Monthly K-Pop Music Roundup: February 2022

When teasers for February releases started dropping, I thought I’d be writing an introduction here about how this was the month for all the rap and R&B fans out there. And that’s still true, but this was also the month for earworm songs, my friends. So many of the tracks on this list are songs that have been playing in my brain on repeat since their releases! I also have a lot of songs in English on my list this month! Apparently February was a big English release month in the world of KPop. Ha!

These were my top 10 new releases of the month!

JAMIE – “Pity Party”
Released February 3

We got one new song from Jamie this month and it’s been stuck in my head for nearly a month now. That’s all it takes with Jamie – one release. This is an English track and it’s really fun to sing along with. The melody is really interesting; she’s got all the highs and lows in one place. The notes are really playful and the track is truly packed with some attitude that only Jamie can bring. Sometimes I forget that Jamie is only 24! She sings like a well seasoned pro! The bridge of this song really highlights that vocal ability. When I say this song has been stuck in my head all month, I’m not exaggerating. It pops into my head randomly and I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon!

Released February 8

When I saw that Ash Island would be a featured artist on Ravi’s new album, I got so excited. I’m a big fan of Ash Island and I think Ravi always brings something unexpected and interesting. I was NOT wrong with this release! The production of this song is cool; it’s like the vocals have this layer over them that makes Ravi’s voice sound like it’s coming through a speaker. Both Ravi and Ash Island have auto-tune over their voices, so that creates an interesting dynamic, as well. I don’t always love auto-tune, but sometimes I think it adds some grit and smoothness in a way. I also really like the flow in the verses; I think it reminds me of some alternative rock songs from my youth. Ha! This was my favorite song on Ravi’s new album LOVE & FIGHT, but it’s got some other tracks worth checking out!

MOONBIN & SANHA – “Ghost Town”
Released February 11

I’m pretty ASTRO biased, so I’m not surprised that this song is on my list of favorites for the month. But even if I wasn’t an ASTRO fan, I’d have to say that this song has some great qualities. This is a genre that we aren’t used to hearing from ASTRO, Moonbin, or Sanha; I appreciate the sharp left turn. This song is a pre-release single for their comeback next month, so I’m hopeful that it’s a hint at what we can expect from the rest of the album. If anything, this release gave us the lyric, “I’m ‘bout to kick it with some ghosts now.” Ha! I feel like we’ve seen this group do a little more experimenting with sounds and styles lately, which I love to hear! This single is so smooth and both Moonbin and Sanha show us some sides to their voices that we aren’t used to. Did you know that you needed melodic rapper Sanha in your life? Neither did I, until this song dropped. Ha!

Released February 14

Taeyeon has quickly become one of my favorite female soloists. Her voice is the type that just sucks you in; her tone is clear and she has a wide range. There’s something special, like what I hear when I listen to IU. Taeyeon emotes so well; I love songs like “Toddler” and ”Set Myself on Fire” for that reason, especially. “Cold As Hell” was a nice surprise, as it has a bit of a darker sound to it. There’s a lot of rock inspiration on this album, which is fun to listen to. I really liked “You Better Not” and “Can’t Control Myself”, with their pop rock energy. Then with “Weekend,” we go in a disco direction and we get a little rap. Ha! Her rap on this track reminds me of something we’d hear from TWICE; it’s cute and sweet. A few of these songs were already released as singles, but hearing the whole album altogether puts the pieces together in a beautiful way.

Epik High – Epik High is Here (Part 2)
Released February 14

If you were to put together a dream list of artists to work with Epik High, I feel like most, if not all, of those artists would be on this album (or part 1). For me, pH-1 is on that list and don’t worry, guys…we got “Super Rare” with both pH-1 and Wonstein. Other artists we give heart eyes to on this album are Lee Hi, Younha, Colde, GIRIBOY, Sik-K, JUSTHIS, and Kim Feel. Epik High are artists in every sense of the word and this album emphasizes that for anyone who doesn’t know that already. Tablo’s Stanford education shows from time to time in the way he strings his thoughts together; he’s a poet for sure. Epik High has been around since 2001 and there’s a reason they’ve lasted in the industry this long. Their music has a timeless alternative hip hop quality and their lyrics continue to be relevant. 

