Last Updated on June 15, 2020 by Potato
January 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and a new era for Kpop. With a few soft, wistful ballads remaining yet nothing too exciting to anticipate, January was a slower month for interesting releases. However, with some heavy digging, KS Press brings to you some of the most intriguing releases of the month.
1. Horizon (ATEEZ)
Starting the new decade with a bang, ATEEZ came back with their new mini-album Treasure Epilogue: Action to Answer. From this album, “Horizon” particularly stands out from the crowd for its unusual sound and distinct tone. With a distorted, repeating vocal sample in the background and hard-hitting chorus that drives the song, “Horizon” perfectly captures ATEEZ’s unique, raw sound which has caused them to grow in popularity so quickly. A particularly interesting addition is the enhanced synth to the chorus during the climax of the song as it reaches an impactful conclusion.
ATEEZ always has at least one song on their albums worthy of fulfilling the position of title track: “Horizon” was this one. The song’s dance theme is recurrent yet it hits differently each time, leaving the listener craving for more. —Tato
2. Winter Flower (Younha feat. RM)
Dabbling in bright, compelling EDM with a certain sense of security and reassurance, Younha’s “Winter Flower” brings comfort in bleak periods. Off her Unstable Mindset EP, the track is an absolute emotional banger with emergent kickdrums and Younha’s explosive voice soaring high on top of a motivational instrumental. The chords are right within Younha’s wheelhouse, but her artistry has never been bolder.
The rightful successor to her 2017 masterpiece “RescuE,” “Winter Flower” features RM’s magnetic voice chanting words of solace. The track is rightfully named “Winter Flower,” as it is an artistic bloom for Younha along with hinting at a resilient flower that blooms in the harshest conditions. —Mortie
3. All for You (Sechskies)
This marks not only the first Sechskies comeback since 2017 but also as the first one as a four-member group. “All for You” is the title song of their first mini-album All For You and follows the softer side of the first-generation K-pop group.
This song is about someone who tries their all for their special someone despite making mistakes and not being perfect. Saying how they wish their lover would say yes and that they would do everything for them. It definitely is a song that can live up to Sechskies classics like Couple and Hunch. — Jen
4. Wish (DreamNote)
DreamNote came back in January with a bang. “Wish” is a song with magical and ethereal undertones in the base of the melody. Dream Wish, the album that accompanies this title is in general following this trend set by the title.
The song is all about themes like dreams, courage and feelings being expressed. It falls in line with what this girl group has been offering to fans since their debut.
5. AnySong (Zico)
Zico talks about the feeling of having no interest towards life and is pleading to play in his upbeat, relatable single “AnySong.” With a swinging, playful rhythm, Zico expresses how he finally wants to feel refreshed and excited. The song mixes in jazz and shakers during moments which creates an almost comical tone as well being muffled during points, mirroring Zico’s confusion. Similar to songs like Dean’s “Instagram,” “AnySong” talks about the feelings of this generation in a way that is understandable. It discusses this topic in a relatable way and in a fitting mood. — Jen & Tato
6. Say My Name (ANS)
With the arrival of two new members, J and Haena, “Say My Name” marks ANS’ first comeback and their first release as 8 members. The powerful and fierce song showcases ANS’ impressive stage presence and their angel-like vocals.
The single is a pop-based EDM dance track that captivates listeners with a highly addictive chorus. “Say My Name” perfectly captures the group’s charisma and confidence. —Dani
7. My Tragedy (Taeyeon)
With a striking melancholy accordion to begin the song, “My Tragedy” paints a pensive and somber picture. The song is filled to the brim with rich guitar riffs, strong drums, and compelling vocals. Perhaps reflecting herself, the song speaks of loneliness and separation as one falls mercilessly to their doom, highlighted by Taeyeon’s fragmented voice especially during the last chorus. The accordion makes a dramatic reappearance during the bridge and the finale, the circular structure emphasizing her trapped state as she repeats the same cycle over and over again leading to an ultimate downfall.
Loaded with personal gems, Purpose is an album that speaks close to Taeyeon. With its repackage, she captivates listeners yet again with her enchanting voice and emotive songs.
8. Paradise (Siyeon; Dreamcatcher)
Siyeon has been getting well-deserved attention for her vocals since her cover of “Speechless.” It was a smart decision to give her a solo right now, especially one that showcases her vocals.
“Paradise” is not only carried by vocals but also the soaring instrumentation. Starting off with light fluttering piano, the song slowly fuses electropop elements to create a buildup for the synth-driven chorus. The instrumental is dense but not overpowering, in fact it further highlights the vocals. The instrumental fully numbs down till the last verse of the bridge as Siyeon’s soulful voice shines in it. “You are always in my heart” complements the climactic chorus that follows. Overall, the song has a motivational feel, one similar to “Into the new world”.— Skinnny
9. Flat Dog (HYUKOH)
“Flat Dog” is a song from the K-indie band HYUKOH’s latest album Through Love. The retro-rock piece gives off a loafing and careless vibe, like a sweet summer nap.
The instrumental is pretty consistent throughout with a trumpet and drums dominating along with the addition of an electric guitar which adds more soul to the song. The mischievous-whisper singing style is as playful as IU’s “23.” The song is easy on the ears and perfect for cafés and such public places. —Skinnny
10. Go Away Go Away (Chanyeol, Punch)
Chanyeol and Punch come back with another heartfelt ballad this January. Chanyeol’s husky baritone voice against Punch’s melodic soprano voice make for a gorgeous duet. Driven by an acoustic guitar with occasional twinkling synths, the track revels in one quality – nostalgia. The chords are burgeoningly nostalgic and paint a certain aural aesthetic that touches the hearts of listeners. With lyrics about loneliness and reassurance, the track is the perfect ballad addition to our list and deserving to be one of the highlights of January. — Mortie
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