The K-pop music sphere constantly churns out the newest catchy K-pop songs to vie for listeners’ attention. Thanks to many K-pop artists who put the country on the map – think BoA, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, 2NE1, PSY, and of course, BTS – the music genre has influenced everyone’s music selection globally. If you were wondering which new K-pop songs to add to your playlist, here are the best ones for 2023.

Since the early 2000s, K-pop has been a mainstay in the playlist of many due to the boom of the second generation of K-pop. Although the K-pop music industry is dominated by fourth-generation artists now, the legacy of their seniors is still ever-present.

Many second-generation groups, such as Girls’ Generation and KARA, made their much-anticipated return with new K-pop songs for their anniversary since their debut. So expect a varied mix of new K-pop songs from veteran and budding artists in the coming months. We’ve compiled the best new K-pop songs you should listen to and include in your music playlist in 2023.

Here is the list of the best new K-pop songs for February 2023

‘Catch’ (feat. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa) –  EPIK HIGH

K-pop veteran hip-hop trio EPIK HIGH enlists Hwasa, the charismatic and sultry vocalist of MAMAMOO, for their Strawberry mini album’s lead single. The song is multi-faceted, as member Tablo told Billboard. “‘Catch’ has a dual meaning, it can be like, No matter what you do, you can’t catch up to me. At the same time, it’s like, When you’re falling, I want to be there to catch you.”

Although a five-track length record, the featured tunes on the mini album pack a punch. Also appearing in it is GOT7’s Jackson Wang, who lends his vocals to ‘On My Way’.

From Strawberry mini album by EPIK HIGH. Release date: February 1.

‘Nights Into Days’ – Taeyeon (Girls’ Generation)

After taking part in project girl group GOT the Beat’s Girls On Top sub-unit comeback last month and Girls’ Generation 15th anniversary celebrations last year, soloist Taeyeon tones the mood with a ballad.

The poignant track, produced by Brown Eyed Soul’s Naul, sees Taeyeon delivering an emotional performance with her soulful voice over the moving piano melody.

From Ballad Pop City project single album by Naul. Release date: February 2

‘Fighting’ (feat. Lee Young Ji) – BSS (SEVENTEEN)

Need something to perk you up? Plug into tunes by SEVENTEEN sub-unit BSS (BooSeokSoon). Fans have also been clamouring for their return since their previous release (and debut) in March 2018.

Comprising of members Boo Seung-kwan, Lee Seok-min (DK), and Kwon Soon-young (Hoshi), the trio’s high-energy songs are mood-boosters and will certainly dispel gloom upon listening. ‘Fighting’, their latest, is a motivational jam that features a contrasting chill rap verse by Show Me The Money 11 winner Lee Young Ji.

From Second Wind single album by BSS (SEVENTEEN). Release date: February 6

‘Yesterday’ / ‘Love is Ugly’ (feat. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa) – Jay Park

Multi-hyphenate hip-hop artist Jay Park will be dropping a two-track single album on his own label MORE VISION. Consisting of solo track ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Love is Ugly’ featuring MAMAMOO’s Hwasa (who’s indeed popular these days), it has not been revealed which song will be the lead single or both songs will be double A-side singles.

Jay Park was recently seen as a judge on Mnet’s Show Me The Money 11 and appeared at The 37th Golden Disc Awards in Bangkok.

From Yesterday single album. Release date: February 13

‘Killer’ – Key (of SHINee)

2022 was a busy year for SHINee’s Key, who released his second full-length studio album Gasoline and performed a headlining concert in both Seoul, South Korea and Yokohama, Japan. The latter was his first offline gig in three years.

The veteran K-pop performer proceeds to repackage the successful Gasoline record and renamed it Killer, featuring a lead single of the same name. This dark and retro up-tempo dance track will see Key assume a racer identity to convey regret and pains from a breakup, and looks set to be one of the best new K-pop song releases in 2023.

From Killer repackage full-length studio album. Release date: February 13

‘RISING’ – tripleS

tripleS – a K-pop girl-group whose sub-unit tripleS AAA (Acid Angel from Asia) is one of the promising K-pop rookies that debuted in 2022 – will introduce themselves as a 10-member full group this year. They will include all four members of tripleS AAA and an additional six who will be revealed subsequently on social media.

Expectations will be high as tripleS AAA’s sound went viral on TikTok with their 90s-inspired R&B debut song ‘Generation’.

From ASSEMBLE debut mini album. Release date: February 13

‘Teddy Bear’ – STAYC

After shifting their sights to debut in Japan late last year, K-pop girl group STAYC heads back to South Korea with a brand new single album Teddy Bear. Before their Japan debut, the sextet dropped two mini-albums in 2022 – We Need Love and led by singles ‘Beautiful Monster’ and ‘RUN2U’ respectively.

The upcoming two-track release will feature lead single Teddy Bear and catchy pre-release single ‘Poppy’, which served as their Japanese debut song.

From Teddy Bear single album. Release date: February 13

‘Sweet Juice’ – PURPLE KISS

RBW Entertainment girl group PURPLE KISS is set to make a comeback with their fifth mini-album ‘Cabin Fever’. Lead single ‘Sweet Juice’ is reportedly “about breaking free from the bonds that imprison oneself and finding freedom by dancing”.

This marks their first music in seven months since July 2022’s ‘Geekyland’ mini-album which was spearheaded by lead single ‘Nerdy’.

The upcoming release will also be the girl group’s first record as a six-piece from the departure of ex-member Park Ji-eun. Park left the group after experiencing “continuous poor health condition and symptoms of anxiety”, as mentioned by RBW Entertainment.

From Cabin Fever mini-album. Release date: February 15

BE AWAKE mini-album – THE BOYZ

THE BOYZ is gearing up for a comeback this month with their eighth mini-album BE AWAKE. The 11-member IST Entertainment boy band even brought forward its release date by a week, which is uncommon for a K-pop release schedule.

This upcoming release will also see the return of member Eric. He will be promoting with the group for the first time since going on a temporary hiatus in March 2022.

From BE AWAKE mini-album. Release date: February 20

BOXES debut mini-album – Shin Jimin (formerly of AOA)

Shin Jimin Boxes album 2023
Image credit: Alo Malo Entertainment/Twitter

Formerly the main rapper of K-pop girl group AOA, Shin Jimin now promotes as a soloist and will be releasing her debut mini-album BOXES this month.

Prior to preparing for this solo project, Shin took part in JTBC’s reality singing competition show The Second World in 2022 alongside peers like MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul, OHMYGIRL’s Mimi, and Billlie’s Moon Sua.

BOXES will be released on Feb 22.

Truth or Lie solo debut mini-album – Hwang Minhyun

You may recognise him from the hit K-drama Alchemy of Souls. This year, former NU’EST member Hwang Minhyun will jump back into music and release his debut solo mini-album Truth or Lie.

Hwang has been focusing on his acting career since the disbandment of NU’EST in March 2022. He will also star in upcoming tvN drama Useless Lies, which is scheduled to air later in 2023.

Truth or Lie will be released on Feb 27.

(Hero and feature image credit: BSS (SEVENTEEN) – Pledis Entertainment/HYBE)

The best new K-pop songs to add to music playlist – February 2023

Derrick Tan

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