Released February 15

I’m apparently a big fan of TREASURE. Ha! I haven’t taken the time to learn the member’s names or anything like that, but there just really hasn’t been a TREASURE release that I didn’t like, and that includes their b sides. In their new title track “JIKJIN,” we hear some stunning vocals and powerful raps. My favorite moment in this song is the second pre-chorus with Jeongwoo and Yedam. I feel like I can always pick Yedam’s voice out in a TREASURE song, but Jeongwoo is also a vocalist that demands your attention! This section of the song is so beautiful and I look forward to it each time this song comes on. The production of this song is genius, as well. This album has 3 more songs on it; “U” is dripping in adorable vocals and an infectious groove; “DARARI” has a sweet youthfulness layered with a sick beat; “IT’S OKAY” is a ballad that makes me want to give each member a hug. This is a short, but no-skip album for sure!

DeVita – American Gothic
Released February 15

DeVita joined AOMG in 2020 and American Gothic is DeVita’s second EP. You might recognize her from Yugyeom’s song “I Want U Around”, CODE KUNST’s “Let u in”, or GRAY’s “Rise.” You know how AOMG artists always support each other! This album has 6 songs that are in English and then a Korean version of “Bonnie & Clyde.” Her song “Cheese in the Trap” also features Jay Park, former CEO of AOMG. I think DeVita’s voice is really stunning; her control and vocal runs are beautiful. This EP has me excited and curious for what she releases next. It’s made a true believer out of me. Ha! Besides “Bonnie & Clyde,” I think “Superstar” is my favorite song on this album. It’s mostly just DeVita’s voice and an electric guitar. The balance is genius because we get to really zero-in on her tone. If you aren’t familiar with DeVita, but you like artists like Lee Hi, SOLE, and Hoody, then I feel sure that you’ll like this artist. 

WONHO – “Somebody”
Released February 16

This month, we got a little single album from soloist WONHO. The second song is one that I think I prefer to the title track. Since he debuted as a soloist, he’s had some songs that I really like and “Somebody” has moved to the top of that list. I like the composition of this track; the slow build in the first verse paired with the beat drop in the chorus is really smooth. The bass guitar is super groovy and really adds a lot of depth to the overall sound. The second verse falls back again, instrumentally, so we get that build upwards once again. I feel like I’m leaning forward in my seat, waiting for the chorus drop. I like that! I will say, I’d forgotten how nice Wonho’s tone is and this song really puts that aspect of his voice at the forefront. His high falsetto juxtaposed with that lower bass in the chorus holds my attention every time.

Released February 21

I think this was probably a lot of people’s most anticipated KPop album of the month. Ha! I think the title track “RUN2U” is really dynamic and there’s a lot of interesting moments worth taking the time to dial into. My personal favorite section of this song right now is J’s rap; she does this really sly vocal slide that has a ton of attitude. I look forward to it every time this song comes on. Off this album, my second favorite song is probably “247” with “YOUNG LUV” close behind. This album only has 6 songs on it, but there’s some nice variety of styles. I keep forgetting that STAYC only debuted in 2020. They have some smash hits like “ASAP” and “STEREOTYPE” that bury themselves in people’s brains. This group is really going somewhere. They’ve got some really strong vocalists and J as a rapper is superior, in my opinion.

SUPER JUNIOR – The Road: Winter for Spring
Released February 28

This EP snuck in at the tail end of the month, but I’m glad that it did. “Callin’” is the kind of track that shows the world what kind of vocalists SuJu is made of. I love that there isn’t a ton of production going on here in terms of things that can distract us from the vocals. The harmonies are really warm and I love when they’re also singing in unison, as well. Their voices fill my earbuds! As for the other track on this EP, “Analogue Radio,” I love the vibe of “Callin’” is matched, but there’s also this cool other melody running through it. So we still get to focus on those warm, flawless vocals; but with a little more production value. Those deep synths add a new level to this track and make this 2 song EP really special!

What were your favorite releases of February? Let us know in the comments!

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