This is our July 2017 Music Release Roundup, with the best of this month’s Korean releases recommended by us! Tropical house is still rife through South Korean music lately (probably to coincide with Summer), but we’ve chosen some different tracks for this edition as a change from all that. We are most impressed by the variety of music released through SM Station recently which gives you a hint that a few of those tracks will be on this list! This platform is helping different genres of music and artists gain more attention with the public which we strongly encourage.
There was so much music for this month that we couldn’t possibly include everything! If you are looking for boyband music, have a look into ‘Jelly’ by Hotshot. A quick mention about Offonoff – we previously featured their song ‘photograph’ in a K-SPOTLIGHT article (read it here). The duo released a new song called ‘Dance’ this month which you can check out. It’s quite similar sounding to DEAN’s style, so if you like him you might also like this title track and first album ‘boy’. If you get a chance, listen to ‘cigarette’ on the new album which features Tablo and Miso. Miso performed in London with DEAN recently). If you have time, listen to this version of ‘Love’ by DEAN featuring Syd that is excellent.
Please remember to check out music by our specially recommended K-SPOTLIGHT special K-indie artists, ‘In the endless zanhyang we are’ and ‘Choyoung’!
Back to the matter at hand! Read on for tracks by The Solutions, Taemin, GroovyRoom featuring Jay Park and Heize, Millic featuring Fanxy Child, DAY6, Stella Jang, Zico featuring G.Soul, The Barberettes, Krr, 24Hours, Adios Audio and Astrid Holiday. Look out for bonus content too!
The Solutions – All that you want
We will start with our favourite song of the month, it’s ‘All that you want’ by The Solutions! The Solutions are a band who were featured in our ‘Why you should listen to K-indie’ article which you can read here, and have been active for many years now. They managed to release this track through SM Station and the combination of the 90’s rock sound, guitars and addictive chorus that people can sing together makes this the ultimate summer song, blowing the rest out of the water. It’s actually about how people chase after materialistic and lavish things. We’ve listened to it so many times in July! Highly recommended.
Taemin – Flame of Love
Not K-pop per se, since ‘Flame of Love’ was released as part of Taemin’s Japanese promotions…but it’s Taemin and a great song so we bent the rules a little! We really liked this, it’s dramatic with an oriental melody and also allows Taemin to show off his dancing skills. We did think the official video was too bombarded by CGI effects so chose to include the dance version of ‘Flame of Love’ where you can see all the choreography. Recommended for this month!
GroovyRoom feat. Jay Park and Heize – Sunday
It’s been a great year for Jay Park and Heize, and this time they collaborate with Producer team GroovyRoom to bring you this smooth R&B song. We noticed Heize back when Unpretty Rapstar 2 was aired (where she was a contestant) and is actually more well-known for her singing rather than rapping these days. She’s doing so well now on the Kpop charts. This is one of her better songs of the year. Jay Park does a solid job with some mellow rapping, and adds yet another song to his burgeoning catalogue.
Millic feat. Fanxy Child – Paradise
This is a stylish track from MC Millic which is very good. Many of you will have read the above title and thought that you have never heard of Fanxy Child – but it is actually a new crew name adopted by DEAN, Zico, Crush, Penomeco and Millic, so there are some familiar names there! We think that Penomeco steals the limelight and stands out in ‘Paradise’; his quick-fire section remains in the memory moreso than even the well-known of the lineup. This is a solid track – a mixture of rap and vocals – to build up the Fanxy Child brand and for avid YouTube followers, the fact that Areia Creations was involved in filming of the MV might make this one more interesting for you. Take a listen!
Stella Jang – You as you are
We are seeing Stella Jang’s name more and more these days, and get the feeling she might make the step from K-indie artist to a mainstream one some time in the future. She released this piano ballad which is a change from her more quirky offerings. We thought it was a good ballad for this month so included it in our July 2017 Music Release Roundup.
DAY6 – Hi Hello
DAY6 have been releasing music continually throughout 2017 and ‘Hi Hello’ caught our attention this month. It’s not a track that breaks any new ground, but it’s delivered well, and it’s a pleasant song for lazy summer days.
Zico feat. G.Soul – ANTI
Zico’s song is very self-explanatory, it’s a song directed to haters and anti-fans and gives Zico a chance to take an aggressive stance in countering some of those comments in this dark song. G.Soul continues to be very active as an artist since leaving JYP Entertainment and lends his voice to the excellent choruses. Zico also has the track ‘Artist’ out which is the complete opposite of the style of ‘Anti’ but we enjoyed the complexity of the latter track much more.
The Barberettes – Summer Love
The Barberettes are a female trio; the only group to do doo-wop music in South Korea. The also create classic pop, and are well known for their impeccable harmonisation skills. They are currently touring in France, but not before releasing ‘Summer Love’ which is a fun mid-tempo track and showcases what they do best. There’s even an English version so you can sing along! We’ll include the official MV for the Korean version below so you can watch that too.
Bonus: If you liked what you heard, you may want to also check out The Barberettes collaboration with Jang Jin Young for SM Station. It’s was a digital single called ‘Stranger’s Love’ and was released in June.
Adios Audio – Firefly
A K-indie recommendation for our IMK readers – ‘Firefly’ by Adios Audio combines piano-driven ballad with aspects of rock with mystical-sounding chord progressions near the end. The result is an interesting and strong track that we enjoyed.
Krr – Night Flight
This song is about dusting off old dreams and pursuing them again. The MV also has English lyrics so you can enjoy the song even more! If you are a Star Wars fan, we think you will like the MV 🙂
24Hours – Get It On
After discovering Seoulmoon (read our interview with the members here), we looked into vocalist Hyemi’s other music project, a group called 24Hours. They have a really fun song called ‘Get It On’ (originally released in 2016) and the members all danced choreography in the park for the video. It’s a creative way to make an MV on a budget and they did so well, you’ll find yourself smiling after watching it! This is highly recommended.
Astrid Holiday – New Beginning
This was another song released through SM Station but we missed it at the time in June. SM Station also showcases artists from other countries. ‘New Beginning’ is an acoustic ballad tinged with sadness, about the breaking of a relationship and letting go of a lover whom she doesn’t want to part with. We loved the sound that Astrid Holiday created here and she captured those emotions beautifully. Highly recommended that you check this one out too!
Bonus: Charlie Taft – Love like you
Thanks to our readers who have read to the end of the article! As a bonus, we wanted to recommend one extra hiphop R&B track. It’s something different again because Charlie Taft is a co-producer of some Red Velvet songs. ‘Love like you’ was released through SM Station and fits in with current music.
Until the next edition, we hope you enjoyed the July 2017 Music Release Roundup and found new additions for your playlist!
Featured image source: © Happy Robot Records. The Solutions. 09.06.2017. The Solutions official Facebook page.