2016 – The releases

As you know, we do a roundup each week of as many of the M/V releases we can find. We thought it would be nice as the year closes to showcase our pick of the year’s biggest and best releases. We know this isn’t a comprehensive list. You can find that HERE.

January|February|March|April|May|June|July|August|September|October|November|December

January

Dal Shabet – Someone Like U: Dalshabet remain far too underrated with this excellent 80’s pop inspired track that kicked off the year on a high!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H1QOFBNRWs

Anda – Taxi: Slightly Polarising, but quintessentially Anda. What is it with Korean songs about Taxis though?

Lucky J – No Love: Lucky J’s disbandment is truly sad, these guys were fresh and interesting, their covers were sensational too!

Suzy and Baekhyun – Dream: This was THE song at the time of its release.

Stellar – Sting: While Stellar’s media circus might not be to my taste, this song certainly was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIj7j7mtNS4

Teen Top – Warning Sign: Who doesn’t love Teen Top… Even if their name seems ill-suited now.

Yezi – Cider: Yezi knocked our socks off post-Unpretty Rapstar.

GFriend – Rough: I still am not on the GFriend hype train, despite my best efforts… everyone else definitely was though.

 

February

4minute – Hate: 4minute said their careers rode on this… people questioned this as the choice over a ‘safe’ option. At least we got this before they went!

Winner – Sentimental: Winner are another act who just don’t usually make stuff to my taste, until this song.

AOA Cream – Jelly Baby: We were all Jelly Baby watching this, and also happy for Chanmi screen time!

Mamamoo – 1cm taller than you: Mamamoo showed their sense of humour with this release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h41Rrk_6rzs

The Koxx – By The Way: The Koxx were a new love for me in 2016 and cemented their position immediately.

Rainbow – Whoo!: RIP Rainbow in the year of disbandments.

Ladies’ Code – Galaxy: Ladies’ Code showed their ability to make art within the confines of Kpop.

B.A.P – Feels So Good: B.A.P spent 2016 rebuilding their empire.

 

 

March

Lee Hi – Hold My Hand: Lee Hi has always had a mature sound and she showed us she had matured into it. Working with Highground suits her.

Fiestar – Mirror: Fiestar continued with a mature, sensual sound.

WJSN – Catch Me: WJSN went dual track, one typical, one more aggressive… no prizes for guessing which style I preferred.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6JrasjoyeY

KNK – Knock: KNK became a boy group to watch this year.

Red Velvet – One Of These Nights: Red Velvet courted positive controversy with this video seemingly about the Sewol Ferry Tragedy.

CLC – High Heels: CLC have played with their image a lot and this incarnation was an interesting turn.

Matilda – Macarena: Matilda did something awesome. Nugus can be good y’all!

KittiB – Doin’ Good: KittiB was a standout star in 2016 and I hope her success continues. Her style is distinct and I love that.

Jun Hyosung – Find Me: Let’s be honest, Hyosung will always make my lists.

Oh My Girl – Liar Liar: Oh My Girl might be a typical girl group but I love that they make atypical music.

Day6 – Letting Go: Day6 might have had their share of scandal, and I miss Jae on twitter… but the song is the bomb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-1TGNmQqZA

Girls Girls – Girls Girls: Girls Girls are a pre-built replacement for 4minute fans. STOP SLEEPING ON THEM!

 

 

April

JYP – Still Alive: JYP wants us to know he is still alive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJc2ypdWvEI

CNBlue – You’re So Fine: CNBlue are still around…

NCT U – The Seventh Sense: NCT U were a pleasant surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting to like this track, but I did.

Block B – Toy: Block B normally only please me with their upbeat stuff… but this was good.

Mintty – Already Go Lady: This was an underappreciated little bop.

History – Queen: The way they say queen makes it for me.

VIXX – Dynamite: VIXX go with their more playful side this time.

Twice – Cheer Up: 2016 really was the year of Twice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7rCyll5AeY

BTS – Fire: This was the year BTS won me over despite my reservations.

Seventeen – Pretty U: Seventeen are one of the few boy groups who managed to break through for me.

 

May

AKMU – How People Move: AKMU surprised me with this upbeat contribution to the month of May.

IOI – Dream Girls: IOI caused a storm in 2016, and it started with Dream Girls.

