WE ❤ These K-Pop Summer Tracks and Albums of 2021 (Review)
As the leaves start to brown and summer comes to an end, so has our article series on K-Pop Summer tracks (for Part 1 and Part 2, keep reading here: ForME). Firstly let us define what a summer song is: as I think of it, a summer song is a track that captures the festive, sunny, and specific energy of summer. Usually, these songs incorporate themes/imagery of the ocean, sun, and parties.
2021 has seen brilliant summer songs that have brought listeners the festive and celebratory feeling of summer. This list contains some of my personal top K-Pop and K-Music summer songs that have been released in the last three months. These tracks have been released by some of K-music’s most respected artists like BTS, CIX, DPR LIVE, and LUCY, among other talented artists.
Note: these last three months have been filled with iconic tracks and summer bops. If you would like to read more on all the releases of June, July, and August, I highly recommend you keep reading here: June Releases, July Releases, and August Releases.
K-Pop Group Summer Songs:
BTS “Permission To Dance”
Firstly, no list of summer songs would be complete without BTS’s two summer chart-toppers, “Butter” and “Permission To Dance.” For more about “Butter,” read more here: Summer Song recommendations Part 1.
This song just feels like fun. If the emotion of happiness could be transformed into a sound, it would be this track. With an uplifting message, BTS encourages listeners to release some of the stress of these times with good music and dancing.
This song and its dance challenge have gone viral on social media and have spread happiness around the globe. I think how BTS spread joy to millions of people is what makes these artists such inspirations.
Altogether this song is a fun and festive anthem by one of the world’s most beloved and iconic groups of artists!
ASTRO “After Midnight”
My second recommendation is ASTRO‘s newest track, “After Midnight.” The title track of their summery new EP. With the lovely lyrics and the bright sound of this track, ASTRO‘s “After Midnight” is a magical song that transports the listener to summer vacations at the beach.
Written in part by vocalist Cha Eunwoo and rappers Jinjin and Rocky, this song is a fun reminder to listeners of the care-fee spirit of summer. ASTRO is a five-membered group that debuted in 2016. This group and its music are a shining beacon of light and happiness to their AROHA fans and listeners around the globe.
Summery and fresh, ASTRO‘s “SWITCH ON” album is a brilliant playlist that showcases this group’s refreshing sound. With fantastic tracks and a contagious atmosphere of light-hearted love and fun, ASTRO’s “SWITCH ON” made me smile from the very first track!
Thirdly is CIX‘s feel-good new track “WAVE.” Along with the rest of CIX‘s FIX fans, I was very much anticipating this comeback by this fantastic group. It ended up being was everything I was expecting and more! As the title track of their first full-length album, this track encourages listeners to passionately run towards your dream.
With a motivational message and upbeat instrumentals, this track is refreshing and empowering. CIX is a five-membered group from C9 Entertainment that debuted in 2019. Since their debut, this group has put out one of my all-time favorite discographies with some of my top K-Pop tracks such as “Cinema” and “Jungle.”
In addition to their title track, CIX has released their much anticipated full-length album. From the very first time I heard this album, I thought it was such an absolute joy! Everything about this album is perfect, with versatile concepts and styles that all work and blend together seamlessly.
Some of my favorite tracks from this record include “Genie in a Bottle,” “20,” and “Confession.” While “Here for you” is one of the most beautiful tracks I have ever heard and one of the best English songs by a K-Pop group of all time.
Weeekly “Holiday Party”
Just like the name suggests, “Holiday Party,” is the perfect party song for the summer holidays and is a real smile-inducing hit! Every time this song plays on a playlist or this group performs this track on a music show, I smiled due to the pureness and wholesomeness of this brilliant song.
As one of the first Weeekly songs I’ve heard, this song not only introduced me to their music but transformed me into a firm fan of this talented girl group. I love the bright colors and eye-catching choreography of this song, along with the overall festive atmosphere that makes this song stand out among the tracks released in the last three months.
