“외모만 보고 내가 날라리 같대요. So what?”

“Dalla Dalla” by Itzy | K-pop followers know that popularity in the scene is almost always down to luck: that explains all the “you’re sleeping on…” comments on YouTube from desperate fans. Still, you’ll have to admit anything the Big Three agencies debut gets a bit more attention. So, say hello to Itzy, the new girl group from JYP Entertainment, aka the guys who brought us Twice (and miss A and the Wonder Girls previously). Originally this is where we’d ponder about whether Jeon Somi, Produce 101 first placer whose career virtually stalled – and who since moved to a YG sublabel for a debut later this year – would’ve fit this concept. Instead, we’re coming in here after Blackpink made their American television debut, which makes us more sure Itzy is also aiming for that sound… kind of. I’d call them a Blackpink-ed Twice. Shalla’s got a better description: they’re a bit like CLC, that girl group that also has a big label backing them (Cube, in this case) but can’t quite break through in both their original configuration and their HyunA-ed up girl crush one. See, it is all down to luck. And perhaps personal preference, too. Have I said I like the debut from Cherry Bullet? Have I also said it’s seeing IZ*ONE’s Chaeyoung’s sister here takes some getting used to? [NB]

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“I’ve got a million and one things running through my mind.”

“Tell Me So” by Paola Mauricio | Paola’s back, after a little over a year, and this music video (which dropped last night) couldn’t have come at a better time. Well, partly because it’s our last week of new posts for the year, but also because I’ve been grappling with these very thoughts lately. I feel left behind by my peers, and I am turning 30. Paola’s got these very thoughts too. After a horrific accident which she came out of surprisingly unscathed, she decided to quit her day job and try music one more time. “It’s not particularly easy for me to be pursuing music now while my friends are moving up the corporate ladder or getting opportunities I could only dream of,” she said. “But then I thought, ‘I almost had my life taken from me. I have nothing to lose from giving this another try.'” So, a cautiously optimistic angle. The further you get into this, the more you think you can’t catch up. But it’s nice to know it’s not just you – because you do tend to think you’re alone in these things. A nice reminder, even if at the moment, in your particular circumstances, you don’t think you could use it. [NB]

“I got too comfortable back in your room.”

“All My Friends Are Falling In Love” by the Vaccines | Someone described this as the happiest song the Vaccines ever made, and I tend to agree. It is unusually shiny and glammy for the band that tends to be a bit more… garage-y, although they have had this sunny disposition in some of their songs. That said, I’m not writing about this song because it made such an impression on me. Don’t get me wrong – I like this song, but it’s more all right, and after years of listening to British indie it takes a while for a song to get straight to me. I’m writing about this because, last weekend, Shalla told me that every time this song comes on whenever we’re in the car – I’ve been having the British alternative stations streaming on my drives lately – this song gets stuck in her head for days. I honestly didn’t expect that outcome. I guess that also makes this a pretty… strong song than most. [NB]

“This is what you do at parties, right?”

“Dance with Me” by Beabadoobee | I first heard of Beabadoobee a couple of weeks ago. She’s newly signed to Matt Healy’s record label. Also, I wasn’t sure if I heard the presenter right. She’s from the Philippines? Yes, as it turns out, although she and her family moved to London when she was three – fifteen years ago. (So that makes two Filipinos for Matt.) Apparently she first picked up a guitar last year (although she is a violinist, at least according to this interview with her from Noisey) had released a bunch of songs that got the attention of early adopters – people seem to love “Coffee” – and now she has an EP, Patched Up. Knowing how we Filipinos latch on to anything and everything vaguely of our heritage, I’m a bit surprised we haven’t heard much about her… but maybe next year. Surely her plaintive bedroom pop will appeal to some people over here. But by then the gatekeepers would have kicked most of us out, because it can only be their party. [NB]

“Paulit-ulit kong binabalikan.”

“TOTGA” by Eloisa Jayloni | Two nights ago, from Shalla: “Okay, tonight’s busker has a nice voice.” She walks through High Street to get home from work these days. “She has a sign that says ‘Hi, I’m Eloisa – I’m making my impossible possible’.” I thought I’d have a hard time tracking her down, but Allene apparently knows her too – and her brother is a fan, as he also walks the same mall on his way back from work, or something. And yes, judging from this one song that has a music video on YouTube, Eloisa Jayloni’s voice is different – not that different, but there are things you do not expect it to do, at least considering appearances, the pixie cut Shalla thinks suits her. Maybe when I get to High Street at the right time I can listen to her. [NB]