Bias List Bracket: The Ultimate K-pop Song of Summer (Intro)

Bias List Bracket

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to decide K-pop’s Ultimate Song of Summer together!

Starting on Monday, you’ll have a chance to participate in the first Bias List bracket. Each weekday, two summer songs will compete against each other. Simply vote for the one you want to move onto the next round.

How do I vote?

I’ll be hosting each day’s poll on Twitter. It’ll be embedded right into the blog post, and you should be able to make your choice without ever leaving the site. I believe you’ll need a Twitter account to vote, so if you don’t already have one make sure to create one before Monday! It’s easy to sign up, and you don’t have to start tweeting if you don’t want to!

And hey, while you’re there you might as well follow The Bias List, right?

Each poll will be open for twenty-four hours, so make sure to check the blog daily and vote early!

Which songs are included in the bracket?

I chose sixteen big summer singles, released between 2011 and 2019. This was not an easy task, and a lot of great songs fell by the wayside. I tried to be as fair as possible, choosing songs with strong ties to the season (not just my personal faves!). I apologize in advance if your favorite song is not included!

There are eight girl group tracks and eight boy groups. No artist is represented more than once. Otherwise, there would have been four Sistar songs! Match-ups are totally random. I literally pulled names out of a hat.

Bias List Bracket - Ultimate K-Pop Song of Summer

45 thoughts on “Bias List Bracket: The Ultimate K-pop Song of Summer (Intro)

    • As much as I love SHINee, I would pick Complete over View both as a summer song and as a kpop track in general.


      • I agree on “K-pop Track” but disagree on “Summer Track”. View is perfectly made for the season!

        I am also a weirdo with no life, so looking at the “Top 100 Best K-pop Songs of All Time” and all “Top Ten Posts”.

        If Nick were to rank these songs, My prediction would be more like:
        16. SNSD – Party (2015)
        15. EXO – Ko Ko Bop (2017)
        14. F(x) – Hot Summer (2011)
        13. WJSN – Boogie Up (2019)
        12. ITZY – Icy (2019)
        …I am having a doubt in these songs so…
        (TIED) Blackpink’s As If It’s your last, Girl Day’s Darling and Astro’s Breathless
        8. Golden Child’s Let Me
        7. UP10TION’s Tonight
        6. B1A4’s Solo Day
        5. Red Velvet’s Red Flavour
        4. ATEEZ’s Wave
        3. ONF’s Complete
        2. Sistar’s Loving U
        1. SHINee’s View

        Is this correct or…?

        Liked by 3 people

    • I can’t see it topping View, but this is a ever-consistent regular on my spring/summer walking/biking listening.
      It’s funny I have friends who are very dismissive of this track, but it’s so fresh like a pomelo sparkling water. I am seriously Ujung, so I’m biased

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know they probably won’t win, but I am cheering for Astro’s Breathless and Golcha’s Let Me! I love the other songs, but those two just are the audio equivalent of summer to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Up10’s Tonight so much but I just know if it doesn’t get knocked out by Red Flavour, it will get knocked out by View. Oh well aha. I’m rooting for View then.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even though I’m a veteran and remember all of these songs coming out, the hardest one for me is the 2019 battle of Wave & Icy. Wave is the epitome of summer, but Icy is such a fun song. Nice choices though I appreciate the variety!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re both so good! Wave as a more chill, sunny summer soundtrack and Icy as the more upbeat and active feeling of summer.


  4. If this list were up to 2021, SF9’s Summer Breeze would be my No.1!

    And of course, View takes my No.2 😁

    Let’s see how this unfolds!


    • Summer Breeze would be one of my top songs too!

      I just wish the music video was a bit more.. hmm..summery. Not exactly sure what the director was thinking when they chose the colour palette, but I guess to them, there is nothing more summerlike than men leaning on cars and shooting stuff 😩


      • Haha that’s great! Idk, I’m the opposite. I love the contrast and it’s kinda ironic in a way. I’m sure there’s alot of meaning behind the music video so i don’t really mind the colour scheme. The video itself is really sharp and cinematic and the song itself is awesome!!


  5. Oof, “Icy” against “Wave”? I was all prepared to vote for Icy as the underappreciated dark horse of summer songs, but it’s struck out luck-wise in the first round for me.

    I’m going to have to listen to a few of these for the first time before voting! (Haven’t heard 7 of these before.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve somehow managed to avoid Twitter until now, but I guess this is what will finally push me to make an account, haha!

    This is gonna be tough; so many great songs on here! My automatic favorite is View as I am personally so partial to that one. But, there’s a few on here I haven’t heard in ages so I think I’m gonna have to give them all a fresh listen to help me decide…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nick, I get what you’re trying to do, but I think this list is far more indicative of your taste in summer music than what the general Kpop audience enjoys. Touch My Body is a far more iconic summer track than Loving You. UP10TION might not make a 64 song bracket for most folks. If you do this again, I’d expand the field and allow multiple songs for individual artists. As you mentioned, Sistar really should have 4 tracks on here. It’s a lot easier to get a broad view of peoples’ tastes and insert your favorites in a 32 or 64 song bracket.

