writer, interviewer, columnist, and all-around obsessive music lover.
Hello, honey bees who have a taste for the best honey, aka K-Pop. It is time again for a new installment of your favorite THP feature – our K-POP HOTSPOT! So much happened this month, from debuts to comebacks, so this K-Pop roundup is packed! Before we dive in, make sure to check out the comebacks we already covered, such as SEVENTEEN, DKB, TWICE, SHINee Minho, BLACKPINK, THE BOYZ, VIXX LEO, IVE, CIX, ONF, RAVI, LUCY, CHANHYUN, CRAVITY, PENTAGON’s Kino, SNZAE, GIRLS GENERATION, DAY6 EOD, BILLLIE, MAMAMOO+, and SHINee’s KEY.
Besides these amazing comebacks, we also have a few milestones and tour updates to share with you! Our favorite boy Brooklyn wrapped up the European left of his tour, I’M GONNA LOVE YOU, and went viral while doing so. Love that! On that note, Omega X – our boys – announced their US tour CONNECT: Don’t Give Up, keep an eye out on their socials for ticket info! More exciting tour news came from NCT 127 announcing their 2nd bi-coastal tour, The Link! Tickets went on sale on August 29th, and the Los Angeles and Newark both sold out in under an hour, but you can still grab tickets for other dates here.
Furthermore, one of our favorite girl groups, XG opened their own fan club (are you part yet?!) and enter Spotify’s Viral 50 Global. Congrats, girls! More congrats are to be extended to Enhypen, who landed at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart with MANIFESTO : DAY 1, a career-high! And to celebrate this milestone, you see the boys throw the first pitch at the Dodger stadium? We never saw anyone look cooler!
Okay, we are done! Now, let’s get into many more amazing comebacks and debuts from August.
Kiss Me’s, wake up! U-KISS’s Soohyun dropped his first-ever mini-album, and we don’t know how to deal with it! Count On Me is filled with back-to-back bops and bangers that are all worth the listen! The title track, ‘The Soju Fairy,’ is an upbeat, groovy song that belongs on everyone’s feel-good playlists. We feel like we’re walking through a candy shop while we’re listening to Soohyun’s sweet vocals.
With one of the biggest debuts of the year, it could be argued that NewJeans owned August. The five-piece girl group was dropped on us out of nowhere at the start of the month and basically shook K-Pop Twitter to its core. Despite being so new, they’ve really carved out a distinct sound for themselves with songs like ‘Cookie’ and ‘Attention.’ We love their hip-hop-influenced sound that perfectly blends the ’90s and Gen Z K-Pop trends!
Only three short months after his last release, from20 is back with another incredible track! His fifth single, ‘Chemical,’ is criminally underrated. Did we mention that he sings entirely in English? From his lovely vocals to the super catchy beat, from20 gives us such high-quality music every time! The instrumentals are made for solo dance parties in the middle of the night, and we’ve hosted SEVERAL of those in the past month.
Our love for The Boyz is ‘Timeless!’ This pre-release single was such a heartwarming way to start off the new era that their comeback brought. ‘Timeless’ is an ode to Deobis. Last year, for their anniversary, TBZ finally got to have an offline concert, which kicked off their world tour this year. It was the first time since the pandemic began that TBZ have been able to see Deobis live, so they wrote ‘Timeless’ to commemorate the special moment. You can tell that The Boyz put their hearts and souls into this song. Literally, everyone got a chance to shine here! We also love a good key change 😌. And despite the sentimental feeling of the song, it’s still light (but again, maybe we cried while listening to this too). Fun fact: some Deobis even say it reminds them a bit of an older track of theirs, ‘Keeper.’ The Boyz and Deobis will protect each other forever!
TRI.BE are back with their third single album, Leviosa, and it’s definitely one you can’t miss! The title track ‘Kiss’ is an absolute bop with an addictive chorus, a killer choreography, and those impressive high notes. And the b-side ‘In The Air (777)’ is on par with the title track, with its rave-worthy instrumentals and immaculate beat drop. We’re so glad that more people are recognizing TRI.BE for their talent and giving them the attention they deserve! Well done, girls!
