Edited by Yoon
Translated by Hana Lee
Many music playlists are tagged with ‘new,’ ‘start,’ ‘challenge’ and ‘hope’ on YouTube and music streaming sites. This is because more and more people are looking for music to listen to for the start of the new year.
Music has close connections to our emotions, and there are songs about hope, inspiration and a better world that are just perfect for the beginning of the new year. Here, we’ve rounded up seven K-pop songs to add to your playlist to make you excited for the year ahead.
WJSN – As You Wish (2019)
“As You Wish” is the title track of WJSN’s seventh mini album. It is one of their most well-known New Year’s songs that always climbs back up music charts at the start of every new year. Its lyrics that wish people a happy new year, like “As you wish” and “Every wish will come true” (literal translation), goes well with the member’s dreamy and ethereal voices. The latter part of the song, where all members sing together, also builds to an emotional climax that feels cathartic. It’s a track that means a lot to WJSN and was chosen as one of their competition songs in Mnet’s Queendom 2.
NCT127 – Dreams Come True (2020)
“Dreams Come True” is the last track on NCT 127’s second studio album, NCT #127 Neo Zone. The song highlights the gentle R&B vocals of Taeil and Haechan as well as their soothing voices. The lyrics are all about hope, encouragement and inspiration. They sing, “You’re doing well,” “Everything will change and shine bright,” “You’ll be shining” and “All your dreams come true” to comfort themselves and the listeners with the positive message of the song. It is a great song to listen to on the first day of the new year, on your commute to work or on a day you need a little cheering up.
Wonpil (DAY6) – A journey (2022)
“A journey” is a self-composed track by DAY6’s Wonpil on his first-ever solo studio album. He released the song right before his military enlistment, and perhaps that’s why the song contains so many of his personal stories and emotions. Through lyrics like “Look forward to seeing a better version of myself” and “I will be back” (literal translation), he candidly reveals his determination to embark on a new journey as he cheers people on their unique endeavors. It is a great song to close an album, a perfect gift for fans and a fantastic song to boost energy and self-esteem.
Kara – STEP (2011)
“STEP” is the title track of Kara’s third full-length album, which is currently climbing back up charts with the news of their long-awaited return to the K-pop scene. The song was released right after they overcame the issue with their label, which almost resulted in disbanding the team. The lyrics, “Why rush? Get louder,” “I am starting again” and “Crank up the volume” (literal translation) show how determined they were to go their own way when they faced negative external influences back in 2011. Many K-pop fans still choose “STEP” as the best song that identifies them as Kara.
BTS – Outro : Wings (2017)
“Outro: Wings” is a track on BTS’ second studio album YOU NEVER WALK ALONE, which gives a great conclusion to youths’ growth and maturation stories. Just like the album’s title song, “Spring Day,” this track provides hope and warm consolation to worn-out young adults living in current society. The lyrics written by each member further enhance the immersion in the song. One of the reasons behind their success lies in their ability to deliver their message through their music, and such an aspect helped “Dynamite” to become a huge breakthrough for the group.
TAEYEON – Dear Me (2020)
“Dear Me” is the title track of Taeyeon’s repackaged second studio album, Purpose. While the original title track, “Spark,” shows her strong willpower, “Dear Me” provides warm comfort with a positive message to believe and love yourself. Although the song doesn’t necessarily highlight her strong vocals and clear high notes, it delivers a different charm through her relaxing voice and profound emotions.
BSS (SEVENTEEN) – Just do it (2018)
“Just do it” is the debut song of SEVENTEEN’s special unit BSS, which consists of Hoshi, DK and Seungkwan. Their bubbly and cheerful energy is well shown in their music, and their clear and powerful voices add to the track’s charm. The lyrics that were written by the members, “Kick it,” “The guy who does what he sets his mind on,” and “Do whatever you want,” (literal translation) really embody the concept of the group and their confidence in their music. The song is a perfect anthem for the new year where we set our goals and dreams.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this article!
Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.