If you look back at my posts from 2017, there were so many where I start it off talking about how I loved almost everything that came out over the course of the week, month, or season. I really, really enjoyed this past year musically. Some of that comes from me knowing what I like and where to find it and some of it comes from having wondering friends that know when to push me into giving something a try that I might otherwise pass over. But, and I think this is a big one, some of my love of this year’s music comes from the fact that it was just soooo good. From old standby artists that have been giving me a thrill for years (San E, BTS, B.A.P., Zico, CNBlue, etc.) to groups that have been around a bit but it took me awhile to discover (Dean, Bewhy, Nu’est, Seventeen, B1A4, etc.), there have been a million solid releases that make it both easy and tough to come back week after week with post about a new song.
Today, as we reflect on the last twelve months, I thought we could take a peek at just a few of the new talent 2017 gave us and look forward to what the new year might bring for them…and for us…as they mature into full-fledged Kpop groups with fandoms, colors, light sticks, and worldwide tours. KpopontheDL covered some of them in her NuGu posts, but I think some of these songs are worth taking a look at in a year in review post.
First up, we have Golden Child (GolCha), an eleven-member group covered in a post in September. They made their actual debut in August 2017 with an EP called ‘Gol-Cha!’ I was very much looking forward to the release, even counting down the days until I could curl up on my couch and watch the MV and download all of the songs onto my phone for a thorough listen. It was…not to my taste. Sadly. However, I added the title track to a playlist of background music so I could show them my silent support. Apparently that while I was not their targeted demographic, my daughters were. I caught both of them humming and singing the song DumDaDi to themselves as they wandered around the house, did dishes, played, and fell asleep. It grew on me in those moments until, yes, it became my jam. The group also put out a lovely contribution to the 20th Century Boy and Girl OST called Love Letter. There isn’t an MV, but you should take a listen to the song. It’s very sweet.
Golden Child, Love Letter
Though LOONA has not yet officially debuted, LOONA ⅓, their subunit, has. I’ve waxed poetic in a post about how I am really liking how quirky this group is turning out and how different a lot of their music is from the traditional Kpop Girl Group fair. This song, in particular, is just beautiful. The music is rich, their voices are spot on, and it comes together into a track that I enjoy listening to without having to grit my teeth or get angry at how the women of Kpop are portrayed.
LOONA 1/3 , Sonatine
The Boyz is a twelve member boy group that has been busy releasing intro clips and videos to introduce us to the members prior to their December 6 debut. I honestly don’t know a lot about the individual members yet and haven’t watched their reality show ‘Flower Snack’ yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m in danger of falling in love with any number of them. They are insanely talented, attractive, and have a sound more in line with what I want out of my boy groups. I am eagerly awaiting their next release to see if it goes more innocent pop or if they let this herd of young men mature into a more grown-up sound right out of the gate. I am hoping for the latter. If it happens, I’ll put in the time and effort to learn all of their names and faces and personality quirks.
The Boyz, Boy
A group that may be more manageable to learn that I have also started to really, really like so far is Seven O’Clock. They are a six-member group that debuted in March 2017. They are all on social media with a group Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account, and each member has their own Insta. However, they don’t even show up on Wikipedia yet as a South Korean Band. This is a bit worrisome for me, as someone that would like to invest some time into them. But fingers crossed that changes and I’m worrying about nothing.
Seven O’Clock, Echo
And one more girl group I’m looking forward to hearing more from is Pristin. I don’t know what it is, but the song We Like just wiggles itself into my brain in the best possible way and I find myself singing it over and over with a little butt wiggle. It might not be great in the professional setting, but whatever. This ten-member group was formed as the Pledis girls in 2016 but debuted until the name Pristin this year…so I’m counting it. They are known for writing and producing their own music…a rarity in Kpop, but even more so for girl groups. We should pay attention this these ladies and support them as much as we can.
Pristin, We Like
Because of the number of idol survival shows, well-known groups disbanding, and individual artists feeling more confident about not going the traditional group route, 2017 was a big year for solo debuts as well. I’ve dropped some of those names throughout the year, including DPR Live, One, and I. But It’s worth mentioning that Jang HanByul of LedApple released some stuff, Suzy, Minzy, Ravi, and Samuel all also put music worth listening to into the world. I could go on and on and this post would take your whole holiday to read. I’ll spare you.
The important message to take into 2018 is that there are new groups debuting on an extremely regular basis…ones we are looking forward to and ones that we never, ever hear about. But let’s make sure that we are sharing our love particles with as many as we can because I’m pretty sure that is largely what sustains them during the early years after their debut.
Happy New Year!!