The Best K-Pop Songs of Summer 2022
The Best K-Pop Songs of Summer 2022

The Best K-Pop Songs of Summer 2022

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Over the past few years, the South Korean music industry has thrived thanks to the help of global superstar BTS, who has emerged as one of the biggest boy bands of the 21st century. The fast-paced and exciting K-pop industry has reached far beyond South Korea’s borders, becoming one of the largest pop markets in the world. Today, we’re highlighting the top K-pop releases during the summer of 2022.

BTS – “Not Coming Yet”

In a special pre-recording released as part of FESTA, the annual celebration associated with BTS’s debut anniversary, the group announced that they would be taking a break from group activities to focus on their solo work. Three days later, the group released their first anthology album Proof, and the title track “Yet to Come.” The song progresses to the same theme discussed in their previous era, known as, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, in which the group discusses early young adulthood, a period marked by endless possibilities but also a crippling sense of insecurity about self. themselves and uncertainty about the future.

To follow up on the same theme, “Yet to Come” is a nostalgic song that symbolizes the closing of their twenties, as most of the members are entering their late 20s and early 30s. This song is both nostalgic and optimistic, as member V hums in the intro, “Yes, the past is honestly the best / But the best is what comes next / I don’t play, well for sure.” The members reminisce about the best moments in their past but also realize that their greatest moments are still ahead. Messages of hope mixed in songs like “Life Goes On”, “00:00 (Zero O’ Clock)”, “Spring Day”, and now “Yet to Come”, along with BTS’s ability to be transparent through music which makes them stand out from the rest of K-pop and helps them connect with a larger audience.


In their nine years as a group, Twice has achieved great success to the point where every member is recognized outside the group. However, even with this popularity, neither of the two times has released a solo work until this June when vocalist Nayeon released her first self-titled mini album with the title track “POP!” This song is full of elements that would be considered a summer pop release to sound and feel. The buoyancy of the chorus, the anticipatory hook that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the chorus to strike, and the upbeat tempo together make the song a classic pop hit, so it’s time K-pop strayed away from all the EDM chorus songs. unnecessary and embrace fun pop songs, like “POP!” once again.

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In the spring, Seventeen released their fourth studio album, Facing the Sunwhich became a massive commercial hit for the group, becoming their first highest-grossing and top-ten album on the Billboard 200. A month and a half later, the group released a repackaged version of the album, titled sector 17, along with the lead single, “World.” The song mixes funk and R&B and is reminiscent of their old mix of EDM and pop releases. While some might say that seventeen is playing it safe with the release of “World,” for fans and casual listeners of the group, this is only Seventeen in their element.

The song relies less on gimmicks, such as autotune and TikTok dance moves like their previous release “HOT”, but rather relies on vocals, with lead vocalists, Seungkwan and Joshua, leading the highlight of the song. The song is light and cute with a subtle funk vibe and silvery vocal delivery. Comparatively, this song is not as innovative as “HOT”, but still has the same aura of Seventeen that once helped them become the worldwide famous group that they are today.

NewJeans – “Attention”

As third-generation K-pop groups disbanded, went on hiatus, and became less popular in general, many new groups emerged. Some of these groups have made themselves known domestically and internationally, but most of these groups struggle to achieve domestic and later international success as well. NewJeans, the girl group that debuted this July with the single “Attention,” is the latest contender for the group that can rule the 4th generation both internationally and domestically, and their lead single is proof of that. “Attention” has every element that 4th generation K-pop groups don’t have. The song is well-produced and unique with mid-00’s pop and R&B influences, as opposed to the over-produced EDM tracks their counterparts constantly release. The vocals are the highlight of the song rather than the choreography and music video, which helps them stand out among other 4th generation groups that focus too much on other elements.

Fun to listen to, this song uses minimalistic production and the group’s sweet vocals. Their simple choreography also plays a strength, as it makes them more distinct. All of these elements in NewJeans’ debut have been in many other songs for K-pop groups from previous generations and are the reason for the group’s success. So, it’s safe to say that if NewJeans follows what they did in “Attention”, they too could become a major force for the next generation of K-pop.

