In recent generations of K-pop, many artists have begun to favor aggressive, hard-hitting beat drops and instrumentals to match the intensity and power of their dances. While some listeners may disapprove of this style of music, calling it “loud” or comparing it to “construction noise,” it’s clear how popular this style of music has become. Without further ado, here are some of the best K-pop songs that take the Noise Music title uncompromisingly.
1. EVERGLOW – “DUN DUN”
We begin with EVERGLOW’s “DUN DUN,” one of the group’s boldest and most successful singles to date. EVERGLOW made bold, menacing EDM their niche from the start, delivering an intense, mind-blowing experience with every listen of this song and every dynamic drop punctuated by the anthemic screams of the members.
2. CARD – “Bomb”
KARD are known for their discography of club-ready hits, and 2019’s “Bomb Bomb” is no different. This track, however, dives into an experimental, grating instrumental that verges on rubbing but still makes for an infectiously energetic track with undeniable punch.
3. ATEEZ – “Guerrilla”
In their latest title track, ATEEZ seem to have gathered every ounce of power and attitude in their bodies and combined it all into the smash “Guerrilla”. Possibly the most aggressive K-pop release in recent memory, this song perfectly melds its choppy synths with a soaring, rocking guitar instrumental that even throws in a few screamo moments. With “Guerrilla” ATEEZ prove that their scrappy, wild energy remains unmatched.
4. aespa – “savage”
Among all of aespa’s innovative, experimental tracks, last year’s “Savage” is one of the most iconic, with its jarring industrial sound and video game-inspired blips painting a vibrant cyberpunk soundscape befitting its unique concept. While she doesn’t have the flashiest of lines, rapper/singer Karina takes this track to the next level with her dark tone and addictive vocals that feel right at home on “Savage.”
5. GOT7 – “Hard Carry”
Can you believe it’s been six years since GOT7 blew us away with “Hard Carry”? This powerful EDM and trap-influenced dance number remains one of the boy band’s most memorable songs to date, signaling their shift to a heavier sound with its exhilarating, heart-wrenching instrumental drop. And as the title says, it really works difficult.
6. CLC – “HELICOPTERS”
While CLC will be sorely missed, the third generation girl group made sure to come out with a bang through the edgy trap and heavy EDM-infused “HELICOPTER” as their final single. Packed with explosive instrumentation and a powerful, pounding rhythm, this track brought out the best in CLC’s fearless, confident demeanor.
7. Stray Kids – “Thundering”
“The Thunderers have arrived,” Stray Kids declare to their haters in this vehement rebuttal. Unabashedly brave from the start of their career, the group opted for their hard-hitting sound despite their divisive attitudes towards their music. Its instrumental chorus is unique and perfectly mimics the dizzying sensation of sliding down a steep slide. Besides, what better way to end this list than with the noise kings themselves.
What else do you think should have been on the list? Let us know in the comments below!
Gladys Yeo is a longtime K-Entertainment fan and college student majoring in Media and Asian Studies. Outside of school and writing, she listens to K-pop girl groups or tries (and fails) to control her two pet corgis. You’re welcome to take a look Instagram or Twitter to chat about drama, music and life!
Currently dependent on: “Guerrilla” by ATEEZ, “Hype Boy” by NewJeans
Look forward to: Billie’s The Billage of Perception: Chapter Two and Keys’ Gasoline