    I’ll be voting though!


    • Just curious which songs you think are glaring omissions from the past decade or so? I tried to include what I thought were some of the bigger hits with a summer sound, as well as a few personal favorites.

      And yeah, it hurt not including more Sistar, but I didn’t want this to simply become a Sistar bracket. I debated which Sistar track to include. Loving U seemed to come up most often in summer playlists I found online. Plus, it’s actually their second highest selling single (and highest summer one!)

      As for the boys… there’s just not as much to choose from.

      Liked by 2 people

      • TLDR: Nick, you’re great, but this is just us voting on your favorite summer songs. You can use make a list for that. Its cool.


        I’ve read your stuff every day for years, so please know I’m not trying to be rude. This just seems like a list you made without talking to anybody else. It feels distinctly like you – not necessarily summer.

        There is a lack of latin inspired hits from 2017-2019. It wasn’t my favorite trend, but it should be represented in the bracket. Hell, I might have given it its own quadrant.

        Also, EDM festival and club tacks can have a distinctly summer feel. They are omitted entirely from the list.

        Lazy/playful hip-hop and R&B tracks have taken over the summer recently. I don’t love them, but they should have some representation in a vote. A quality version is Shine by Pentagon, which was an April release but was played all summer long, and has a wistful and playful vibe that still fits the season.

        I’d also say there are two categories of songs that should be considered: those that sound like summer (could be released at any time) and those that actually soundtracked the summer. Some songs fit both categories; Sistar’s tracks are a good example. However, if you spent months doing summer activities to a song that doesn’t have a stereotypical “summer” sound, it becomes a summer track. I guess I’m saying that “summerness” is a characteristic that can be imbued on a song. “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley gets crazy radio play on rock stations every summer, and it was an October release! I think songs that absolutely dominated a summer should be included. I’ll list some examples of both types of songs.

        Gangnam Style (PSY) – An inescapable hit that was paired with every Summer activity of 2012. I still vividly remember going to summer parties, clubs and cookouts with it blaring in the background. I don’t know if any song will dominate the season in the same way again.

        Roly-Poly (T-ara) – This one was wildly popular all summer 2011. Its bright and it had a viral dance. The MV might not have a beach, but its absolutely a summer track. Next to Gangnam Style, I can’t think of a crazier viral summer sensation.

        Really Really (Winner) – An April release, but one of the most enduring tracks of summer 2017. I’d guess its still a fan favorite.

        Hurt Locker (9MUSES) – I’m genuinely hurt by this one. You’re better than this T-T

        Heart Attack (AOA) – Its a summer track. It was a hit. I’m flummoxed by its exclusion. Its as explicitly a summer track as a song like Complete.

        Rollin (Brave Girls) – I know its success came years late, but its going to be a staple of summer for the next decade. Its a slam-dunk inclusion on this kind of list.

        Beach Again (SSAK3) – Explicitly made for this kind of list, Beach Again was way more successful than most of the songs on the list.

        Energetic (Wanna One) – It was late summer, but it deserves an inclusion. An absolute smash hit and a stylistic fit next to View and Complete.

        Me Gustas Tu (GFRIEND) – Maybe you could argue it sounds more like spring, but it was a July release. It has the right energy. It should be included.

        Beautiful Night (BEAST) – A summer club banger and a true hit. A good example of summer having a club/EDM flavor.

        Shine (Pentagon) – I talked about it above.

        Why So Lonely (Wonder Girls) – The reggae trend should be recognized, and this is the best version of it. It doesn’t hurt that it was a chart topper too.

        Bang Bang Bang (Big Bang) – It doesn’t fit the typical mold, but Jesus Christ this song dominated summer 2016. Its earned its right to be called a summer party track. A song like this was made to be played outside, and there isn’t a better time than summer for that.

        Highway to Heaven (NCT 127) – Lower the windows to the car and put this one on full blast. Its a summer track through and through. When are you listening to this? December? No way.

        Man In Love (INFINITE) – Don’t tell me its a spring track. Get that out of here. It was a late March release built for the summer, and its an absolute banger. Ok, maybe it doesn’t fit, but I don’t care. Put it on.

        Travel (BOL4) – Not my favorite song, but it has the sound of summer and it was a huge hit.

        Way Back Home (Shaun) – It was a festival/party mainstay. It topped the Gaon charts, and it represents a summer EDM festival track that is totally absent from the current list.

        Um Oh Ah Yeh (MAMAMOO) – A sweet and soulful summer blast. Some might argue for Egotistic, but this is their summer gem.

        Boy With Luv (BTS) – Another April release, but by far the biggest idol track of summer 2019. I think its energy fits the season well too.