In addition to the title track, their newest EP, titled “Play Game : Holiday,” is everything I love about K-Pop girl group music. With summer-inspired and feel-good songs, this collection carries the wholesome and happy energy of “Holiday Party” throughout the entire playlist.
One of the most dance-inducing songs of this summer and a song that feels like a good time! With a remarkably infectious chorus, ONF’s “Popping” is a song that will be in your head every time you hear it.
Another new discovery for me as this song is one of the first songs I have heard of ONF. Outside of “We Must Love” and some of their jaw-dropping Road To Kingdom performances, this summer song was the perfect introduction for me to this talented group. I was absolutely blown away by the quality, performance, and energy of this dynamic track. This song is memorable and stands out with the members’ incredible talent shining through so clearly in this song. Completely addictive and fun, any Summer K-Pop playlist without this song is incomplete!
One of the things that struck me about this album was just how versatile this group is. From EDM hits to ballad tracks, this summer-themed album has a style for everyone. Perfectly promoting the talents of the incredible members, “POPPING” showcases the extraordinary skill of this group!
Stray Kids “Surfin'”
The last K-Pop group summer recommendation on this list is (of course) the Stray Kids members Lee Know, Felix, and Changbin’s track from their brand new album titled “Surfin’.” With a carefree atmosphere and bright sound, this B-Side track from Stray Kids’ best-selling album combines a beachy beat with the diversity of these artists’ talent. Through this track, the members encourage listeners to leave their worries behind and enjoy the freedom of summer!
This is one of my favorite songs from their brilliant new album. I loved the way that the members conveyed the summery feeling of the beach and the ocean breeze. With their incredible lyrics and instrumentals, this song transports listeners to the seaside and to youthful holidays.
This new album from Stray Kids is everything I love about Stray Kids and more. From dynamic energic tracks like the title track “Thunderous” to beautifully romantic tracks such as “Sorry, I Love You,” this album is a pure masterpiece. Altogether this album was such a joy to listen to and a brilliant comeback from Stray Kids!
For a more detailed review, I recommend you read further here: August Releases.
NCT DREAM “Hello Future” / “Life Still Goes On”
NCT Dream is back as a seven-member group! Following their 7DREAM comeback earlier this year, NCT Dream has returned with their brilliant repackaged album “Hello Future.” This album includes some of the most iconic summer songs of the year that perfectly capture the feelings of youth, 2021, and summer.
In addition to the tracks of their “Hot Sauce” album, this new repackaged album includes the two brilliant summer songs “Hello Future” and “Life Still Goes On.” Both of these tracks are bright, hopeful, and fun, with summery beats and colorful aesthetics. Through these two tracks, the brilliant members of NCT Dream draw listeners into their world of youth and friendship. With catchy lyrics and addictive beats, listeners like myself get hooked on these songs’ playful atmosphere and hopeful message of running towards a gleaming future.
In addition to these two tracks, NCT DREAM has released their beloved repackaged album titled after the title track. This album combines these two new tracks, “Hello Future and “Life Still Goes On,” with the tracks of their first full-length album. This album is a flawless record, that showcases the versatile skills of this incredible group. Some favorite songs from this album include “Dive Into You,” “My Youth,” “ANL,” and Rainbow.” While “Be There For You,” and “Irreplaceable,” are unmissable tracks that brilliantly display the perfect vocals of this group!
K-R&B / K-Hip-Hop / K-Band Summer Songs:
Wonstein / lIl BOI / Mirani “HEAT”
Playful and fun, this is one of my favorite Summer Hip-Hop songs released this year (and one of the most iconic collaborations!) This legendary collaboration brought together three of the most popular Hip-Hop artists and created a masterpiece!
Together the versatile styles of these three diverse artists blend and work off each other to create a brilliant synergy that just works so well in this track. This song never fails to make me smile and, with the skill of these artists, it is not a surprise that this is one of the stand out summer songs of this year!
