Yes, it's that time again. Summer is heating up, and a slew of girl groups have arrived to join the comeback battle. The hottest months of the year are always the prime season for female idols. This May and June brought us a whopping 18 girl group releases. Let's see who comes out on top!
3YE - YESSIR
They've only been together for a little over a year, but badass trio 3YE have been busy as hell. Like their previous three releases, "Yessir" is more akin to boy group fare than anything most girl groups are doing. In particular, 3YE's sound calls to mind Monsta X with its loud, blaring instrumental drop and competent blend of rap and vocals. This group deserves major recognition for defying K-pop gender norms while looking and sounding great.
aures: this is very powerful, you can tell they worked extremely hard for this comeback and it definitely paid off, i think they did a great job!
violoncelliste: i love this. it's hype but not just hype and no substance.
BLACKPINK - HOW YOU LIKE THAT
YG Entertainment has made it clear that they only plan to let Blackpink out of the dungeon once a year or so. This is a questionable strategy, but at least it builds up the hype to insane levels for each of their comebacks. Was this one worth the wait? Well, it did earn the biggest YouTube premiere of all time. "How You Like That" continues BP's well-established formula: a repetitive, onomotopoetic hook in the chorus, tag-team vocals and Lisa's English-heavy rap in the verses, and Teddy's signature breakdown at the end. It's all topped with a flashy high-budget MV and a dash of Orientalism. Oh, YGE, you'll never change.
rose_potion: The beginning sounded so good but that reheated chorus... but they look beautiful.
binderwritings: You can copy and paste parts of DDD and KTL and it'll probably still sound the same.
BUSTERS - PAEONIA
With members ranging from age 13-16, Busters is one of the youngest girl groups out there. They've also been through a lot of hardships since their debut in 2017. Their latest release, "Paeonia", is a mostly age-appropriate comeback with a schoolgirl concept and a tropical house sound. Some of the choreo is worthy of a side-eye, however. These girls might need more time to grow up before pursuing an idol career.
frequency: some questionable choreo (they're really too young for this shit), and the white outfits at the end make them look like they're playing dress-up. the song ain't bad, though.
BVNDIT - JUNGLE
After building up hype during the first half of 2020 with pre-release tracks, Bvndit are finally back with a new album and its title track, "Jungle". It's a lush, exciting track that shows off the members' deeper vocals and incorporates Middle Eastern musical influences more respectfully than most K-pop artists. The music video is a visual feast as well, with a colorful yet grown-up, elegant aesthetic.
adenar: I always appreciate how almost all of them have more mellow tones of voice, it really helps them stand out among other girl groups.
timetobegin: What can I say........ They are killer rookies. Talent, quality music and superb visuals. I couldn't ask for more.
DIA - HUG U
Through the years, MBK Entertainment's management of DIA has been consistently inconsistent. They've lost two members over the past two years, and now two more are absent from their latest comeback (including face of the group Chaeyeon), although they're allegedly still in the group. As a unit of five, DIA are back with "Hug U", a song that takes them back to their early days with a pure/innocent concept. Produced by Iggy Youngbae, the team behind all of GFriend's early singles, it very much has that GFriend sound.
avrgaesthetics: MBK really paid these women dust huh? and with the glaring lack of members...i'm so sorry ladies, y'all deserve better.
gathyou: This is cute and I can enjoy it, but it feels really dated? [...] I feel like it lacks the punch of GFriend's singles, like the use of guitars, or lacks more dynamic in the melody.
FANATICS - V.A.V.I. GIRL
[ volume warning: the M/V gets much louder 15 seconds in ]
If you're an early- to mid-2010s girl group fan, you might enjoy this one. Fanatics have delivered a colorful, sassy pretty-girl anthem with "V.A.V.I Girl" (it doesn't stand for anything, just a way to say "Barbie Girl" without getting sued.) Rather than following current K-pop trends, the song and M/V feel yanked right out of 2015: the candy-coated aesthetic, tacky sets and costumes, and Autotune are all here, mixed into a hook-fest of a song.
ginger_star: I'm going to stan just bc of that jump rope flips part in the choreo jesus that was impressive and cool.
mntsuklaa: I love the styling and hair, the song's great and the choreo (especially the ending!!!) looks amazing!
