Welcome to this month’s collection of the best new releases (K-pop and K-indie) alongside some other recommendations from previous months. It’s our Music Release Roundup for September 2017!
This month our list reflects more variety in Kpop, with a mixture of different songs to recommend to our IMK readers. We have acoustic, dance, disco, hiphop amongst our recommendations this time! There were slightly more disco and funk songs available during September 2017, we wonder whether this will be the beginning of a trend? We will have to wait and see!
Read on for songs from Peejay feat. Zion T, G.Soul, Jeong Sewoon feat. Sik-K, Im Hyeonjeong, Sunmi, Primary feat. Solji, Bobby, Kim EZ of Ggotjam project feat. Taylor, Loona’s new subgroup Odd Eye Circle, Bolbbalgan4, B.A.P, Yoon Dohyun of YB, Luna-tune, Yoo Hoeseung from N.Flying, Grace Shin, Woo Wonjae, 10cm, MXM, Golden Child, VIXX, Rocoberry and Offonoff. It’s a large list, so stick with us!
Some songs that didn’t quite make it onto the main list were: G.Friend’s ‘Summer Rain’, ‘Nonfiction’ by K.Will and ‘The Road’ by Paul Kim (who has a strong voice), ‘Like it’ by Jong Shin Yoon (this song stormed the charts for a while in September 2017). You can listen to each of these by clicking on the name of each song.
Now, let’s start the main list!
Peejay – Na B Ya (feat Zion. T)
We start with a song that has an amazing beat, and is a wonderful collaboration between producer Peejay and artist Zion T. ‘Na B Ya’ makes the best of Zion. T’s smooth voice and style and the MV is also very different, as it is animated. It’s a very interesting song so we highly recommend it! If you only have time to listen to one song from the whole of September 2017, it has to be this one.
G.Soul – Can’t
Since joining H1GHR MUSIC, G.Soul has been able to become more active in releasing more music. We almost missed ‘Can’t’, but it’s such a high quality R&B track, that we had to include it! G.Soul has been vastly overlooked in past years, but it is his time to shine now.
Jeong Sewoon feat Sik K-Just U (produced by Groovy room)
‘Just U’ was another track that just missed being featured on last month’s list due to its late release date. Groovy room continue to impress us with their work here. Sewoon demonstrates his smooth vocals and Sik-K gets to show off his rapping. Everyone’s individual roles are completed well in ‘Just U’. Definitely check this one out!
Kim EZ feat. Taylor-Place
Kim EZ has a wonderfully clear voice, and we recommended her in a previous Music Release Roundup. She has regular work from contributing to OSTs, but this time she has her first solo release featuring Taylor. We loved this song, it’s not overly complicated, and EZ’s vocals are supported by Taylor’s deeper range. Give this a chance, we highly recommend it this month!
언제나 소년, 라이노 어쿠스틱 and Im Hyeonjeong (임현정) – 가을
Regular readers will notice Im Hyeonjeong from an interview that we published this year. She has featured on a track this month and the combination of the male and female vocals and resulting harmonies is beautifully warm. There is a simple video to go alongside the track, but it’s very professional looking. We’re pleased to see Hyeonjeong doing well and having more activities! Give this one a try!
Bolbbalgan4 – Blue
Bolbbalgan4 reached great heights since we first recommended them as part of our music release roundup series! They have another album out now (called ‘Red Diary Page 1’), so of course we had to check it out! Some of the tracklist stays close to the music that they released before, but we feel that the best of the album is ‘Blue’ and final track ‘To my youth’. ‘Blue’ feels like a progression of Bolbbalgan4’s sound, that’s why we like it!
Luna-tune – Aquarium
When we were listening to new songs during September, we discovered Luna-tune by sheer chance. We enjoyed her track ‘Aquarium’ and chose it to be included in this list! There might be inevitable comparisons to Heize, but only in that Luna-tune sings as well as raps too. We think that Luna-tune is a strong rapper and we enjoyed the lyrical flow and the underlying melody to this song. If you are looking for something new from a female rapper and vocalist, then why not give ‘Aquarium’ a try?
Sunmi – Gashina
Sunmi’s Gashina was a song that grew on us over the course of the month. We immediately liked the verses and bridges a lot, because those felt like classic Sunmi, but it was Teddy’s contribution to the chorus that we felt wasn’t entirely in keeping with the rest of the song. However, after watching the whole performance with the now rapidly trending ‘gun choreography’, we were won over by Sunmi’s stage presence. Even her dancers are gaining attention now, with fancams being recorded. She even did a ‘switched’ version (where male dancers did the female dancers choreography and vice versa)! Sunmi’s 4D personality is used to its fullest in the MV that depicts the emotions following a breakup. She looks like she’s having fun with her first release following her departure from JYP Entertainment! Here is the choreography part change up version in case you haven’t seen it already!
