This blog is slowly becoming focused on K-Pop, but I feel like it has taken over my life since I started listening to it. I’m completely fine with that, by the way.
It’s already been an incredible year for new K-Pop releases – Blackpink’s highly-awaited comeback, Twice’s Fancy and BTS’ collab with Halsey have been a few recent highlights. But for this post, I wanted to focus on my favourite debuts of the year so far. It’s a difficult task to rank them, but I’ve done it. Or at least as well as I could, because nobody can make me choose between Everglow and Itzy.
5. ONEUS – VALKYRIE
My token boyband of the listicle and they’re in fifth place. When I first heard Oneus’ Valkyrie, I was instantly hooked. The song’s chorus is a foot-tapper and a half and the video is seriously intense for a debut. That Matrix moment? Obsessed.
Sadly, it’s in fifth place because, although I still love the song, it’s not one I rush to listen to now. Sorry guys, the girl groups will always be my bias.
4. BVNDIT – HOCUS POCUS
An April release, so only just making it into this list, but Bvndit’s Hocus Pocus is my number four.
The song is fun, the video even more fun and the beat reminds me of Fifth Harmony in the days of 7/27, so when they were at their best. And like Fifth Harmony, one voice really sticks out to me – Yiyeon. Her voice reminds me of Naya Rivera’s and I’m obsessed.
Hocus Pocus is at number four just because I haven’t had as much time to reach the same level of obsession, but I will.
3. HWASA – TWIT
I know, I know. Hwasa is no newbie on the scene as she’s a member of Mamamoo, who debuted in 2014. But this year saw her solo debut with Twit, so I’m including it in this list.
I love her sass. Her facial expressions are everything and my eyes are drawn to her in every Mamamoo performance I’ve since watched (Gogobebe by the way, incredible).
I loved Twit as soon as it was released – the music, the video, the dance. But I watched a video of some guy explaining the lyrics and I fell in love even more. I hope it’s not Hwasa’s only solo release, though I also hope Mamamoo don’t go their separate ways any time soon.
I listen to Twit practically every day and find myself dancing to it as I walk to to the Tube. And the “sky-aye-aye-aye” bit? Long live Queen Hwasa.
= 1 ITZY – DALLA DALLA
I am completely hooked on Itzy and they only have two songs on Spotify. As soon as I saw their concept photos, I knew I’d be a fan and that they’d quickly become one of my favourite groups. Dalla Dalla is catchy and edgy and I still can’t get it out of my head.
The girls are each incredible, but Yeji is something else. I also have a soft spot for Chaeryeong. Lia, Ryujin and and Yuna are also everything, but Yeji and Chaeryeong have the edge.
I included the performance version of the video because I’m obsessed with the dance routine. That side lunge to the floor, the high ponytail swishes, the speed of it all. HOW!?
The only thing I dislike about this release was the lack of a physical single album. I’m still praying JYP drops a surprise physical release for it before their comeback (which I’m struggling to wait for).
= 1 EVERGLOW – BON BON CHOCOLAT
My other joint first place (though only first place if I’m really, really, really honest) is Everglow with Bon Bon Chocolat. I feel like they’re majorly underhyped and deserve way more respect – what’s with the short live stages?
Similarly to Itzy, I was impatient for Everglow as soon as I saw their concept photos. They seemed so ethereal and the shoot went with the group’s name so well. Given that they were for a smaller company (at least to Itzy and JYP anyway) I was a little worried they wouldn’t live up to the hype I’d created for myself. But they do, they really do.
Admittedly, on first listen the heavy autotune put me off a little bit, but now if I could only listen to one song for the rest of the year, it would be this. It’s so difficult to get out of your head, the dance is also fun (and fairly easy!!!) and the girls’ looks are perfect.
The physical release of the single album is stunning too and definitely one of my favourites in my growing collection. I didn’t get either of my biases – E:U or Mia – for the photo card, postcard or CD plate, but there’s always their next release.