Roundtable: The Summer of 2017
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Roundtable: The Summer of 2017

Roundtable: The Summer of 2017 Summer releases are always a highlight in K-pop. The companies go an extra mile with the music videos, girl groups dominate, and more often than not, the schedule is so jampacked that several artists dominate the charts for a week or two before another comes in to take the top spot. This summer has been eventful in K-pop from the scandals, the myriad of releases, groups celebrating their anniversaries, and groups both debuting, disbanding and members leaving groups.

For this edition for the Roundtable, we reminisce on the hot summer that is coming to a close just as the soft breeze of autumn promises to come. We ask the writers: what was your favorite summer release of 2017? Which song in particular dominated the summer?

Lorenza: Summer will never be the same again without Sistar. Lonely was a good send-off, but the fact we wont be getting any other upbeat, catchy, dance tunes like Touch My Body or Shake It hurts me deeply.

That said, my song of the summer is, without a doubt, Jelly by Hotshot. I love the song; in my opinion, it tailored the current EDM/island trend to them and their strengths. Plus, it was a good song to comeback with after their 2 year hiatus and Produce 101. Ive been playing it pretty consistently ever since it came out.

Roundtable: The Summer of 2017 Red Velvets Red Flavor dominated for a while, with good reason. Its catchy as hell and is a total bop. I also really enjoyed Winners later summer comeback. Love Me Love Me reminds me of driving along the California coast and Island feels like being a carefree undergrad student again.

I missed a lot of debuts and comebacks in general this summer, but these ones were the ones that stuck out to me and are making it onto my Summer 2k17 playlist.

Josh: Id be lying to myself if I didnt say that Red Velvet brought everything we had hoped from them. Red Flavor is incredible at worst, and perfect at best. But besides the obvious, there have been so many girl groups with very good songs this summer (though not Red Velvet quality). Perhaps my favorite is Happy from WJSN. They brought the power with a really solid album in Happy Moment. Happy is incredibly infectious and the sound just seems so clear and bright. Its one of the best pure pop songs that weve had from girl groups since Oh My Girls Liar. In fact, its probably better. Besides that, there have been plenty of other nugu groups that have brought some amazing songs. DIA continued their cutesy trend and dropped some really good songs including their new single, Cant Stop. Though LO OK is the best pick of the bunch from their new album, though thats a subunit song. Huihyeon has shown she might be one of the best female rappers in any girl group right now.

Roundtable: The Summer of 2017 While Red Velvet released an expected bop and its not all that surprising to see groups like DIA and WJSN drop quality tracks and albums. The most surprising rookie group is easily Loona. This spring and summer, they released a new subunit of girls starting with Kim Lips Eclipse and ending with Choerrys Love Cherry Motion with JinSouls Singing in the Rain in the middle. Now were just waiting on Loona 2/3 to release their track with these three girls. If the quality of music and music videos that theyve produced with this subunit is any indication of their Loona 2/3 track, were about to be in for a real treat. The cinematography itself is going to make it a cant-miss. Seriously. Blockberry Creative is going all out on music video visuals.

One last shout out. Dreamcatchers Fly High was a good song and a nice prologue to their earlier two releases. But the real winner is Sleep-Walking, which is one of the best b-sides Ive heard on any K-pop album. Its full of energetic synths and it has that dark pop that Dreamcatcher has been so popular for. If Dreamcatcher wasnt trying to tell a story through Chase Me, Good Night, and Fly High, this song would have easily been the single for this album. Its easily their best song to date.

Roundtable: The Summer of 2017 Pat: Josh, your description of Red Flavor is so on point. I hated the song when it was released its such a Disney song, and not quality at that. And yet I find myself saying that Red Flavor is one of my favorite tracks of the summer. It has joined by designated summer playlist that features Sistar, Hyuna, and Nine Muses. Another song joining that playlist is Pristins We Like. Both songs are poppy, bright, and energetic everything a summer song should be.

Maybe its because Ive also missed some comebacks and debuts, but it seems like we dont have an unequivocal song of the summer? I feel like there has always been one EXOs Growl from 2013, Girls Days Darling and Sistars Touch My Body and I Swear in 2014, AOAs Heart Attack and Wonder Girls return in 2015, and Sistars I Like That and EXOs own release in 2016.

Notice I didnt include Sistar in 2015. I was being generous and letting other acts fill their spot. Im going to miss the reliable Summer Queens so much. Lorenza, we should form a support group to deal with this hurt.

Cjontai: Ill join the Sistar support group. I appreciate how they went out, though, performing their classic summer songs in a medley on music shows one last time. It was a bittersweet goodbye.

Winners Really Really is one of the few songs I felt embodied the vibe of the season best. Its got this laid back island beat that puts you in that chill vacation mentality. KARDs Rumor was also fun. I liked it more than Hola Hola, but either song is great club music.

I enjoyed NCT 127s Cherry Bomb the most this season. Its one of those jams that causes you make the good stank face, lips puckered with your eyes shut tightly and your nose scrunched up. That hook is so infectious. I got to throw my ass in a circle because its that lit.

Leesha: I was thinking that it doesnt seem like this summer has been particularly impressive but maybe Im just not over Sistar. That being said, Hyorin and Kisums Fruity was really the first song that I felt really embraced the season. Nostalgia? Maybe, but its become one of those songs I have to listen to on my way to work to get myself in a good mood. Eric Nam also came out with a song that everyone should go listen to right now: Like You. When he was in the US a couple weeks ago he sang it as a preview and it was amazing but the studio version goes just as hard. I legit have listened to this song at least 3 times a day since its come out. Rather than a standout song for the whole summer, Ive just had some favorites here and there. Also, it should go without saying that Ive played the hell out of Bang Yong Guks Yamazaki and B.A.Ps Honeymoon but you all know by now how I feel about B.A.P.

I want to co-sign on Hotshots Jelly because that introduced me to them this summer and Winners Really Really. I havent listened to Winner much since their debut but this was such a good vibe from them and I hope they dont get stuck in the YG basement, though it tends to bring some good results.

What were your summer songs of 2017? Which can you recommend to everyone else? Comment down below!

(Images via SM Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Blockberry Creative, TS Entertainment, Woollim Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment)

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