Summer is more often than not a perfect time for the music industry to produce the catchiest tunes and when it comes to Korean pop music, people can expect no less. A rising global phenomenon, Korean pop music or K-pop has always seen the summer season as the best time of the year to release hit songs. Here are the top 10 Korean pop music tracks you might enjoy during the summer time.
Top 10 Korean Pop Music Tracks
10. Hot Summer (F(x))
F(x)’s Hot Summer may not be for easy summer listening, but it’s certainly for those who are looking for a great electro track to jam out to. This girl group’s signature electropop style was very evident in this song. Hot Summer opens with heavy electro beats that highlight the girls charming voices. Vocalists Krystal and Luna contributed to the song with their high vocals which balance out the consistent and heavy electronic bass track of the song. Meanwhile, Amber’s fierce rap gave the song a much fuller body. The calmer refrain of the song was just a perfect prelude to the chorus which utilized to the fullest a variety of catchy synthetic pop sounds. Aside from its unique blend of electronic music, another great feature of Hot Summer is probably its really catchy chorus which consists of a repetitive chant of the words ‘hot summer’.
9. Darling (Girl’s Day)
This song by the four-member girl group Girl’s Day boasts of a groovy bass and funky trumpets that will certainly have anyone dancing. With a swing-like vibe, the song Darling is a catchy love song that ultimately doubles as a great summer tune. The light bass track and subtle yet very catchy piano accompaniment in the background is what really gives the song an upbeat body. As for vocals, the group’s lead singer Minah brought even more life to the song with her powerful voice. In addition, secondary singer Sojin’s much sweeter vocal performance is a perfect complement to Minah’s. One notable part of the song would be the beginning of the second verse which highlighted more of Sojin’s voice as she was accompanied with a sweet piano line. The calmer bridge of the song had subtle hints of electric guitar strumming and was a perfect set-up to the song’s closing chorus.
8. Bad Boy (Big Bang)
Veteran K-pop boy group Big Bang may be famous for their provocative and outrageous hip-hop songs, but that doesn’t mean that they can pull of a great summer track. Bad Boy, a song about an apologetic man who feels regretful for his “bad boy” nature, is the perfect RnB song to jam out to a typically lazy summer day. Although the song may not be a stereotypically upbeat summer tune, its slow hip-hop beat coupled with the singers’ calm and soulful voices is perfect for when you and your buds just want to hang out and relax somewhere in an urban landscape. The way the singers downplayed the rap parts of the song and focused more on setting an overall more emotional tone is certainly a remarkable feature of the song. The bridge of the song excellently brought out the best of the singers’ soulful voices, particularly that of lead vocals Daesung and secondary vocals Taeyang. However, the most notable aspect of Bad Boy might just be its great combination of a rhythmic bass track that’s backed up with subtle violin lines which magnificently hold the song together.
7. Dope (BTS)
BTS (short for Bangtan Sonyeondan which translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts) is a group that always delivers the best anthem songs out there. One of their latest songs entitled Dope is just appropriate for their hot-blooded “bad boy” image. The song, which really showcases the boys’ amazing command of the hip-hop genre, is really one of those tracks you could play at a summer party. The build up from the opening which was quick to reach a funky saxophone climax right before the first verse is just one of the great moments of the song. The same build up is once against appropriately evident throughout each of the refrains as well as the bridge which always leads to an intense transition leading up to Dope’s explosive chorus. Another thing to point out about this track are the heart-stopping rap verses delivered by the group’s main rappers. However, one can’t ignore the amazing vocals of the other members as well who brought the song together with powerful high notes. In short, for those in search of a foot-stomping summer song, Dope’s just the right one.
