Friday K-Pop Fiesta - September 22nd, 2023

Rock, English songs, and more top the list of songs I'm listening to in the early Fall.

Friday K-Pop Fiesta - September 22nd, 2023
LUCY’s “Haze” is a rock ballad song worthy of any K-drama. Source: LUCY ISLAND (YouTube)

Welcome to a new, short-form K-Pop column on The Low Key Geek! In these articles, I plan on letting readers know what I’ve been listening to this week. These can be K-Pop releases from the current week, songs both old and new that I’ve discovered or am listening to again, and more.

More importantly, I’m leaving some room for some possible K-Pop recommendations from you, the readers, with the small incentive that all those who make a recommendation will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing to win a free paid subscription for a month to The Low Key Geek, which currently gets you comment access to all articles, one exclusive paid subscriber article a month (and access to all prior paid articles), and more benefits as I add them. The more recommendations you make, the more entries you get, so be sure to let me know what I should be checking out!

The comment section (open to everyone for these posts) and my social media over at my LinkTree are all places where you can make recommendations.

Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been listening to this week in the K-Pop world!


One of the reasons I like K-Pop festivals is that I tend to discover cool acts I’d have never seen otherwise. At one of these, I happened to take in a couple sets from K-rock band LUCY, who’ve been around since 2020. The mix of feel-good rock band vibes and K-Pop style light-heartedness charmed me, and I’ve been checking out their stuff ever since.

HAZE”, which came out about a month ago, is one of those rock ballads that you could see in a K-drama or show OST. The MV, which reflects some of that school life, success-over-adversity mood, contributes to this. And maybe it’s just because I have some musical instrument training, but Yechan’s violin has always been one of the standout elements in the group. It’s especially apparent here as it floats over the top of what’s essentially a hope-filled promise of being there for you. We need more of that optimism in today’s sometimes difficult world.

Dreamcatcher Dami - “Destiny”

This one slipped in right on Friday, and I’m really glad that it did. Regular readers know that Dreamcatcher is my favorite K-Pop group, and six years in, we’re seeing a pivot to more individual member highlights. For Main Rapper Dami, that has commonly been her composition work and songs she’’s produced, and “Destiny” is the latest of these - an original song that is light-hearted and a love letter to the Dreamcatcher fandom.

Dreamcatcher fans are used to seeing Dami go off in aggressive, low-toned rap verses that serve as some of the most memorable parts of their discography, but here she trades that for a display of her soft and airy vocals over a song that still has the catchy rhythm you’d find in any of her spoken song parts. The MV is also set in Dami’s studio, a personal space that she’s only recently begun to show off to fans and which she’s no doubt used to create such neat tunes as “Scar”, “New Days”, “Butterfly” and more. “Destiny” adds to that portfolio by being fun and endearing, and hopefully we’ll see this tune on more than just YouTube.

Rolling Quartz - “Fearless”

It’s really a rock kind of week, isn’t it? K-Rock band Rolling Quartz dropped their 3rd single this week, titled “Fearless”, and if anything, the song typifies the group’s mood and approach to the industry. Pure rock is already difficult to get traction for in South Korea, and on top of that leaning into the more aggressive side of the genre puts Rolling Quartz essentially on Hard mode in an industry filled with happy, peppy acts.

Fearless” starts out a little lighter than usual compared to their prior tracks, but the chorus soon gets you vibing, headbanging, or headnodding (whatever your preference is). It feels like here, everyone gets a chance to highlight doing their part to contributing to the hard-charging beat and the devil-may-cry attitude that drives this song forward. The group is heading on tour to Europe for the first time in 2024, and as someone who’s seen them live, you’re in for a treat if you choose to go.


Like a lot of K-Pop fans, I was pretty surprised to hear of the sudden disbandment of domestically-popular girl group GFRIEND two years back. It seemed to come completely out of left field, especially with proven domestic success. That said, GFRIEND’s members have all seemed to find some level of happiness in their respective endeavors, and Yuju is no exception.

Aside from her debut song “PLAY”, I admit I haven’t quite kept up with Yuju’s music, but I might have to again. Newest song “DALALA” is a groove and a half, and the MV has one of those truly identifiable moments when you are privately having a good time listening to a song only to have to act “normal” when someone else sees you. Aside from that, “DALALA” is, for me, one of those songs you could put on at work while you do something pretty boring and tedious to make the hours (and your work) go by quicker.

VCHA - “Y.O.Universe”

Admittedly, since most survival shows are not my thing, I haven’t paid attention to A2K, the recently finished, JYPE-run project to establish an American K-Pop style girl group. I’d realized the lineup was set, but what really surprised me was that they quickly put out an MV with a brand new song, dropped in the usual social media posts and appeared on music shows, all this week. It seemed like the biggest speedrun for a brand new group, even if it was possible everything for the show was filmed months ago.

As such, I got curious for their debut MV, “Y.O.Universe”, and it seemed fun, if not a little standard for this style of girl group. It was energetic, highlighted and showed off each member’s bit of secondary talent/claim to fame, and had the solid and sharp choreography and vocals that I’ve come to expect from a JYPE group. If, like me, you’re curious to see how this multi-cultural experiment turns out, you’ll want to see how it goes both in the music and live - the only groups I know of that have taken on a challenge like this with non-Korean/Korean-American members are ones like Blackswan, so seeing how VCHA does in Korea will be interesting.

That’s it for this week - hope you’re looking forward to next Friday’s K-Pop Fiesta - and don’t forget to hit me up with those recommendations!