The Korea Herald


Jungkook, Red Velvet, Stray Kids, new YG girl group among year-end lineup

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Nov. 2, 2023 - 17:37

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From left: Jungkook's From left: Jungkook's "Golden" (Big Hit Music); Red Velvet's "Chill Kill" (SM Entertainment); Stray Kids's "Rock-Star." (JYP Entertainment)

The year-end is set to be filled by some of the biggest and most-anticipated names from K-pop, including those from the nation's top powerhouses SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment and Hybe.

Topping the list, which is full of over a dozen names, is BTS's Jungkook, who will drop his first solo album, "Golden," on Friday. The album will be fronted by "Standing Next You," another gem produced by Andrew Watt and Cirkut, the producers behind Jungkook's megahit solo debut song "Seven (feat. Latto)." Eight other new tracks will be listed on the 11-song package, which will also include "Seven" and another of Jungkook's pre-releases, "3D."

Metaverse queens aespa are returning to the real world on Nov. 10. The chart-topping quartet will release its fourth EP, "Drama," which will be led by its namesake title song and include five other new songs, "Trick or Trick," "Don’t Blink," "Hot Air Balloon," "YOLO" and "You."

Already setting the fans abuzz is Red Velvet's long-awaited new LP, "Chill Kill." Slated for Nov. 13 release, the album will be a new full-length album from the quintet in six years since its second LP "Perfect Velvet," released in 2017.

An image for aespa's fourth EP An image for aespa's fourth EP "Drama" (SM Entertainment)

It also marks the end to the group's yearlong hiatus since the release of its last album, EP "The ReVe Festival 2022 -- Birthday." Rumors of disbandment lingered as SM Entertainment announced in September it renewed its contract with Seulgi only. The upcoming 3rd LP may be Red Velvet's last album together or the first step in a new journey as a group.

The year's breakout stars Stray Kids are returning with another album on Nov. 10. The new EP, "Rock-Star," follows the group's record-setting third LP "5-Star," which had racked up K-pop's highest first-week sales of 4.6 million units and went on to top the Billboard 200 main albums chart. The LP's title song, "S-Class," was honored as the best K-pop song at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Two other boy bands from BTS' company Hybe are also making a comeback. Enhypen, a seven-piece multinational team, will extend its "blood" series with the fifth EP "Orange Blood" on Nov. 17. Rookie group &Team, based in Japan and Korea, will drop its first full-length album "First Howling: Now," on Nov. 15, unveiling an expansive list of 18 songs with the collection.

An image for Enhypen's fifth EP, An image for Enhypen's fifth EP, "Orange Blood" (Belift Lab)

Joining the competition will be the Boyz and Ateez. The Boyz are rolling out "Sixth Sense" on Nov. 20, making a swift comeback in three months since starting a new musical project, "Phantasy," with "Christmas in August." Ateez will kick off December with its second LP "The World Ep. Fin: Wall" on Dec. 1.

The year 2023 has seen a storm of aspiring rookies throw their hats into the ring and the rally isn't over yet.

YG Entertainment's new girl group Babymonster may finally make its debut in November, if there are no more postponements.

The group was originally planned to come out in the summer but was delayed several times. On Oct. 10, YG officially announced the final date will come in November, adding the group will kick off the music video shooting later that month.

The final debut members of Babymonster (YG Entertainment) The final debut members of Babymonster (YG Entertainment)

Anticipation has been brimming high as Babymonster is the first new female team from YG since Blackpink. The multi-national septet consists of Korean, Japanese and Thai members aged between 14 and 21.

SF9's company FNC will also launch a new boy band, Ampers&One, on Nov. 15, while actor-singer management C-JeS Studios will debut a new idol group for the first time in 13 years, WHIB, on Nov. 8.