PLUSDAYS Special Article - HallyuPlus' Summer Playlist


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Written by: Polaris_Tae & Dragon of the West
With the help of HallyuPlus' users!

In late June, the Press Team asked you to help contribute in creating the perfect Summer Playlist. Among the many recommendations submitted, we had the task of picking only a select few to feature in this great article. What songs do you think are the best songs to play when trying to beat the heat of summer?

#1: TWICE - DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY (suggested by: @Viola)
Dragon of the West: Starting us off, we have a song that has been gaining a lot of traction every summer in Korea, and it's none other than TWICE's ''Dance The Night Away''. The song is an EDM track with an upbeat tempo and has been described as ''a song that offers a fresh tune that suits the summer weather'', which is quite an accurate description. This song indeed has the perfect summer vibe to it, with a catchy chorus you can sing along with and an addictive beat you can easily hum to. The music video, while being rather simplistic - especially during an era where several groups go heavy on the storylines throughout their MVs - still manages to fulfil its purpose of being fun and effective. Set at Akabaka Beach in Okinawa, it features the members being shipwrecked on a deserted island and despite what would be considered an inconvenience, they still manage to be enjoying their time there. At first, they make themselves cosy, building small nests on the shore, and then they dance in various settings and even throw a beach party. At the end of the music video, the girls see a ship approaching, and instead of going onboard it, they decide to stay on the island anyway, probably because of how they managed to make it feel like home. Overall, this is a perfect summer tune and the chorus is by far the strongest part of the song, with the hook "Let’s dance the night away" combined with the EDM instrumental being a total earworm.

#2: BTS (FT. HALSEY) - BOY WITH LUV (suggested by: @Happy)
Polaris_Tae: When you think of a BTS song that sounds perfect for summer, "Boy With Luv" will almost always be your first choice. "Boy With Luv" was released in early 2019 as the lead single of their 6th Korean mini-album, "Map of the Soul: Persona" and featured their friend as well as first-time collaborator Halsey. The song broke a number of records, including smashing the record for most-viewed YouTube video in 24 hours — which they held on to for over a year until BLACKPINK's 2020 release "How You Like That" — as well as being certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). The song is a pop-funk track with an extremely addictive hook packed full of layers of synths that gives the group the chance to talk about their heart-fluttering feelings of first love and the euphoria experienced during the heat of summer. When paired with the colourful, retro-inspired music video in which they display a show tune-esque performance, the track will give you the feeling of revisiting a retro summer movie like "Singing in the Rain" just for the fun of it — making it a great new addition to your soundtrack for summer!

#3: SEVENTEEN - 아주 NICE (suggested by: @wonwoo)
Dragon of the West: ''Very Nice'' is arguably one of the most popular SEVENTEEN title tracks, even among casual listeners. Released in July 2016 as the lead single on their ''Love & Letter'' repackage album, this was the song that really led to SEVENTEEN gaining traction with the Korean public and looking back at it now, this probably played a huge role in getting them to where they are today. Combining jazz elements from the brass horns with some pretty interesting tempo switches throughout the entirety of the song was yet another stroke of genius from WOOZI. The music video, as you'd expect from the vibes of the song, is quite bright and has several scenes where the members showcase their synchronised dancing, while the story itself seems to imply that they like a girl so much that they feel like they’re going to explode when around her. With this song, the members of SEVENTEEN bring everything you'd expect from a summer bop with the catchy beat, fun vibes, and a chorus that just pulls you in right from the first listen.

#4: CRAVITY - CLOUD 9(suggested by: @Beefy)
Polaris_Tae: Cravity is Starship Entertainment's newest boy group, which debuted in early 2020. They're a group that I've heard of, but never took the chance to sit down and look up any of the groups' discography. "Cloud 9", however, is a song that sets itself apart from the groups' debut song, "Break all the Rules". Unlike the experimental hip-hop song that was their debut, "Cloud 9" is distinctively a pop-infused upbeat track. "Cloud 9" essentially acts as blatant product placement for a soft drink — this time Pepsi — as the group sing about their struggles to a tropical synth-influenced summery beat while enjoying their day together eating watermelon and having fun in the sun. The song was released on the groups' debut album, "Hideout: Remember Who We Are" and was promoted as a follow-up to "Break All the Rules". With "Cloud 9", Cravity takes advantage in the gap in the market that was left once groups like NCT Dream and — to a lesser extent — TXT have matured and essentially moved on from their fresh and youthful concept for a new, more age-appropriate sound. However, based on the signature sound of "Cloud 9", Cravity seems perfectly poised to take over this concept, and I sincerely hope that they will continue to establish this kind of musical sound.

