Over the past two years, K-Pop has boomed from being a solid industry dominated by three major companies to a megalith with hundreds of companies all competing for attention. In 2012, there were well over 100 new debuts in 2012, many of these groups now a flash in the pan, still struggling to get their success, or travelling around to take advantage of the global market of K-Pop.
While there have been many high profile releases over the past few weeks, with YG, SM, JYP and Cube all releasing their singles that have won their share of awards, we thought we would share some our favourites that might not have stolen the spotlight, but well deserved to.

9Muses – Gun

The gorgeous women of 9Muses are back with their retro single, Gun. With a driving beat that is far too catchy for its own good, you may find yourself humming this song before you even realize you like it. Plus, 9Muses have one of the coolest sets of “regular” fans at events that you might ever meet. Get the chance to promote with 9Muses, and they’ll happily cheer for your group too.
 

LED Apple – With the Wind

The only thing that seems to pack more emotion than the lyrics is Hanbyul’s hauntingly emotional vocals in the LED Apple performances of “With the Wind”. A gorgeous song that suits the cold autumn evenings settling in across Seoul, “With the Wind” is about someone who just can’t seem to shake the memories of a past love as he walks down a familiar street. A perfect song for anyone who might be going through their own heartache, though be warned – you might just get hit a bit hard in the feels.
 

NC.A – Oh My God!

After her wonderfully adorable debut “My Student Teacher” (where she falls in love with the student teacher at her school – who happens to be an English teacher. Yay English!) NC.A is back with a song even more adorable, if it’s even possible, with “Oh My God!” As a live performance, “Oh My God” is a visual pleasure to watch, and NC.A has a solid voice that deceives her baby face. NC.A is certainly in the realm of “freshly debuted and needing your love”, so if you have room on your Soribada or Melon playlist, make some room for this wonderful little earworm!
 

N-Sonic – Run&Run

“Run&Run” is a powerful song that manages to pull in fans from every group when the song is performed. Through tapings at all music shows, fans from all different fan clubs can be found singing along and doing the arm spins that go with the “Run and run and running!” in the chorus. N-Sonic have been leaving a strong impression on fans during their live performances, and you’ll find yourself dancing along by the end of the song, or at least the next time you hear it.
 

JJUN – Way To Your Heart

When JJUN made his debut appearance at Simply K-Pop at Arirang, everything about his release “Way To Your Heart” appealed to the international fans in the audience. Claiming that his influences come from 90’s boy bands, and showing off generous amounts of skin, the audience of international fans who grew up with NSYNC and Backstreet Boys were immediately won over. There really is something very classic 90’s pop to JJUN’s release. He’s also an incredible performer who knows both how to build up and feed off audience energy. Often, this involves taking off his shirt and showing off his incredibly impressive abs. But really, what fans are going to complain about that?
 

U-Kiss – She’s Mine

U-Kiss return with their 8th mini-album in Korea with “She’s Mine”. Their first promotion without Dongho, “She’s Mine” takes on an entirely new sound for U-Kiss. Written by Brave Brothers, it’s a much manlier image than U-Kiss have shown in the past, and if the fan reaction can be any gauge, it’s been a well received direction as well. The song definitely plays up to the strengths of AJ and Eli, the two rappers, but all six members look and sound incredible in this possessive song laying claim over a girlfriend from any threats.
 
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What songs are you guys listening to now? Have we missed anyone? Who should be on our radar next?
 

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