B-Sides: Best of March
March was chock full of comebacks—so many that it was hard to keep track. As a result, a slew of new, awesome music was released, so it was incredibly difficult to choose just five of the best B-sides. The following are my choices for the best releases this month.
“Maze of Memories” - Stray Kids
“Maze of Memories” immediately stood out to me on Stray Kids’s latest album for its unique sound and otherworldly melody that shifts back and forth as the song progresses. The melancholy piano melody at the beginning of the song really pulls at the heartstrings, and the sudden shift to intense hip-hop is totally unexpected, but in the best way. The intensity is what really drew me in, and the eclectic mixing of genres is what got me hooked. Not to mention, “Maze of Memories” has a message of strength in hard times, making it a perfect mixture of multifarious and classic.
“Xie Xie” - Bang Yongguk
As a woman impartial toward bops, I can’t help but add in Bang Yongguk’s “Xie Xie” to this list. In the scope of his album, BANGYONGGUK, the intense hip-hop track is the only of its kind, with the album focused more on heavier emotional songs. “Xie Xie” has that traditional eastern sound we don’t often hear in today’s releases, which is very refreshing and adds to the charm of the song. I’m selecting “Xie Xie” as the bop of the month.
“Drunk on You” - JUS2
Fans of GOT7 knew it was over for them when Jaebum and Yugyeom were named the members in the new sub-unit JUS2. Both are musicians who are biased toward sexy R&B music, so it’s no surprise that their debut album was full of this type of sound. “Drunk on You” definitely has that flavor, and it’s just as killer as expected. If your heartbeat isn’t racing just from the song itself, you’ll be reduced to a mess by the lyrics without a doubt. I still can’t decide if this sub-unit is a gift or a curse.
“Dispatch” - HEIZE ft. Simon Dominic
HEIZE dives into the dark side of celebrity life with “Dispatch,” a track that explores the relationships many idols are forced to keep hidden from the public, and the fear that many couples have of going out in public and getting caught by the infamous Dispatch. It’s very raw and real and something that we as fans tend not to fully comprehend as a difficult truth for many of our favorite idols. “Dispatch” is a bitter reminder of this reality and gives us a glimpse into the difficulties that come along with the idol life.
“Lullaby for a Cat” - Epik High
Epik High’s latest album can best be described as comforting—a warm embrace to fall into after a long, hard day. Many of the tracks have a calming effect, but none more so than “Lullaby for a Cat,” a song that has been known to actually lull cats to sleep. The mellow tone and quiet rap verse from Tablo make for an emotional yet relaxing track that will help put your heart at ease.