K-Pop Music Roundup: October 2022

This month’s round-up post is later than usual because I had a very challenging time trying to narrow down my top 10 releases for October. We had some powerhouse girl group releases, albums from multiple KBands, and soloists coming out of the woodworks to share their music with us! In the end, I had to narrow things down somehow and left some great artists off of this list. This is by no means a definitive list, just the ones that I found myself enjoying the most and coming back to as the month went along.

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!

The Rose – HEAL

Released October 7

This was an album that I was really looking forward to. I was curious, more than anything; The Rose was able to approach this new album with a lot of freedom and a whole wide range of possibilities. I was curious to see what they’d do with all of that space to work with, and they delivered an emotional and powerful album! Beyond “Childhood,” which we got as a pre-release single last month, this album has some standout songs. Some of my favorites include “Definition of ugly is”, “Shift”, and “Cure.” This group has released a handful of songs in the past that made me feel like they had something special and standout, but this album really drives that home in my musical heart. There are traces that remind me of other bands and artists, but I can’t really pinpoint one main comparison, which means they’ve created something especially unique amongst my saved music. And that’s something that makes an album memorable for me!

Stray Kids – MAXIDENT

Released October 7

In a stark contrast to The Rose’s relaxing and emotional album, we have Stray Kids’ latest release, which dropped on the same day. Stray Kids has been on quite the streak of releasing hit after hit and that hasn’t stopped here; “CASE 143” carries on the momentum they’ve been building, but it also has a cuteness to it that feels so very Stray Kids to me. As for the b sides, I’ve been really enjoying the playfulness of “CHILL”, the addictive elements of “SUPER BOARD”, as well as the unit tracks which each have their own flavor. We also got a Korean version of their Japanese song “CIRCUS”, which is a nice final track on the album. For me, this album is missing a ballad, but I wouldn’t say that the group is known for their ballads, so it’s okay without it in the grand scheme of things!


Released October 10

I will forever say that JUNE is a grossly underrated artist; his voice is actual butter and softness, but we just don’t talk about him enough. This month, he gifted us a fresh and new EP that should immediately be added to at least 3 of your favorite playlists. My most played songs so far have been “Got U,” which is probably the song I’d choose that I feel best represents JUNE’s overall discography and style; I’m also loving “iMessage” which has a really refreshing bounciness to it. This feels like an EP that would be released around Valentine’s Day, but that’s what I like about it. It has some warmth to it that I’m looking for here in the fall months, but it also stands out because it has something even more to it. If JUNE is a new artist for you, I hope you’ll give this EP a listen; give it less than 17 minutes and you’ll have heard it all!

Dreamcatcher – [Apocalypse: Follow us]

Released October 11

This girl group always stands out amongst the growing crowd of girl group options; their signature rock style, vocal style, and powerful MVs makes them extra special. But what I always forget about this group is that their b sides are rich with a variety of musical styles. Their title track, “VISION” picks up where their last release “MAISON” seems to have left off in their apocalyptic future and it’s just what we’d expect and hope for. Then we have some b sides that take left turns, but still showcase what these ladies can do. “Fairytale” is sweet, but still grounded with some powerful instrumentals. “Some Love” is pretty similar to the previous song, but with a touch more brightness to the melody. Then we wrap up with a stripped down ballad, “Rainy Day” that I added to multiple playlists created for relaxing. I always want more tracks from Dreamcatcher; they never cease to release music that I enjoy!


Released October 17

The 17th was a big music release day in the KPop world! One of those memorable releases came from girl group LE SSERAFIM with the title track “ANTIFRAGILE.” The first time I heard this song, I thought it was okay. Then I couldn’t stop humming it, so I listened to it again and I fell in love with those dissonant sections of the pre-chorus. That Latin rhythm is so addicting! I also really enjoyed digging in the lyrics a little more; it’s a testament to everything the group has been through since their debut, as well as what it took for them to get to that point. The b side “Impurities” was a song that made me double take the artist and song when I first heard it; it’s got a nostalgic 90’s instrumental and a dreamy aspect to it that I really like. “No Celestial” carries on their message of power with a more rock-focus, which has been pretty popular in KPop in the last couple of years. I like hearing this vocal style from this group! The album wraps up with “Good Parts”, which again shows another side of their vocals. Overall, this is a solid album where each song has something unique and special to add to the narrative of the overall EP.