SOL T – Curveball: Sol T were another nugu group who pushed the boundaries this year.

Tiffany – I Just Wanna Dance: Tiffany went solo and I loved it, even if she did have to wear knee pads.

BgA – Dong Saya Dae: BgA might have started as a joke, but K-Pop fans are determined to make them serious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beZFLT0Ixag

AOA – Good Luck: AOA disappointed in terms of chart success with Good Luck but they were the first people to push through the girl group ranks and deserve credit for remaining at the top.

Jessica – Fly: Jessica pushed forward with her solo career with this reasonable song. (Sorry my dislike of Jessica’s voice is hard to get over!)

Cagason – Hotel: Cagason are definitely a band to get into.

B.I.G – Aphrodite: B.I.G have come a long way since ‘Hello’.

Oh My Girl – Windy Day: Another piece of Oh My Girl artistry.

Coremagazine – Blue and Yellow: Coremagazine’s ‘Blue and Yellow’ came with a politically charged video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGlJkszta-8

 

June

Fiestar – Apple Pie: Fiestar were pulling out all the stops in 2016.

EXID – L.I.E: EXID’s video pulled on the grand Budapest hotel and it turned out wonderfully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnDSODY7bVE

Heize – Shut Up and Groove: Heize always turns out a solid performance.

Luna – Free Somebody: Luna went solo and deserved a better response.

EXO – Lucky One: EXO went dual release, fans went insane.

EXO – Monster: This was my preferred of the 2 releases.

Drug Restaurant – Mistake: Formerly JJY band, now weirdest band name ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYWCfpNDg28

Younha, HA:TFELT and Cheetah – Get It: Girl Power jams are what K-Pop needs more of.

Sistar  – I Like That: Sistar was another group that won me over in 2016 with their more music-orientated songs.

O21 – Show Me: Another nugu girl group who showed potential got slept on.

Taeyeon – Why: Taeyeon is a workhorse of K-Pop, this song really represents that.

Wanna.B – Why: #justiceforWanna.B

Gugudan – Wonderland: Gugudan debuted to lukewarm international response, but a safe domestic choice.

Melody Day – Color: Melody Day continued to move away from their ‘vocal group’ image.

 

July

NCT 127 – Fire Truck: NCT 127 took what I’d loved about NCT U and went one step further.

Wonder Girls – Why So Lonely: Why So lonely fast became one of my favourite Kpop songs of all time.

Seventeen – Very Nice: AJU NICE!!!!

Unnies – Shut Up: Unnies might not be a ‘real’ group but the hype WAS real.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gluvBLJYBjs

GFriend – Navillera: GFriend are a new powerhouse in the K-Pop world.

Vromance – She: Vromance finally made their debut and it was ART.

Laysha – Chocolate Cream: Tell me you don’t secretly love dance groups releasing songs.

Fei – Fantasy: Fei went solo, the world was slayed. Definitely not the ‘Britpop’ they claimed it was going to be though.

 

August

9 Muses – Lip2Lip: 9Muses prove 9 is just a number.

Hyuna – How’s This?: Hyuna continued her advancement into a grittier sound.

BlackPink – Whistle: BlackPink dropped and owned K-Pop. Whistle will remain a strong song as time goes on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dISNgvVpWlo

BlackPink – Boombayah: Boombayah was a more acquired tasted, but proved BlackPink were definitely in our area.

I.O.I – Whatta Man: I.O.I turned a cover version out.

EXO – Lotto: The song that boosted a lipstick brand’s sales…

Cosmic Girls – Secret: Cosmic Girls came back with a more distinctive image to set them apart from the herd.

Agust D – Agust D: Suga steppeth forth into the rap world.

VIXX – Fantasy: VIXX had a busy year. Fantasy was part of their rollercoaster journey to try and show everything they do in one year.

CL – Lifted: Not strictly K-Pop, but CL made a step closer to her American debut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr29X77OA5g

Spica – Secret Time: Spica churned out another slept on bop.

Laboum – Shooting Love: LABOUM continued to be the cutesy group that was age appropriate, filling the void left by pre-crash Ladies’ Code.

NCT Dream – Chewing Gum: NCT Dream brought “cute” to boy groups and tried to make hoverboards cool.

 

September

Red Velvet – Russian Roulette: Red Velvet came with perhaps their most typical K-Pop song since Happiness.

