K-Pop Music Roundup: August 2022

The summer months are coming to an end and I’d like to believe it’ll start cooling off soon. You know what hasn’t cooled off yet, though? These new music releases! It feels like the heat is just getting turned up!

These were my top 10 new releases of the month! If you don’t have time to read it all, scroll to the end to see what my top 3 recommendations are!

NewJeans – New Jeans EP
Released August 1

This debut girl group has certainly gained a ton of “Attention” right from the very start. The group started releasing music as early as July 21, but the EP dropped on the first of August. We’ve actually gotten a large number of music videos from them in their first month in the industry; they came in hot! Of the 4 songs on their debut EP, “Attention” is probably my favorite. I really like the old school style that the music has; it stands out in the sea of girl group releases we’ve had lately. “Hype Boy” is really catchy and has been in my head a lot in the last couple of weeks. Those are the 2 I’ve listened to the most, but “Cookie” and “Hurt” each have fun qualities, as well. I like that this group has already stirred up some conversation, has a nice variety of vocal styles, and that each of their songs has a unique flavor. I’m looking forward to more!

Gaho – “Beautiful Night”
Released August 4

If you aren’t familiar with Gaho, but you listen to this song and recognize his voice, it’s probably because you’ve heard that same voice in a million KDrama OSTs. Ok a million is an exaggeration, but it’s kind of his bread and butter. His latest song, “Beautiful Night”, isn’t an OST, but I think it really showcases what a great voice and style he has. It opens with a string melody and then some keys come in, adding some playfulness to the track right away. One thing that I immediately loved about this song is everything Gaho does with his voice in the chorus. Vocal slides always steal my heart, but there’s also a moment where it sounds like there are 2 Gaho’s, going back and forth. Somehow this song is both mellow and bouncy at the same time? The instrumentals are so well done, the production is subtle but memorable, and of course, Gaho’s voice shines brightly. 

Girls’ Generation – FOREVER 1
Released August 5

This comeback has been LONG awaited and I have to say, it didn’t disappoint in any way. The title track “FOREVER 1” brings back something that just feels…like KPop. It’s wholesome, familiar, and comfortable; it does a great job of blending that classic girl group sound with a new modern twist. It fits the ladies of Girls’ Generation really beautifully, in my opinion. As for the rest of the album, there are some great songs that stand out. When I first listened to the album, I was glad to hear “Lucky Like That” right after the title song; it carries that same energy on, which I appreciated. I also keep going back to songs like “Seventeen” and “Villain,” which were written by group members. This album has 10 new songs on it and it feels like each group member had a moment to shine. It’s been 15 years since their debut; they look and sound incredible!

JUNNY – blanc
Released August 12

On the list of artists who never disappoint, you will find JUNNY’s name written in strong black sharpie. This month, JUNNY gifted us with a 9-track album and each song showcases a different side of his talent, which is really saying something. For me, this is a no-skip album that fits any mood. I listened to it on repeat while I was studying, while at work, with my headphones in at the grocery store, and more. JUNNY’s voice has a distinguishable warmth that melts my heart every time. I think my favorite songs on the album are “Obvious” for its playfulness, “Get Ya! (feat pH-1)” for its groove, and “Just a Number” because it’s got a lot of signature JUNNY sound in one song. If you aren’t familiar with JUNNY, I would recommend checking out those 3 songs! This album has made me revisit all my old favorite JUNNY songs; it’s a spark kind of tracklist!

THE BOYZ – [BE AWARE]
Released August 16

I was really curious to see which direction The Boyz’s comeback would take them in; we’ve seen cute and sweet, we’ve seen sexy, we’ve seen strong and powerful, and a few other concepts in between. For me, the title track “WHISPER” is a fun sweet spot for this group. They get to show off their playfulness, their rap line, and their top tier transitions. The chorus is so catchy and that “I’m a big problem” line makes me giggle a little every time. As for the b sides on this album, “Survive The Night” has been my go-to. It has a more mature vocal sound and the groove has just really fit my mood lately. “Bump & Love” is really relaxed and has some fun group vocals; “Levitating” has a piano melody and sick synth that fills in any gaps this album may have possibly had, reminding me of their Kingdom performances; and the album ends with “Timeless,” a track for their fandom. Another no-skip album this month!

