By Dong Sun-hwa
A-list K-pop stars, including BLACKPINK’s Lisa and NCT 127, took the music scene by storm in September with their new releases. In October, attention-grabbing groups like aespa and ENHYPEN will pick up the baton, seeking to take center stage with their fresh tunes.
1. Aespa (Oct. 5)
Teaser image featuring aespa’s Chinese member Ningning / Courtesy of SM Entertainment
K-pop girl group aespa, which is made up of four human members ― Karina, Winter, Giselle and Ningning ― and their virtual avatars, is poised to put out its first mini-album, “Savage,” on Oct. 5.
“Savage” will be aespa’s first physical album since its debut last November. To date, the quartet has only rolled out singles, including “Black Mamba” and “Next Level.”
The upcoming album will carry its namesake lead single and five other tracks of various genres, according to aespa’s management company, SM Entertainment.
The agency took to the group’s official Twitter Thursday to unveil dramatic teasers featuring Winter and Ningning. In the images, the two are hallucinating, due to “Black Mamba,” a fictional evil force attempting to separate aespa members from their digital entities.
“The images hint that aespa’s new tunes will revolve around its fictional universe, just like its previous singles,” SM said in a statement, referring to the four-piece act’s universe, which centers on the avatars, known as the members’ alter egos that help them experience the new world.
Additional details about the album have not yet been revealed.
Aespa is one of the most anticipated rookie groups in the K-pop world. It rose to instant stardom thanks to its novel concept, involving digital entities and its metaverse, a shared virtual space where users interact via digital avatars. The music videos of “Black Mamba” and “Next Level” exceeded 100 million views on YouTube soon after their release.
2. Golden Child (Oct. 5)
K-pop boy group Golden Child / Courtesy of Woollim Entertainment
K-pop act Golden Child is also returning to the music scene on Oct. 5, releasing a repacked version of its second studio album, “GAME CHANGER.”
The 10-member group’s agency, Woollim Entertainment, floated a teaser poster on its Twitter account Thursday that features poker chips and cards.
Hinting that Golden Child will be back with an “offbeat concept,” the company said that more details about the album ― such as the title of the lead track ― will be disclosed in the coming days.
With “GAME CHANGER,” which came out on Aug. 2, Golden Child hit an apex in their career, selling more than 120,000 copies of the album, according to Korean album sales tracker Hanteo. It also reigned atop iTunes’ Top K-pop Albums chart in multiple countries, including Turkey.
Golden Child, which debuted in 2017, consists of Daeyeol, Y, Jangjun, Tag, Seungmin, Jaehyun, Jibeom, Donghyun, Joochan and Bomin.
3. WOODZ (Oct. 5)
K-pop star WOODZ / Courtesy of Yue Hua Entertainment
WOODZ, whose real name is Cho Seung-youn, is slated to unleash his third mini-album, “ONLY LOVERS LEFT,” Oct. 5.
His management company, Yue Hua Entertainment, unveiled a teaser poster Wednesday, which shows mysterious dark rooms illuminated with purple and red lights. The poster also includes the following lines, “The road that never ends, the lights that go out, only the ones you love become the light that illuminates the destination.”
“WOODZ has been actively participating in his albums’ creative processes, proving his well-roundedness,” a Yue Hua official said. “He also poured a lot of effort into the upcoming album and added more gripping stories to it.”
WOODZ debuted as a member of Korean-Chinese boy group Uniq in 2014 and made his solo debut two years later. In 2019, he took part in Mnet’s audition program, “Produce X 101,” and joined the project group, X1, after finishing in fifth place. After the band’s dissolution in 2020 ― triggered by Mnet’s vote-manipulation scandal ― he resumed his solo career by dropping the EP, “Equal.”
4. ENHYPEN (Oct. 12)
Teasers for ENHYPEN’s upcoming album, “DIMENTION : DILEMMA” / Courtesy of BELIFT LAB
“DIMENSION : DILEMMA,” the first full-length album by K-pop boy band ENHYPEN will hit shelves on Oct. 12, according to its record label, BELIFT LAB.
The album was originally set to come out in September, but BELIFT LAB had to postpone its release after six members ― Jake, Jungwon, Heesung, Jay, Sunghoon and Ni-Ki ― tested positive for COVID-19. Sunoo was the only one who was not infected by the virus.
The album has already racked up 600,000 pre-orders as of Thursday afternoon, but the specific details about the tracks have been kept under wraps.
The teasers will be available according to three different themes: “Scylla,” “Charybdis” and “Odysseus.” In Greek mythology, “Scylla” and “Charybdis” are the sea monsters that hero “Odysseus” encounters on his journey home from the Trojan War.
On Thursday, the teasers for “Scylla” were disclosed on the group’s social media account. The photos feature enigmatic objects, such as a coin and a chandelier.
ENHYPEN consists of seven winners from Mnet’s audition program, “I-LAND” (2020). Its agency, BELIFT LAB, is a joint venture established by Mnet’s operator, CJ ENM, and HYBE, home to K-pop phenomenon BTS. After making its debut last year, ENHYPEN has been making waves globally, with its April release, “BORDER : CARNIVAL,” hitting 450,000 pre-orders in just 19 days.
In addition, more K-pop groups, including SEVENTEEN and N. Flying, are also gearing up for their comebacks, but the exact dates are unknown for now.Internet Explorer Channel Network