16 Recent K-Pop Songs To Add To Your Summer Playlist
Summer is finally upon us (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), and as the weather heats up, it’s time to break out our sunglasses, flip flops, and… summer K-pop playlist! There’s been a flood of summery releases in the past few weeks that is sure to continue into the season. But as we welcome the official beginning of the summer, here are 16 songs that we’re listening to: they call to mind days at the beach (or under the water), tropical nights, lazy afternoons… and maybe even some summer romance!
1. “Atlantis” — SHINee
SHINee was already preparing us for summer back in April when they released this bop! Some like to spend summer at the beach, but SHINee opts instead to take us underwater with wave-like rhythms and their signature vocal harmonies in “Atlantis.” The track offers an immersive deep sea adventure and addicting intensity that we’ll be playing all summer long.
2. “Dun Dun Dance” — Oh My Girl
Oh My Girl opts for a breezier summer track with “Dun Dun Dance,” which is the definition of easy listening. With fairy-like vocals and fresh instrumentals, the ladies keep us on our toes with a reminder to “just dance” this season!
3. “Butter” — BTS
BTS brings us an English-language summer hit for the second year in a row, and this time they’re hotter, sweeter, cooler, and… butter. We thought it would be hard to top “Dynamite,” but from its funky bassline to its ultra-confident lyrics, “Butter” is breakin’ into our hearts like that, making our summers smoother with every listen.
4. “WE GO” — fromis_9
fromis_9 invites us to travel with them in “WE GO,” an upbeat and refreshing bop with a downright addicting chorus. The ladies keep their infectious energy from start to finish in this bubbly track; and even if you can’t travel this summer, the group’s creative MV will help you imagine yourself jet-setting to all sorts of exotic places!
5. “Moonshot” — N.Flying
As its title suggests, “Moonshot” is the perfect listen for a warm summer night, with a swinging band vibe that lends a simmering intensity. The sense of adventure is palpable, as the lyrics advise us, “if you wanna change, be not afraid.” Thrumming guitar and bold vocals build to a climactic final chorus — what’s not to love?
6. “Alcohol-Free” — TWICE
True to its name, “Alcohol-Free” is simple, sweet, and chill, with TWICE proclaiming that their summer romance makes them feel as though they are drunk off a whole menu of boozy drinks. Tropical and jazzy yet laid-back, “Alcohol-Free” is perfect listening for a dreamy summer afternoon.
7. “FEVER” — ENHYPEN
ENHYPEN offers something different with the steamy “FEVER,” singing of a love that makes them feel as though they’re burning up. Sultry and ethereal, “FEVER” is not the typical summer song — but given how perfectly it captures the essence of heat, we have no doubt this passionate ENHYPEN track will be entrancing us in the warm months to come.
8. “Chi Mat Ba Ram” — Brave Girls
In line with the title of their “Summer Queen” mini album, the Brave Girls members prove themselves warm-weather royalty with their feel-good, beachy hit “Chi Mat Ba Ram.” While we still have the group’s resurgent hit “Rollin’” on our summer playlist (come on, it’s perfect for summer!), “Chi Mat Ba Ram” is another welcome burst of energy from the group.
9. “Hot Sauce” — NCT DREAM
From its attention-grabbing, percussive intro to its spicy instrumental interlude, “Hot Sauce” really turns up the heat. Its chanted chorus is bound to get stuck in your head, and its fused hip hop and Afrobeat elements keep this track interesting: appreciating the various parts of “Hot Sauce” takes multiple listens, so it’s a good thing we have all summer!
10. “Next Level” — aespa
“Next Level” starts off by bringing the summer heat, and the ladies of aespa pull it off with unabashed confidence. But rather than barrel full steam ahead from start to finish, the track changes things up with a groovy, refreshing interlude. It’s a bold move that only aespa could pull off!
11. “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” — TXT feat. Seori
Every summer playlist needs a little dose of summertime sadness, and TXT brings us a beautiful mix of emotions in “I Know I Love You,” which manages to be at once angsty and healing. The song’s rock-themed instrumental and soaring chorus are not only catchy but also bound to put you in your feels. And of course, we can’t forget that TXT also offers a more upbeat hit for the season with their B-side “Magic“!
12. “Vanilla” — LIGHTSUM
Sweeten up your summer with this debut track from Cube Entertainment’s new girl group! “Vanilla” is cheerful and youthful, with an addictive hook and an instrumental that continuously adds layers to ramp up the song’s energy. The girls’ sparkling vocals are the highlight of the final chorus!
13. “Don’t fight the feeling” — EXO
EXO is back! Lay is back! “Don’t fight the feeling” is an unexpected treat to sustain fans as the members complete their military service, and the cheerful dance single is here just in time for summer. A uniquely carefree and breezy song for the group, “Don’t fight the feeling” is pure upbeat, infectious fun.
14. “Like It Hot” — GWSN
“Like It Hot” takes its time to warm up, but earns its place as a summer must-listen with its funky, girl-crush chorus. From there, between the song’s flirty chants of “like it hot” and Miya’s ultra-cool rap verse, there’s a lot that’s hot in this GWSN track!
15. “riBBon” — GOT7’s BamBam
BamBam’s solo debut is just the chill summer bop we needed, and this song will have you feeling light as a feather, true to its lyrics. Speaking of lyrics, BamBam co-wrote and co-composed the track, and we love how the rapper’s playful side came out in “riBBon”!
16. “Journey to Atlantis” — LABOUM
Atlantis might just be the theme of the summer! In addition to SHINee’s recent single named for the fictional island, LABOUM’s 2016 hit “Journey to Atlantis” has also been making waves. It may not technically be recent, but it sure is relevant, and just in time for the season: it’s sweet and refreshing as a summer breeze! Check out LABOUM’s recent music show performance of the song:
Hey Soompiers, which of these songs is your favorite? What other tracks are on your summer playlist? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases.