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Top K-Pop Songs of 2022 (So Far)

Bias List Mid-Year Best OfSo… here’s the thing. This mid-year singles list is usually reserved for songs that are all-but certain to end up in my top ten at the end of the year.

If judging by the quality of past years, the songs below would most likely fall in the teens or twenties, meaning we’re either going to have an extremely weak year-end list or we’ve got a series of incredible tracks coming our way in the second half of 2022. I’d like to believe the latter, but nothing about the past few months is leading me to be overly optimistic.

Because I’ve lowered the bar for admission, nine tracks qualified this year. That’s still short of the fourteen songs featured in 2021 – eight of which ended up claiming spots in my year-end top ten. Reading last year’s post is like beautiful nostalgia. I was so optimistic last July.

Coming up next: top albums and risers/fallers of the year!

What were your favorite singles during the first half of 2022?


TOP SINGLES


Astro – Candy Sugar Pop

I love bright, bubbly Astro, and Candy Sugar Pop is their most convincing confection in years. It’s funky, fun and oh-so-catchy. (full review)


Brave Girls – Thank You

It’s not quite up there with their fantastic 2021 work, but Thank You‘s single-minded groove enjoyed great longevity on my playlist. (full review)


DRIPPIN – Zero

Despite adopting many of this year’s worrying trends, Zero melds a strong performance to a robust rock arrangement that cuts no corners. (full review)


iKON – But You

I’m still shocked that iKON tried their hand at synthwave, but the genre shift proved a perfect match. Melody reigns supreme here, resulting in an anthemic 2022 highlight. (full review)


ONF – Goosebumps

Yep, I’m going back to December with this one. ONF have left an immeasurable void in the boy group landscape, but Goosebumps sent them off in style. Can we just end their military enlistment early? (full review)


OnlyOneOf – Skinz

Yeah, it’s the poor man’s libidO, but OnlyOneOf continue to be one of the few groups who feel genuinely surprising. Skinz is a satisfying experiment in abrasive soundscapes. (full review)


RoaD-B – Nonstop

Sweetune! Sweetune have descended from their godly mountain to save K-pop with… a nugu group no one’s ever heard of. Beggars can’t be choosers, and Nonstop is undoubtedly one of 2022’s best-produced tracks. (full review)


Rocket Punch – Chiquita

Chiquita embraces the more anthemic side of 80’s music, bringing larger-than-life synth riffs and effusive melodies. It ain’t perfect, but its heart is in the right place. (full review)


Wonho – Crazy

Wonho wisely adds guitar to his repertoire, giving Crazy extra grit that helps ground its rapid-fire hooks. He’s very much in his element, here. (full review)

46 thoughts on “Top K-Pop Songs of 2022 (So Far)

  1. I disagree, this year is better than last year, but 2020 is better than both.

    My favourites (in no particular order)

    OnlyOneOf – skinz
    Taeyeon – INVU
    Yena – Smiley
    Pentagon – Feelin Like
    Blitzers – Bobbin
    Hyo – Deep
    Wonho – Eye On You
    Omega X – Love Me Like
    WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers
    Gwangil Jo – On and On
    Bebe Yana – Space Mulan
    IVE – Love Dive
    Jay Park x IU – Gandara
    Lee Jin Ah – Rum Pum Pum
    Kihyun – Voyager
    Purple Kiss – Memem
    Aespa – Illusion

    Liked by 2 people

    • Adding Eunbi’s Glitch and Apink’s Dilemma. See this year has been quite stacked. Girl group/artist music in particular is just really strong this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m actually very happy with what we got this year so far!

    Apink’s Dilemma, STAYC’s RUN2U, Red Velvet’s Feel My Rhythm, Eunbi’s Glitch, IVE’s Love Dive, LESSERAFIM’s Fearless, aespa’s Illusion, Taeyeon’s INVU, Summer Cake’s Not in Public, LOONA’s Flip That… Us ethereal, slightly off-kilter girlgroup/soloist stans are being spoiled!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Le sserafim’s Fearless and Rv’s Feel My Rhythm are my two favOriTe songs so far, despite being disappointed by Fearless’ simplicity, and loathing the clunky electronic elements atop one of Bach sunbaenim’s great works upon release. Nevertheless, Fearless’ “raw” guitar (quasi-Baekhyun’s Bambi), great riff and addicting point dance, and Feel my rhythm’s energetic charm, rich vocals and distinctive feeling cement both as highlights, as well as their respective mini-albums.

    Otherwise I enjoyed Candy Sugar Pop, The Greatest, Villain (drippin), Pirate, Pop! (nayeon), Universe (nct), Goosebumps, skinz, Nonstop, Chiquita, Heart Burn, Good Boy Gone Bad, Smiley, and Hurdle.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If it’s only about singles my favorites are:

    Nayeon – POP!
    WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers!
    Loona – Flip That
    Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm
    Taeyeon – INVU
    Sunmi – Heart Burn
    Kep1er – Up!
    Woo!ah! – Catch The Stars
    Apink – Dillema
    Miyeon – Drive

    Liked by 2 people

  5. very biased comment ahead-

    my favorites of the year fall under the solo projects of the members of my bias groups aka GOT7 and IZ*ONE.

    with the former (GOT7), I generally enjoyed the 2022 releases from the members doing korean activities. (ie: the ones signed in Korean companies, not the self-publishing ones) bambam especially surprised me with an album this year that, in my opinion, eclipsed his solo debut release. every song in that album got me real good! the new youngjae release is warming up on me.
    of course, the exception to this is Jackson’s Blow—what a masterpiece! it is well-executed from the visual concept to the song construction. great stuff.

    we can’t forget the self-titled mini album that they released! I think, since Thursday (2019 b-side) grew on me, I knew that NANANA would do the same. it’s just a little fun and kind of a mini-hype song. but as with any GOT7 release, the b-sides is where it is at! my pick from the highlight medley is Drive Me To The Moon. Run Away (2019 b-side) meets the city pop genre. so catchy! but the rest of the album doesn’t slack! Two and Don’t Leave Me Alone are the growers for this one.

    the latter is especially a surprise. like I did not have to dig in small communities to find people who love the post-IZ*ONE projects in general. and, that’s all I can ask for as a fan: sharing the love for these projects with the general consensus of the kpop fandom. it’s amazing that it seems like everyone makes discourses about these projects, since we all thought the curse would get to IZ*ONE. although, the amount of people who raves about each specific project varies. it’s okay for me, I think.

    at this point, Love Dive’s guaranteed in my Top 10 in Wrapped. ditto with Glitch. LSRFM was what I was expecting from the start of the year, and the pedigree of their release is evident. my favorite would be your Buried Treasure as well! the new yuri album is warming up on me. (still bitter on Round & Around tho) for some reason, I don’t play the yena release a lot—I do love Smiley, but it’s inching closer to jingle territory for me. the b-sides are better for me!

    among the listed songs here, I love Wonho’s and RCPC’s songs. that last line in the Rocket Punch section (“It ain’t perfect, but its heart is in the right place”): my feelings for that song. I think that In My World is superior.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I genuinely love all the songs you listed and have them on my playlists, except for Candy Sugar Pop. It’s objectively good but like, it didn’t click with me in the same way that Cravity’s Adrenaline did for example. Maybe it’s just my finicky preferences towards sugary pop music making absolutely no sense again lmao.

    My other faves would include:

    Eye On You by Wonho – I mentioned this in another post, but it still is my absolute favourite of the year so far.

    The Song of Dann (Promise) by Kingdom – it’s just super captivating. I like to couple this with Siyeon’s Entrancing for the ethereal and otherwordly feels :’))

    Maison by Dreamcatcher – still kicks ass honestly. I half-expected it to see it listed here haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Promise and Entrancing!! I just saw the MV of the latter today and I thought how similar their vibes were as well!! If Promise has a deeper sense of melancholy, Entrancing has that light touch of hope – they are a perfect duo song from two absolutely unrelated groups 😂 Ethereal is the perfect word! ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • You nailed it with the descriptions honestly! I only just realised that Entrancing got a clip of its own after reading this comment and yeah, these two absolutely sit at the same table during lunch.

