85 K-pop Summer Songs from 1985 to Today: Your Ultimate Playlist
You guys really seem to love my take on Korean dramas, so I thought, why not indulge a little and share my favorite Korean jams? Now, that list would be long; like would probably rival some Harry Potter books long. Instead, I’ve broken it up into different posts. First up? My favorite summer K-pop songs!
I kind of love how much Korea leans into its four seasons. Even more than in the US, you feel like culturally they’ve given each season a really distinct vibe. When it comes to summer in Korea? Think bright, happy, and the kind of songs you want to play while you drive around Jeju or swim in the East Sea!
Personally, I love a fun K-pop summer song. It’s probably my favorite time of year for new releases, and I listen to my playlist of Spotify all year round for a little pick-me-up!
My Favorite K-pop Summer Songs (By Year)
I broke this up by year and then within that section, I put them in ABC order just to make it easier for you to look through! Also, as much as I would love to put a Youtube video with every song I talk about, that would be over 80+ embedded videos! I don’t think this post would even load if I did that. Instead I’ve linked the video in the description of the song and placed my favorite song for each section at the beginning so you can hit play while reading ;).
Had to go back in time a bit, especially because the “Reply” series introduced me to such great throwbacks from the 80s, early 90s, and late 90s! Of course, my earlier Korean music knowledge is a lot sparser, so I’m sure I’m missing a bunch. Feel free to recommend me some gems!
1. Ice Cream Love by Im Byeong Su (1985)
First heard this song in “Reply 1988” when Dukseon claims she knows Spanish and then she and Dongryong bust out a bad rendition of “Ice Cream Love”! A mix of Korean and Spanish, this song is exactly what you’d think an 80s pop song from Korea would sound like, and I love it. I love even more that Im Byeong Su has been singing it here and there over 30 years later and looks like he’s having the time of his life!
2. Candy by H.O.T. (1996)
H.O.T. (which stands for “Highfive of Teenagers” *cringes*) was like the Backstreet Boys of Korea and this song is pure bubblegum cheese. I think they knew it too because the music video at Lotte World with them dressed up in the most ridiculous costumes is too fun.
3. I’m Your Girl by SES (1997)
Ever wonder who Korea’s first ever proper girl group was? S.E.S, y’all! Their name comes from their individual stage names Sea (Bada in Korean), Eugene, and Shoo. Their debut song, “I’m Your Girl” is innocent 90s pop to a T and was a huge hit for them.
4. Eternal Love by Fin.KL (1999)
Where Lee Hyori got her start! Also, I don’t know if this is controversial or not but of all the whacky K-pop group names I’ve heard, theirs has to be the worst. Apparently the Korean, 핑클 (sounds like pink-eul), was picked first and then DSP Media shoehorned the phrase “Fine Killing Liberty” to be the English’s name’s meaning. Whyyyy?
Anyway, enough of that gripe. “Eternal Love” is similar to “I’m Your Girl” in that sweet 90s vibe! All their voices sound nice and soft and the beat has this whimsical quality.
5. Replay by Shinee
“Replay” was Shinee’s debut song. What a way to get started! It has such a nice R&B beat, perfect for the lazier days of summer. Apparently this was a huge hit with older women because the Korean name translates to “Older Sister, You’re So Pretty” pfffff.
6. Sunset Glow by Big Bang
In case you forgot this song was released in 2008, at some point G-Dragon reminds you in the lyrics lol. It’s actually a remake and the original was sung by Lee Moon Sae in 1988. Obviously this one has a bit more rapping and sounds more modern.
7. U-Go-Girl by Lee Hyori
Fast forward 8 years from “Eternal Love,” and Fin.KL’s leader, Lee Hyori is one of the most famous and successful female soloists in Korea. Naturally when she releases the E-tribe-produced “U-Go-Girl” with Nassun with its bubbly hip-hop-dance-pop hybrid melody, you’ve got an instant #1 hit across the board! The music video is also pure mid-2000s fun.
8. Genie by SNSD
The time is summer of 2009. “Gee” was released in January and catapulted Girls’ Generation to superstardom in Korea. The girls are everywhere in their brightly colored skinny jeans and everyone is eager to see what their next song will be.
