The global pandemic continues to take a financial blow on the K-Pop industry and put a temporary end to live performances.
Artists have taken alternative routes, from holding their own virtual live concerts to releasing new music for global fans stuck at home.
Much to the delight of their fandom worldwide, a number of artists have been dropping exciting comeback announcements and new music. From last week’s star-studded line-up, here are the top picks recommended to add to your K-Pop playlist.
1. NU’EST’s EP ‘The Nocturne’
Last Monday, NU’EST took over the K-Pop music scene with EP ‘The Nocturne’ and title track ‘I’m in Trouble’, seven months after dropping ‘The Table’. The quintet showcased a more mature style change from their previous uplifting sound, offering a new perspective on love.
“The album focuses on “nightfall,” a moment that everyone encounters daily, when more honest emotions arise. The album unravels various aspects of the night, by realistically expressing emotions that many can relate to,” read a YouTube post under the group’s ‘I’m in Trouble’ music video. “Instead of portraying ‘nocturne’ through the usual sentimental and gloomy mood, NU’EST uses various colours to express their emotions, illustrating “nocturne” as a song of the night”.”
Containing six tracks, their eighth EP was a success in Korea and seemed to be a local fan favourite as it climbed to the top of the iTunes albums chart in the UAE and in 12 other countries.
2. Day6’s EP ‘The Book of Us: The Demon’
The rock band continued their ‘The Book of Us’ album series with their latest musical offering. Fronted by title track ‘Zombie’, the eight-track EP ‘The Book of Us: The Demon’ was slightly darker than its predecessors, exploring the story of sentimental imbalance a demon can cause in one’s life.
Before its release last Monday, Day6 decided to temporarily halt all team activities and album promotions to focus on their mental well-being after some members were showing symptoms of psychological anxiety, JYP Entertainment confirmed.
The group — consisting of leader and guitarist Sungjin, guitarist Jae, keyboardist Wonpil. bassist Young K and drummer Dowoon — are focusing on getting sufficient rest after medical examination.
3. EXO’s Chanyeol and DJ Raiden’s single ‘Yours’ (ft. Changmo, and Lee Hi)
Last Wednesday, Chanyeol from boy group sensation EXO and rising DJ/producer Raiden collaborated on genre-crossing single ‘Yours’ with the help of soloist Lee Hi and rapper Changmo.
Featuring funky guitar and retro synth-pop sounds, the disco-style R’n’B collaborative number captivated fans with the synergy of the quartet coming from various sonic styles, leading to becoming a hit in Korea and globally.
The feel-good song about the lingering feeling after a break-up topped the iTunes songs chart in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, the Philippines, Oman and Malaysia and was a success in Korea.
It’s Raiden’s third collaboration with K-Pop artists, having previously collaborated with Red Velvet’s Irene and Girls’ Generation’s Yuri.
4. BVNDIT’s EP ‘Carnival’
BVNDIT, an acronym for ‘Be Ambitious and Do It’, returned confident as ever with their EP ‘Carnival’ fronted by title track ‘Jungle’, declaring they are the queens in the jungle.
Their tropical-themed comeback was also a fan favourite, seen from some of their tracks’ ranking on the UAE songs iTunes chart. On Wednesday, the rookie girl group’s powerful tracks ‘Come and Get It’, ‘Jungle’ and ‘Carnival’ ranked in the top 10 on the UAE iTunes all-genre songs chart, proving to be the next K-Pop group to look out for.
5. BOL4’s EP ‘Puberty Book II Pum.’
Just in time for springtime, BOL4’s Ahn Ji Young dropped her five-track EP and title track ‘Hug’ co-composed and written by the singer-songstress herself. Just ahead of its release, she dropped a pre-release single ‘Leo’ featuring EXO’s Baekhyun.
Part of BOL4’s ‘Puberty Book’ that delves into the various emotions of the youth especially that of love, the newest instalment is the first release as a soloist following the departure of her former bandmate and guitarist Woo Ji Yoon last month.