        Like

  7. I don’t have the sensation that there are less good songs this year. Here my favorite singles of 2022 so far:

    Hyolyn – Layin’ Low
    Max – Devil
    Mark – Child
    Taeyeon – INVU
    Rocket Punch – Chiquita
    TVXQ! – Epitaph ~for the future~
    Kwon Eun Bi – Glitch
    Hyoyeon – Deep
    BoA – The Greatest
    Wonho – Crazy
    DRIPPIN – Zero

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, at least we have Chiquita. Otherwise this year has been pretty abysmal. I am somewhat surprised that Love in Space by Cherry Bullet isn’t on here. I seem to recall you liking that song.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. girl groups are definitely doing it more for me this year! my top 3 currently are:

    Stayc – RUN2U
    Kwon Eunbi – Glitch
    Minseo – #Self Trip

    honorable mentions:
    WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers! (for the audacity + queen dayoung)
    BoA – The Greatest
    Dreamcatcher – Maison
    Kep1er – Up! (sold by the chorus and the energy)
    Billlie – GingaMingaYo (charismatic performance and very catchy)
    From-is9 – DM
    Aespa – Illusion (hopefully signally for the music yet to come!)
    MAX / Changmin – Mania (my one non-gg entry! this came out earlier this year and still is incredibly solid / dynamic)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I generally agreed with your thoughts about Candy Sugar Pop in your initial review, but as time goes by I think I liked After Midnight much more, in terms of a recent bright Astro release (though their initial singles run still tops them all). Candy Sugar Pop has been fun, but I’m still replaying After Midnight’s infectious hook and the raps in the bridge make it stand out a little more to me.

    The same goes for me with Drippin’s Zero vs. Villain from earlier in the year – at first I agreed that Zero was very exciting and a great fit for them, and I still think so but I find myself thinking of Villain first when I think about Drippin releases this year.

    Otherwise, fairly solid list. I’m not a big fan of Skinz at all sadly (though Libido was awesome) but otherwise I’d agree with every other song here. I’d add woo!ah!’s Catch The Stars, fromis_9’s DM, Tempest’s Bad News, Woozi’s Ruby, Cherry Bullet’s Love in Space, Vanner’s Rollin, and Adora’s Trouble? Travel! if we’re talking strictly about lead singles that I’ve been enjoying so far. Otherwise most of the gems are, as usual, to be found among the b-sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do B-sides and I include Korean Indie, Cpop, and Jpop in my lists.
    Frankly, apart from the top 5 or 10 title tracks on the year to date list, I far prefer the B-sides this year.

    Title Tracks
    1. Tan – Du Du Du
    2. Sorn – Sharp Objects
    3. Kareki, DinoJr – Lightsign
    4. WEi – Too Bad
    5. Apink- Dilemma

    B-sides
    1. Suho – Decanting
    2. Kinoj2sly, Beagle – ACT!
    3. The Man BLK – Deja Vu
    4. NINE-i – Daze Days
    5. E’LAST – Shelter

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My top picks:

    Dreamcatcher – Maison
    IVE – Love Dive
    Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm
    RoaD-B – Nonstop
    Rocket Punch – Chiquita
    STAYC – RUN2U
    Tomorrow X Together – Good Boy Gone Bad
    Wonho – Crazy

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I wasn’t a dedicated or varied enough kpop listener this year to form a list of favorite singles but I will commit to the spirit of the exercise with some general Bias List related highlights of the past few months.

    Victon: Scalyy referred to Hanse as a muttering wraith rapper and I was intrigued enough to check them out and found some great songs.

    Forestella: also discovered from a Bias List comment.

    Hot Butter: this is a weird one but the TAN song the other week reminded me of Popcorn by Hot Butter. I searched it and discovered a mislabeled 1998 jazz rap album on Apple Music. It has a feature from Deadly Venoms! I’m counting this as a Bias List discovery.

    Also I’m seeing Dreamcatcher live in a few hours so I am very excited but also pretty stressed.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Disclaimer : I have weird tastes. And they are subject to change.