Everyone, clutch your pearls. BM is back with not one, but TWO bangin’ songs for the summer. BM’s new singles ‘Strangers’ and ‘Bad Intentions’ put all of his best qualities front and center. He had a hand in writing and composing these tracks, after all. From his clean rap verses to his deep vocals, we just can’t get enough of this man. And can you imagine him performing these songs live on tour? It’d be impossible not to fall in love.
WEi have proven before how talented they are at making summer bops with ‘Bye Bye Bye.’ This time, they showed to us again how amazing they are with their Japanese comeback ‘Maldives.’ August might be over, but summer is as long as the bops last, baby!
It’s official: Jo Yuri never fails to impress us as a solo artist. Her new single, ‘Maybe,’ sounds like it belongs on a slice-of-life anime soundtrack. Her beautiful vocals suit the feel of the song so well, and we can always appreciate a good guitar instrumental. The music video is well crafted and cozy, which is just the icing on the cake for us.
From behind the scenes into the spotlight! One of the genius minds behind many of your favorite songs by your faves finally has released his own music. You might already know two of the songs off the album: ‘Color Me (Feat. Chungha)’ and ‘Get Ya! (Feat. pH-1)’ as they were pre-release singles. Well, now you have the rest of the album! It’s flawless, to say the least, and proves why Junny should have your attention. His sweet-like-honey vocals backed by chill pop/r&b melodies are just too good to miss. Don’t forget, he’s going on tour! So if you’d like to hear the album live, go grab your ticket!
BAE173, how much we missed you! We had to wait a minute for one of our favorite rookies to make a comeback, but before we knew it, BAE173 was back in a ‘DaSh.’ Pun very well intended here! The boys have moved on from the lighthearted pop bops and are here with attitude-filled music that shows off their amazing rappers! We are for sure listening.
We can’t even lie: tears welled up in our eyes within ten seconds of hearing Tohoshinki’s (TVXQ’s) new Japanese single, ‘Utsuroi.’ The duo sings about recalling fond memories with a close friend. No matter how much time has passed, it still feels like these talented kings are unable to make bad songs in any language. ‘Utsuroi’ is our new favorite comfort song, and we could fall asleep to Changmin and Yunho’s soft voices any day.
Luminous might still be rookies, but that did not keep them from already dropping their first full album! And what an album it is. We haven’t heard so many bops at once in quite a long time. We say Luminous keep them coming! Can we also talk about the title track ‘Engine?’ What a bop and a half!
2022 is AB6IX’s year! With two Korean comebacks already under their belt for this year, these boys are back with a Japanese mini-album titled Savior. This EP has Japanese versions of ‘Savior’ and ‘Sucker For Your Love.’ We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: you know a song is a high quality when it’s a bop in multiple languages! AB6IX’s comeback is too good to miss out on, trust us.
We have finally got it, guys. We have a Jaehyun solo with a studio version. Thanks to NCT’s new project, NCT LAB, NCTzens are able to hear different sounds from members individually, and August was the month for our beloved Jeong Jaehyun. His very first solo single, ‘Forever Only,’ is an emotional R&B song that we can’t stop listening to and knowing that Jaehyun wrote the lyrics himself and showed us an emotional, heartwarming side of him with ‘Forever Only’ makes us so happy. He owned this summer with all those different projects and before he jumps into the new NCT 127 comeback, ‘Forever Only’ was the perfect finale for us. Oh, and, if you would like to get attacked by breathtaking visuals, don’t forget to watch the music video, if you haven’t already.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JAEHYUN:
Korean artists have been raising the bar for creative music videos every single year, and Jay Park is one of those artists. His new single, ‘Bite,’ is fire, but we already knew it would be. His rapping and singing are on another level, and this new track has the perfect vibes we need to get through our days. If we could have just a ‘Bite’ of Jay Park’s talent, we’d be unstoppable!
August was a busy month for Wonho between embarking on his European tour and dropping the absolute bop ‘Don’t hesitate!’ Two of Wonho’s best traits are his R&B-toned vocals and his dance skills, making ‘Don’t hesitate’ quintessential Wonho as he shows them both off here. Beginning as a soft R&B ballad, the track lulls you into a false sense of security before the chorus has an almighty drop. Wonho sings, “You got my back,” and that’s pretty much how WENEE feel about him always coming through with elite-tier tracks!
