Written by Kendra Caesar
The season of pumpkins and falling leaves is upon us, but we here at KPOP-TV are still obsessed with so many songs from Summer 2017 that we just have to share some of our faves with you all! So, even though it was rough, we narrowed it down to our top ten favorites and also included some honorable mentions because they were just too good to let slip away without their due props.
So, let’s begin with…
10. HOTSHOT – “Jelly” (July 15)
These six boys spent three years working toward stardom with not-so-great success, but it was only in 2017 that they finally gained some ground with members Sungwoon and Taehyun (aka Kid Monster) joining Season 2 of Produce 101. HOTSHOT was brought down to five members as Sungwoon became a member of Wanna One, but the quintet capitalized on their newfound audience with “Jelly,” an absolute bop that had us and fans SHOOK thanks to its catchy chorus, groovy beat, and exciting choreography. Let’s hope “Jelly” is just the start of even more recognition for HOTSHOT!
9. LOONA’s Choerry – “Love Cherry Motion” (July 28)
The pre-debut project of girl group LOONA is difficult to explain, but for now we’ll just talk about this next surprise song that landed #9 on the KPOP-TV Summer Playlist. Choerry is LOONA’s “Girl of the Month” for July and brought us the track “Love Cherry Motion”. Other LOONA members Kim Lip and JinSoul paved the way with their respective pre-debut singles (Kim Lip’s “Eclipse” was even placed on NASA’s playlist for this year’s eclipse!), and Choerry did not disappoint with her cute-yet-fierce release. Keep an eye out for more LOONA pre-debut releases! They’re set to debut as a whole group in 2018, and with jams like “LCM”, we’ll be waiting!
8. 악동뮤지션 / Akdong Musician (AKMU) – “Dinosaur” (July 20)
This brother-sister duo is unfortunately now on hiatus as Chanhyuk enlisted in the military this September, but Akdong Musician, AKMU for short, gave fans two tunes before he had to go: “My Darling” and “Dinosaur”. The latter track, “Dinosaur”, is the group’s experiment in EDM. AKMU’s music generally doesn’t follow trends, but what remains in each of their tracks is a charming quality that makes you want to listen to them over and over again. So it’s really no surprise that we’d fall in love with the simple yet intriguing “Dinosaur” — along with its music video which made us want to go dinosaur hunting too!
7. EXO – “Ko Ko Bop” (July 18)
Shimmy shimmy ko ko bop! We think we definitely liked this track from one of the biggest k-pop acts in the world: EXO. What makes EXO so special is that they’re unafraid to try out different genres — as seen in K0 Ko Bop’s beachy, reggae sound — usually with amazing success. Speaking of success: The War, of which “Ko Ko Bop” is the title track, is EXO’s fourth album to sell over a million copies, and it’s the fastest k-pop album to reach a million sales in just 24 days! “Ko Ko Bop” was a more chilled comeback, featuring heavy reggae influence, and was perfect for listening to on lazy summer days at the beach. Though it was considered a risky release, its signature EXO flair (plus a red mullet), which we always appreciate.
6. BLACKPINK – “마지막처럼 (As If It’s Your Last)” (June 22)
Little bit of this~ and then some was what we got with BLACKPINK’s summer comeback. Featuring a unique combo of EDM and Caribbean beats that were full of energy, “As If It’s Your Last” was an unforgettable summer smash. Despite frequent reactions to this track calling it reminiscent of former sister group 2NE1, it was BLACKPINK’s own flavor that won this song awards for three weeks on Inkigayo and brought the track into the Billboard charts in Japan, Canada, and even #1 on the Billboard World Digital Songs Chart! Lisa’s gonna “fall in love, baaaby~“; so are we with the power of BLACKPINK.
5. Sunmi – “가시나 (Gashina)” (August 22)
Sunmi‘s first solo comeback since the disbandment of the legendary Wonder Girls brought plenty of hype as she was the first of the former members to make a comeback, but was anyone truly ready for the impact of “Gashina”? We sure weren’t! August is the month where summer starts to slow down, but Sunmi made sure to keep the energy alive and well, especially with that super fun dance that’s been covered by countless fans and idols. Name your favorite idol, and there’s probably a video of them singing “Gashina, gashi-naa~” like we still are.
4. KARD – “Hola Hola” (July 19)
This 4-member co-ed group started releasing pre-debut singles before officially debuting in 2017, gaining a huge following on the international scene with their tropical house tracks. So it was a given that when “Hola Hola” was released, it was a top trend worldwide on Twitter and in two months got over 15 million views on YouTube. It seems the theme this summer was tropical house songs, but KARD set the standard for genre with this powerful track.
3. Wanna One – “Energetic” (August 7)
The second season of Produce 101 brought viewers a ton of great songs like “Never”, “Open Up”, and “나야나 (Pick Me)”, and the 11 finalists who went on to become Wanna One have not disappointed. The hype surrounding this group was real and their debut track, “Energetic”, was the perfect response. From the piano opening (and human piano formation) to the subtle-yet-powerful chorus, everything about this song puts on display what Wanna One is all about. If you don’t believe how much we love “Energetic”, just ask our staff who were caught on camera jamming during KCON LA this year! Can you blame them?
2. BTS – “DNA” (September 18)
This song came a bit late in the season, but nevertheless made its stamp not only on KPOP-TV, but on the globe! BTS are redefining what it means to be international k-pop idols with their Billboard Awards win for Top Social Artist and their WINGS tour that stopped in 11 different countries including the US, Taiwan, Brazil, and Australia this year. Add that alongside their super strong US ‘ARMY’ fanbase, who helped land them at #67 on the Billboard 100 chart and secured radio play on US stations like the Bay Area’s own Wild 94.9, and it’s easy to see why BTS are gaining so much momentum. But what we love about BTS is that despite all of their success, they continue to maintain their eccentric yet confident identity. You could say all this success was coded in their DNA… No? Okay. It’s still a great song.
And our number one song that we couldn’t go a day without playing…
1. Red Velvet – “빨간 맛 (Red Flavor)” (July 9)
As said at the start of this article, there were so many fantastic k-pop songs songs that were eligible to be our number one, but one stood out above the rest: “Red Flavor”. Was there a song with a more iconic impact? KPOP-TV’s song of the summer came to conquer with its release on July 9th and conquer it did. “Red Flavor” made a splash on release date, and was easy to spot on charts, music shows, social media and sales – you name it, Red Velvet‘s name was on the list. “Red Flavor” itself is just plain addictive; we dare you to listen to it and not start humming along or dancing the adorable choreo. Just don’t start interviewing the fruits in your fridge!
Honorable Mentions That Also Made the Playlists:
PD101/Nation’s Sons – “Never” (June 3)
Chungha – “Why Don’t You Know” (June 7)
NCT 127 – “Cherry Bomb” (June 14)
T-ARA – “What’s My Name?” (June 14)
NU’EST W – “If You” (July 25)
WINNER – “Love Me Love Me” (August 4)
Weki Meki – “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” (August 8)
Hyuna – “Babe” (August 29)
Well, as f(x) would say, it’s time to say “Goodbye Summer”! And what a fantastic summer it has been; there were so many comebacks, debuts and pre-debuts that came to show off their strengths and aim for the stars. And while we’re sad to say goodbye to some summer queens like Sistar, we also made room for new summer royalty.
Until next summer, K-pop!