Several K-pop groups including NCT Dream, Oh My Girl, and (G)I-DLE released new albums in the past months. And, in those albums, there are B-side tracks and digital singles that deserve more attention.
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On June 16, Korean outlet Sports News selected the 6 K-pop songs that are considered "hidden gems" in the first half of 2021.
While title tracks and a few B-sides are doing well on music charts, many other good songs are worth listening to.
In need of a playlist upgrade? Here are 6 2021 K-pop "hidden gems" you should listen to!
NCT Dream's "Rocket"
On May 10, NCT Dream's "Hot Sauce" was officially released and it contains a total of 13 songs. Besides the title track, also called "Hot Sauce," there's a B-side song entitled "Rocket."
NCT Dream's "Rocket" is a retro pop genre song with an attractive atmosphere created by the organ sound and the Rhodes keyboard played in a funky rhythm. The lyrics express the aspiration of the boy group to take a bigger leap forward using the universe as their stage to share music.
Written by Jo Yoon Kyung, this B-side track by NCT Dream is perfect for a hot summer season.
Oh My Girl's "My Doll"
In Oh My Girl's "Dear OHMYGIRL" album (released on May 10), one of the B-side songs that deserve listeners is "My Doll."
Oh My Girl's "My Doll" is a song with an experimental sound that includes the fusion of Dream Pop and Oh My Girl, appearing to be an invitation to a fairytale world. The lyrics seem to talk about meeting another self as a child in a different world.
This B-side song is considered the best out of the releases in the first half of 2021 when it comes to experimentation in sounds.
"MOON" is part of (G)I-DLE's "I Burn" album, which was released on Jan. 11. It is a pop genre song with a captivating hook melody, disco rhythm, bass, and synth sound. This B-side track depicts a situation in which darkness is taken away on a moonlit night, where one can take a break.
(G)I-DLE's "MOON" also talks about the fact that there are honest feelings that cannot be shown to other people.
PURPLE KISS's "Can We Talk Again"
Before their official debut, rookie group PURPLE KISS released two digital singles, one of which is "Can We Talk Again."
"Can We Talk Again" is the first ballad song by PURPLE KISS. Through the track, the members expressed their desire to return to the happy past and sadness over the unwanted parting. This digital single exudes a mature and lonely feeling that heartbroken people can relate to.
ONF's "Trip Advisor"
ONF's new album "My Name" consists of a total of 11 songs including the B-side track "Trip Advisor." This funky pop song features vintage instruments and exciting vocals that create a festival-like atmosphere.
The lyrics for ONF's "Trip Advisor" talk about spending a day at home and traveling around the world using a street view on a map. It appears to be a male counterpart of LABOUM's "Journey to Atlantis."
Female duo KEEMBO made a comeback with their new digital single "WHATEVER," which is a pop track that gives a pleasant harmony between the members' vocals and simple instrumental composition. It depicts the love between a couple that no longer has a spark, but is not completely gone.
KEEMBO's "WHATEVER" is a song that is ideal to listen to while driving on a summer night, like Brave Girl's "We Ride."