The follow-up to “Gee” would be even better (to me at least). It’s a song called “Genie” in English or 소원을 말해봐 (Tell Me Your Wish) in Korean. They promoted it all summer long, and their leg dance became almost as iconic as the “Gee” crab dance. I want to say this is where the fan club got its name, Sone (wish)? Of all their songs, this is one that’s still on my normal playlist!
9. Naengmyeon by Myung-ca Drive
Once upon a time, “Infinite Challenge (무한도전)” was considered the nation’s variety show. Chances are even if you’re not into Korean variety, that name sounds familiar. Well, in 2009 they held their Infinite Challenge Duet Song Festival and what emerged was one of the best summer Kpop songs: “Naengmyeon.”
It’s an ode to the delicious cold noodle dish that tastes bests in the middle of July and is one of my favorite Korean meals! Park Myung Soo teamed up with Girls’ Generation’s second main vocalist, Jessica, to create Myung-ca Drive and forevermore the cutesy tune of “Naengmyeon, naengmyeon, naengmyeon” rings in the ears of many as they sit down to eat the dish. (Okay, maybe just my ears!)
10. Cabi Cabi by SNSD & 2PM
The only commercial song on this playlist! 2PM and SNSD collaborated for this song and everyone in the music video looked GOOD. Yoona, Seohyun, and Yuri play lifeguards with 2PM’s Taecyeon, Nichkun, and Chansung at Caribbean Bay, Everland’s water park with a cute little love story between Yoona and Taecyeon. Plus, the song is so damn catchy.
11. Don’t Go Home by GD & TOP
You know when you learn a new language and you have that moment of suddenly understanding a line in a song or on TV? Hearing “집에 가지마” was that moment for me! This is one of my favorite songs to come out of Big Bang crew both full group, duet, and solo singles. I could best describe this song as cheeky rap/pop?
12. Echo by SNSD
I think the video for this song was released as part of some sort of variety for SNSD. It might’ve a special thing for fans but I remember them being at a resort and having to run around because every time I whine about being hot, I mimic Jessica being dragged by Yoona and Seohyun while she just goes “Airconnn, airconn.” It’s a whole mood if you’ve never seen it! Anyway, “Echo” itself is very fresh and probably one of the cutsier songs on the list.
13. 1, 2, 3 by Heenain
This song is underrated and I swear like no one has ever heard of Heenain and especially not “1, 2, 3”! I still don’t even know what happened with her but she was this indie singer known for looking a lot like Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany. Anyway it’s the type of fresh, relaxing song you listen to when you’re in a good mood!
14. Bubble Pop by Hyuna
One of the first K-pop videos to go viral on Youtube! It’s funny to think the music video for this was considered a bit scandalous in 2011 and today it’s so tame. I’m just warning you, you’ll very likely listen and get “Bubble bubble bubble POP!” stuck in your head!
15. Hand’s Up by 2PM
I mostly remember going to a bar one of my last nights in Seoul and this suddenly playing and all of us getting excited haha. Such a fun, going out summer song!
16. Hot Summer by f(x)
“Hot summer, hot hot summer!” What song describes Korean summers better than this song? I remember back when Simon and Martina of Eat Your Kimchi were still reviewing K-pop music videos and they were like “Why is Krystal wearing leather skinny pants in a Korean summer? It’s too hot here for that.” Which, highly accurate!
17. I Cheated by Park Myung Soo, G-Dragon, & Park Bom
Park Myung Soo is back with another Infinite Challenge song festival bop, though the real credit goes to G-Dragon who did all the actual work lol. I remember this song playing everywhere when I was in Seoul that summer and for good reason! Think we’ll ever get a GD & Park Bom track again?
18. Lalala by Mighty Mouth and Soya
Such a fun song! The kind you picture dancing too at a party on the beach while you’re on vacation and tipsy off all the fruity drinks.
19. Man Should Laugh by Homme
Oh man, Homme was such a great duet project! Before Big Hit became synonymous with BTS, it was more of a low key entertainment group known for producing vocalists. Their main one was called 8eight, and then they co-managed the ballad group 2AM with JYP. Because of this, Homme was formed with 8eight’s Lee Hyun and 2AM’s Changmin and produced some absolute gems. My favorite was “Man Should Laugh.” I feel like it’s a good song to blast when you’re in the middle of a long drive on a road trip.