#5: SISTAR - TOUCH MY BODY(suggested by: @Mina)
Dragon of the West: It wouldn't be a summer playlist if it didn't include a song from the well-renowned Queens of Summer, SISTAR. Even though the group disbanded 3 years ago in mid-2017, many of their summer tracks are still held in high regard and while it would be quite difficult to pick just one, we've decided to go with arguably the most popular one, "Touch My Body". The song is a quintessential summer bop with a catchy chorus and easy-to-follow choreography — even with the weird, yet iconic, butt shake move. The instrumental consists primarily of horns and saxophones, and the synths are well-placed to make for a very pleasant and easy listen. The music video does well to fit with the whole casual and breezy atmosphere of the lyrics, and the dance scenes take place on a poolside set or on a bright pink set. Overall, this song is fun, lively, and exactly what most people need to unwind during the summer.

#6: CHEN LINONG - TASTE OF SUMMER (suggested by: @Polaris_Tae)
Polaris_Tae: Chen Linong is a Taiwanese soloist and former member of the hit Chinese project group NINE PERCENT. The artist made his solo debut in 2018 and has been promoting solo since the groups' disbandment. "Taste of Summer" is a single from the singer's 2020 album, "Out of Place", and perfectly represents the feeling of summer: that fun in the sun is only fun if you have someone to share it with. The music video features Chen Linong having a great time at a summer beach party, giving us the perfect summer vibe for everyone to love. Throughout the music video, he seemingly advertises a series of fruit drinks that is likely a paid promotion — brand sponsorship is a common sight in Chinese pop music — while at the same time giving us a fantastic new song that will hopefully convince you to join him in living your life to the fullest, acting as the perfect anthem for summer!

#7: RED VELVET - RED FLAVOUR(suggested by: @moonchild)
Dragon of the West: "Red Flavor" has been described as being, primarily, a dance-pop song with "dramatic synths and a percussive melody" that reflects the summer sonic vibe. The song's lyrics talk about a young relationship with summer references in the mix. The track was released as the lead single from ''The Red Summer '' in July 2017. The melodic pre-chorus plays really well into the chorus, which focuses on the members' vocals being heavy on the chanting and quite minimal singing, while the looped male vocalizations — even to this day — have some people sitting on the fence with the chorus of the track. All in all, this song deservingly earns a place on the playlist because it's tailor-made for the season and is an absolute earworm.

#8: NOGIZAKA46 - HADASHI DE SUMMER (suggested by: @demasta)
Polaris_Tae: "Hadashide Summer" is a song that was released as Nogizaka46's 16th single four years ago, on the 22nd of July, 2016. The song would eventually go on to be certified 3x platinum by the RIAJ. The song, as the title suggests, talks about walking side-by-side, barefoot in the blazing heat of summer! It is through this song that the spirit of summer is captured: spending time with friends, enjoying the heat of summer, going on trips together to new and exciting places, and just enjoying each and every moment while it lasts — as your summer together will be over before you know it! The music video and the lyrics to "Hadashide Summer" perfectly encapsulate this spirit, making it the perfect song to add to your summer playlist!

