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Trending K-pop: 10 hottest tracks of the week

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Jun 3, 2019 - 17:52
  • Updated : Jun 3, 2019 - 17:52

Trending K-pop is a biweekly piece based on the 10 most-streamed tracks on South Korea’s leading music-streaming service, Melon. Here’s the list for the week ending June 2

Rookie singer Lim Jae Hyun’s 2018 single has taken people by surprise after topping this week’s chart nearly a year after its release, while Western pop artists like Anne-Marie and Billie Eilish also fared well this week.

Pop duo Davichi’s new single, “Unspoken Words,” has soared to the second spot with signs of becoming a long-running hit.
In the meantime, Twice retained its position while Winner is down three spots. BTS and Jannabi continue to remain in the top 10.

1. “If There Was Practice in Love” -- Lim Jae Hyun

The song has surprised many music fans here in Korea, as not many have heard of the rookie singer whose 2018 acoustic ballad rose to the top spot this week.

The straightforward piano-heavy ballad talks about a guy’s feelings about a relationship gone wrong and his regrets in hindsight.

The song has raked up over 4 million views on YouTube and it’s likely that covers including one by Monday Kiz’s Lee Jin Sung may have helped popularize the song. But that didn’t stop people from expressing skepticism and even accusing the singer of cheating, prompting him to issue a statement saying he would never do that.

“I did not do anything at all that would betray the trust in me held by the people who like my music and who trust and support me,” Lim said in an Instagram post.

2. “Unspoken Words” -- Davichi

The female pop duo has a number of hits under their belt and the new single is the latest addition to that long list.

Released nearly 10 months after Davichi’s last single, “Nostalgia,” the string-rich song puts the duo’s raw voices on the front burner, while the instrumental part takes a back seat.

The music video, featuring a couple enjoying time together in various natural settings, is a must watch.

3. “2002” -- Anne-Marie

This week is full of surprises as two pop artists infiltrated the top 10, and one of them was Anne-Marie. The British singer-songwriter broke through with her international hit “2002,” which takes on a retro theme and features references to pop classics like Britney Spears’ “Oops!... I Did It Again” and JAY-Z’s “99 Problems.”

The song has garnered a great deal of attention since its release in April last year, and Warner Music Korea’s subtitled video of the artist’s live performance alone has racked up over 4.5 million views.

4. “Boy With Luv” -- BTS

The song was released nearly eight weeks ago, yet the love for the BTS boys is still strong. The band made headlines over the weekend after performing in front of an estimated 120,000 fans at Wembley Stadium -- the first Korean act to do so.

The song has quickly become one of the group’s greatest hits, as the septet has performed it on multiple high-profile occasions including the Billboard Music Awards.

5. “Bad Guy” -- Billie Eilish

Sitting in the fifth spot is Billie Eilish, who is taking the pop music world by storm. The American singer-songwriter’s hit single “Bad Guy” sees the 17-year-old singer skillfully jump between various music styles -- pop, rap and grunge, to name a few.

Her music has also opened a dialogue about lack of variety in Korea’s streaming charts online.
“I love her voice. It’s unique,” one fan wrote on Melon.

Another said, “I’d like to see more songs with character like this than cliched ballads more often in the charts.”

6. “For Lovers Who Hesitate” -- Jannabi

While the band had a rough couple of weeks in the wake of scandals that saw keyboard player Yoo Young-hyun depart after admitting that he had assaulted a classmate 11 years earlier, their music continues to be loved.

The string-heavy folk-rock tune and its music video have been hailed as nice throwbacks to the past.

7. “Goodbye” -- Park Hyo-shin

The renowned ballad singer sticks to what he does best in his new single, “Goodbye,” showing off his soulful voice and clean piano riffs. The song also sees the singer seamlessly switch to falsetto.

The music video features models of different backgrounds and shows the singer in various natural settings.

YouTube channel 1theK says the song tells a story about relationships, love and breakups -- one that Park Hyo-shin constantly refers to as a “release” and a “new beginning” rather than a severing of ties.

8. “Fancy” -- Twice

The song retained the No. 8 spot from last week. The track from the band’s latest EP, “Fancy You,” has been described as a departure from its signature bubblegum sound as the musicians opted for a more rhythmic and beat-heavy sound.

The song sees the group ditch the quirky, festive tone that defined its style in previous works -- this somewhat mature-themed tune skillfully mixes mellow mood pop electro beats with catchy melodies.

9. “Ah Yeah” -- Winner

Winner’s latest single, “Ah Yeah,” is one of the most popular songs this week. The summery electropop tune mixes guitar riffs with addictive electro beats.

During a press conference last month, bandmate Seungyoon explained the logic behind the upbeat sound in this breakup-themed song. “‘Ah Yeah,’ one of the songs I made recently, came across as refreshing. The breakup-themed lyrics are a departure from our usual style, yet we managed to put Winner’s own bright spin on it.”

10. “Karaoke” -- Jang Beom-jun

“Karaoke,” from the Busker Busker vocalist, is no stranger to the top 10 as it was in the same spot in the week ending April 21.

The song, from the artist’s third self-titled album, has been described as “different” from his other work, with stronger instrumental accompaniment and more descriptive lyrics.

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