Female Soloists Set to Dominate K-Pop In April
After a relatively lackluster March for K-pop, with only a handful of notable releases, April is coming in to hit 2017 with a powerful feminine punch. Beginning today, the month is setting up to be dominated by three of the industry’s most prominent young female vocalists.
On April 5, Girls’ Generation member and chart-topping soloist Taeyeon kicked things off with the deluxe edition of February’s My Voice, which peaked at No. 2 on the World Albums chart. The new version of the album features the singer's 2016 ballad "11:11" plus three new songs, including the single “Make Me Love You." A dreamy R&B pop hybrid, "Make Me Love You" poises Taeyeon as a harbinger of spring in its accompanying rain and flower-filled music video.
Spring is definitely the theme for April, with Jeong Eunji planning to release “A Spring Like You (너란 봄)” off of her Space EP on April 10. Like Taeyeon, Apink’s Eunji is another member of a top-tier K-pop girl group, and she’s simultaneously built a reputation as a rising television actress and a popular vocalist, after “Hopefully Sky” topped charts in Korea last year. She’s pairing up once again with the folk musician Hareem, who provided instrumentals on “Hopefully Sky.”
Soloist IU rounds out the month with the release of Palette on the 21st, her first album since 2015’s Chat-Shire. She’s already placed at No. 16 on the World Digital Song Sales chart with her pre-album-release ballad “Through The Night” and will drop another song, "Can't Love You Anymore (사랑이 잘)," on April 7.
“Can't Love You Anymore” is a collaboration between the pop singer and Oh Hyuk, the frontman of the indie band Hyukoh. Between Oh’s mellow vocals and IU being an industry darling who has quite literally matured under the spotlight, the song is one to look forward to.
IU will release a third single upon Palette's release towards the end of the month.
These three chart-toppers are proving to be a threat to other Korean artists hoping to appear on local music charts: Taeyeon’s most recent single “Fine” has remained steady within the top 10 on Korean charts since its release on February 28, and at least one singer confirmed that IU’s return to the industry caused him to push off releasing new music until May.
Even so, several other notable acts have also raised expectations for a competitive April, including the highly-anticipated debut of former 2NE1 member Minzy as a soloist and WINNER’s recent revamping as a four-member band.
April will also see EXID return sans lead vocalist Solji, who is taking a break to recover from health issues. Other acts including Teen Top, Dreamcatcher, SechsKies, Day6, and Hyolyn also have releases planned throughout the month.