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Trending K-pop: 10 hottest tracks of the week

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Apr 22, 2019 - 17:24
  • Updated : Apr 22, 2019 - 17:24

Trending K-pop is a weekly piece based on the 10 most streamed and downloaded tracks on South Korea’s leading music-streaming service, Mnet.com -- April 15- 21

BTS dominated this week’s streaming charts as the international supergroup sent shock waves throughout the international music scene with a new EP that broke sales records.

As the weather gets warmer and cherry blossoms bloom across the country, this week also saw an influx of straightforward and smooth-sailing pop tunes hit the chart.

While the lighthearted and catchy “Boy With Luv” took the top spot, the likes of Jannabi, Bolbbalgan4 and Jang Beom-jun signaled growing demand for a more acoustic sound, which seems to be a regular occurrence during the cherry blossom season.

1. “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey -- BTS

BTS is setting playlists ablaze with “Boy With Luv” -- and not just those of the BTS Army either. With the backing of singer-songwriter Halsey, it has become the most streamed song of the week in South Korea. The song is on course to become the group’s biggest hit among the general public, given its US radio play and streaming performance.

When asked during a press conference in Seoul how the song had been chosen as the album’s lead single, RM said that had been the plan all along. “It’s a song that expresses this album and the sentiment that we want to portray,” he said.

2. “For Lovers Who Hesitate” -- Jannabi

Indie rock band Jannabi ’s new album “Legend” is climbing up the chart, making it the highest-charting band of the week ahead of K-pop heavyweights Blackpink and Taeyeon.

The string-heavy folk rock tune, buoyed by a retro-themed music video, is a throwback to the past that oozes sentimentality.
The indie band, which debuted in 2014 with the rock number “Rocket,” has solidified its following in the years since. Its appearance on the popular TV show “I Live Alone” last month gave viewers a glimpse into the band members’ lives.

3. “Four Seasons” -- Taeyeon

Taeyeon further solidified her position in the music scene as a solo artist with the new single “Four Seasons.” The latest addition to the Girls’ Generation member’s discography is what she does best: alternative pop-rock.
The catchy whistling chorus lingers on as the singer asks, “Did I even really love you?” adding a layer of mystery and romance to the song. The song looks back on a failed romance as she goes through each season.

4. “Kill This Love” -- Blackpink

Though its record was short-lived, “Kill This Love” made history as the K-pop music video to get the most YouTube views in its first 24 hours before being overtaken by BTS.

Written by Teddy, R.Tee, 24 and Bekuh Boom, the tune follows in the footsteps of the previous single, “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” featuring an intense buildup before bursting into the band’s signature grandiose chorus.
The video for the brass-heavy rhythmic tune has racked up over 200 million views, and Blackpink was the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella.

5. “Bom” -- Bolbbalgan4

Bolbbalgan4 does what it does best in this new spring-themed song. Known for their catchy melodies and sentimental lyrics, the former “Superstar K” contestants sing about the feelings of a young girl who is deeply in love. Packed with gentle synth and acoustic guitar riffs and a string-tinged chorus, the song, released in the thick of spring, makes for smooth listening that’s perfect for the season.

6. “Mikrokosmos” -- BTS

Another track from BTS’ “Map of the Soul: Persona” made it to the top 10. “Mikrokosmos” is a 3/4 time signature pop-rock tune with lyrics that carry a message of encouragement and consolation.

Nearly a dozen writers took part in the making of this gentle EDM number with a harmonized chorus that adds a layer of freshness to an up-tempo ballad.

7. “Did You Ever Love Me?” -- Jannabi

Surprisingly, the band’s 2014 track climbed 92 places to become the seventh-most-popular track of the week. The leap follows the new release “Legend,” which saw other songs chart in the top 100.

8. “Make It Right” -- BTS

“Make It Right” is another track from the group’s new EP, which drew attention after it was revealed that Ed Sheeran took part in making it.
The midtempo pop tune is subtle but sweet as the bandmates sing falsetto while RM chimes in with his smooth rapping. In line with the gentle sound, the lyrics reassure us that things will be fine.

9. “Stay Here” -- GB9

This slow number with an acoustic touch features a dramatic string-heavy chorus that complements the R&B duo’s clean and soulful voices. It charts at No. 9 this week after making it to No. 2 last week.

10. “Karaoke” -- Jang Beom-jun

The vocalist from Busker Busker has made it into the top 10 this week with “Karaoke,” which he wrote. The song has been described as “different” from his other work, with stronger instrumental accompaniment and more descriptive lyrics.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)