    From last December Ive Eleven and Ateez The Real are the only ones I would pull forward, with maybe T1419 Red Light Green Light and Everglow Pirate close behind (the last two are too damn fun)

    Proper 2022 kpop songs I love:

    Blitzers Bobbin ❤
    Up10tion Crazy About You❤
    P1Harmony Do It Like This
    Woo!Ah! Catch the Stars
    Taeyon INVU
    Jwiiver Jtrap
    Cravity Adrenaline
    Kingdom Ascension❤
    Kingdom Promise
    Ive Love Dive
    Dreamcatcher Maison❤
    Verivery Undercover❤
    Treasure Darari (Rock. Ver)
    Kang Daniel Parade
    Drippin Zero

    AND NOW A SHOCKER : Nmixx O.O 💀💀 It will be a huge lie at this point if I say I don’t like this song because I have been enjoying singing this out loud the most and I still do it…

    B-sides aka the MV-less ones :
    StayC Young Love
    Ive Royal
    ILY Love In Bloom
    Ichillin Luna

    Liked by 3 people

  15. My favs for the year so far areeee

    Rocky & Jinjin – Let’s Breathe (SOTYYYYYYY)
    Kingdom – The Song of Dann
    Taeyeon – INVU
    Kwon Eunbi – Glitch
    Changmin – Maniac
    Bebe Yena – Space Mulan
    Wonho – Eye on U
    Jackson Wang – Blow
    Woozi – Ruby
    Road-B – Nonstop
    Victon – Stupid O’Clock
    from20 – Weol
    CLASS:Y – Shut Down
    Kep1er – Up!
    Tempest – Bad News
    Treasure – JIKJIN
    IVE – Love Dive
    B.I. – BTBT
    Cravity – Adrenaline

    Liked by 3 people

  16. C’mon, Nick! this has been a really strong year for girl groups in particular, and I know it’s all about your biases (hence the name), but sometimes I do wish you’d take a moment to highlight the excellence that’s being produced just around the metaphorical corner from the songs/groups you love. For I and many in the irl/online circles I run in, this year has been quite exciting. Yes, boy groups have been a little…dull this year. But there are plenty of robust choruses, interesting production, and high-energy fare to be found in girl groups at the moment! I just feel like they always fall by the wayside a bit on this blog—there’s nothing wrong with biasing certain subgenres or categories, but you never know what you may find growing on you if you gave other songs a little bit more of a chance!

    Here’s my tops of the year so far-basically all the songs on my top 100 most listened of the year that were 2022 releases.
    Glitch- Eunbi
    Ring x Ring- Billlie (what can i say, i know it was from november but…)
    Goosebumps- ONF
    Love Dive- IVE
    Pirate- Everglow
    Boyfriend- cignature
    RUN2U- STAYC
    MVSK- Kep1er

    Glitch and Ring X Ring are reeeally up there, and are stone-cold classics in my book. And yes, I know 3 of these are from November/December 2021, but those were some of the strongest months in the last YEAR of kpop. So I’ll allow it.

    As you can see, interesting production really makes a song for me— I’ve also been listening through GWSN’s discography because of this and I’m loving it more than I expected! Not nearly as aegyo-y as I expected, and lots of toe tapping beats to be found. I highly recommend!

    Well, this is my first comment on here. Been an avid reader for a few years now. Thought I’d finally make an appearance. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Greetings. My first comment here.

    I like lists so I thought I would make one. The length of this list feels very at odds with what my experience with kpop has been like this year and my current mood towards the industry in general. I am just searching for signs of life at this point. Any. Sign. Of. Life.
    So rising out of a sea of mediocracy (and the sometimes outright offensive), these are a few that did not bore me to tears, make me roll my eyes, elicit sardonic laughter, or make me question my existence and why I even listen to this stuff in the first place. It’s a low bar and a far cry from the golden eras of the past, but I have enjoyed these well enough. Though the only song I can say I truly flipped out over was Changmin’s Devil.

    Max Changmin – Devil & Maniac
    Road-B – Nonstop
    Psy- That That & Celeb
    Kang Daniel – Upside Down
    WSJN Chocome – Super Yuppers!
    iKon – But You
    Jeong Sewoon – Roller Coaster
    Cravity – Adrenaline
    Ulala Session – Alive & I Am Fine

    Honorable Mentions:

    Bigbang – Still Life
    Brave Girls – Thank You
    B.I – BTBT
    Got7 – Nanana
    Kang Seung Yoon – Born to Love You
    Xia – Hana
    Taeyeon – INVU
    Sunmi – Oh Sorry Ya
    Drippin – Zero
    Apink – Dilemma
    TNX – Move
    Ateez – Rocky (Boxers ver.)