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Prior to releasing a repackaged version of their fourth studio album, sector 17, and the title track “_WORLD”, SEVENTEEN’s lead subunit, consisting of S.Coups, Woozi, and Hoshi, released the single “CHEERS” along with the music video. The pre-release single follows a similar vibe found in their last title track “HOT,” with autotune singing back along with the hip-hop track production, except this time, SEVENTEEN blends hip-hop and Asian trap beats. The song reflects how far the group has come since their humble beginnings as artists from a small company.

“CHEERS” is a perfect hype and a catchy illustration of SEVENTEEN’s desire to experiment sonically. However, their experimentation did not stop at the production of songs. Even the choreography makes them try new things, such as the typical Bollywood hip-shaking move towards the end of the song. It is certain that by now SEVENTEEN know the kind of sound that will guarantee their success. However, even with this knowledge, they seem to have an interest in experimenting, which builds excitement about the kind of sound the next group will produce.

NewJeans – “Sick”

The pre-release single, “Hurt,” by new girl group HYBE emphasizes just how good the group’s vocals are. Staying true to their throwback concept, “Hurt” is reminiscent of 2000s contemporary R&B, with mellow production and mellow lyrics. Once again, the minimalistic production of the song helps to highlight the group’s soft vocals. Along with that, the music and style videos add to the throwback concept. The song is quite one-dimensional in the sense that it lacks dynamic climaxes and vocal changes, but glides on a consistent groove. However, the song still shines in displaying melodic variations. This song, while simple, still has a lot to offer, and with most 4th generation K-pop girl groups shifting most of their focus to dance and girl-crush concepts, it’s refreshing to see a new group try something new for a new year. change.

IVE – “After LIKE”

K-pop has been known for many things, such as high-budget music videos, great visuals, and frequent sampling. Basically all of these elements helped make K-pop so widely successful, and they also happened to be present in IVE’s first comeback, “After like.” The first dance-pop track begins with the familiar instrumental snippet of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor and continues into the chorus, where a sample riff is used in the background. However, the track isn’t strictly retro, with the addition of upbeat deep house instrumentals embellishing the rest of the track. Although there’s a lot more novelty to IVE’s “After like” than just the iconic sample, and that lies in its beautiful music video and captivating choreography shots. This is probably one of the best K-pop music videos released this year and the best on this list.

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The only weakness in IVE’s first comeback is how the song covers up its shallow choreography. But even those flaws aren’t that bad compared to all of their horrendous choreography releases by their peers.

Talk It Speak – Twice

Since Twice started their transition to an adult concept, they have received mixed responses, especially from Korean fans. Some of these comebacks weren’t so bad, but they still lack the Twice charm that most fans know. “Talk that Talk” is an adult concept that best fits the Twice-esque feel that most fans are familiar with. The upbeat synth-pop track brings catchy bridges and choruses which are paired with a stunning music video in which the girls look gorgeous in sleek outfits. The music video sticks to the retro concept of the song, with a retro sci-fi film aesthetic. However, the most surprising aspect of the song is the vocals, with three vocalists, Jihyo, Jeongyeon, and Nayeon, performing the most impressive parts of the song. Undoubtedly, the song provides some of Twice’s best vocal work, which is hard to find in the title track of the seven-year-old girl group. Overall, the song is energetic and addictive, just like their previous title track, but also gives Twice a new side that fans have never seen before.

THE BOYZ – “Without time”

After the release of “MAVERICK” in 2021, it looks like THE BOYZ is moving away from their bright, vocal-driven production to fit the trend of rap-driven and EDM tracks. However, this may not be entirely the case, as demonstrated through their summer release “Timeless.” The mid-tempo song basically serves as a message to their fans that their love for them will last forever. It’s a sweet-sounding song with a cute message for their fans and is one of the group’s best songs lyrically. Hopefully, with this release, THE BOYZ will permanently move away from whatever they were trying to accomplish in “MAVERICK” and geared towards creating more sonically and lyrically pleasing music, like “Timeless.”


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