Selective Hearing 2021 Q3 Review

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This recap is a little late, but here is what the Selective Hearing staff have found to be tickling their fancy in the third quarter of 2021.

Greg

AKMU feat. IU – Nakka

Spotify
Apple Music

Nakka is a song that immediately caught my attention.

The sound catches on to the synth wave trend that is currently making the rounds in pop music, combining it with some funk, all while retaining the quirkiness that makes AKMU’s music so interesting.

It also helped that they have IU guesting on the song, not that it was necessary, but it was nice to see her collaborating with them.

Rocket Punch – Ring Ring (Acoustic Version)

Spotify
Apple Music

The acoustic version of Ring Ring breathes new life into Rocket Punches retro pop track released earlier in the year. It’s a chilled rendition that gives the members opportunities to flex their vocal abilities more than usual.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Rocket Punch do more of this type of material in the future.

Taeyeon – Weekend

Spotify
Apple Music

When you hear this track, the obvious comparison is Doja Cat’s Kiss Me More. However, while there are musical similarities, it’s not the same song note for note.

With that out of the way, the song is a catchy summer jam that has received repeated plays from me.

=LOVE – Weekend Citron

Spotify
Apple Music

Despite being more into K-Pop idols, I still take the time to listen to some J-Pop idols I have some loyalty to. =LOVE is one of those groups. Even though this is pretty cookie-cutter Japanese idol music, it’s well-executed cookie-cutter Japanese idol music, so I give it a pass for that.

Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)

Spotify
Apple Music

I think I came across this remix on a random Apple Music dance music playlist. The song is a mash-up of two Elton John songs Rocket Man and Sacrifice.

This video combines traditional animation for the background scenes with stop motion anime for the dance choreography.

Baek A Yeon – 0%

Spotify
Apple Music

I stumbled upon the latest album from Baek A Yeon while browsing through Apple Music. The lead single 0% is only the tip of the iceberg of a fantastic EP called Observe.

I’m relatively new to her, so I’ll be exploring more of her music because of her most recent EP.

STAYC – STEREOTYPE

Spotify
Apple Music

STAYC released a killer track in the form of ASAP earlier in the year, so following that up is challenging.

STEREOTYPE is not as immediately infectious as their previous release, but it’s still a great song. It reminds me of early 2000’s R&B/Pop crossovers mixed with some of what are becoming trademark sounds in STAYC songs.

YUKIKA – Loving You

Spotify
Apple Music

This is not the best material YUKIKA has released this year, but I’m willing to let that slide just because I have developed a strong affection for her music. Also, watch the video. So cute.

Hannah

Hoshimachi Suisei – Sanji Juunifun with Taku Inoue

Spotify

Suisei seems to be upping her game with every release, and this release gets the closest to what I would consider an excellent song.

Meme Tokyo – THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

Spotify

Patrick of Japan Times once said CY8ER died so that Meme Tokyo could live. This song proves that and shows what a modern production of great J-pop should sound like.

Millennium Parade – U

Spotify

My patience is finally paying off for an anime director who could truly knock Miyazaki off his throne, with excellent music to boot.

Stray Kids – THUNDEROUS

Spotify

Are they getting formulaic? Sure. But is it hitting all the right spots? You damn right they are.

Femme fatale – Club Moon

Spotify

The fact that Kenmochi has been writing non-stop for both femme fatale and Senritsu Kanano’s solos this year without having a single dud is a true testament to his talent. Here’s to hoping that keeps up.

Denonbu (franchise)

They’ve stayed the course on releasing a song each week, which means each week has at least one home run hit. “Avengers of J-pop” indeed, except 20x less corny and more consistent.

AKB48 – Nemohamo Rumor

Spotify

I’m… excited about AKB again?! What the fuck? What is this 2018?

Allen

fromis_9 Talk & Talk

Spotify

At first, listen, I wasn’t digging the song. I liked their direction in the last year with a more mature sound from Feel Good and WE GO, so Talk & Talk just took me by surprise, and I was ready to jump on board the F*** PLEDIS bandwagon. After a few more listens, it became very catchy, and the video was cute as an extension from WE GO’s PV.

Visually appealing and an easy listen, even the official ringtone has become super catchy. This song has opened the floodgates on content, fromis_9 has been everywhere thanks to new management. All of it has led to their first music show win. Congratulations, flovers, we’ve been well fed this year.

Aaliyah – One In A Million

Spotify

Aaliyah’s music is finally out of rights holder jail and now available for everyone to stream. Just hearing her music gets me in such a good mood, and even after 25 years, I found myself putting her back into rotation for the summer. I always loved Aaliyah as a kid and now have so much more respect for her music as an adult. I hope others can relive the times when she was around through her music.

Japanese Breakfast – Glider

Spotify

I’ve been on a Japanese Breakfast kick the last few months; whenever I need to get out of my head and chill, they are my go-to artist. Glider came out along with the game Sable, so I hope I’ll be able to check out the game soon.

Red Velvet – Queendom

Spotify

Red Velvet is back in full strength, and I couldn’t be any happier. So many people labelled Queendom as “safe,” but that meant more consistency with the sound I enjoy. Of course, they come with some killer B-Sides, and I tend to favour the slower Pushin’ N Pullin’ and Hello Sunset. I’m like other Reveluvs hoping for more music from them again soon.

Mido and Falasol – Superstar (Hospital Playlist OST)

Spotify

I’ve marathoned both seasons of Hospital Playlist over the summer, and it has become my favourite KDrama. On top of the show’s captivating stories and charming characters, it has an excellent soundtrack, with some of it being sung by the actors on the show.

This song stands out to me for two reasons. After making mistakes, the first one, just saying “It’s okay, you’ll be fine,” gives off such a simple and positive message. The second reason is with Songwha, Jeon Mido’s character, and her version of the song. So if you know, you know.

Watch the show!

ToZ

Peter Rosenberg – Real Late

Spotify

Yeah, the guy on Hot 97 and WWE programming produced a hip-hop album, and I like it. Blending veteran rappers with the current up-and-coming class, I regularly find myself returning to a few of these songs.

Nas – King’s Disease

Spotify

What do you do when you put out a Grammy-winning album? You make a sequel. It’s great to hear Nas talk about his chemistry with producer Hit-Boy and not wanting to get away from that energy. Keep it coming, please. Also, he got Lauryn Hill to come out, and they have one of the best songs of the year.

SUNMI – 1/6

Spotify

She does it again. Sunmi remains my favourite act in all of K-pop.

Here are some songs that I came across and I’ve also been listening to:

Durand Jones & The Indications – Witchoo (Official Video)

Technically, this didn’t come out in the timeframe, but I found it during the quarter, so I included it.

Me & Mrs. Wong