The beginning of June is synonymous with the beginning of summer for many, unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere. Even for individuals who have long graduated school, summer brings with it a sense of excitement and anticipation because the layered winter-clothing and days are long, with the possibilities of what to do during them are endless.
The summer rituals of sipping iced sugary drinks and lapping up melting ice-cream cones to ease the sweat dotting one’s skin begs an equally sweet and sunny soundtrack, which is exactly what many of June’s Unsung Artists aim to provide.
Sandeul, “One Fine Day”
B1A4’s Sandeul started off the summer, not with a bang(er) but with a sweet ballad, “One Fine Day.” The title song of his eponymous second EP, “One Find Day” follows Sandeul and his girlfriend as they visit theaters, restaurants, parks, and other romantic places hand in hand. Warm, brightly-lit shots of the two lovers being affectionate are interspersed with darker shots of the two sitting side-by-side in a bus stop to illustrate the growing distance within their relationship.
“One Fine Day’s” slow piano-tinged melody is perfect for the summer days where you just want to stay in bed while its lyrics evoke a summer love that faded with the colour of the leaves come fall.
Both the song and its MV are admittedly well-produced, but they show no musical nor artistic growth on Sandeul’s part. Sandeul’s first solo release three years ago was also a slow, breakup ballad whose MV featured similar scenes of two lovers being affectionate. I hope that Sandeul really brings the summer heat — and a faster beat — with his next comeback.
Cosmic Girls (WJSN), “Boogie Up”
If it weren’t obvious that Cosmic Girls (WJSN)’s “Boogie Up” is meant to be a summer song, their EP title, “For the Summer,” clears it up.
“Boogie Up” comprises of a guitar and groove-synth-tinged disco beat that builds up with claps to an instrumental electronic chorus punctuated with chants of “boogie boogie boogie up.” The high-energy song would not be out of place at summer pool party, which is exactly why Cosmic Girls throw one in the “Boogie Up” MV.
Apart from a pool party, the MV features Cosmic Girls members partaking in every summer MV trope ever. Cosmic Girls lay in hammocks, play around with fruits and popsickles, fool around in an outdoor basketball court, skateboard, and throw a night-time party between boogieing up on a beach.
Both the song and the MV are a pleasant departure from Cosmic Girls’ regular aesthetic, which usually feature elements of fantasy in dreamy hues and mid-tempo songs. It is nice to see Cosmic Girls’ changing up their style to deliver a catchy and cute comeback like “Boogie Up.”
Ong Seong Wu, “Heart Sign”
Former Wanna One member Ong Seong Wu, maintains Cosmic Girls’ high energy in “Heart Sign,” which is apt because the song is sponsored by Pepsi.
Doused in hues of yellows and blues, “Heart Sign” features Oh Seong Wu lounging around in a beach hut before his friends pick him up for a day-long drive that ends in a bonfire. Oh Seong Wu takes pictures throughout the MV to remember these fleeting moments, as we all are wont to do during the short and sweet time that is summer.
“Heart Sign” is an EDM-pop song that, surprisingly enough, actually features a sung chorus instead of substituting it with a beat drop. With a catchy beat and lyrics that talk about feeling good alongside the lover Oh Seong Wu is meant to be with, “Heart Sign” is perfect for driving with your friends without a destination in mind—and with a can of Pepi in hand, of course.
Noir, “Doom Doom”
Noir changes things up with “Doom Doom,” a darker comeback amongst the sea of summer songs. However, this is not surprising coming from a group named Noir.
“Doom Doom” represents the sound of Noir’s heart. Through this song, Noir pleads with their lover to accept their love, which is conveyed through music.
Doom Doom Doom in my heart
I hope you get along with this music
The song comprises of a dubstep beat that incorporates elements of electronica. It brings to mind the background music of a late-night summer drive to get ice-cream.
What truly stands about “Doom Doom” it is MV. Noir dance in complete sync in a bright blue background or a dark one with a water-filled floor in shot after well-edited shot. Interspersed within these choreography shots are equally aesthetically-pleasing individual shots. Thus while their sound is nothing new, the choreography and aesthetics have caught my eye enough for me to anticipate what they do next.
Blue Zone Boys, “Question”
It seems to be the year of bright, peppy debut songs. Joining the ranks of TXT, AB6ix, 1Team, 1the9, and Newkidd, in terms of groups to debut with upbeat songs, are Blue Zone Boys with their pop song, “Question.”
Alternating between a bright blue and yellow garage, an empty neon-lit room, and a dark hotel room, the Blue Zone Boys are awaiting an answer to a question they asked their loved. The wait for the answer is driving them crazy.
“Question” combines an EDM-backed chorus with a snapping beat that is pleasant enough to listen to, and would be a good addition to your Long Summer Drive playlist. However, the song and the video’s generic nature does not elevate it above the slew of upbeat debuts this year.
Also keeping up with the summer theme of bright and upbeat comebacks are N.Tic in their latest comeback, “Fiction.” Reminiscent of ’90s pop song “Fiction” contains a steady beat, horn instruments, and a catchy chorus about you being their dream-girl that makes you want to groove along. The smooth melody combined with harsh neon lights contrasted against warm summer tones, static VHS tape aesthetics, and simple choreography to create a pop song that reminds you of simpler summers when you didn’t have to worry about working during the summer.
Purple Beck, “Crystal Ball”
While boy group debuts have leaned towards an upbeat sounds, girl groups like Itzy and Everglow, are debuting with confident, girl crush concepts. Purple Beck follows this trend with their debut song, “Crystal Ball.”
“Crystal Ball” details Purple Beck’s vow to try their best to achieve their goals and their curiosity to know their future in the crystal ball. With a quirky, percussion-filled melody, and a well-harmonized chorus, “Crystal Ball” is a fun, upbeat song that reminds the listener of Red Velvet.
The Red Velvet resemblance grows stronger in the MV, which is a cross between Red Velvet’s “Ice Cream Cake” and “Dumb Dumb” with shots of quirky boxes of balls, a fridge filled with ketchup, and baskets of popcorn.
Though Purple Beck’s dark clothes are at odds with the bright, fun, summery vibe of the MV, “Crystal Ball” is ultimately a strong debut and a great addition to any summer playlist.
Which of these overlooked artists is part of your summer soundtrack? Let us know in the comments below!