20. My My by Apink
Technically this is a winter release (its EP name is even called “Snow Pink), but I think the energy is too fresh and peppy to not be summer. When Apink debuted in 2011, they debuted at a time when sexy was in for girl groups. I remember they stood out instantly because of how innocent their concept was. “My My” was their real second release, and like their debut, it’s reminiscent of SES and Fin.KL. Very light and cute and the music video compliments the whole vibe.
21. Night Sky by After School RED
Always a bit sad for what happened to After School but it is what it is. They were still very much a thing in 2011 and their big project was to split the group in half between a more mature After School RED and a cuter After School BLUE. Wasn’t a big fan of the Blue song, but I still listen to “Night Sky.” It’s the kind of song you listen to on your way to meet your friends for a random night out.
22. Roly Poly by T-ara
Poor Secret. They started off with a girl crush image and when that didn’t produce the results their company wanted, they had to do this very girly image and, unfortunately/fortunately for them, it was a huge hit. “Shy Boy” is just a little too cutesy for me, but I do love “Starlight Moonlight” which has a doo-wop vibe.
Ahhh peak T-ara is their 12-minute retro “Roly Poly” video. I believe the 70s/80s theme of the video was inspired by Sunny, which was a huge hit at the time. Would you know this song was the most downloaded song of 2011 in Korea and even went on to be a musical? The dance is iconic and the beat is so funky and fun! I remember my friend learning it for a talent show we had at Yonsei.
23. Starlight Moonlight by Secret
24. We Will Be Okay by BB.Boys ft. GNA
RIP to the boy group the existed for five seconds never to be heard from again. I heard some of them went to another group eventually, but I don’t know. I just remember this song being released and thinking it was so charming and, of course, had a G.NA feature! They appeared on music shows for like a week where the actress from the music video randomly lip synced to G.NA’s voice and then literally nothing. So now, this song will live on in maybe like 50 people’s memories, mine included.
25. Baby Goodnight by B1A4
Super cute pop song from B1A4. Good way to practice saying “Goodnight/ Sleep Well” in Korean too – “잘자”! The music video is absolute chaos in the funniest way possible.
26. Loving U by Sistar
Guys, this was it. This was the start of Sistar Summer! Before they’d go on to release their most iconic hit (more on that below), “Loving U” was the absolute perfect summer song. Listen to it at the beach, preferably in Hawaii where they filmed the music video :p!
27. Yeosu Night Sea by Busker Busker
Busker Busker may be more known for “Cherry Blossom Ending,” but anyone who lived in Jeolla or near Yeosu knows about “Yeosu Night Sea.” It’s just a nice, nostalgic song about a guy walking by Yeosu’s see at night wishing he was here with his love.
28. A.D.T.O.Y. by 2PM
Whoooo this song is hot. Even if you don’t watch the music video, the beat alone is just… hot. I don’t really have anything else to say, just check it out.
29. Rum Pum Pum Pum by f(x)
By this point, f(x) was known for coming out with the funkiest and most experimental of songs and “Rum Pum Pum Pum” was one of them. It was their comeback after a two years and is pure dance pop with the funniest metaphors (the second line: 너의 사랑니 translates to “your wisdom tooth). Listen to cheer yourself up!
30. 8 Dayz by Megan Lee
For about five seconds, it looked like K-pop was going to have its own Taylor Swift in Megan Lee, an American singer-songwriter who had already made a name for herself on Youtube and a singing competition show called “Birth of a Great Star.” “8dayz” was a nice, folksy-pop song especially for a debut!
31. A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness by Raina and San E
One of my favorite songs regardless of the season! Raina’s voice is so sweet (funny to think she was doing these powerful concepts for After School and funky, cute concepts for Orange Caramel at the same time) and goes really well with San E’s chill rapping. The music video and their live stages are also so lovely.
32. Darling by Girl’s Day
Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of many of Girl’s Day’s songs! Not sure why, just wasn’t for me, but I looooove this song. It pretty much has that bubbly-sexy vibe down to a T and “You’re my darling, darling, darling” will absolutely get stuck in your head.
33. Day 1 by K.Will
K.Will is another favorite. He’s more known for his OST ballads so this was a pleasant surprise. It also marks the first time he gets to be in a music video for his own song, albeit as a radio show host not the main male lead. Anyway, “Day 1” is super cute and the music video is pure loveliness.
