If you listen to the podcast, I’m sure you heard it in Molly and Stephanie’s voices this past week – there’s an overabundance of Kpop love going around and I’m not quite sure what triggered it. I’m in the same boat. For some reason, after a similar experience this spring, I had a bit of a slow summer. Musically, I was constantly going back to the same stuff, relistening and rewatching things I’d heard and seen a million times, maybe I was looking for comfort, going through a rebonding phase, or just in a mood. Who knows.
But ever since the Pentagon show, something has shifted inside of me. When it comes to Kpop, everything looks a little more sparkly than usual, everything sounds a bit more magical. It seems like almost every group I love has a comeback in the next couple of months – obviously, not every group, but approximately a million of them – and I’m actually considering putting the dates on my calendar so I can keep better track. We just got Seventeen, Dreamcatcher, and Monsta X, and now Oneus, Sewoon, ATEEZ, Zico, ONF, AKMU, SuperM, AB6ix, Nu’est, and, I don’t know, 9,857,000 others have all announced dates over the next six weeks.
Luckily, or smartly, I don’t collect the physical albums for all of these groups – only a fraction. But I have a whole scheme as to how I pay for them and I don’t know that it’s going to keep up this month. I may have to be selective and space it all out. You see, I use grocery rebate apps like a religion and I get Amazon and iTunes gift cards as the cash back. I use those dollars to fund my album and digital music habit. This is when having six people in your household – three of them growing children needing constant snacks- is a good thing. I buy boxes of RxBars and applesauce pouches and get money back on each and every one of them. It makes grocery shopping a bear, but it really helps my travel and concert fund by making the albums basically a bonus.
Owning the physical album is, in many ways, silly. I can’t even remember the last time I popped one in the old cd player for a listen. I don’t even own a cd player outside of my car – and that one is used to hold my cell phone holder. But there is something to be said for the anticipation you feel while you wait for it to arrive in the mail, for paging through those photo books and fawning over the styling and concepts, and for finally seeing which boyfriend card you got in the package. I seriously collect those in a book like baseball or Pokemon cards. My kids have offered to invent a game so I can get some practical use out of them. I have, to this point, declined as I feel like I get plenty out of them – flipping through periodically and smiling. Joy is practical.
I am very grateful that my rekindled excitement and passion so beautifully aligns with all of this new music – I’m likely to love almost every bit of it out of sheer enthusiasm for their effort and talent. I should be all worked up into a tizzy by the time it’s all over.
So as a reminder to myself and those of us out there a little too excited for all of this – Breathe.