It’s already 2024. Happy New Year! It’s time to recap the year’s best tracks and see my K-pop favourites for 2023! This is my opinion and a subjective list of my favourite K-pop releases this year. When getting this list together, I reviewed what I’ve been listening to the most this year and what made the most significant impact as a performance/song/album release.
I also have a Spotify playlist of the songs I enjoyed this year: check that out if you are interested. It includes K-pop, K-hip-hop, K-rock, K-ballads, K-indie and even trot!
We could see some trends in K-pop in 2023, and it will be interesting to see where K-pop is heading next year. I made my predictions for 2022 in my blog and reviewed those a year ago, and I’m thinking about making one for 2024 again. It would be interesting to see where K-pop headed in 2023 and where it is heading in the future!
So, I picked my most listened tracks here, and there are surprises. Let’s see the K-pop favourites 2023, the best tunes of this year, in a random order!
Fun and Catchy Pop Tune of the Year: (G)I-DLE “Queencard”
It seems that (G)I-DLE manages to have and make hits constantly. In 2022, we had “TOMBOY“, also among my yearly favourites 2022; this year, we had “Queencard“. This also got into my favourites in May, having a great mix of pop-rock elements, catchy chorus and tongue-in-cheek attitude/playfulness. I can’t wait to see what (G)I-DLE possibly have in store for 2024!
Calming and Beautiful Melodies: Ha Sung Woon “Snowy Stars”
Of course, we need calming and beautiful songs here, and my favourite artist, Ha Sung Woon, released a digital single in February 2023, “Snowy Stars“. The song is a dreamy wintery neo-soul track with Ha Sung Woon’s soft, soothing voice and a great melody. This is my most listened-to song this year and was the year’s highlight! Ha Sung Woon is currently in the military; maybe we will get some new songs in 2024. I can’t wait for that!
Minimalistic Pop Perfection: NewJeans “Super Shy”
NewJeans was one of the most prominent girl groups in K-pop, if not the biggest, this year with their mini-album “Get Up” and their single releases from this EP. I think my most listened and playing-in-my-head song of these was “Super Shy“. The song feels fresh and delicate with the production and vocals. The melody is catchy and straightforward. In a way, it is genius. Also, the dance choreography for this song is so fun! I made a short review of the mini-album in July; this is one of the highlights of 2023! I also love “ETA“: picking your favourite from the album is difficult, making the EP amazing.
Powerful and Dance Might: SEVENTEEN “Super”
One of the most played tracks on my playlist this year is SEVENTEEN’s “Super“. This track was on my April highlights list last spring, and I loved the mix of traditional and modern sounds. My love for this song has just grown during 2023: the intro, the powerful verse, the quieter bridge, and the fantastic chorus tell a story. I love this song’s outstanding dance choreography. It is powerful and energetic! SEVENTEEN has been on my radar this year with the album releases “FML” in the spring and “SEVENTEENTH HEAVEN” this autumn. Let’s see what the year 2024 brings for SEVENTEEN!
Great Variance: BTS’s Solo releases
We got a lot of excellent solo releases from BTS this year, even though they weren’t active as a group because of their military service. The solo activities were so versatile that I couldn’t pick any favourites, so I collected the releases under this header as I enjoyed them all!
In March, we got j-hope’s lyrically amazing hip-hop song “on the street” with J. Cole; in the same month also came the first solo mini-album, “FACE”, from Jimin with pop hits like “Set Me Free Pt. 2” and “Like Crazy“; in April we got Agust D’s (Suga’s) already third mini-album “D-DAY” with a lot of moods and musical styles as the songs “Haegeum“and “People Pt.2“prove. May the BTS’s single “The Planet” was released. In June, we got another BTS song, “Take Two“. Jung Kook had his smash hit “Seven” in July. In August, it was V’s turn and mini-album “Layover” that included beautiful songs like “Love Me Again” and “Rainy Days “. The latest solo mini-album, “GOLDEN”, by Jungkook, was released in November and is filled with great pop tracks. In December, we got a single from Jimin, “Closer Than This“. Phew, there were so many exciting releases this year!
A fun collaboration: JUST B, AleXa “MBTI”
Koreans are really into MBTI’s, so this is one song about that topic. And this track is a cute and smooth pop track that is so pleasant to listen to. AleXa, a solo artist, won the American song contest in 2022, and the boy band JUST B collaborated with the song “MBTI” in February. I listened to this song a lot in 2023 as the melody is very catchy, and this is a slower R&B song with outstanding vocals.
Hip-hop Heaven: Lil Moshpit “TO GO (Feat. Jay Park, DJ SOULSCAPE)”
I love hip-hop, so I must mention my most listened-to K-hip-hop song here! Lil Moshpit released an excellent old-school hip-hop vibe track, “TO GO“, featuring Jay Park and DJ Soulscape. The swag old-school style of this production and great rap made me listen to this song so many times. It’s fantastic and one of this year’s favourites!
Cute and Favourite Dance: STAYC “Teddy Bear”
STAYC had some great releases this year, and their single track, “Teddy Bear“, was so playful and cute that I picked this song as my top favourite here and also in my monthly highlights in February. The track is upbeat and has a great melody. Mostly, my favourite is the dance choreography, which is so fun to dance, has some great moves and looks amazing done by STAYC, as this is a tricky dance with a lot of jumping. And it is also super-fast with the moves!
Summing Up K-Pop Favourites 2023
There were a lot of great K-pop songs in 2023: what were your favourites? This list feels short because we heard so many great tracks, but some songs are the ones you listen to more, and those are the most favourite songs. I also have favourite lists for 2022 and 2021 if you want to check those out!
I hope you enjoyed this short favourites list, and thank you for reading this far! Check out these recommendations if some artists or songs are new to you. Have a fantastic January, and keep checking out future blog posts if you find this interesting!
Have a happy and healthy start to the year, and stay inspired! 😊