The summer of last year was heated up with the girl group battle. From the legendary 2nd generation (Girls’ Generation) to the globally popular 3rd generation (Blackpink/Twice) and the newbie 4th generation (Ive), the competition continued to be ‘hotter’ than the midsummer sun.
This spring, too, a girl group battle is expected to ride the spring breeze. The 4th generation of girl groups, who heated the music industry with dazzling performances last year, is at the center. As they make a comeback, attention is also focused on whether they will beat New Jeans, who have emerged as a popular girl group with ‘Dito’ and ‘OMG’ in January this year. The two songs have been ‘long-term,’ occupying first and second place in online music services for nearly three months.
First, on the 10th of next month, Ive will make a comeback by releasing his first full-length album < I’ve IVE>. This is the first full-length album released since his debut (December 2021). Prior to this, on the 27th, the pre-release song ‘Kitsch’ was released. As of 2 p.m. on the 28th, this song has risen to No. 1 on online music services such as Melon and Genie. I’ve put the group’s name in the album title, and keywords such as ‘self-love,’ ‘confidence,’ and ‘freedom,’ which are the same as the group’s identity, will be melted into the music.
Previously, in the Netflix documentary , Ive received support from fans by withdrawing Synnara Records, designated as the company of Kim Gi-soon, the founder of Agadongsan, from album reservations. In the meantime, I’ve recorded a hit for every three songs he released, including ‘Eleven,’ ‘Love Dive,’ and ‘After Like.’ As a result, attention is focused on whether he will continue his four consecutive hits.
Girl group Kepler also announced a head-to-head match by presenting on the same day as Ive’s comeback. The new album captures the trembling and thrilling feelings of a girl who has realized love in a variety of genres of music.
Kepler, who debuted in January of last year through the survival program (Mnet), set the Initial Chodong record for a girl group’s debut album at the time with their debut album exceeding 200,000 copies sold in the first week. The debut song ‘Wadada’ has surpassed 100 million cumulative views on YouTube and has continued to rise, with incremental album sales exceeding 1 million copies in 10 months of debut.
Espa, who suffered from a dispute over the management rights of SM Entertainment, which was controversial and controversial, will return with a new album in May. SM Co-CEO Lee Seong-soo revealed on YouTube in February, “As former executive producer Lee Soo-man forced ‘tree planting lyrics,’ Espa’s comeback was canceled, and the members were upset and emotional.”
Espa had initially prepared for a comeback in February, but the schedule was postponed to May. The name of the album has yet to be revealed. It has been ten months since her second mini-album , released in July last year. set a pre-order record for a K-pop girl group with 1.64 million pre-orders.
Espa, who debuted in 2020 as ‘Black Mamba,’ made hits such as ‘Next Level’ and ‘Savage,’ but the comeback was postponed due to company circumstances, and it seemed to be slowing down with great success such as Ive and New Jeans, so it was honored through a comeback. It remains to be seen if it will recover.
In May, the Hive-type Le Seraphim is also expected to come back. Le Seraphim, which started with six members, went through twists and turns due to a member’s “school violence” controversy at the time of their debut in May of last year, then changed to a 5-member system and rose to the mainstream. Their second mini-album , released as a five-member system, climbed the US Billboard 200 chart (14th) in the shortest period among K-pop girl groups. This is the highest score among the 4th generation girl group’s ‘Billboard 200’ debut rankings.
Previously, Enmix released their first mini-album on the 20th and started their comeback activities. The album’s name is Latin for ‘awakening,’ expressing the process of awakening all senses. The title song ‘Love Me Like This’ depicts the transformation process of people who fall in love with each other.
Meanwhile, 4th generation idol groups, including 4th generation girl groups, receive ‘love calls’ one after another at major music festivals in North America and Europe. TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT, TUBATOO), which has emerged as a 4th-generation signboard boy group, will be headliners (signboard performers) at ‘Lollapalooza 2023’ held in Chicago, USA, from August 3 to 6. Tubatoo is the first K-pop group to headline the festival.
lthough not a headliner, and New Jeans will also be on the stage of ‘Lollapalooza’ this time. It is the first among K-pop girl groups. New Jeans, which debuted in August of last year, did not promote much in the US but is gaining popularity in the US enough to be included in this lineup.
Boy group Stray Kids (SKZ), who won the top spot on the Billboard 200 twice, will also perform as headliners on the first day of ‘Lollapalooza Paris’ held at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, from July 21 to 23. Espa will be the first K-pop group to appear at “The Governor’s Ball Music Festival 2023,” a leading outdoor music festival in New York, USA, from June 9 to 11.