GIRL’S DAY – “DON’T FORGET ME”
Known for being overtly childish and cute, Girl’s Day stripped that level of superficiality away in “Don’t Forget Me” and made due with a far more genuine sweetness commonly heard in girl groups like A Pink and Rainbow. To no one’s surprise, it worked wonders for everyone.
“Don’t Forget Me” is a classic pop jam with a very common structure and composition. But rather than being a generic carbon copy of everything else out there, Girl’s Day’s charms surprisingly shine through really, really well. While the production value isn’t the cleanest (where’s the breathing room, guys?), the girls still hit their mark as singers. Each member brings their A game and even give us really beautiful streams of melodic moments in the verses and middle eight. It’s cute, but honestly done and I think that’s the greatest achievement for Girl’s Day with this single. – McRoth
GUTEN BIRDS (910 BIRDS) – “YOU, IN THE MIRROR”
If you are at all a fan of k-rock, this year was the best yet. And if women were your thing, you were in heaven.
Women in rock took the stage and blew me away. From well-known names like 3rd Line Butterfly and Younha, to newer bands like Mamalady – 2012 was the year of lady rockers. For me, it was the debut EP by newcomers 910Birds (pronounced “Guten“) that encapsulated not only female rock, but rock in its entirety, especially their guitar rock-fest “You, in The Mirror“. From the amp feedback, the drum solo and the off-the-chains guitar riffs, it brought the fury I love in hardcore rock. They cleaned up the rough edges and killed on their EP, ‘팔랑귀‘, especially front-woman Moho with her stellar guitar-shredding skills. And thanks to “Top Band 2“, more people saw their talent than little old me. – drowningn00b
HANDSOME PEOPLE – “WOOWEI WOOWEI”
While the world took to dancing to PSY‘s “Gangnam Style” this summer, it was Handsome People‘s “Woowei Woowei” that inspired me to shake my ass.
Serving Maroon 5 realness right from the very beginning, “Woowei Woowei” is one of the funkiest tunes to be released this year. The chorus alone is masterfully addicting, but it’s the entire package of groovy guitar work, head-bobbing basslines, and falsettos falsettos FALSETTOS EVERYWHERE that really take this jam to next-level awesomeness. – McRoth
HUMMING URBAN STEREO FEAT. SUGAR FLOW – “HEY, YOU”
This year brought a lot of electro-indie music; everything from the dulcet tones of Casker to the rock-pop 80′s vibe of Glen Check. With partying the main focus for much of this year’s synth, one act stood out for me among the rest: Humming Urban Stereo.
Teasing his public for close to a month, his latest album, ‘Sparkle‘, was worth the wait. Coming in just in time for TKSO, this record is on constant repeat. It’s fun, full of bright moments, and a throwback to 80’s and 90’s dance music. The party begins with the bubbly “Hey You“, with Sugar Flow singing with no care in the world except to have fun and be ridiculous. The middle eight includes a phonetic primer for language learners, and won my heart with the lines: “Hey, hey you, who are you? Buena Suerte!“
‘Sparkle’ will be my go-to party music for months to come. – drowningn00b
INFINITE – “THE CHASER”
The lead single off Infinite‘s 2012 comeback mini-album, “The Chaser“, follows along the same resonant path as last year’s “Paradise“, but amps up the pace and the 80s percussion elements so that they flow a lot smoother than ever before. It’s a really big song with a heavy bassline and strong rock moments, and it took me a good three or so listens to come to grips with how weighty it is. After several months of indulgence, I grew to adore every aspect of this song, particularly the traditional-yet-contemporary Korean instrumental. It was actually really fantastic for a pop song.
And do you know what – that’s probably one of the greatest takeaways from Infinite’s music: that they manage to remain musically consistent, while still delivering unique and interesting material that sounds as fresh as their last. – McRoth