6. I Swear (SISTAR)
The Queens of Summer is just one of SISTAR’s many titles and with their 2014 summer song I Swear, they’ve proven that the summer season is their main turf in the K-pop music industry. Catchy and totally appropriate for a beach outing, I Swear opens with a slow jazzy-like intro which smoothly transitions to the song’s main beat. The song’s great bass foundation and funky trumpet accompaniments really makes for easy-listening. The addictive chorus, which is composed of an upbeat and heavy bass track, is also another notable feature of the song that can certainly guarantee for an LSS-filled summer. I Swear’s bridge might have started out slow, but the rest of it hardly departs from the overall upbeat tempo of the song. Lead singer Hyorin’s husky voice was definitely one of the stand outs of this song. Meanwhile secondary singer Soyou’s mellow tone was a great back up to Hyorin’s more powerful vocal performance.
5. Solo Day (B1A4)
Solo Day is definitely a good song to listen to or play in the car while one is out on a trip with some friends or with family. Its calming acoustic foundation accompanied with subtle synthetic beats makes for the perfect relaxation summer track. The intro to the song features a playful whistling beat that’s backed up by soft electric guitar strumming. Solo Day, quite interestingly, is actually a break up song. However, with its bright chorus and cheerful verses, the song talks about trying to move on from the said break up and onto a happier life. One notable feature to this song would be Baro’s deep vocals during the second verse which serves as a perfect break from the other vocalists much higher tones. The fun guitar solo just before the song’s bridge is also quite refreshing and only adds to the vibrancy of the entire track.
4. Hands Up (2PM)
2PM’s Hands Up is most definitely a total summer party track that anyone can enjoy. It has all the essentials of a wonderfully fun and upbeat club tune such as a consistently funky electro track and a really catchy fist-pumping chorus. It’s obvious that Hands Up bears heavy influence from typical Western-style clubbing anthems. However, despite the otherwise overwhelming electro foundation of the song and its hardcore rap verses, the members’ vocals manage to still really stand out, a feature that might just be inherently unique to this particular party tune. This was actually greatly exhibited during the song’s refrain and most especially the bridge. Overall, Hands Up is quite enjoyable and is the perfect track to bring the house down with.
3. Like This (Wonder Girls)
Wonder Girls, who made famous the viral track Nobody, is funky and fierce with the ever-so catchy song Like This. The song’s opening perfectly sets up the rest of the track with an energetic call to its listeners. The intro casually transitions to its hip-hop chorus which all acts as a refreshing prelude to the first verse. As expected of the Wonder Girls, their vocal prowess is nothing to be underestimated as they managed to bring stability to the funky bass track of the song with their singing. The refrain of the song is also a great set-up to the powerful and climactic chorus which is addictively catchy. The bridge, on the other hand, is just as fierce as the rest of the song since it features main rapper Yubin’s remarkable rap. Due to its memorable beat, Like This is easily a fun summer track which anyone can enjoy.
2. Do You Love Me (2NE1)
Known for their fierce “bad girl” image in the K-pop industry, 2NE1’s Do You Love Me is an upbeat and catchy summer song that delivers a fresh electro track that’s perfect for partying. The song’s funky bass and smooth synthetic accompaniments is what makes this song not only fun, but memorable as well. The clean transitions that were executed in this song is definitely something to be noted. Such instances were well exhibited during the refrain of the song which closed with a subtle yet brilliant drum beat that served as a prelude to the song’s explosive chorus. The bridge is also another perfect piece to this track as it appropriately sets up the closing for the song. Vocals-wise, the girls were quite on-point especially 2NE1’s leader CL and main singer Bom whose iconic vibrato blended well with the electro music.
SHINee, also known as the shining boys of K-pop, rounds off this list with one of their latest songs entitled View. The song, which is an odd yet somehow perfect combination of electropop and deep house music, is about the unique sensations that one feels while falling in love. View immediately welcomes listeners with a touch of slow tempo deep house that soon escalates and quickens to a more soulful refrain. The build up from the refrain interestingly misleads listeners as it soon transitions to a chorus that showcases more of the song’s deep house elements. Nevertheless, the chorus proves to be quite catchy and upbeat. On the other hand, the bridge brings the song back to a slower tempo while highlighting the vocals of lead singers Jonghyun and Onew. The smooth transitions in the song coupled with its vibrant electronic synths and deep house beats makes this a fun and enjoyable summer track to listen to.