34. Falling in Love by 2NE1
I know; 2NE1 isn’t really known for their summer concepts! Even though this is somewhat happier, it’s still very much 2NE1. It’s a lighter song with a mix of reggae, hip-hop, and electronic influences. They all still look so cool and fierce in the music video!
35. I Swear by Sistar
“I Swear” was the follow up single to “Touch My Body” (more on that below). I guess it’d be classified as a house-dance type song but under a thick layer of summer vibes. The music video is super fun and features Saipan, a place I have literally just heard of today lol.
36. Mr. Ambiguous by Mamamoo
The legendary debut of Mamamoo. Don’t call them a girl group because they were never girls! They debuted as women and have continued being trailblazers in K-pop to this day. This funky retro song will have you wanting a bright neon dress and giant straw hat to dance around in!
37. Mr. Chu by APink
I feel like “Mr. Chu” is what people who don’t know anything about K-pop pictures. It is pure cutesy, bubblegum pop but gosh damn it’s an ear worm!
38. So Good by Jay Park with Common Ground
When you see Jay Park now and how his personality is in English, it’s SO hard to imagine him putting up with the K-pop system for 5 years let alone being 2PM’s leader at debut. It’s very cool to see where he’s taken his music and how he’s managed to carve a niche for himself in the Korean and hip hop music industry. “So Good” is my favorite and it’s very Michael Jackson-esque.
39. Solo Day by B1A4
The ultimate do-nothing song! Lyrically, it’s about enjoying a day to yourself after a break-up and the melody is wholesomely upbeat. Love the whistling. The music video is all the guys on a road trip while aliens are coming (you can’t make this stuff up) and is as quirky as you’d expect.
40. Touch My Body by Sistar
Ladies and gentleman, this is it. This is peak Sistar summer. This song alone is why everyone is quietly hoping for a reunion someday. “Touch my Body” will 100% get stuck in your head and their little wedgy shake dance is hilariously fun. It’s the perfect combo of sassy-flirty-sexy with an extra dose of incredible vocals that the girls are famous for. Listen, enjoy, and good luck getting it out of your head.
41. Up & Down by EXID
So when this song became a viral hit, I was teaching my kids prepositions. The way I taught was with English and then a Korean translation and drawings, so naturally when we came to “위” which means over/above/on and “아래” which means below, my cheekier kids would start singing this song. I can’t listen to it and not picture one of my crazier 5th graders mimicking the dance while singing in the most hilarious way.
Anyway, this song wound up being a huge breakthrough for EXID when a fancam of Hani went viral and everyone in Korea was either scandalized by the innuendo-filled music video or attempting the dance!
42. Hurt Locker by 9Muses
Underrated song and group! “Hurt Locker” really deserved a win, it was pretty innovative especially in terms of the shipping container location of the music video that somehow works and feels summery? The song itself has such a good beat!
43. I Feel You by Wonder Girls
“JYP… and the Wonda Girlllls! We’re back!” Iconic. You want to know who the first K-pop group to chart on Billboard was? The Wonder Girls and “Nobody.” Anyway, in 2015, most people assumed WG was disbanded in all but name. After so many member changes and a bungled attempt at expanding to the US, they’d been inactive as a group for 3 years.
But then suddenly, JYP makes the announcement that not only would WG make a comeback with Yeeun, Hyerim and Yubin, but that Sunmi, who’d left in 2010, was rejoining. Oh and they were coming back with a band concept and 80s-inspired music. This all results in the incredibly sexy “I Feel You” written by JYP and Yubin!
44. Party by Girls’ Generation
Ok, going slightly out of ABC order because “Party” came first and this was such a pivotal moment for GG. The time is summer 2015. It had been around 18 months since their release of “Mr. Mr.”
As a fan, it felt like the girls had been on autopilot mode since “I Got a Boy” when it came to full group releases. They were often active individually or in subunits but as a full nine-member group, they didn’t feel as strong or sisterly as they normally did.
Then comes the fateful day of September 29, 2014 when Jessica posts on her Weibo that she’d been kicked out of the group and every fan is shellshocked. To this day no one knows the full story, but we know the ensuing year was rough. The fandom absolutely split in half and all the girls were getting hate.
Anyway, I feel like Jessica’s departure was a real kick in the face and almost lit a fuse under the remaining eight to re-invest in GG. Not only did we get a pre-release single, “Catch Me If you Can,” but we were told we were getting not one, not two, but three singles in one summer. The last time we’d gotten more than one real single a year was 2010!