#9: ATEEZ - WAVE (suggested by: @Full Sun)
Dragon of the West: For their 3rd mini-album ''Treasure EP.3: One to All'', KQ Entertainment and Ateez included fans in making a choice on the main title track. The choices were based on snippets of the soundtracks, theme posters, and short performances for each song. Atiny (the group's official fandom name) from around the world eventually voted ''Wave'' as the triumphant winner over ''Illusion''. The song is a light-hearted track and talks about a bright road ahead despite the anxiety over what the future holds. As well as speaking of their own challenges, Ateez speaks out to Atiny by telling them to push through their "Wave" of struggles and surge through their trials — this is summarised through the continuous use of the phrase ''Hakuna Matata''. There is a strong message of reassurance to youth that even though it is alright to not know where you’re headed, you should revel in the fact that you've reached this far. The music video has scenes where the members run around in various locations, such as skate parks and supermarkets, and they're enjoying each other’s company. The choreography also has a lot of trendy moves that make it easy for many people to dance along to.

#10: PURPLEBECK - CRYSTAL BALL (suggested by: @miniminhee)
Polaris_Tae: Purplebeck is a name that I hadn't heard for a while prior to this song's suggestion, despite having an amazing debut — via the amazing song "Crystal Ball" — plus the addition of top-tier vocalists in the form of Yeowool. However, the group has failed to gain traction within the over-inflated market that is the current state of Kpop. "Crystal Ball" is a bright and upbeat song that is perfect for summer and served as the debut song for Purplebeck. The song was — up until a few months ago — their most-viewed YouTube video at almost 1 million views, that is until their company changed music distributors. "Crystal Ball" gives us everything we'd want in a hit summer song: a killer hook, great vocals, plus a bright and fun music video that will leave you wanting to travel back in time and experience it for the first time all over again!

#11: SNSD - ALL NIGHT (suggested by: @Dragon of the West)
Dragon of the West: "All Night" was released in August 2017 alongside ''Holiday'' as double singles for the promotions — or lack thereof, and yes, I'm still mad at how SM half-assed their 10th-anniversary promotions — of "Holiday Night", the group's 6th Korean full-length album. The song is a nu-disco tune in the style of a bubblegum pop song — a sound they explored on multiple occasions during their earlier years — and also draws elements of a retro 1980s-esque vibe. The lyrics talk about falling in love and being excited about it, and they really fit the ambience of the song. The music video also focuses on a lot of individual shots, with plenty of close-ups showing the members smiling and just generally enjoying themselves. The documentary version also gave SNSD the opportunity to express themselves, which adds to the growth and maturity they went through over the years. As opposed to ''Holiday'' which felt — and I say this in the nicest way possible — rather generic, ''All Night'' manages to take a simple theme and execute it really well. The retro feel is something that the group had played around with before, and this song feels like it would be right at home on the playlist at a nightclub on a Friday night in the summer. Overall, the retro feel with the outfits and MV visuals make for a perfect song — it's just a shame it didn't get the promotions it truly deserved.

#12: SORI - TOUCH(suggested by: @Seriously)
Polaris_Tae: A great artist that I only recently discovered — thanks to your great suggestions — is Sori, whose solo debut "Touch" rounds out the latter half of this list. "Touch" is a trap-EDM fusion that was released in late 2018 as the artist's solo debut following the disbandment of CocoSori. The song features Korean rapper, Basick, and just like NS Yoon-G's "Yasisi", "Touch" seems to be geared at a largely older audience. Right from the beginning of the music video, "Touch" establishes itself as a distinctly summer-themed song as the artist enjoys her time by the pool while also acting as the perfect song for Sori as a person, who turned 30 this year. Her solo debut has once again proven to be God's gift to Kpop as the artist has given us the perfect summer song that — If your tastes are anything like mine — will become one of your most listened to songs this summer!

So what are your thoughts on this selection? Did you find any songs that you'll be adding to your playlist? If you want to listen to all of the songs that were suggested by our great users (twenty-six songs total) you can find the full playlist on YouTube.

As promised, if your name was mentioned in this article you win 50,000 PC + 2 Ørbs. They will be sent as soon as possible.

But that's not all! Just like our Spring Playlist, we've organised a special lottery for all our readers! All you have to do is leave us a comment in this thread telling us which song you liked the most among the ones featured in this article. In 48 hours, a random generator will pick 3 users who will each win 150,000 + 1 Ørb each. So don't forget to comment below!

Thank you for reading this article, and we'll see you again very soon!