        Honorable Mentions: Power Up, Dance the Night Away, Ddu-Du Ddu-Du, Devil, Lo Siento, Nonstop, Bungee, Why, Tiki-Taka, Fire, Save Me, Very Nice, Sunny Summer, Hands Up, LIKE A BILLION MORE SONGS…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, for shine, bang bang bang, really really, highway to heaven and save me. These tend to be the type of summer songs I love, alongside a few upbeat ones ofc. Save me has this distinct brooding end of summer while really really and shine soundtrack the perfect carefree summer. And highway to heaven…that song was made for summer road trips.


        • I feel like you’re just furthering his point though—there are too many great “summer” songs for all tastes to be evenly represented. I mean, what defines a summer song in the end? One with beaches in the MV? One in a major key (Heart Attack isn’t)? Ones released during the actual season of summer? Ones that became popular during the summer (Rollin’)? Ones with brass or tropical house?

          If this was just a “most popular songs of the summer” list, based on album sales or chart success, it’s likely the most popular groups would win. I like that he picked songs he personally enjoys as well (and having less overlap in taste means I’ll probably learn something new from it.)

          Liked by 2 people

        • All great songs, but if I’d included that many, this feature would go on for months!

          I don’t think we’re simply voting on “my favorite songs” of summer, though. If that were the case, the bracket would look quite different and include some of the other choices you listed. I mean… Hurt Locker? Heart Attack? Highway to Heaven? Man In Love? I think you know you’re speaking my language, here. I’d add Snuper’s Star of Stars as well.

          In the end, it’s just a bit of fun and not meant to be a big deal. If people enjoy this one and I do future brackets, maybe there’ll be some sort of pre-voting? IDK… it’s a balance between making things overly complicated and still fun. I hope your favorite song (or a favorite song) is still included as part of this feature!

          Liked by 2 people

    • I would have to disagree, limiting the tracks to one per artist is the most fair way to do it since fans of one artist cos easily just make sure all their songs get through and then that’s would be boring. I think the selections are well rounded.

      Also my favourite summer song IS actually Tonight by UP10, we exist lmao.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I guess I don’t really consider any of those to be “summer” songs. The first two were released in July, but I’ve never distinctly tied them to the season. I suppose Rollin has retroactively become a summer song, though its biggest moments of popularity have been in the winter/spring.

      The vote will be on Twitter. I hoped to be able to offer a second way to vote through email or comments, but unfortunately there’s no way to add that to the twitter poll.


      • Sad those three did not make it, but will root for Complete and Wave!

        I don’t have Twitter, and I don’t think I will get it. I may eventually for the promotion of my blog, but not really otherwise. So instead, I guess I will be yelling in the comments, hoping people use a fake account or something to cast a vote for me lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Please yell away! If it makes you feel any better, I can’t vote either. Of course, the fact that I came up with the actual bracket is sort of like a vote I guess…


  8. this looks like it’s going to be fun, and yea, it you were to add more than one song per group, my money would have been on Sistar as well….they truly knew how to ‘keep the summer hot’ with bop after bop….


  9. I don’t know… some of these songs aren’t really what I would consider the iconic and ultimate summer song. There is a lot of other songs that I prefer to listen to for the summer. There is AOA Heart Attack, Brave Girls Rollin, SPICA Tonight, BEAST Beautiful Night, SEVENTEEN Mansae, WINNER Really Really… Other people have commented on other songs, the list goes on… So many good songs… I understand how hard it must’ve been for Nick to cut off some of these songs. I think I’m just surprised at how the list looks compared to how I thought it would look.

    I’m going for Team Loving U all the way. That song holds so many childhood memories for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BTW I’ll be happy regardless of what song gets first place. I think this voting is just a great opportunity to think about how blessed we are to have such great music!


    • Yep, too many good songs to choose from! With sixteen, this bracket is already going to take three weeks. Any more and we’d be here into August…


    • Those picks you chose are amazing, Heart Attack especially. Surprised Party and Darling got the nod ahead of it. Really Really is Really Really good too.

      Haha, if K-Pop childhood counted, my list would include TVXQ’s Hi Ya Ya and Super Junior’s and HOT’s Full of Happiness. I am not even Korean, but those songs made some of my younger years. I guess I just loved international music since my youth…


      • It really just comes down to what each of us defines as a “summer song,” huh? Despite being released in June, I’ve never really considered Heart Attack to be a summer song (same with Aju Nice). Nothing about the imagery really screams summer to me, and the sound feels more broad. I personally prefer it to Darling and Party, but those two songs are so strongly tied to the season. Summer is pumping through every fiber of their DNA.

        Really Really, I’ll give you. Probably would have been a good (and popular!) inclusion. It also would’ve been the only one released outside of the May-August timeframe that I always consider “K-pop summer.” Maybe that’s why it didn’t spring to mind?


  10. This voting is going to be so difficult, so many songs I love! (and so many more mentioned in the comments – I’m loving this overload of summer songs) I’m treating this as a fun way to go through my summer playlists rather than trying to pick a song I want to ‘win’ because these are all so good.

    As a dark horse contender though, I’m hoping Boogie Up makes it far – I don’t know much about WJSN but Boogie Up is such a good song


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