earthings! 2018: My ten favorites of the year

It’s our very last post for 2018, which means it’s time to reveal my ten favorite songs of the year – although chances are, if you’ve been reading this blog more religiously than most, or have a good idea of what I am into, then you’d have guessed some of the songs on this list. For this year, I decided not to have a massive reckoning some time from the beginning of December (too much pressure, that) but instead made up this list as the year went along. It didn’t make it easier: the tenth song (again, this list is in alphabetical order) was added just a few days ago, and that was a song I actually took off the list. I won’t tell you what that is… [NB]

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“난 하고 싶은 말들이 참 많았었는데.”

“The Blue Bird” by April | I was enjoying every second of this song. The outfits are bomb (Lovelyz, anyone?), their vocals are on point, and Jinsol seems to have grown up a bit. I grew fond of her after watching Girl Spirit, thought I wouldn’t really call myself a “stan”. I don’t know much about the rest of the group, but they’ve been releasing “steady” tracks lately. I was enjoying every minute of this song, feeling the strings building up to create a bang at the end. And they almost did. A couple of seconds after the last note, Rachel whispered “할 말이 있어요”. And that’s what killed it for me; they didn’t need that line! It could’ve ended nicely. Just like this song review – I could’ve ended this nicely, but I didn’t. [SY]

“기적처럼 다 지워지기를 바라죠.”

“April Story” by April | Yes, another K-pop song, but stick with me on this one. (Has anybody?) K-pop runs in seasons. Spring is for simple, almost folksy love songs. Summer loves to party, but it’s still warm, a bit more emphasis on soul. Autumn is where the big hitters come out, for some reason. Winter, finally, has this very pure, innocent sheen – and, somehow, tends to be very sad. In the first week of 2017 alone, we had Akdong Musician’s “Last Goodbye” (we reviewed this album last week) and Vromance’s “I’m Fine”, and then there’s April’s “April Story”. They’re a group I would not otherwise pay attention to, but I was still awake when they premiered this almost two weeks ago, and loved it at first listen. Bittersweet verging on pained, there definitely are shades of GFriend here: the powerful choreography, the sweeping arrangement, and, perhaps, the winter sky. Perhaps, because we don’t get winter here. I am wrong with these things, but this could do for April what “Rough” did to GFriend. Perhaps. [NB]