“Party” was the first single and came in with a splash of pure bubblegum electropop. SM even went all out on the music video and filmed in Koh Samui in Thailand. Only took a traumatic departure of one of the members to break out of the infamous SM box!
45. Lion Heart by SNSD
“Lion Heart” was the 3rd single from this era and I would argue it’s one of their best releases ever (“Into the New World” will forever be the very top to me). It’s a play on words to say “lying heart” and has a very sixties bubblegum pop vibe. The girls look so chic in the music video, which says a lot considering they’re acting alongside a dude with a lion head lol, and it feels like the perfect release for a girl group in their 8th year!
46. Remember by APink
Kind of funny that this song is about a dying relationship when the beat is so light and happy. The music video is one of my favorites as they film around Busan and Jeju and it’s just wholesome shots of the girls having fun and hanging out with each other.
47. SHAKE IT by Sistar
The last real Sistar summer we got! “Shake It” is crazy upbeat and the girls take on this funky girl crush concept. One of those songs you close your curtains and dance to around your house, praying no one sees you lol.
48. Um Ah Oh Yeh by Mamamoo
A hit! Written by Solar, Hwasa, Moonbyul, and the RBW co-founder, “Um Ah Oh Yeh” is pure funky pop with some of those 90s elements. The music video is absolutely hilarious and like peak whacky Mamamoo haha.
49. Boombayah by Blackpink
Ahh the debut of Blackpink! I believe the trend for girl groups around 2016 was more bright and cute and the absolutely awful “Pick Me” song was still around. YG finally introduces us to a new girl group with not just one but two new singles that are absolute bops. The four girls are confident and cool and not a single cutesy move or facial expression can be found in either music video. I love both songs but I think “Boombayah” feels more summery, I don’t know why!
50. Good Luck by AOA
Funny enough I didn’t get into this song until much later when Mamamoo covered it on “Queendom.” I’m not normally big on AOA’s releases. Their vocals with the songs they’d had just never clicked for me. But this song is so good! It sounds a bit more mature and the lifeguard concept of the music video makes it an instant summer song. Bummer it came out when the girls were dealing with some controversy because I think it could’ve been a hit for them.
51. I Just Wanna Dance by Tiffany Young
I still love this song so much. Fany was ahead of the trend in Korea when she released this. It’s a pure mix of chill California vibes and dance pop, which is what I imagine what she was going for. Also her looks for this music video and album is by far my favorite of all her solo stuff. Still hoping she goes back to this sound at some point.
52. Starlight by Taeyeon and Dean
I’ve really come to love Taeyeon’s voice and all her solo work has been nothing short of incredible. She has the kind of voice that fits well with something more lighthearted and then can make you cry with a particularly moving ballad (dare you to listen to “Lonely” with Jonghyun or “All About You” from the “Hotel del Luna” soundtrack and not feel something).
“Starlight” falls into the former and is this lovely R&B song all about the happier sides of love. The music video is super cute and just shows Taeyeon and Dean as a normal, fun couple in LA.
53. Why by Taeyeon
The second single from the same EP as “Starlight,” “Why” has a totally different feel. It’s a mix of R&B, EDM, and tropical house and is all about making an escape and getting away. It’s also filmed in California, and was apparently chosen by Taeyeon because it holds so many fond memories for her!
54. All Night by SNSD
BRB just crying a little because we still don’t know if we’ll ever get an OT8 comeback even though the girls all are #GG4EVA. Holiday Night was their last album release in celebration of their tenth anniversary. “All Night” was one of the two singles they released simultaneously and besides the weird thing they did to Yoona’s voice when she says “I like to party,” I prefer it to the other.
It’s a sort of disco-y pop song with maybe some 80s vibes? I personally love the documentary-style MV where the girls reflect on their decade-long career and, of course, they’re all actually styled well and maturely!
55. Dinosaur by AKMU
I don’t know if this song really was everywhere in 2017 or if it stood out because of the “Dinosaur!” chorus, but I distinctly remember hearing it a lot. It’s not every day you’re in the grocery store and you hear “Dinosaur!” on repeat lol. Either way, this is a really fun song about childhood and it was a bit of a new sound for AKMU!