LUCY – Childhood
Released August 17

If you don’t know LUCY, I would love to be the one to introduce you to this KBand. While every group brings something unique to the musical playing field, LUCY truly has a sound that’s unlike any other active band at the moment. Songs off their new album like “MP3” will highlight this. My most-played songs from this album at the moment are “Knowhow”, “PLAY”, and “FOUL.” But that could continue to change because every time I listen to the album, there’s a song that I like more than I did a few days ago! Due to the concept of the album, titled Childhood, there’s a wide range of sounds and emotions from song to song. In the title track “PLAY”, they talk about how things used to be when they were kids, compared to now as adults and how we could find ways to bring back that sense of play and fun into our current lives. If you like KBands or songs that just hit differently, this is a great album for you!

BLACKPINK – “Pink Venom”
Released August 19

The fact that we have to wait 6,000 years between each new release from Blackpink is highway robbery, but that’s a conversation for another day. Ha! The first 10 seconds of this song had me pumped and I just knew this track would end up on my top 10 list for the month. As usual, YG sends us a powerhouse Blackpink song that explores and mixes sounds that we weren’t expecting. And because Blackpink is Blackpink, they pull it all off with flair and power. For a few different reasons, I really enjoy the verses of this song more than the chorus. I don’t dislike the chorus, but I just think the raps in the verses and that pre-chorus are where this song’s crowning glory really lies. The way each section leads into the next is just really interesting to listen to! Nobody’s releasing music like this group; they’re on their own level. On September 16, we’ll see what the rest of their album has in store!

IVE – “After LIKE”
Released August 22

Girl group IVE debuted less than a year ago and we’ve already come to associate them with hits. This is their 3rd single album and as much as I’d like an EP or a full album at this point, I’ve been really happy with their title tracks and some of those b sides. “After LIKE” has a distinctly disco style that makes my heart happy. The music break before the second verse is in a unique place, but it somehow adds even more momentum to the song. It also makes me want to watch Mamma Mia, but that’s a different story. Then there’s that “you-hoo and I-hi” lyric in the chorus is adorable and catchy, as well. It’s hard not to love it from the first listen! Even YouTube’s official account on their music platform left a comment on IVE’s music video stating, “I more than like this song.” Whoever is choosing songs for IVE over at Starship deserves a raise, and that’s just the truth!

DKB – “24/7”
Released August 25

This isn’t the first time I’ve had DKB on my top 10 list here at binahearts.com and it won’t be the last! If someone were to ask me to name a group that I think is grossly underrated, DKB would immediately come to mind. The title track, “24/7”, from their latest album reminds me of their song “Work Hard” in the way that it latched on to my brain and set up residence there for a solid year. It might even be a perfect song, by my own personal standards; the transitions are smooth, the chorus is addicting, the raps are perfection, and the underlying beat is so solid. This is that song that came out of nowhere and will probably end up being one of my top songs of the year. For some reason, I haven’t taken the time to do a deep dive with this group, but that probably needs to happen soon. This group really should have blown up in popularity by now! 

TWICE – Between 1&2
Released August 26

I know that I tend to be pretty biased when it comes to TWICE, because they’re my musical emotional support blanket, but this latest album really has something great going on. The title track, “Talk that Talk,” has some signature TWICE flavor that I never get tired of without feeling like something we’ve already heard a million times. The vocals are also getting better and better with time, like a fine wine. Mina and Jeongyeon’s parts stood out to me the most with this song. As for the b-sides, “Queen of Hearts” is an English track with some cool vocal moments, “Trouble” brings a little edginess, and “Brave” feels like it could be a distant cousin of “I Can’t Stop Me” (in a good way). But my favorite b side is definitely “Basics.” It starts with a dreamy kind of melody, then the beat drops and the real fun begins. I had this song on repeat for a while before I remembered to listen to the other b sides – ha! 

Let’s wrap this up with what I want to make sure you didn’t miss this month! List top 3 picks of the month! I hope you’ll listen to Gaho’s newest single, TWICE’s “Basics,” and DKB’s “24/7”.

What were your favorite releases of the month? Share with us in the comments and we hope you’ll return next month to see what our next batch of favorites are! 

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