Kacey Musgraves, “High Horse”
Kacey showed all the other girls how to do glittery, gay country-pop just right. Yee-haw, bitch.
The Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini Payne Just Cheryl “Fight For This Love” soundalike scandal. The jerky choreography. The milkshake sipping concept. In a world of girl groups and boy bands, Sunmi kept K-Pop weird and wonderful.
Seriously, though: Sunmi proved to be the best K-Pop soloist of 2018, hands down. I won’t hear otherwise.
Red Velvet, “Bad Boy”
“Bad Boy” is bad – in the sense of “bad” meaning good. It’s absolutely one of the slinkiest, sleekest girl group tracks of 2018. I got to see the girls debut the track’s English version live at KCON this year as well (and I believe I might have briefly attempted to learn it during a choreography class there too), which only further cemented it into my
Steve Aoki and Ina Wroldsen, “Lie To Me”
Like Sia, Ina Wroldsen is one of the top pop penners in the industry – and she can deliver just as well when she’s the one fetured on the track. “Lie to Me” is pure desperation on the dance floor – the spiritual sister to her other electronic smash, “Breathe,” with Jax Jones.
IZ*ONE, “La Vie En Rose”
Put 96 girl group hopefuls in a reality TV competition (Produce 48), whittle them down to a dozen, and what do you get? IZ*ONE – and also one of the most solid K-Pop offerings of the year, without a doubt. (Secretly, it’s possibly the best.) Edith Piaf is shaking.
LOONA, “Hi High”
Anyway, stan LOONA. But for real, “Hi High” is a good reason to stan! The massively hyped (to the point of meme hilarity/insanity), internationally adored girl group with a roster that was unveiled, girl by girl, over nearly two years made their big debut in 2018. This song sounds like what I assume playing Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road after drinking 10 cans of Red Bull must feel like.
Sasha Sloan, “Normal”
The introvert-at-the-party anthem, for those of you dying on the inside while raging on the outside. #Relatable AF.
Terror Jr, “Heaven Wasn’t Made For Me”
Speaking of sadness, the purveyors of my Top Song of 2016 – Terror Jr (“3 Strikes”) – are still at it in 2018, escaping Bop City and confronting the hypocrisy of the institution of religion and promoting free thinking in these most scary times. Plus, it’s Lisa’s music video debut! (No, it was never Kylie Jenner.)
Empress Of, “When I’m With Him”
Empress Of gave me the “Everything Is Embarrassing” moment of 2018 I so desperately needed.