    Liked by 3 people

  18. To summarize H1’22 in verse:

    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers!
    IVE-Love Dive
    Woo!ah-Catch the Stars
    BVNDIT-Venom
    ITZY-Weapon
    StayC-Run to You
    Purple Kiss-Pretty Psycho
    Billlie-GingaMingaYo (guilty pleasure)
    Cherry Bullet-Love in Space
    MAMADOL-WooAh HIP
    Don’t Know if you can call it KPop, but the majority of the song is KPop artists:
    Ed Sheeran – Shivers (feat. Jessi, SUNMI)

    And finally, this masterful remix:
    NMIXX “O.O” if the Superhero part was a full song

    Like

  20. Imo:

    Taeyeon – INVU
    Everglow – Pirate
    Cherry Bullet – Love in space
    Rocket Punch – Chiquita
    Wonho – Crazy
    Tempest – Bad news
    Sorn – Sharp Objects
    Hyolyn – Layin’ Low

    Liked by 2 people

  21. My faves so far:
    IVE – Love Dive (i’ll be playing this the whole year)
    iKON – But You (if we still don’t get great songs in the 2nd half of the year, this is already secured in the top 10)
    ONF – Goosebumps
    TAN – Du Du Du
    Cravity – Adrenaline
    RoaD-B – Nonstop
    Stayc – RUN2U
    VIVIZ – Bop Bop
    Apink – Dilemma
    Yena – Smiley
    Stray Kids – Maniac (the chorus is too catchy for me not to include it)
    bugAboo – Pop
    TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad
    Nayeon – POP!
    Wonho – Crazy (i can’t believe i was sleeping on this song)
    Kep1er – Up!

    Yeah it’s not a lot and they’re just mostly in the 8.25-8.75 range, i’m losing hope in KPOP as well

    Liked by 1 person

  22. TITLE TRACKS I LOVE so far (in no particular order)

    Changmin – Maniac
    RoaD-B – Nonstop
    Kep1er – Up
    Heize – Undo
    Bebé Yana – Space Mulan
    DeVita – Bonnie & Clyde
    Hwa Yeon – Blossom
    N.O.M – LOOK
    Sorn – Sharp Objects (+ Scorpio)
    Aespa – Illusion (+ Life’s too short)
    Rocky & Jinjin – Let’s Breathe
    StayC – Run2U
    Woodz – I hate you
    Moonbyul – Cheese in the trap
    Brave Girls – Thank You
    Ikon – But You
    TXT – Good Boy Gone Bad

    B-SIDES

    PSY + Hwasa – Now
    Kep1er – MVSK , LE VOYA9E
    Nayeon – Love Countdown
    Woodz – Hope to Be Like You
    Moonbyul – ddu ddu ddu
    Red Velvet – In my Dreams
    TXT – Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go
    Omega X – Love

    Liked by 2 people

    • TITLE TRACKS I LIKE (on repeat despite having mixed feelings towards some of them)

      Team Pathfinder – Ask Me
      Moon Sujin – Right Back
      Pixy – Villain
      Red Velvet – Feel My Rhythm
      Suzy – Satellite
      amin , ILYS – Daisy
      Seori – Can’t Stop This Party
      BOL4 – Seoul
      Alice – Power of love
      Sunmi – Heart Burn
      WJSN CHOCOME – Super yuppers
      XG – Mascara (not kpop but promoted there)

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Top K-Pop Songs of 2022 (So Far) | Beatsway

  24. Pingback: Top K-Pop Songs of 2022 (So Far) - Rapgurus

  25. Pingback: Top K-Pop Albums of 2022 (So Far) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  26. Top Title Tracks this year so far (no particular order):

    Astro – Candy Sugar Pop
    Brave Girls – Thank You
    Cherry Bullet – Love in Space
    Everglow – Pirate
    Eunbi – Glitch
    iKon – But You
    IVE – Love Dive
    Nayeon – Pop!
    Rocket Punch – Chiquita
    STAYC – RUN2U
    Stray Kids – Maniac
    Tempest – Bad News
    WJSN Chocome – Super Yuppers!
    Viviz – Bop Bop!

    Liked by 2 people

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