IZ*ONE - SECRET STORY OF THE SWAN
If you want to see music video CGI pushed to its absolute limits, IZ*ONE's videos are for you. "Secret Story of the Swan" has a slightly darker/harder-hitting sound than their previous singles, but the M/V is drowned in the same glowy, misty, sparkly effects we've seen from them before. Combined with the members' visuals, it's a sensory overload of prettiness.
lil_poisonfrog: I don't care for the extensive use of CGI [...] Their other MVs use a lot of real sets and the difference is noticeable.
bloodtaki2: They look beautiful as usual. Yena's rap is a highlight. Wish we had more of yuri's husky vocals.
KEEMBO - SCANDALOUS
Formerly of Spica, Kim Boa and Kim Bohyung have reunited as the duo Keembo! Considering the current K-pop landscape, with groups always getting bigger and younger, it's refreshing to see two grown-up ladies just having fun and doing their thing. "Scandalous" is a powerful, melodic pop tune that shows off Keembo's soaring vocals. The M/V is simple and colorful, and it incorporates some cute animation, too.
rightclick5ave: this is so funky and cute and they sound great and Kim Boa raps!!!! I love it :D :D :D
nana_the_dwarf: Mv is budget af. [...] I like the song though. Glad to see them back.
MOMOLAND - STARRY NIGHT
Despite a storm of controversies and member departures over the last year or so, Momoland are still chugging along. They're back with "Starry Night", a special album for the fans (hence the lack of a true M/V for the title track.) This single is much more low-key than their usual fare, a gentle mid-tempo disco tune. Might be one to skip if you're looking for something exciting, but they are apparently planning a "real" comeback soon, so stay tuned!
goshipgurl: Okay but why do they all look SO bored and annoyed in the video?
lightframes: I really like the song.
NATURE - GIRLS
Nature are back with "Girls", a song that goes much darker than their previous fun concepts. At first it sounds like a typical love song, with the members donning white dresses and singing about innocent love, but the M/V represents the fear of corrupting said innocence through violence. There's even an uncensored version [TW] which features blood, gore and implied eye trauma, so watch out for that. The song plays off the tropical house trend, but gives it a more mature twist with a violin-driven hook. Almost two years into their career, Nature have proven their versatility and popularity as a group, surely deserving of their own tag on Omona...
belintuchiha: sounds like every other sound out there
dior_chic: The song is catchy, it isn’t the most original like others said but it still has some type of ‘it’ factor that makes me want to replay it.
REDSQUARE - COLORFULL
Sometimes new groups try to make a name for themselves by doing something that's never been done before... but there's usually a reason no one's tried such a gimmick. Redsquare's company decided to keep all the members' faces hidden in their debut M/V, "Colorfull". This is not exactly a great way to help people get to know the members, or to show off their visuals (which they definitely have—see the teaser pics!) Consisting mostly of former Good Day members, Redsquare are therefore a sister group of sorts to Cignature. They share a youthful, fun sound with said group, although it somewhat clashes with their artsy aesthetic.
a_suitcase: The chorus is proper old-school poppy fun, the instrumental track is GREAT, and they all sound really good.
aleksu7: I was expecting something else from the teasers, this is very upbeat and I was hoping for some more mature sound but I think the girls have potential.
SECRET NUMBER - WHO DIS?
New group Secret Number are best known for featuring two former YG trainees, Denise and Jinny (the latter being a pre-debut member of Blackpink and later a PD48 contestant). They've definitely taken some of that BP inspiration for their aesthetic, although the sound is more in line with your typical mid-budget girl group fare. "Who Dis?" is built around a catchy, brassy hook that has potential; there's just something slightly awkward about the execution.
benihime99: It's like BP and brave girls had a beautiful baby. Too bad they already have a scandal on them
neongoldtooth: i liked it. it wasn't anything special but soooooo many gg debut songs aren't so i'll give it at pass.
TWICE - MORE & MORE & FANFARE
The latest step in the evolution of Twice's sound, "More & More" blends a chill house chorus with seductive R&B in the verses, and even a bit of dubstep in the dance break. It's unmistakably a sexy concept, yet it retains Twice's signature playfulness. The Garden of Eden-inspired M/V starts off with typical floral visuals, but soon takes a hallucinogenic spin that's rather interesting. There's a lot going on in both the song and the M/V, so it may take a few listens to really figure out what you think of it.
mad_nux: visuals served as usual. the song is a grower. didn't like in the first listen and now there are some parts stuck in my head.
torontok: This dissapointed me ngl which makes me sad because Fancy and Feel Special had them on such a strong streak.
Compared to their Korean releases, Twice's Japanese releases are more tailored to the tastes of the J-pop market. Right on the heels of "More & More", they released "Fanfare", a super-upbeat pop anthem that abandons all attempts at complexity. It's just loud, fun, and loud. Apparently it was meant to accompany Japan's 2020 Olympics, which of course didn't happen. The M/V is simple and a bit strange as well, mostly focusing on dance shots with a few stops in a flower garden and an endless void of laundry.
paige_nevaeh: Catchy. Might listen to it again. Might eat a burrito and forget all about it.
premonitioner: terrible raps aside, i actually love this but i love cheery jpop, so! for me it's reminiscent of snsd's love and girls?
WEEEKLY - TAG ME (@ME)
Apink's new little sister group, Weeekly, are the latest high-energy youthful girl group along the lines of Pristin, DreamNote, and Rocket Punch. They also had a pretty robust predebut promotion period with lots of song and dance covers and vlogs on their YouTube channel. Their debut song, "Tag Me", mashes up a few different musical styles and ties them all together with lots and lots of chanting. The members themselves are clearly the selling point of this group; they're great performers with tons of charisma.
rosiemotleymind: It’s youthful and cute but also pretty catchy. It’s very adorable and they are now on my radar lol
tsubaki874: I like it! The MV kind of makes me dizzy though.
WEKI MEKI - OOPSY
Like Twice, Weki Meki seem to be experimenting with maturing their youthful sound a bit. "Oopsy" is upbeat and playful like their previous releases, but a more stripped-down beat and some twinking synths give it a touch of elegance. Their M/V budget has also gone up a little bit since their last single, although it still needs some more love. Weki Meki are gradually giving more equal emphasis to all their members; maknae and secondary rapper Lucy gets some nice time to shine here.
broadcities: yay i love it! it's not a super special or innovative song but it's so catchy!
kyungwons: the girls look beautiful but the mv is boring however lua looks so mature and charismatic with her short hair
WJSN - BUTTERFLY
WJSN have really settled into an elegant sound and image over the years, and "Butterfly" continues that theme. It's in the vein of KARA's music, with a slight '80s vibe and lots of glowy synths. Unfortunately, it may be too consistent with WJSN's recent output, with little to set it apart. There's lots of pretty CGI in the M/V, but not much of a coherent theme. At least the capes make for some cool butterfly-esque choreo, and the vocalists' line distribution is a bit of a change-up.
synatri: this is rather boring compared to as you wish, and it's rather repetitive? but it might grow on me. they all look very pretty.
cxxl: I’m very surprised they turned to Soobin for the money notes. She is a main vocalist but...Yeonjung has been their go to since she got thrown into the group.
WOO!AH! - WOO!AH!
Ah, the self-titled debut single. It's the perfect way to introduce your group to the world and let everyone know what they're about. But... I'm not sure what Woo!Ah! were trying to say with this one. Nugu groups generally need a cohesive sound and image to set themselves apart, and this release has neither. One minute it's trying to be cute, then it's trying to be sexy (with some rather age-inappropriate pelvic thrusts at the beginning—most of the members are minors) and the song is a confusing blend of genres. It does sort of come together at the end, and the members are cute and have potential, so let's hope we see more from them!
xoxkenzxox: the song is a no from me. though I do like that pumping arm move. Looks very tik tok viral video-esque.
nefertitii: this was....a choice
So, now that you've seen the contenders...
CHOOSE YOUR WINNER!
Source: YouTube: 3YE OFFICIAL, BLACKPINK, BUSTERS 버스터즈 / MARBLING 마블링, Stone Music Entertainment (1, 2, 3), 1theK (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), SUPER SOUND Bugs!, aboutent, JYP Entertainment, TWICE JAPAN OFFICIAL YouTube Channel, GIF: Tumblr: itsyeowangshidae