NME Magazine Picks The 15 Best K-Pop Songs For The First Half Of 2023

Girl groups are dominating.

As the halfway mark of 2023 grows near, British magazine NME selected the top fifteen K-Pop songs that shouldn’t be missed. From groups to soloists, editor Puah Ziwei gathered the best of the best chosen by their staff members.

1. (G)-DLE — “Queencard”

The magazine adored “Queencard” for perfectly capturing the (G)I-DLE “brand” and being the “self-empowerment” anthem everyone needs.

2. aespa — “Welcome To MY World”

The “perfected alchemy of hard and soft” in the opening track of the group’s MY WORLD mini-album was a breath of fresh air.

3. FIFTY FIFTY — “Cupid”

The list wouldn’t be complete without rookie group FIFTY FIFTY’s sleeper hit that honors “the gravity of sadness that follows heartbreak” in a nostalgic way.

4. fromis_9 — “Attitude”

The girl group’s club-esque song takes the listener on a journey to a “dystopian underworld” and leaves everyone wanting more.

5. IVE — “I AM”

Living up to expectations, IVE continues to deliver “pop greatness” with a “vocal prowess” that only elevates it.

6. EXO’s Kai — “Rover”

Ever since its release, the catchy song from the veteran singer had such a hold on everyone that it “still resonates through social media months after its release.

7. KARD — “ICKY”

The co-ed group has brought sexy back with a song that “explores the intoxicating tension of hedonism and attraction.

8. LE SSERAFIM — “Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s wife”

The magazine was thrilled by the group’s take on the Jersey club genre, set apart with a “chaotic and catchy” structure that’s futuristic.

9. Lee Chaeyeon — “KNOCK”

The soloist was crowned with a successful first comeback that showcased “her distinctive vocal tone and renowned dancing prowess” in the best way.


Shining a light on a group that doesn’t come from a big-name company, LIMELIGHT received praise for their distinct vocals and harmonies on “HONESTLY”.

11. NCT DOJAEJUNG — “Perfume”

The NCT unit’s debut, consisting of members Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo, was “an elegant detour from the experimental sound so often found on other NCT releases.

12. NewJeans — “OMG”

The rookie group proved once again why they’re beloved worldwide by “combining UK garage and trap elements” for their catchy track “OMG”.

13. SEVENTEEN — “Super”

SEVENTEEN transformed their talents into a “constantly transforming song” that engages the listener at every twist and turn.

14. tripleS — “Rising”

“Rising” shows how hungry rookies are to succeed in the industry and is so good that it’s “much too short.

15. TXT — “Tinnitus”

Proving their b-sides are just as good, “Tinnitus” earned praise for going “the Afrobeats route, an avenue not many Korean artists have dared take before.

Source: NME