56. Goodbye for Now by Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun’s goodbye song for when he went to the military for two years ahhh. The music video is filmed in Gamcheon Culture Village, one of my favorite places in Korea! Think of this as a sadder song for summer!
57. Holiday by SNSD
This is the other single from GG off their Holiday Night album! Love that Seohyun had a hand in writing the lyrics. It’s pure bubblegum pop, which slightly feels too young for them, especially compared to “All Night,” but it’s still a fun listen. The styling of the MV though… Why would you do that to Seohyun’s hair?! And the main outfits, these are legends nearing 30, why would you put them in these teenaged concoctions?!
58. Red Flavor by Red Velvet
Can we take a moment over the fact that SM has not produced a new girl group since 2014?! Damn. When they debuted Red Velvet, the concept was that “red” would be more youthful pop while “velvet” would be a more mature, R&B sound. The very electropop “Red Flavor” with its theme of theme of summer love is very much on the red side. It’s so in-your-face energetic, and I love it!
59. Yes I Am by Mamamoo
“Yes I Am,” also written by Solar, Moonbyul, Hwasa, and their boss has elements of disco and electronic. That along with the girls’ confidence, sass and goofiness, it’s such a funky song! I would classify this as a transition song as the group went from the retro concept they debuted with to the type of music they put out now.
60. Bbibbi by IU
I love IU! Definitely one of my favorite singers; her voice is so sweet and soothing. I don’t normally go to her for summer, but “BBIBBI” definitely has some quirky vibes that are fun to listen to from June – August. The song is basically her fighting back against her haters and critics; my favorite line is “Hello stu-P-I-D” lol.
61. Bingle Bangle by AOA
I actually love “Bingle Bangle”! The beat has some mildly retro, funky vibes and the effect is a catchy, cheerful song. I believe this is also the last song with Mina, who left the the group in 2019 and honestly just deserves all the love and support in the world.
62. Down by Jessi
Don’t look up the lyrics to this song haha. Jessi is definitely bringing American vibes to this song in terms of the subject, beat, and even the music video. It’s got a nice tropical beat and the chorus will definitely get stuck in your head.
63. Egotistic by Mamamoo
Hands down this is my favorite Mamamoo song and it literally never gets old. It’s a very sultry song with some Latin-inspired vibes and the girls look like straight fire in every single outfit from the music video and live stages! If you can’t guess from the title, it’s all about a guy who’s totally into himself haha.
64. See Sea by Hyolyn
With this tropical house beat, this is the perfect song to play on your way to the beach with the windows down! “See Sea” was the last release of Hyolyn’s 3-part project and came during our first summer knowing there’d be no Sistar summer as they’d disbanded the year before! I think it did a pretty good job of softening the blow.
65. Selfish by Moonbyul ft. Seulgi
Moonbyul’s solo debut! I love the message of this song, which is about staying true to yourself instead of dealing with societal norms like needing to diet or looking a certain way. The music video is brighter than my future and I love the addition of Seulgi’s vocals!
66. One More Time (Otra Vez) by Super Junior and Reik
Name a better duo, Super Junior and Latin music! I always said Korean sonically was a lot more similar to Spanish than English, and every time I hear a Latin-influence Korean song, I feel like I’m proven right! “Otra Vez” is so good; the only thing missing is Kyuhyun’s vocals.
67. Starry Night by Mamamoo
I mean when the music video is scene after scene of the girls around New Zealand’s prettiest beaches… of course it’s a chill summer pop song (even though the first line literally starts with something about spring lol)!
68. Travel by BOL4
If you need a song to blast the day you leave work for vacation, this is the song! It’s cheerful and fun and all about escaping normal life for an adventure abroad. Love the whole, bright concept of this group (now soloist)!
69. Way Back Home by Shaun
Sooo, I completely missed this song blowing up and all the drama around it! Regardless, it’s such a good song and is like peak tropical house EDM. There’s even an English version with Conor Maynard, though I prefer Shaun’s voice and the Korean lyrics.
70. Aewol-ri by Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun’s comeback! It’s a sad ballad which is very on brand for him lol. Aewol is a beach in Jeju and the song is about a guy missing his ex. For those of you that want a K-pop summer song to brood to.
71. Bangkok by Soyou and Francis
What an underrated song! This is a nice, chill beat for summer. It’s actually a play on words in Korean, not talking about the city of Bangkok, hence why the music video is Soyou hanging out in her room pretending she’s at the beach.
