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B-Side Spotlight: September 2021 (STAYC, PURPLE KISS, HyunA & DAWN, Baek Yerin, NCT 127, ITZY)

September was a good, good month for b-sides. A couple of my choices for this playlist have become some of my favourite songs ever from the groups mentioned — even though I’m always excited for groups to release new music, it takes a lot to dethrone a favourite song for me once I’ve found it.

Anyway, let’s go!

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Purple Kiss – “Cast Pearls Before Swine”

They’re just … the best. I like them so much. A bop and a half, which I’ve had on repeat.

Editor’s Note: Look what you fucking did! This is your fault, Hels!

Lee Eun Sang Feat. Yodayoung – “Undo”

What do I always say about Brand New Boys? They never disappoint me.

Young K Feat. Dvwn – “Microphone”

Absolutely gorgeous, a sweet melancholy helped along by Dvwn’s golden vocals.

StayC – “Complex”

I have a StayC sticker on my phone, so I think that means I’m officially a fan? Nobody is shocked; they haven’t released anything yet that I haven’t enjoyed.

Baek A Yeon – “The War On Loneliness”

This song sounds a lot like it was meant as part of an OST for an Autumn-themed drama, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all.

Megamax – “On Your Way”

It’s almost time for the overdramatic boy group bop alarm, but this track is just a regular amount of drama for a boy group bop. A good rookie effort, and looking forward to seeing what they do next, as always.

HyunA & Dawn – “I Know”

I get why they chose “Ping Pong” as the track to promote, but god I wish they’d chosen this one instead because: 1) I like it better and 2) It’s way, way less abrasive.

Lee Hi Feat. Wonstein – “H.S.K.T”

The r&b vibes are impeccable.

Baek Yerin – “Antifreeze”

I just enjoy everything Yerin does at this point, and I can never think of anything else to say because what she does it so exactly my style. Please listen to the whole album.

ATEEZ – “Feeling Like I Do”

I fell for Ateez sometime last year and truly never looked back. I love the dreamscape effect of this song.

NCT 127 – “Breakfast”

NCT 127 are giving us all fantastic house vibes again, which I’m always a fan of. It was hard for me to pick between this track and “Lemonade” for my favourite b-side on their latest mini, but I figured this one might have slipped by with less attention than it deserved.

Yang Yoseob – “Chuck”

Yoseob’s gorgeous voice has been sorely missing from the K-pop scene — I dare anyone to argue with me about it.

ITZY – “Swipe”

Congrats to this song for winning the prize for “my personal favourite Itzy song” — it’s so cool. They’re so cool.

Key – “Helium”

Ooooh, that silky falsetto at the beginning is SO good.

Ciipher – “That’s Okay”

Ciipher! You’ve done it! I really like this song! I’m so pleased.

Mamamoo – “Happier Than Ever”

I really enjoy low-key Mamamoo; I think it gives all their voices space to show off without straining or doing too much.

AB6IX – “Level Up”

All of AB6IX’s last few releases have been perfect for me, and I can happily add everything on this latest one to that list.

VICTON’s Hanse Feat. Kid Wine & Yongyong – “Scent”

Victon’s Hanse finally released some work of his own, and this track is the perfect mascot for the rest of the mini — it’s smooth as hell, and you all know I’m a sucker for that.

E’Last – “Muse”

I love the dark vibes of this track, and I love how consistent it feels all the way through. A lot of boy group tracks tend to go for seven different styles instead of sticking with one, and this not happening for E’Last on this song shows a maturation of their sound that I’m very grateful for.

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And that’s it!

As always, let me know which b-sides were your favourites during the month of September, and I’ll see you all for my top October picks.

Happy listening!

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