Who needs therapy when Jay B’s voice is right there? (Just kidding! For the most part…) His new single ‘Rocking Chair’ feels like a warm embrace after a difficult day, and he even compares himself to the comfort of a rocking chair. Now, all we need is to find a rocking chair and attach Jay B’s face to it. Jay B’s soothing vocals are enough to bring us to tears, but we physically can’t stop listening to this beautiful ballad.
Omega X are on a roll this year with dropping bops! Their Japanese debut mini album is more than proof of that. Once this banger dropped, you could only talk to us while ‘Stand up’ was blasting in the background. Honestly, Omega X have grown so much in the first year since their debut, and we are so excited about what is yet to come!
Three months after their debut, BLANK2Y are more than ready to set our playlist on fire! The boys made their comeback with ‘FUEGO(Burn it up),’ and boy, were we not prepared for those hard beats and strong raps. Thankfully, we expected nothing less but excellence from these rookies and are more than happy they delivered. BLANK2Y are off to a great start!
We weren’t kidding when we said 2022 was AB6IX’s year! Imagine dropping a Japanese EP one week and then an English single the next. Our hardworking, multilingual boys can! Their new song ‘Chance’ is a summer bop, which is exactly what we need! Even though it’s already almost September, AB6IX is making our summer last a little longer with such an adorable dance track.
INI may be a rookie group, but their comebacks hit every time. Their third single album M has four songs that leave us wondering why we haven’t started stanning these boys until now. (There are 11 members, so we’re in for a wild ride!) The ‘Password’ music video and the b-side tracks’ performance videos are all we’ve been watching. We’re jealous of anyone who got to see them perform at KCON LA this year.
Ha Sungwoon outdoes himself again with his seventh mini-album, Strange World! The title track ‘Focus’ is killer, from the choreography to the outfits to the music video production. And we can’t talk about the b-sides enough! His voice suits so many different music genres so well. And his duet with Jamie, ‘Too Little Too Late’ has to be one of our favorite tracks from this comeback. Since Sungwoon will be enlisting in just a few short weeks, we’ll be replaying this EP and the rest of his discography for the foreseeable future.
YERI & SAM KIM
A collab between Red Velvet’s Yeri and Sam Kim was something we didn’t know we needed until we got it. Their new single ‘Nap Fairy’ is a sweet song about two people meeting each other in their dreams. We’re in love with the cozy vibes of the song and music video! Yeri’s and Sam’s golden vocals together are beyond soothing, and now we feel like taking a nap.
We can’t put into words just how much we appreciate OnlyOneOf Junji’s new single ‘Be Mine.’ This song has no business being this addictive, with Junji’s sultry vocals, not to mention his impressive rap flow! But the music video storyline is what seals the deal for us. We’re here for the song, and we stayed for the healthy portrayal of budding LGBTQ+ relationships.
Yes, boys, keep on shining! After giving us one of the best debuts of 2022, Tempest comeback with another upbeat and bright song! ‘Can’t Stop Shining’ shows exactly what Tempest’s selling point is! Their vocals and the melody in their music. This first comeback lets us be hopeful for more amazing music from these guys in the future!
Woollim sure is on a roll this year with picking fantastic songs for their artists! Rocket Punch’s past two comebacks had already left us more than in love with these girls, but ‘Flash’ has sealed the deal. While the song is still within the retro synth genre, the girls have made their signature sound this song is a bit more alluring and sexy. We love to hear it, girls!
In August, the time for Mark stans and Ahgase was finally here! Mark Tuan dropped his long-awaited full album, and that baby is thick! We are still indulging ourselves in the amazing songs of the other side. Mark really outdid himself with this album, and we hope to be able to hear and see him perform these amazing songs live!
Lee Jinhyuk, how we missed your high-energy music! You can’t get out of bed? Feel like being lazy? Not with Jinhyuk his powerful bars will get you up and going! We love the sound of ‘Crack’ so much and how much Jinhyuk shows off his all-rounder abilities! The man can rap, sing and dance. Teach us your ways!
How did we make it through this month of bangers without collapsing, right? Are we ready for September’s comebacks to come at us in full force? Of course! What was your favorite comeback of August? Which one are you most excited about in September? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP!
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