The Best 20 K-Pop Songs of 2022

The Best 20 K-Pop Songs of 2022

1. “MAISON” by Dreamcatcher 

Often credited as “the face of rock music” in K-pop, Dreamcatcher is a unique and resilient group. During its 2017 debut from a small entertainment company, the group had few resources and significant competition. To the surprise of many K-pop fans, Dreamcatcher quickly began to gain popularity, especially internationally.  

Six years later, Dreamcatcher is a pivotal and distinctive part of the K-rock genre. The hit song “MAISON” was released as the title track of their second full-length album, “Apocalypse: Save Us,” in April. Arguably one of Dreamcatcher’s most energetic songs yet, the track brings in many of the group’s signature musical elements.  

From a fierce, catchy chorus to electronic guitar riffs, “MAISON” has it all. The song’s lyrical message is about saving the planet from climate change. 

2. “Villain” by PIXY 

PIXY made its debut in 2021 with the intention of embracing a dark horror musical concept. The comeback songs “Addicted” and “Bewitched” immediately caught the attention of many avid K-pop listeners later that year. The group’s popularity was the result of several factors, with one being the strong world-building in its music. 

PIXY has created a whole storyline for their fans to follow during each new comeback, referencing the lore through music videos and lyrics. In turn, the story complements the choreography, creating uncommon — yet eye-catching — dance moves. Despite debuting under a small music label, PIXY’s music videos are often praised for their high-quality production.  

Its latest mini album, “REBORN,” features the title song “Villain,” which breaks from the group’s usual horror theme. Instead, its latest release embraces a more laid-back, electro-swing mood. The choruses introduce a sweet dose of funk and keep the energy high for most of the song. 

3. “Girls” by Aespa 

Aespa broke into the K-pop scene in late 2020, debuting under the major music label SM Entertainment. With SM Entertainment’s last girl group having debuted in 2014, the pressure was on for a good performance from Aespa. The hit debut single, “Black Mamba,” saw the group rapidly gain fans. 

Musically, Aespa takes significant inspiration from electronic dance music, using loud, gritty synths and bass throughout several songs. The group’s latest title track, “Girls,” was released in July and continues to follow a tried-and-true electronic music formula.  

From the very beginning, the title song brings in an enormous amount of energy with an electronic growl synth that is layered throughout the rest of the track. The dance break climax of the song fully embraces this sound. Eventually, the track goes fully instrumental with a dubstep beat, accompanied by vigorous choreography. 

4. “Magnetic” by Kwon Eunbi 

5. “Sharp Objects” by Sorn  

6. “Love Dive” by IVE  

7. “PURR” by Kep1er and VIVIZ 

8. “Dice” by NMIXX 

9. “memeM” by Purple Kiss 

10. “Pose” by LOONA  

11. “Wildside” by Red Velvet 

12. “Bada Boom” by Solar and Moon     

        Byul 

13. “Typa Girl” by BLACKPINK  

14. “Villain Dies by (G)I-DLE 

15. “Ven Para” by Weeekly  

16. “Doomchita” by Secret Number  

17. “Maniac” by Stray Kids  

18. “Blah Blah Blah” by ITZY  

19. “Queen of Hearts” by TWICE  

20. “Antifragile” by Le Sserafim 

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Nicholas Merlino

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