72. Birthday by Somi
I didn’t watch any of the “Produce” stuff so I missed Somi’s early rise, but she’s so cute. Can’t believe she’s so young! “Birthday” is her solo debut and it’s such a fun, sassy song.
73. Goblin by Sulli
Ahhh Sulli, Korea didn’t deserve you and your utter free-spiritedness. “Goblin” was her return to the music scene after she left f(x) in 2015. The best word I can describe this song is ethereal and the music video is pure whimsy.
74. gogobebe by Mamamoo
By far the most earworm-y of Mamamoo’s songs. “gogobebe” is actually the leader single off the winter album of the 4 Seasons, 4 Colors project but it exudes total crazy summer house party vibes!
75. Fish in the Water by AKMU
Remember when we were bereft of AKMU content for 2 years because Lee Chan Hyuk went to do his military service? Then he comes back and 3 months later we get the absolute perfection that is their Sailing album? I remember! While their main single is one to make you cry (and for another list), two of the songs off Sailing made it to this list! “Fish in the Water” is the first and the best way I can describe it is as playful.
76. Freedom by AKMU
“Freedom” is another release from their Sailing album. It has a sort of pop-rock vibe and the exact kind of tune you’d imagine for a song asking for freedom!
77. Seoul Night by Urban Zakapa, Beenzino
I’ll never forget I first heard of Urban Zakapa from my friend, Liza, in like… 2011! They’ve gotten a bit bigger since then with their collaborations, and this is one of them. This is definitely an end-of-night-going-home type of song and an excellent ode to one of the best cities in the world.
78. Summer Night by Yoona
I know Yoona isn’t known as being one of the main singers in SNSD, but I actually really love her voice. It’s very soft and sweet, so it matches her solo songs really well. “Summer Night” is just this lovely, calming song and the music video is too cute.
79. Beach Again by SSAK3
First of all, the combination of Yoo Jae Suk, Lee Hyori, and Rain is absolute comedic gold. Like whoever thought of this deserves all the raises. But to put them together on a summery song reminiscent of old school K-pop cheering up a nation during a crappy year? Yeah, no wonder they topped the charts! Please enjoy this absolute gold here.
Also shout out to Lee Hyori for being on this list in 3 different decades and aging maybe half of one. This is why she’s a legend!
80. DUMdi DUMdi by (G)Idle
(G)-Idle is definitely going to go down as one of the most interesting girl groups of the 3rd (4th?) generation. Their debut was so strong and each new release has been insanely creative. “DUMdi DUMdi” is no exception and it’s such a bop. I dare you to listen to it once and not get that chorus stuck in your head.
81. Dynamite by BTS
Who’s not shocked BTS broke Youtube’s record for the most views in one day with their release of “Dynamite“? I saw someone describe it as pure serotonin on Twitter, and I feel like that about sums it up!
82. Happy by Taeyeon
A sweet, chill song that’d be perfect to play while you’re having a lazy August morning. I think this was technically released in released winter but it has such summer vibes to me.
83. Ice Cream by Blackpink with Selena Gomez
YG finally decided to pay attention to the “pink” side of Blackpink’s group concept and with one of my favorite singers for collaborations, Selena Gomez! This song is flirty and catchy as hell, and you can bet anytime I post an IG story with ice cream I’m putting this song on in the background lol. Also if you watch the music video, can you spot the Phillies logo? Talk about worlds colliding!
84. Let’s Dance by B.Ryong and Mamamoo
One of the tracks on the SSAK3 EP and my favorite! It’s just so good and Rain and Mamamoo’s voices blend so nicely together. With how cool Mamamoo’s voices sound, you wouldn’t think they were starstruck when they first met Rain to record it lol. It’s kind of R&B but also has some EDM vibes with the drops!
85. Say My Name by Hyolyn
She’s baaack! With both Hyolyn and Soyou putting out songs this summer and even getting together to do Tik Tok dances to “Gotta Go,” it almost feels like a Sistar summer! “Say My Name” has some reggae-inspired beats and is served with her classic confidence. Also if you watch the music video, do you notice a certain pink pool cafe?
Whew! There you have it. My ultimate list of K-pop summer song recommendations. Let me know if you think I’m missing any! If you want them all in one place, I added as many as I could onto this Spotify playlist, but, of course, not everything was available.
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