K-pop, Mandopop and other Asian pop
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K-pop releases this week include tracks from Balming Tiger with RM from BTS, Key from Shinee and Billlie (above). Photo: Mystic Story

New K-pop releases: what to make of Balming Tiger featuring RM of BTS, and tracks by Mamamoo+, Day6 (Even of Day), Key of Shinee, and Billlie

  • RM of BTS lends his voice to Balming Tiger’s ‘Sexy Nukim’, and Day6 subgroup Even of Day give us all something to dream of on ‘Darling of the Beach’
  • Mamamoo’s Solar and Moonbyul gel with rapper Big Naughty on ‘Better’, a laid-back alt R&B track, while ‘Gasoline’ features Key from Shinee in all his pomp
Tamar Hermanin United States
Last week brought star girl group power, but the week of August 28 to September 3 saw some more eclectic K-pop releases. Solos, collaborations and rookies all had big moments.

Here are some must-listens to check out:

Balming Tiger feat. RM of BTS – ‘Sexy Nukim’

The leader of BTS joins alternative group Balming Tiger on their latest single, and brings some sexy feels to this laid-back electro rap track.

Paired with a music video that dissociates from reality in some wild ways, “Sexy Nukim” is Balming Tiger’s first group project in over a year, and RM’s first musical release since BTS announced a “temporary break” (as busy as the members have been) in June.

Billlie – ‘Ring ma Bell (what a wonderful world)’

Since their debut in 2021, Billlie have rapidly developed a cult following for their singles “Ring X Ring” and this year’s “GingaMingaYo (The Strange World)”. On “Ring ma Bell” Billlie go in a new musical direction, offering their take on fierce pop rock and making it soar with their powerful vocals.

Day6 (Even of Day) – ‘Darling of the Beach’

School classes may have resumed, but many of us are still clinging to the summer, and Day6 subgroup Even of Day are falling in love at the beach and giving us all something to dream of on “Darling of the Beach”.

A sweet, upbeat pop-rock tune, it is accompanied by a music video that offers a cartoonish take on holiday romances, and features the rockers trading in their normal instruments for maracas, ukuleles and a mini keytar.

Key – ‘Gasoline’

A member of Shinee, Key has thrived with his solo efforts, and the lead track of his second full-length album, also called “Gasoline”, is a celebration of that.

Full of pomp and confidence, the song is best heard while watching Key’s live performances or the accompanying music video. With its excessive, artistic grandeur, “Gasoline” offers a taste of what Key presents on the album: performance art put to music at its very best.

Mamamoo+ featuring Big Naughty – ‘Better

Solar and Moonbyul of Mamamoo joined forces this week as the first official Mamamoo subgroup, performing with rapper Big Naughty on the rather minimalist alt R&B track “Better”. With a laid-back trap rhythm, it is a relaxed tune perfect to listen to while getting in a car and driving nowhere.

It is propelled by the stand-out vocals of the Mamamoo members, who are a good fit for Big Naughty (one of the most in-demand collaborators in South Korea this year).