(G)-IDLE – I love

Released October 17

The girl group power continued on this big release day with the ladies of (G)-IDLE. Talk about some storytelling! After the wide success of “TOMBOY,” I wasn’t sure what this group would drop next. I was not expecting “Nxde”, that’s for sure. What I like about this track is the way I had to rewatch their MV and comb through the lyrics to get some deeper meaning; their songs are always worth that extra effort. But for some, that extra work may have actually taken away from their ability to fully enjoy it and I can understand that. I don’t know that this track has longevity for me, but I did find some b sides on the album that I enjoyed. In fact, if you took the 5 b sides and added them together, I would like them collectively more than the title track, which probably doesn’t happen very often for me. There’s just more melody and flavor to the b sides, which made me want to listen to them on repeat. “Change,” “Sculpture,” and “DARK (X-file)” were the ones I enjoyed the most off this album.

N.Flying – Dearest

Released October 17

I am deeply N.Flying biased and I crave new music from them basically…constantly. Ha! I am in a constant state of needing fresh tracks from this band and that’s just the way it is. Their new title track “I Like You” is something that is so purely N.Flying that it makes my heart happy. When it comes to their b sides, there tends to be one main option from each album that I become deeply obsessed with and low and behold, that happened again. This time around, that song was “Monster”; it just elevates the whole album! We even get a little harmonica action! Can’t be upset about that. “Shooting Star” is also a great b side with a lot of electric guitar focus points that add so much color to it. For this album overall, there’s a large number of ridiculous high notes, some variety in styles, and rap growls that I’d been missing. If you know, you know.

WEi – Love Pt.2: Passion

Released October 19

I was a little hesitant when I listened to the teasers for this new album from WEi because I just really love when we get cuteness and bright energy, which felt like a different sound from this new release. I was right about that last part, but wrong about fearing that I wouldn’t like it. It’s a nice balance! I’m split when it comes to the b sides, though. “ROSE” is probably my favorite and the one I chose to listen to the most since the album’s release. This is a new style for this group and I love the flavor they bring to it. I also enjoyed “Special Holiday”; it’s got some romantic and sweet elements to it that they’re so good at emoting. “Moonlight” is a nice start to the album, as well; it always gets me grooving a bit. The other 2 b sides each have an ok quality to them, but these are the 3 that I didn’t find myself skipping over.

IIIBOI – Meantime

Released October 19

This album has about 2948 songs on it and I’m not complaining. Ok, there’s actually 14, but when it takes multiple scrolls on my phone to see a track list, I get excited. IIIBOI has been a featured or collaborating artist on so many songs in the last couple of years, working with artists like Jay Park, Wonstein, Kim Sejeong, GIRIBOY, and PENOMECO to name a few. This particular album also has him working with some standout artists, like Hoody, GIRIBOY, and Verbal Jint. With so many tracks on a single album, there’s bound to be something for everyone to enjoy! I keep coming back to “Fallin,’” “Borderline,” “Pray,” and “In the Meantime.” If you feel overwhelmed by 14 track options, start with those 4! (Sidenote: I may also be a little partial because IIIBOI and I have the same birthday, month/day/year…the whole thing. Ha!)

Jin – “The Astronaut”

Released October 28

I had to choose this song for my list not only because I like the song itself, but I also enjoy the story behind it. Chris Martin, Coldplay’s frontman, shared that Jin asked his group for a song that could help him say goodbye to the fans when it was time for him to leave for his mandatory military service. Even though Coldplay liked this song a lot, they respected Jin’s intentions and gifted the song to him. You can hear Chris Martin’s backing vocals on the track, which just makes it feel even more meaningful, as though the whole band is supporting Jin through this time. I imagine that this song accomplished all of the sentiments that Jin hoped he could say to the dedicated BTS fans, ARMY. In my opinion, Jin’s vocal abilities have frequently been overshadowed by all the other elements that the members of BTS bring to the table. But with this solo song, his style and signature sound really get to be under the spotlight. It’s a great parting gift, for sure!

Let’s wrap this up with what I want to make sure you didn’t miss this month! Be sure you give JUNE’s “Got U” a listen, as well as LE SSERAFIM’s “Good Parts,” and IIIBOI’s “Borderline.”

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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