So many bands debuted in 2013! It can be difficult filtering out the talented ones from the poor masses that will likely disappear under the radar in due time. So I went through the list and narrowed it down to 10 that I think actually have potential, have an insanely catchy song, or a member worth keeping an eye on.
1.) LADIES’ CODE
LADIES’ CODE had publicity before the members even debuted. It has a beauty queen (RiSe), a singing competition alumni (Sojung), an internet sensation (Ashley) and a famous anchor’s in-law (EunB). They had amazingly quirky fashion in Pretty Pretty and gave the Wonder Girls a run for their money with So Wonderful. They have the amazing vocals in Sojung, the beautiful face in RiSe, and the American speaker in Ashley. These are three qualities that can be very useful in the long run and that sadly a lot of groups lack. Get to know their names, these girls are going to be huge. (More Ladies’ Code On iTunes.)
2.) Boys Republic
Boys Republic first caught my eye when they were killed inside a box in a hilariously morbid fashion. Then came their song Video Game and now I’m hooked. The dance version is a million times better than the story version so save yourself the time and enjoy it as the instrumental slowly seeps into your brain…until you can’t stop singing it…forever. (More Boys Republic On iTunes.)
For their debut, the LC9 members beat each other up á la Dragon Ball Z—memorable. Their debut EP Skirmish was pretty decent and showed promise. Then they disappeared from the face off the earth! Sadly, this band’s company just won’t let them make a comeback! They recently sang some sappy OST and now their leader is leaving for the army, which means they could be shelfed for another two years. (NOTE: You should ignore the horribly Photoshopped debut pictures. They were trying to make them look cartoony but they just looked awful.) Then they covered Nelly’s Just A Dream and the result was very catchy. But let’s be honest, this band is here for one reason: my bias E.Den (he’s the one who gets hacked with an axe in the MV below). (More LC9 On iTunes.)
(If Big Bang’s T.O.P and Daniel Henney had a baby, it would be E.Den.)
History is a five member band under Loen (oh sorry, 1thek…), which is already interesting enough since the company also manages IU and Sunny Hill. However, their debut song Dreamer was so incredibly boring and disappointing. Then, Who Am I To You happened. At first, I wasn’t very impressed…but then I kept coming back to it. The song gets to you very slowly but when it does, it won’t let go. I think History has a lot of potential: vocals aren’t bad, they’re good actors and the quality of their MVs is superb. I can’t wait to see what happens next. (More History On iTunes.)
5.) Royal Pirates
The Royal Pirates “officially” debuted in 2013 with the addicting song Shout Out. Rock bands are kind of rare to find in the Korean music industry, at least the ones that try to promote side by side with pop acts. The band was discovered by posting rock covers online and they do English versions of their songs. My favorite song from them is Drawing the Line. The MV is fun and lighthearted and James (bassist) is so handsome. (More Royal Pirates On iTunes.)
6.) QUEEN B’Z
Before Sunmi even contemplated becoming a sexy-creepy-troubled vampire, the QUEEN B’Z girls were perfecting the art. What really got me interested in this band was the plot of their debut Bad MV. A serial killer that targets women drowns them, drains them of their blood and then discards the bodies in the same dark lake. Then some of the victims rise from the water as (ironically) vampires with a vengeance. Come on! That’s awesome! (More Queen B’Z on iTunes.)
7.) Bangtan Boys
The Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS and the Bulletproof Boyscouts (okay?), are in this list mostly because their level of popularity despite being a rookie group is staggering. They’re not going to disappear—their legion of fan girls is mounting as I type this. I personally don’t care for them. I find their lyrics extremely corny and the way they treated their female model in School Luv Affair disrespectful. This band, however, does have the most epically hilarious names in the industry: Rap Monster, J-Hope and, my personal favorite, Suga! (More Bangtan Boys On iTunes.)
Dasoni is a sub-unit of EXID, made up of two members out of the five.I liked their debut song Goodbye and I think the two girls made a well synchronized vocal duo: they sang with each other and did not try to overdo the other person. They need more songs! There needs to be more power vocal duos in pop! Though if they could just add EXID member LE and make ANOTHER sub-unit I would be floored. (More Dasoni On iTunes.)
Do not ask me what is going on in the MV below because I have no idea.
Speed “officially” debuted in 2013, after an array of delays, homages and line up changes. Unfortunately, they’re under Core Contents Media so we have to deal with T-ARA’s seizure-inducing editor. So far the group is known for two things: 1) Some of the members were part of the disbanded group Co-Ed. 2) Their leader, Taewoon, is Zico’s brother (Block B). However, I think they have a lot of potential and will eventually make a name for themselves (unless the CCM CEO, Kim Kwang Soo, completely loses his mind again and reorganizes every single band in his company….again). Recently, member Jong Kook was featured in solo artist Shannon’s impressive song Remember You. I like their songs It’s Over and That’s My Fault which features Min Kyung from Davichi. (More Speed On iTunes.)
I feel like NC.A has IU potential. The beginning of her Oh My God MV is very reminiscent of Marshmallow. I’m not a big fan of her work so far, I just have a neutral attitude. But I think she’ll continue improving and will eventually have a unique voice in the industry. I am a huge fan of her photoshoots however, they’re pretty adorable. (More NC.A On iTunes.)
Hopefully you found a new bias on this list. I’m off to listen to Video Game on loop.