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K-pop Highlights, December 2023

It’s the last month of 2023, and it’s time to review and list the K-pop highlights for December. I will review this month’s favourites in this K-pop highlights blog post. These are my objective opinions, and I have listened to as many K-pop songs as possible. I will post my yearly favourites soon, so check out in a week if you want to know my favourite K-pop songs for 2023!

In December, there were many Christmas song releases from groups and artists. My favourite Christmas song is at the moment TRI.BE’s “Papa Noel”, which was released in November. I hope your Christmas was excellent if you celebrated it, and Happy New Year! We also have the Lunar New Year coming soon, which is the year of the dragon! I am so excited about that!

So, there are fewer releases in the K-pop scene this month, but let’s check out the K-pop highlights for December 2023!

K-pop Highlights December 2023: Box of Chocolates

Jimin of BTS “Closer Than This” (Single, BIGHIT Music)

Jimin of BTS released a cute and beautiful pop song, “Closer Than This”, at the end of December. This song has an optimistic melody and hopeful lyrics. The song was released just after all of the members of BTS had enlisted in the mandatory military. The music video has videos and photos of all the BTS members and moments from their careers. This is a heartwarming and cute song for all BTS fans!

This is a heartwarming and cute song for all BTS fans!

Noora

At the same time, BTS has a new documentary, “Beyond The Star”, released now on the Disney+ channel. This is an eight-part docuseries on the group, and it seems interesting, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch it. Jimin released his first mini album in March this year, “FACE.” Check out my short review of the title track, “Set Me Free Pt.2”.

Here's a photo I took on my trip to Busan in 2022. This is a Jimin's birthday advertisement made by fans in public, which is very common in South Korea. Busan is Jimin's hometown.
Here’s a photo I took on my trip to Busan in 2022. This is a Jimin’s birthday advertisement made by fans in public, which is very common in South Korea. Busan is Jimin’s hometown.

Ateez “Crazy Form” (Album, KQ Entertainment)

The boy group ATEEZ released their full-length album “THE WORLD EP.FIN: WILL” at the start of December. They came with a bang with their single release, “Crazy From”, with an addicting afrobeat and melodies you can’t get out of your head. This is an upbeat song, as was earlier in their hit song release, “BOUNZY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS)”, but this time a little less “bouncy”. “Crazy From” feels like an alternative dance track that is crazy, as the title says.

As usual, ATEEZ’s music video and dance choreographies for the song are spectacular. The music video has many changing scenes, and the dance is energetic.ATEEZ debuted in 2018 and announced a new world tour for 2024 if you are interested in seeing them live.

Fatou of BLACKSWAN “Adaeh” (EP, DR Music)

A surprise for me was the girl group BLACKSWAN’s Fatou’s solo project: she released an EP, “Letter 1 – Adaeh”. All the songs on this EP are great: captivating R&B and hip-hop. I picked the hip-hop song “Adaeh” here. You can hear Kendrick Lamar’s music influence in this song, with the piano riff and rapping. Fatou’s rapping and singing on this EP are captivating. I am happy that we get to hear these songs from her! All the songs from the EP have a dedicated music video, which is impressive.

BLACKSWAN is a K-pop group that consists of (currently) of four members, and the group debuted in 2020. The group has multinational members and is South Korean-based. They have released a single, “That Karma”, in 2023, with songs “Cat & Mouse” and “Karma”.

WOODZ “Amnesia” (Single, EDAM Entertainment)

Solo artist WOODZ released a single, “AMNESIA”, in December. This song is an emotional rock song with EMO rock vibes and a beautiful melody. With WOODZ’s heartfelt vocals, this is a K-pop highlight this month. The music video has a grungy and artistic feeling and suits this song well. The single also includes a slow, beautiful acoustic-style song, “BEHIND”, a calming and melodic song.

WOODZ has been a solo artist since 2020 and has written remarkable songs. Before his solo career, he was in boy groups Uniq and project group X1. I went to the Someday Pleroma festival in Seoul, South Korea, in 2022, where WOODZ performed. You can check out my concert blog with the YouTube vlog I made. It was raining cats and dogs that day, but it was a great festival!

Here is Woodz performing at the Someday Pleroma 2022 festival in Seoul. It was raining so much that day!
Here is Woodz performing at the Someday Pleroma 2022 festival in Seoul. It was raining so much that day!

YEJI from ITZY “Crown On My Head” (Pre-release MV, JYP Entertainment)

The girl group ITZY is releasing an album at the start of this January, “BORN TO BE”. Usually, I don’t include songs in these highlights if you can’t listen to them on the streaming platforms. Still, because this is my last highlight blog for the time being, I will include this song here because I like it. “Crown On My Head” is a rocking pop song with catchy melodies and a chorus. It felt uplifting and makes you want to sing along! This makes me anticipate ITZY’s new album.

ITZY songs are classics, for example, “WANNABE”, and I enjoyed their song “CAKE” this year as it was one of my highlights of July this year!

Summary of K-pop Highlights of December 2023

So this month, this highlights list had many genres and moods, from soft melodic pop to afrobeat to EMO rock to hip-hop and K-pop girl crush. This is why I love to listen to Korean artists and groups; there is so much variation, and the quality is impeccable! There were still many K-pop releases, although the Christmas songs dominated this month naturally. 

As I stated before, for now, this K-pop favourites highlights blog goes on a pause in this form. I remember starting to write this format in January 2022, and there are so many great songs, artists and groups I have discovered through writing this blog, so it is a win-win personally. I hope it has been enjoyable for you, too, and I appreciate you being here so much!

Future of the blog

I plan to make blogs starting in 2024 about different subjects, as my blog suggests: K-pop, travel and music production. So, no worries, I’ll still be posting about K-pop! If you enjoy this content, thank you so much! I appreciate it a lot. I will probably have album and concert reviews for you and blogs where I can go into the culture more. Or write about favourite songs every half a year, who knows 🙂

I made a new K-pop favourites playlist on Spotify for the year 2024, so do check that out if you are interested in knowing what K-pop I am listening to. There is a Spotify playlist for all the favourites in 2023. I will add more songs there because I’ve started to like some songs the more I’ve listened to them.

Thank you for reading this far and being here. I wish you a healthy and happy New Year 2024! May the new year bring you joy and the best of luck! Stay inspired! 🧡