Primary – Diet (feat Solji of EXID)
Primary has always been a very reliable producer, creating songs that you know are going to be of decent quality. His latest album ‘Pop’ is full of groovy and funky tracks, and he has managed to work with with some of the best Kpop artists around, including queen of collaborations and ex-SISTAR member Soyou, Antenna music’s singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist Sam Kim, INFINITE’s Kim Sungkyu, and Korean-American singer-songwriter Esna. Amongst all of the songs, we think ‘Diet’ featuring EXID’s powerhouse vocalist Solji is the best. It has a disco beat and strong bassline. Solji keeps it cool here, with a soulful take on her vocals. It is good to see her return to music as she has been on hiatus since her health issues came to light.
Yoon Dohyun of YB – Trip
We are fans of longboarder Ko Hyojoo and spotted this beautifully shot MV from Yoon Dohyun of YB which features Hyojoo doing what she does best. It’s a fun electronic track with a tropical sunshine vibe.
Bobby – Tendae and Firework
Bobby from iKON has made a departure from his usual fare to try some mainstream pop for his first full album ‘Love and Fall’. His slightly growling voice is still there in parts for most of the album. We think that 2 songs: ‘Tendae’ and ‘Firework’ are worth listening to. ‘Firework’ could have done with less autotune, but it’s got a nice tempo, and Bobby sort of ‘sing-raps’. It captures the vibe of the end of summer, watching the sun setting at the beach. ‘Tendae’ is probably the best of the lot, it’s very catchy, and makes the most of all of Bobby’s strengths. The chorus is great too. Videos for both of these songs are below.
Yoo Hoeseung (from N.Flying) – Another day
Going into OSTs now, this is an amazing track from Yoo Hoeseung on part 2 of the ‘Criminal Minds’ drama soundtrack. It’s not often you get these types of anthemic band rock songs entering OST collections, so we were immediately intrigued when listening to the opening of the track since it wasn’t a ballad! The vocals are strong and the guitars build up the energy and excitement. It peaks our interest for the accompanying drama! We highly recommend this one.
Grace Shin – Groovin
From the opening to this song, we liked the mood created by Grace Shin! It’s jazzy and soulful, and oozes cool. If you like Bruno Mars, you might enjoy this track! ‘Groovin’ is exactly that, an amazing song to groove to. The bass is wonderful! Although some of you might not have heard of this artist, we think you should listen to this!
Woo Won Jae – MOVE (feat Bizzy)
Woo Won Jae didn’t win the 6th season of Show Me the Money, but he will still be pleased as he stormed the charts with one of the tracks that was released during the course of the show. We’ve actually not chosen that one here; ‘MOVE’ was featured in the final of SMTM6 and we thought it had the best beat out of ALL of the songs. It’s our hiphop track of the month!
10cm – Help
A slow acoustic song with some beautiful lyrics. The theme of ‘help’ is summed up by the chorus. The MV highlights the difficulties and internal struggles that are hidden behind the faces of people everyday. Losing someone you love, being unable to love yourself, lack of confidence, everyone is battling in some way or another. ‘When it gets to morning again, can I get up?’ say the lyrics. This is a song that will be relatable to everyone.
MXM (BrandNew Boys) – I’m the One
Another boy group are on the scene – MXM. The verse of this song is very typical of other songs from male groups, but the chorus picks up a lot. With its use of different musical elements, ‘I’m the One’ kept our interest throughout. The best boy group offering of September 2017! Watch the performance version of the song below.
Odd Eye Circle (Loona) – Girl Front
This trio is made up of Loona members JinSoul, Kim Lip (who we recommended in a music release roundup before), and Choerry. We think that Loona may become very popular in future. They seem to have a lot of investment and resources ploughed into their promotions, songs and MVs, so the quality is a little higher than other new girl groups. ‘Girl Front’ has that little bit of quirkiness and stand-out hooks that caught our attention!
Golden Child – Damdadi
Golden Child from Woolim Entertainment released the very catchy ‘Damdadi’ at the end of August which was just missed off our list last month. This is a good debut song for these boys; it comes with a bright MV, and is a memorable song that has a chorus that is easy to remember, a rap section that actually fits with the song…it just needs to be seen whether they manage to catch the attention of the public.
VIXX – Thank you for the love
As part of their Japanese promotions, VIXX have released a song that has that definitive J-pop sound. It is very melodic with a unified chorus. It has a certain feeling of Christmas! There is a short video available.
B.A.P – Honeymoon
This song reminded us of Swedish DJ Avicii. It is a high energy dance track that’s main draw comes from a repeating melody. We weren’t too sure about the rap section that feels like an afterthought, but it doesn’t go on too long before the vocals return. One of the better dance releases this month.
Rocoberry – Bob Shou Wa
Rocoberry are a duo. The members are Roco and Conan, and they have previously done a lot of OST work. ‘Bob Shou Wa’ is a song for the beginning of autumn, it’s soft and pastel-like. The MV is cute!
As a bonus to readers who made it to the end of our roundup, we recently discovered a stripped back version of Offonoff’s track ‘12:04’ which we enjoyed! Offonoff have been doing so well which is great to see. We featured them in a K-SPOTLIGHT article at the end of 2016 and they have gained a lot of attention since then.
That’s us for the music release roundup – September 2017! Join us next time for more music recommendations!
Featured image source: © 가을 cover. 인디문화발전소. 07.09.2017. Melon website.