Veteran Boyband 2PM and their first single in five years, âMake It,â topped the list of K-pop songs you must hear in a busy July 2021. There’s also BTS’s summer anthem âPermission To Dance,â as well as releases from up-and-coming legends NCT Dream and (G) I-DLE’s Jeon Soyeon.
New offerings from Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, sibling duo AKMU, EXO’s DO and more are also on this month’s roster. Let’s jump right into the eight K-pop songs from July 2021 that you must hear.
2:00 p.m. “Make It”
The veteran K-pop boyband recently returned from a five-year hiatus with their seventh studio album “Must”, which featured the sultry title track “Make It”.
What NME said, â30 seconds later and the song’s sassy pre-chorus pulls you in and never lets go, with a sultry chorus on the chorus that will no doubt get stuck in people’s minds. It’s the kind of loving charm that 2PM has managed to master over the years and is able to come out with a touch of class. – Sofiana Ramli
AKMU’s Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun have teamed up with none other than IU on ‘NAKKA’, from their new collaborative EP ‘Next Episode’.
What NME said, “The song is truly the musical version of a Fall in Confidence, with Chan-hyuk and Su-hyun reassuringly singing, ‘I told you I’ll never leave you / When such a day comes’, and IU joining the vocal gymnastics of the choir: “Trust me, close your eyes and fall / One, two, three, hold your breath and fall.”” – Ruby C
BTS “Permission to dance”
BTS is back with another summer wellness anthem called “Permission To Dance,” but this time they got some help from a little one named Ed Sheeran.
What NME said, âIt’s easy to dismiss cheerful, summery pop songs as light or disposable. But they are an important contribution to our musical spectrum – without the bright, glowing, and happy moments we would be on a relentless chore of exploiting our trauma and no one needs them. – Rhian Daly
‘Rose’ by DO
In his first adventure as a solo artist, EXO lead singer DO set the bar high with the title track of intimate acoustic pop “Rose”, from the mini album “ê³µê° (Empathy)” .
What NME said: “‘Rose’ [is] a self-written romantic ditty that is both whimsical and nostalgic. It’s a surprisingly saccharine melody, especially from a man who for most of his career has used his great voice on great ballads. – Sofiana Ramli
Jeon Soyeon ‘Beam Beam’
(G) I-DLE’s charismatic frontman Jeon Soyeon takes a short hiatus from the girl group to release her debut mini album “Windy”, which features the contagious title track “BEAM BEAM”.
What NME said, â’BEAM BEAM’ cleverly uses punk rock elements to evoke the carefree and carefree attitude that keeps the track moving. It’s an eccentric fusion that plays on Soyeon’s strengths as a rapper, but more specifically as a singer, ranging between catchy hip-hop verses and loud choruses. – Angela Patricia Suacillo
âPainting the city (PTT)â by LOONA
After a few months of absence, LOONA is back with ‘Paint The Town (PTT)’, from their new mini-album ‘[&]’, which they described as their “most intense and explosive” outing to date.
What NME said, âThis original idea from producers Hitmanic and Ryan S. Jhun brings together elements of Bollywood sounds with dubstep and 808 bass. Its unique fusion melody certainly gives LOONA the chance to âpaint the world in its own colorsâ. – Ruby C
“Hello Future” by NCT ââDream
NCT Dream closes the promotional cycle of their debut studio album “Hot Sauce” with a repackaged version called “Hello Future”, which features a glittering pop gem of the same name.
What NME noted: “[The song] is a sparkling one-song juggernaut that sums up all sides of the seven-member band, then sends them soaring into the stratosphere. More obviously, it packs a big pop punch and harnesses, as the title suggests, that sleek sense of futurism that often pops up on the SM roster. – Rhian Daly
Girls’ Generation frontman Taeyeon embraces disco and urban pop on “Weekend,” her first solo release of 2021, following last year’s “What Do I Call You”.
What NME said, “The lyrics to ‘Weekend’, along with the song’s disco and city pop elements, accurately capture the light-hearted, carefree feel its namesake brings. It’s a refreshing genre change by compared to the singer’s most recent releases, such as the 2020 R&B-infused single âWhat Do I Call Youâ and âHappy,â a modern take on doo-wop. – Ruby C