Hi, how have you been? April was a long month with a lot of K-pop releases. We are getting slowly towards the summer. It’s time to briefly recap the April K-pop monthly highlights and what happened this month.
Unfortunately, we must start the blog with the sad news of the boy group ASTRO’s Moonbin passing away in April. I want to condolence to the family, friends and fans. This time is hard and sad for you, so I give all my support to you. ASTRO’s record label, Fantagio, has a memorial space for you to visit, open until June 6th 2023. Moonbin is forever in our hearts.
Here is a correction to my previous blog news in February. Happy news for Brave Girls fans this month was that they are coming back with new music at some point under the name “BB Girls”. They are now under Warner Music Korea. I can’t wait for that because they have been one of my favourite girl groups, so I’m looking forward to their comeback!
K-Pop Debuts in April
In April, we had group and solo debuts coming from various K-pop artists:
- Boy group debut: CMDM, “Already go ready” – melodic and funky K-pop song.
- Boy group debut: WE:A, “DAY&NIGHT” – slow melodic ballad.
- Girl group debut: X:in, “KEEPING THE FIRE” – a catchy rhythmic K-pop song.
- Solo debut: Yeeun (CLC), “Cherry Coke” – Yeeun’s debut single is “The Beginning”, with the beautiful pre-release song “Strange Way To Love” and the cool-sounding “Cherry Coke” track.
- Solo debut: Giuk (ONEWE), “TIME MACHINE) (2100)” – a fantastic pop-rock track with excellent melodies. This song is on the new mini-album Psycho Xybernetics: TURN OVER”.
- Solo debut: Jueun (DIA), “Easy Breezy (Feat. Seo In Guk)” – an R&B song with a great melody and vocals!
Let’s see what songs and albums are on my K-pop monthly highlights this time.
K-pop Monthly Highlights April 2023: Powerful Beats and Emotions
Going tropical and retro pop: KARD “Without You” (Single, DSPmedia)
KARD, the four-member group with girl and boy members, came with a comeback single called “Without You” this month. The song is a mid-tempo pop track with a melodic chorus and dance music elements, like the bassline in the chorus. There are incredible synth sounds from the 90’s Europop, which is awesome! The vocals sound amazing, and the song has a cute dance choreography.
KARD is one of my favourite groups, and they have a mini album called “ICKY” coming on May 23rd. I can’t wait to hear more songs from KARD!
Melodic pop-rock and grand emotions: WOODZ, “OO-LI” (EP, EDAM Entertainment)
Singer-songwriter WOODZ released his 5th mini-album, “OO-LI”, this month. I anticipated this album because his mini-album, “COLORFUL TRAUMA”, was one of my favourite albums last year. The sounds of OO-LI are more mature pop-rock than the “COLORFUL TRAUMA”, and this mini-album has impressive tracks! The lyrics of the songs feel personal on this album. “ABYSS” was released as a pre-release from the album in February and is a slow, calm melodic fantastic song.
The title track, “Journey“, is a melancholy but hopeful-sounding pop-rock song with beautiful melodies and vocals from WOODZ. The music video for “Journey” continues the “ABYSS” music videos story. All the songs on this new album have remarkable rock instrumentals and lovely melodies: if you love melodies and rock, you should listen to this mini-album!
There are different moods on this album, for example, from the calm rock of “ABYSS” to more aggressive rock tracks of “Ready to Fight” and “Who Knows”. I love the retro guitar sounds in contrast to the modern-day sounds. That makes this album distinctive in K-pop.
I was lucky to see WOODZ live last year in October at the Someday Pleroma -festival in Seoul. You can check out my short concert review in my blog post. WOODZ is on the OO-LI world tour from May to July, so if you want to see him on the tour. There are already dates in Asia and South America:
Cheerful and catchy melodies: Kep1er “Giddy” (EP, WAKEONE, Swing Entertainment)
The nine-member girl group Kep1er released their 4th mini-album, “LOVESTRUCK!” The title track is “Giddy“. I loved this song instantly at first listen! The group was formed by Mnet’s reality television competition, “Girls Planet 999”, in 2021, and I’m happy to see how they have developed and released constantly excellent releases!
