks amazing. They also have a ‘fan dance’ choreography which we were impressed by, but wasn’t shown enough in the official MV. However, we found the practice video so that you can see it all!
Loco (feat. Hoody) – ‘DA DA DA’
Loco released an LP titled ‘Bleach’ which has this song on it. He does well with both the singing and rapping here. Some of you may recognise the name ‘Hoody’ who does a short featuring on this song. She is the first female artist to sign with AOMG. The video is very high quality and English lyrics are available for international fans.
Ggotjam project -‘Hey Boy’
We finish off with an older song called ‘Hey Boy’ by Ggotjam project. This randomly came up when we were listening to other music, but it was such a pretty track, that seemed to suit the season. We have had it on repeat ever since so we highly recommend this! Ggotjam Project consists of EZ and Lim Geojeong, the latter of who provides the melodies and brings his experience as a music director. The song is perfectly constructed to show off vocalist EZ’s clear singing, with beautiful guitar melodies in parallel. Listen to it by clicking here! This duo regularly make music for Korean films and dramas so you might have unwittingly heard their songs without noticing!
As a bonus for the readers who made it until the end of our May 2017 Music Release Roundup, we recommend to listen to this commendable cover of a Lianne La Havas song that teases a member of new group P.O.P (피오피)! ‘Gone’ is our favourite Lianne La Havas track, so we were quite impressed at this hidden vocalist’s attempt. If you like Mamamoo, you might be interested in this group. We have a feeling that powerhouse vocals will be a strength of P.O.P when they debut.
If you feel that this music list wasn’t enough, why not look at articles from our K-spotlight series for some more recommendations? All of the musicians there come highly recommended by us!
That brings us to the end of our May 2017 Music Release Roundup! See you next time!
Featured image source: 김립/Kim Lip. © BlockBerryCreative. 18.05.2017. Official LOOΠΔ Instagram