B-Side Spotlight: October 2020

Hello, and welcome to another B-Side playlist! October was another month for an endless pile of releases; at one point my playlist of albums I needed to listen to was over 8 hours long. There was a lot of good stuff, however, so let’s get into it.

Blackpink – “Pretty Savage” 

From: The Album

I’d like to thank this album and its many bops for finally converting me into a Blackpink fan. I was powerless to resist the hits, as always.

WEi – “Fuze”

From: Identity: First Sight

I think I’ve been pretty clear about how much I love an over-dramatic boy group song, and this track my WEi hits all the boxes. I also feel compelled to say that I really enjoyed the title track “Twilight” a lot, as well.

NCT Dream – “Deja Vu”

From: NCT Resonance Part. 1

So this album was sort of weird to pick b-sides from. Obviously, this song has a track video, and it’s weird to compare b-sides between what are, technically, different groups. But then I decided I make the rules and I like this one best, and it’s not the one that’s being promoted. So here it is! 

Joohoney – “DIA”

From: [MIXTAPE] PYSCHE

I like Jooheon best when he’s a little more mellow, and this track really hits that sweet spot for me. I also really liked “Dark & Cloudy”, which also features my girl Boa Kim.

Weki Meki – “Just Us”

From: NEW RULES 4th mini album

This mini has a couple of very sweet tracks, and I fell hard for this one after the first couple of listens. I was very set on choosing “Sweet Dreams” for this playlist, but on my final listen though I just had to switch it to “Just Us”.

SF9 – “Love No.5”

From: Special History Book (SF9 special album)

I’ve been a fan of SF9 since debut, although it has ebbed and flowed over time. I have to admit that this mini doesn’t super hit me in the right way, but I do enjoy this track a lot. 

VERIVERY – “Hold Me Tight”

From: FACE US 

I love a good game of “can I bop to this?” and I like how this song is a gentle bop. A bop that builds. A bop with a good foundation.

LOONA – “Hide and Seek”

From: [12:00]

Loona just don’t ever disappoint me. Having this many hits in general feels faintly obscene, but I truly can’t be mad about it.

B1A4 – “Tonight”

From: Origine

Of all my picks for this playlist, “Tonight” is probably my favourite of them all. I loved it on the first listen, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat since. I know I say that every month for at least one song, but it’s true; sometimes you just have to listen to a song until you get sick of it. 

Golden Child “Lean On Me

From: Pump It Up [2nd Single Album]

Golden Child’s earlier 2020 mini, “Take A Leap”, really made me into a fan of theirs. This one managed to hold my attention well, specifically with this track, which is hard since it was just a three-track release.

AleXa – “Burn Out”

From: Decoherence

There’s a lot to like about this track: I like the odd chromatic vocal line in the chorus, and I always like AleXa’s voice and the power she puts behind it without being overwhelming. This one was a case of massively preferring the track she’s promoting more than anything else on the album, but that’s fine and it happens.

Pentagon – “You Like”

From: WE:TH

There’s a slightly tonally weird chorus on this one, but the opening and the verses are absolutely lovely. Could maybe do with an edit, but a genuinely enjoyable track regardless.

M.O.N.T – “Shadow”

From: Listen Up!

Alright, so, yes this b-side has a music video, and technically came out two months ago – but it’s on the album, and they’re not currently promoting it, so I think this is fair. This track is smooth from start to end, from the simple piano melody to the vocals, and feels like a good autumn listen.

Blackswan – “Dr Feel Good (Remix)

From: Goodbye RANIA

So…how do we class a remix of a song that’s been out for years, released by a renamed version of a group that has also been together for years? October was a month for confusing releases that defy my classification style, which is “did it come out in the last month?”. Simple enough, right? Apparently not. Anyway, I fucking love this remix. I loved the original song, too, so that definitely helps. It’s a bop.

D-Crunch – “H.A.G.Y”

From: Across The Universe

This song is a sweet track that wouldn’t have been out of place during one of the (thousands of) summer releases, but I appreciate that it’s a little bright spot during a time of gloomy weather and general coldness. Thanks, D-Crunch <3

DKB – “No More”

From: Growth

If I was in charge of picking the one rookie group that everyone should be listening to, I would absolutely choose DKB. Their second mini-album was bop after bop, and while this third one is a bit more subdued it still gave me THIS track, which has the exact right amount of melancholy for me.

CIX – “Change Me”

From: HELLO, Chapter 3: Hello, Strange Time

More boy group drama! Give me all of it! I’m sorry for being boy group trash but I’m not gonna stop!

P1Harmony – “Nemonade”

From: Disharmony: Stand Out

Time for some rookies! I’d absolutely love if more k-pop tracks could go hard on the bass like this, but I’m grateful for a little bit at the very least. I like this song a lot and am looking forward to more from these kids – check out the choreography video for this song!

TWICE – “Up No More” 

From: Eyes Wide Open

Oh, Twice. Oh Twice. Over the course of this year I have got really into Twice, which is something I’d somehow managed to not do so far. The timing was right, and I realised the true potential of Can I Bop To It? And the rest is history. I wanted to pick every song off this album, to be honest, and had to choose just one. Shout outs to “Hell In Heaven”, “Believer”, and “Queen” however.

TXT – “Way Home”

From: minisode1: Blue Hour

TXT have continually impressed me from debut, and I always sincerely hope that they are managing to carve a niche for themselves. I love the dreaminess of this song; it very much fits the “blue hour” theme of the mini, because it feels like the kind of song you’d listen to on the way home from somewhere.

CL – “+5 STAR+”

From: +HWA+

So obviously this is the only b-side on CL’s single release, but that doesn’t mean I don’t really like it. I’m sort of biased, but then I think a lot of people are when it comes to CL – because she has a reputation she deserves, and she’s impressive. I absolutely just love her vocals on this one.

JBJ95 – “TELL ME”

From: JASMIN

In the best way, this song reminds me a lot of WOODZ’ “Love Me Harder”, which was also released this year. It’s not a bad thing at all; I loved that song, and it’s mostly because it has a similar vibe. It’s got a good little groove – and there’s a choreography video!

Seventeen – “Light A Flame”

From: ; [Semicolon]

It’s not fair of me to yell about Seventeen tracks when they’re my favourites, but I love the way this song just kind of…meanders through itself. It’s nice, and a little bittersweet.

DRIPPIN – “Colors”

From: DRIPPIN the First Mini Album

Rookies! Having fun! Making bops! (Do I overuse the word bop? Probably) I like this a lot! Not super keen on the group name but it is what it is. I was a UKISS fan, we all ignored that mess of a name. It can be done.

MINO – “HOP IN (ft. DPR LIVE)”

Ending this playlist on a more mellow note, I love how Mino uses a lack of vocals during the chorus of this song in a simple but effective way. I put this one in my personal monthly playlist as soon as I heard it.

…and that’s it! As always, feel free to tell me about any b-sides you loved in the comments, and happy streaming!

About Hels

Hels
Extremely salty production journalist & professional boy group trash. I like Epik High more than you do.