An A-List group, this band has become one of my favorite bands of all time. One of the best summer drive songs of the year, “Wonder” enchants listeners with its playful lyrics and addictive instrumentals.
I could not recommend LUCY more. This group of musicians is one of the greatest and most talented bands I have ever discovered! From their brilliantly unique instrumentals to their cleverly fun lyrics, this band is a multi-talented phenomenon!
Honestly, this entire album could be included in this list because these tracks are all absolute art! From the playful title track to the energetic B-Sides, this short album is one that you could never get tired of and is one of the best EP albums of the entire year.
DPR LIVE / Beenzino / Hwasa “HULA HOOPS”
Iconic and legendary, DPR LIVE‘s “HULA HOOPS” is one of the most memorable summer tracks of this year. The first time I heard this song, I immediately knew this song was one of the songs of summer. With its catchy chorus, I was blown away by the incredible talent of these A-list artists!
“Hula Hoops” is one of the title tracks of DPR LIVE‘s newest summery album. This festive chill-hip-hop track perfectly showcases the skill and talent of these three iconic artists. A mood-lifter, “Hula Hoops,” is one of those songs that just make you as a listener feel empowered and confident. With DPR LIVE, Beenzino, and Hwasa‘s incredible synergy, this song is a summery festival.
DPR LIVE released his album “IITE COOL” in the middle of summer. This collection of tracks perfectly reflects the atmosphere of the season. This album feels warm and tropical, with each song suiting DPR LIVE‘s music style perfectly. Altogether this album has a festive flavor that creates a palpable atmosphere and unique listening experience for the listeners.
BIBI / Tiger JK “WHY Y”
BIBI is an absolute legend! As someone who has been enchanted by her music for the last six months, in my opinion, BIBI is one of the most unique/talented new artists right now. This track, titled “WHY Y” and featuring Tiger JK, showcases the talent and charm of this artist with its catchy chorus and incredible pace.
Playful and fun, this summer song is a fabulous collaboration that highlights the skill of both of these artists. This song just feels like a summer party, relaxed but also exciting and refreshing. The youthful atmosphere and addictive sound of “WHY Y” uplifts and refreshes listeners seemingly effortlessly.
Seori / eaJ “Dive with you”
A recent release, this song has been on repeat in my playlist since the day it came out! As the second collaboration between these two artists, this song by Seori and eaJ (also known as Jae of JYP K-Band Day6) pulls the audience into the cinematic atmosphere of this track.
One of the things that I adore about this track is how Seori and eaJ’s voices blend and work together (in addition to their individual vocal styles that are simply stunning). These two vocalists are some of my favorite voices in Korean music, with exceptional delicacy and unique tones. Altogether Seori and eaJ’s vocal styles are addictive and beautiful.
The song itself combines a very chill-R&B beat and vacation atmosphere. “Dive into you” feels like being inside a movie beachside love story with its cinematic lyrics and transporting instrumentals and atmosphere.
Some other 2021 summer tracks that best encompass the feel of the season, include:
- HYOLYN / DASON “Summer or Summer”
- HYO / BIBI “Second”
- THE BOYZ “THRILL RIDE”
- BamBam “riBBon”
- PEAKBOY “GYOPO HAIRSTYLE”
- TXT “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) feat. Seori“
- B.I “illa illa”
- Sam Kim “The Juice”
- TAEYEON “Weekend”
- Jeon Soyeon “Weather”
- Daedo/ AleXa “Summer Breeze”
- ATEEZ “Dreamers”
- KANGTA “Christmas in July”
- SOLE “Stay With Me (Feat Wonstein)”
- Golden Child “Bottom of the Ocean”
- Ha Sungwoon “Strawberry Gum (feat. Don Mills)”
- NCT U “Maniac (Sung by DOYOUNG, HAECHAN) (Prod. RYAN JHUN)”
among so many others..