Two years ago, I took a look at my favorite “Songs of Summer” between 2012 and 2018. Now that we’re getting closer to the season, I think it’s time for an update!
This time, I’m cheating a bit. I kept this feature’s original title for continuity’s sake, but my top song of summer for 2020 wasn’t K-pop at all! However, I did review it on The Bias List so I’m going to count it.
To be clear, this isn’t necessarily a ranking of the “best” songs to come out during summer. A “song of summer” is different. It has to strongly evoke the season, while still being a great track unto itself. I’m hopeful that 2021 will knock it out of the park when it comes to these kind of songs, but for now let’s look back at 2019 and 2020.
Make sure to leave your own picks in the comments!
3. WJSN – Boogie Up (full review)
A brisk shot of summertime bliss, Boogie Up reinvented WJSN’s spacey sound with plenty of breezy momentum and an addictive drop.
2. ITZY – ICY (full review)
ICY soundtracked the second half of summer for me, and remains one of ITZY’s most enduring songs. Its carnival-eque atmosphere and massive pre-chorus feel like peak summer.
1. ATEEZ – Wave (full review)
ATEEZ got their mileage out of the flagging tropical trend, tying the genre’s strongest features to a gorgeous melody and hard-hitting hook. What an incredible summertime bop.
3. Jeong Sewoon – Say Yes (full review)
Alternating between hazy verses and a swaggering, synth-driven chorus, Say Yes captured so many summer vibes in one track.
2. TOO – Count 1, 2 (full review)
In many ways, Count 1, 2 is the quintessential summer K-pop track. It follows all the tropes, from shimmering instrumental to breezy melody. Luckily, it masters each and every one of them.
1. Wu Jia Cheng – Wild Island (full review)
Yeah, yeah, this is not K-pop. But, it was certainly my undisputed song of summer in 2020. The surging electro beat, the sweltering music video and Jia Cheng’s sweet vocal add up to craft a summertime behemoth. That excellent chorus hits like a beachfront breeze.