New music hits the K-pop world every day. The genre’s wide range of styles are perfect for sprucing up any playlist.
Here’s the best of the best—from this week, anyway.
Block B — “Yesterday”
From the jump, Block B’s newest track screams fun with vibrant colors and sound. The seven-member group’s vocals have a distinct timbre that contrasts nicely with the happy, upbeat music of “Yesterday”—but don’t be fooled. Even though the music video showcases the group’s signature comedic storylines, the lyrics tell a tale of a boyfriend distrusting his girlfriend. The members sing of suspicions and confusion, asking what she did yesterday—and why she’s behaving so weirdly.
Instead of an official comeback, “Yesterday” is considered a special gift for Block B’s fans. They won’t be promoting the song on music shows, but they did reveal a special, playful live version on YouTube. And as a bonus, Block B did the Mannequin Challenge.
SF9 — “Roar”
Rookie group SF9 returned Sunday with debut mini-album, Burning Sensation, leading with the powerful track “Roar.” The song opens with booming, Neptunes-inspired hip-hop beats. SF9 delivers smoky, smooth verses, rolling into strong rap parts. When the hook hits, “Roar” comes together, rattling with an expert-level EDM drop.
The choreography is flashy and exciting, as members go aerial with flips against sharp, colorful backgrounds.
Day6 — “You Were Beautiful”
As part of the band’s 2017 project, “EveryDay6,” the boys released “You Were Beautiful” as the second installment of 12 on Monday. According to allkpop, Day6 will be releasing new singles on the sixth day of every month for the whole year. In addition, they’re scheduled to hold concerts within the week of each release.
“You Were Beautiful” comes as the release for February—a bittersweet and nostalgic tune about a past relationship. The song follows January’s release, “I Wait,” which has a rocking, anime-inspired sound. Day6 brings a different sound to the table, being one of the few traditional bands on the K-pop scene.
Cross Gene — “Black or White”
This multinational band—comprised of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese members—came out with an intensely dark single, “Black or White,” on Wednesday. The music video shows the band members clash with their nefarious alter egos in bloody and violent struggles.
However a listen deeper into the album, Mirror, reveals how Cross Gene put a spin on a popular, good-versus-evil K-pop trope. The following two songs, “Black Mind” and “White Mind,” sound strangely familiar to “Black or White”—because they are.
The band assigned members Seyoung, Casper, and Takuya to sing “Black Mind,” the song that supports the title’s strong and urgent verses. Meanwhile members Youngseok, Shin, and Sangmin sing “White Mind,” the electropop/house song that makes up the chorus of “Black or White.”
NCT Dream — “My First and Last”
Representing NCT’s youthful side is the seven-member subunit NCT Dream. Unlike most K-pop groups that have a fixed lineup, SM Entertainment’s NCT crew comprises a pool of different boy members who get grouped together to create different teams. The younger members of the pool make up NCT Dream, whose cute style starkly contrasts the mature sides of the other two units, NCT U and NCT 127.
In sync with NCT Dream’s previous release, “Chewing Gum,” the group released an equally cheerful and buoyant track, “My First and Last.” A scratchy, rumbling beat sets the scene for the schoolboy vibe and story of a love-struck student infatuated with the teacher.
Unlike NCT Dream’s brother groups, the band released a Chinese version of its track as well.
Wonder Girls — “Draw Me”
The Wonder Girls said farewell this week with final track, “Draw Me.” After 10 years, the girl group said farewell following the expiration of their JYP Entertainment contract. Before their time is up though, the four girls decided to record one last song.
“Draw Me” has a sweet and mellow sound with lyrics reminiscent of simpler, innocent times. The girls carry a relaxing tempo through their tropical strings, wooden percussion, and silky vocals. Like labelmates Day6, the Wonder Girls perform as a traditional band as well.
This article is updated weekly for relevancy.