08 July 2016

Monthly Music: Favorite Kpop Releases for 2016 June

Hi everyone! Summer's already half-way over, which means that summer break is almost over too. Or is it? I've been out of high school for about six years and college for two years so I'm out of the loop when it comes to school breaks. When I was a student I always found school breaks to pass by quickly and summer always went by the fastest because I was busy working and involved in marching band. There's a fun tidbit about me - yes I was in marching band for all four years of high school. Anyways, let's get back on topic: June's Kpop playlist.

1. KNK "Back Again"
2. Beast "Butterfly"
3. BoA & Beenzino "No Matter What"
4. U-KISS "Stalker"
5. As One "Waiting For You"
6. TAEYEON "Why"
7. EXO "유리어항 One and Only"
8. SISTAR "해볼래 Say! Yes"

As many Kpop fans know, summer is essentially code for girl group, SISTAR's, comeback. They are the epitome of summer in my book. Since their debut in 2010, Sistar has been slaying every summer with their latest releases and this summer is no exception. But despite being the Kpop summer queens, I'm not going to focus on them for this music post. Instead I'm turning my attention to the rookies of the bunch, KNK.

Amongst the 8 artists featured on June's playlist, KNK are the rookies as they have only been around since late February/early March of this year. If you've been following the monthly music installments, you'll recognize KNK as they have been included on both March and May's playlists. I felt that with their third appearance on a monthly playlist it was due time to let them shine.

Since their official Kpop debut in March I have been obsessed! The boys of KNK showed the Kpop world that they can do both tough and soft with their debut tracks "Knock" and "Angel Heart" respectively. At first I have to admit I was digging the softer track, "Angel Heart," as it showcased all five boys vocal abilities. Granted "Knock" showed us 4/5 of the boys vocal skills as Youjin, Heejun, Inseong, and Jihun are all vocalist in the group. However, Seungjun is the group's rapper so it was nice to hear him sing in "Angel Heart."

With their latest comeback with "Back Again" came a resurgence of Seungjun as the group's rapper and boy am I glad. As much as I love all the boys singing, I've found that I actually miss Seungjun's rapping as his deep tone adds to the higher notes that the rest of the boys produce. In fact, "Back Again," really showcases Seungjun's rapping skills as it provides him a lot more lines than "Knock" did.

Setting aside my blatant bias for Seungjun, "Back Again" is an edgy dance/pop track that talks about longing for past days when things were still good in a relationship yet not being able to get back to that point because the other person keeps pushing you away. It may not be the summer love track you were looking for or expecting, but "Back Again" is still a love song in some sense. Maybe more broken hearted than happy but still a great track.

To become just as obsessed with KNK as I am, check out the group's official Instagram and Twitter accounts to keep up-to-date with the members. For fun snippets of their life you can visit either their YouTube page or V Live account. I would recommend using their V Live page if you plan on watching anything other than their music related content (i.e.: music videos, performances, dance practices, etc.) because V Live does provide subtitles whereas their YouTube channel does not. Also, the boys of KNK have been known to do live streaming through their V Live account. You should definitely check out their previous live streaming videos as it shows an unfiltered, true-to-self version of the boys - or well as unfiltered as allowed by their management company, YNB.

Endnote: Songs on this month's playlist can be purchased through iTunes. Simply click on the title of the song you want to download on the tracklist listed above to be redirected to its iTunes page.

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