The song has a great groove, and it develops in different parts of the song keeping the listener interested. The melodies, the production and the vocals from the members are excellent on this track. My favourite part is the bridge part with the “Tu-du-du-du, tu-du-du-du”. 😊
Kep1er always has cute music videos, and this time too, for “Giddy”, they are dancing on the street and in different settings. The style of the songs fits, in my opinion, Kep1er, and the EP has a lot of variation, for example, the R&B tracks “Why” and “Happy Ending” to the heavier pop song like “LVLY” to funky pop of “Giddy”. A fascinating mix of songs is on the mini-album, which I enjoyed.
Many layers of hip-hop and pop: Agust D, “D-DAY” (Album, BIGHIT Music)
Much awaited album, “D-DAY” from Agust D, the alter-ego of BTS’s SUGA, was released in April. This album is the third part of the Agust D trilogy, starting from the 2016 release “Agust D” and the 2020 release “D-2”. These and the new album also show bright and dark moments in the lyrics and the music. Making these albums must have been a great way to channel personal feelings and musical ideas while being a member of the BTS.
The pre-release song “D-DAY” is “People Pt.2“, featuring lovely and talented IU. This song is a comforting, melodic and calm track with beautiful vocals. The title track of this album is “Haegeum“, which is stylistically Agust D’s more aggressive style, which starts with a catchy chorus and has a dark and mysterious atmosphere with hip-hop and trap beats. The song has traditional Korean instruments, adding a beautiful dimension to the sound. The music video is a movie-like experience.
The album starts with dark moods of “D-Day” (powerful hip-hop song), “Haegeum”, “HUH?!” featuring j-hope of BTS, “AMYGDALA”, and moves into brighter waters with “SDL” (this is one of my favourites on this album!) and “People Pt.2”. We got a beautiful track featuring the late Ryuichi Sakamoto, a famous Japanese composer and musical multi-talent, on the track “Snooze”. The song also features The Rose’s WOOSUNG.
The album has many layers to explore, and it is interesting to find out about the backgrounds of each song. SUGA is on a world tour as this post is released, and you can watch the documentary “SUGA: Road To D-DAY” from Weverse and Disney+. I haven’t yet watched this, but I hope I got time to watch this through at some point 😊
The Energy is Super: Seventeen “Super” (EP, PLEDIS Entertainment)
Seventeen released already their 10th (!) mini-album, “FML”, in April. The title track is “Super“, an excellent dance K-pop track with many song elements. The song has sounds from traditional Korean instruments mixed with modern EDM sounds, like the booming bass, making this a fantastic K-pop dance track. The song also has poppier parts, like the bridge and the pre-chorus. I’ve always liked when you mix traditional with contemporary. Using interesting sounds together, you can create something new and exciting. And here, it’s done very well, creating a cohesive and inspiring song!
The music video is very stylish and made in the way the dance choreography shines in this. And Seventeen has great dance movements in traditionally styled Korean outfits with the backing dancers in this music video. The choreography is as compelling as the song in the dance practice video.
Diverse K-pop Month April: A Summary
This month was a very versatile month for K-pop releases: you can find more of my favourite songs from my Spotify playlist for this month and the year 2023:
I am trying to keep up with all the releases, but there are so many releases that sometimes, some songs and releases go under my radar. With my Youtube videos, I have short videos of new K-pop releases, so you can check them out if you want to find out about new K-pop songs released weekly. I pick up about three to five songs daily and give a short “first impressions of the song and the music video. Here you can subscribe and follow me on Youtube:
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and monthly highlights! What were your favourite K-pop songs for this month? Did you find great choreographies to dance to? I am now off to practice the new LE SSERAFIM song dance choreography ‘UNFORGIVEN (feat. Nile Rodgers)‘, but more of that next month! It’s a fun song to dance.
Have a fantastic day and week! Lots of love, and I hope you are healthy and happy ❤️
Until next month, keep on K-popping! 😊