Mino – Body: Mino turned out another jam for us all. #blessed.

DIA – Mr Potter: DIA finally burst through with something catchy to drag people in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KGHiRo2apM&spfreload=10

Beenzino – Time Travel: Beenzino just goes from strength to strength.

Anda – Like Family: Anda maintains her distinctive look and sound.

 

October

Dal Shabet – Fri. Sat. Sun: Dal Shabet try something different, win my heart.

Got7 – Hard Carry: Got7 push the boundaries and jump back into my view, albeit by being more typical of current boybands.

Barberettes – Love Shoes: If you want to try something different, try these guys!

Riot Kidz – Stereotypes: Riot Kidz are my ‘ones to watch’ from 2016.

Crayon Pop – Doo Doom Chit: Crayon Pop try to harness memes to reclaim success.

SHINee – 1 of 1: SHINee channel 90’s boybands… A sure-fire way to many’s hearts.

Ailee – Home: Ailee’s Home shows a deeper side of Ailee and does not disappoint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPv0V1DGLC8

Nu’est – Daybreak: Nu’est try to break through with ‘Daybreak’.

Monsta X – Fighter: Monsta X became a Monsta Group in 2016.

SF9 – Fanfare: SF9 surprised me greatly with this track, I don’t normally like surprises but this one was ok.

BTS – Blood, Sweat and Tears: BTS continued to wow me this year.

Ladies’ Code – The Rain: Ladies’ Code continue with their new sound and image.

Sugar Donut – Piece of a Lie: I tried to listen to more bands this year and I was not disappointed.

Pentagon – Gorilla: Pentagon were another group who came out of left field.

I.O.I – Very Very: I.O.I really stormed the whole year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1hxg1rY17I

24K – Bingo: 24K have been successful at proliferating into Europe and credit to them for that.

Twice – TT: 2016, the year of Twice continued with TT.

 

November

BlackPink – Playing With Fire: BlackPink continued to go on the rampage with Playing With Fire.

BlackPink – Stay: BlackPink made sure to show a different side to them with this track.

Grace – Trick or Treat: Grace is my love and my life so I was very happy when she dropped us this little dirty electronic gem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVd_43LwGFY

EXO CBX – Hey Mama: EXO CBX had all the hallmarks of a group I wouldn’t like, but then they went all upbeat with a slight swing edge and they got my attention.

Block B Bastarz – Make it Rain: Block B Bastarz made me nervous with their other releases, but got back on track with ‘Make it Rain’.

VIXX – The Closer: Writing this I feel like VIXX had a more monster year than I realised.

Mamamoo – Décalcomanie: This Mamamoo video may have courted controversy but all I saw was a great song and concept.

B.A.P – Skydive: B.A.P definitely showed they were on their way back with ‘Skydive’.

T-ara – Tiamo: T-ara did something different to expectations with ‘Tiamo’. It felt like the girls had really grown up.

Hyorin – Paradise: Hyorin spiced things up with Paradise, finally giving me something I could like.

KittiB – Nobody’s Perfect: KittiB ended the year the way she started it, with a real jam that you can’t help but sing along to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SMMHD_heVI

Sistar – One More Day: Sistar truly surprised me with both the song and video for this. IF YOU HAVEN’T LISTENED TO IT DO SO NOW!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4TygUpWUTQ

December

Zico, Crush and Dean – Bermuda Triangle: I do love a good collab, and this is a good collab.

Sol T – Bad Girls: Sol T – nugus to watch.

Hyoyeon – Mystery: I originally banned Station tracks, but I am including this one because I was so impressed at how well they managed to get a song to fit Hyoyeon.

K.A.R.D – Oh Na Na: K.A.R.D proved they weren’t just a co-ed gimmick with this track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPTcKSVAEvA

Big Bang – Fxxk It: Big Bang are an unstoppable machine right now. Oh wait, enlistment.

Jessi, Microdot, Dumbfoundead and Lyricks – K.B.B.: This song made my life. SHUT THE FUCK UP – you a sample.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvKBsiycHq4

 

Well, that’s my pick of the new releases this year. Don’t forget you can check out ALL the M/V releases this year through our new release posts.

 

What were your picks? Let us know on the forums!

Post Author: HallyuNoona

Guinea pig owner, teacher and K-culture enthusiast.