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The Best K-Pop Girl Groups of 2022


Every year the world's most fascinating music scene gets bigger and better, with 2022 marking the absolute pinnacle of South Korean K-pop. This Seoul-rooted-but-globally-accessible realm impossibly merges both innovation and perfection, with a myriad of new artists debuting every month in an attempt to make their mark on what is now the world's stage.

Within this global stage there is a typically-accepted distinction between male acts and female acts; this Best of 2022 list focuses on the latter, the girl groups (and solo female acts) that shined brightest this year. The artists in this list embody countless qualities of precise performance perfection, shimmering with incredible music and mesmerizing music videos released during the last twelve months.

Read the Full List

  1. ITZY


  3. Dreamcatcher

  4. (G)I-DLE

  5. NewJeans

  6. TRI.BE

  7. IVE

  8. TWICE

  9. STAYC

  10. Lapillus

  11. NAYEON


  13. Kep1er

  14. aespa

  15. BIBI

  16. Billlie

  17. CLASS:y

  18. NMIXX

  19. fromis_9


  21. LOONA

  22. Sorn

  23. SAAY

  24. CSR

  25. PIXY

  26. VIVIZ

  27. H1-KEY

  28. Brave Girls

  29. PinkFantasy

  30. WJSN Chocome

  31. CHUNG HA

  32. woo!ah!



  35. WJSN

  36. EXID


  38. SUNMI


  40. Red Velvet

  41. BVNDIT

  42. Girls’ Generation

  43. tripleS AAA

  44. YENA


  46. NATURE

  47. Rocket Punch

  48. Cherry Bullet

  49. KARD

  50. AleXa

  51. Apink

  52. XG

  53. YUKIKA


  55. bugAboo

  56. MIYEON

  57. NiziU

  58. Weeekly

  59. HYO

  60. Jessi


Song Highlights

Boys Like You


No K-pop group had a better, busier year than ITZY. Within the first week of 2022 the quintet issued a hard-hitting hype song for the popular Street Dance Girls Fighter. By March, the group made their Japanese debut with "Voltage", an immediately-accessible, powerful dance cut sung entirely in that language. In the spring, the group held their first fan meeting, the very first chance for MIDZY everywhere to finally see live performances of the songs Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna had released while opressed by COVID.


Summer found K-pop's best dance team continuing to assert their dominance with CHECKMATE, lead by the title track "SNEAKERS", a summer smash singalong as energetic as it is fun. This fifth mini-album is perhaps their most unique to date, fulfilling the minimalistic production and a hip-hop, quirky sound the group only started to hint at in 2021.


Not content with just South Korea and Japan, ITZY took aim at the West with their first English single in October with the absolutely remarkable, Halloween-themed "Boys Like You"; the group also doubled down in Japan with the excellent Blah Blah Blah single album that same month. With more than few local concerts in Seoul under their belts, ITZY finally brought their music to life in the United States with a coast-to-coast tour.


While most groups would conclude such a busy year preparing for special year-end stages, the JYPE team flipped the script and delivered one final release in 2022, their sixth mini album, CHESHIRE, and used what is frequently a victory lap -- the 2022 MAMA Awards -- to debut yet another brand new title track, itself one of the group's most fascinating and unique songs to date.


In what is undoubtedly the best year of K-pop in it's multi-decade history, it is absolutely fitting that the group that ends each of their music videos wearing choreographed crowns sits alone on the throne:


ITZY is the best K-pop group of 2022.


Song Highlights

Pink Venom

Shut Down

On the strength of just one 24-minute release (an 8-song album), Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa firmly hold the position of the year's second best girl group. Of course, a BLACKPINK release is always more than "just a release", and the group once again grabbed the entire world's attention with their sophomore full-length record, breaking most of the records they set themselves just two years earlier with their first album. The BLACKPINK formula of quality-over-quantity allows the four-piece to tactically dominate every angle of K-pop at any given time.


Singles "Pink Venom" and "Shut Down" are both clearly the works of YGE and TEDDY (and, of course, the four larger-than-life women that consist of BLACKPINK proper), but they introduce new sounds and styles to the proven formula to take BLACKPINK to the next level in 2022. Itself a masterfully crafted record, Born Pink truly came alive this year with a worldwide tour that sold out arenas across several continents; these are songs that were made to come to life with luscious stages, pyrotechnics, and stages filled with choreography. BLINKs across the world were in for a treat in 2022 with title track-worthy b-sides like "Typa Girl" also brought to life in a concert setting by K-pop's most charismatic, entertaining group.



Song Highlights



Since Dreamcatcher rose from the ashes of MINX in 2017, the concept-driven septet has never had a stronger year than 2022, releasing the first two parts of their Apocalypse saga in the form of a full-length album packed with solos and an equally impressive mini-album.


Powered by two of their most compelling title tracks to date, Dreamcatcher is in peak form as a group, but this year was particularly special as each member delivered a riveting solo performance on the back half of Apocalypse : Save us. JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami, and Gahyeon flex their unique charms with unpredictable-but-beyond-satisfying romps across seven distinct genres, from lounge through pop-punk and everything in between.


SuA's "No Dot" is the highlight among highlights of the K-pop b-sides from any group this year: grimy, bassy bop guaranteed to shake not only the walls but also the asses of everyone it infects, the song is an essential listen. On top of these world-class studio recordings, Dreamcatcher brought their vision to life in 2022 with countless headlining dates and festival appearances across the world.



Song Highlights


While most of the world was (finally) introduced to the genius of the Soyeon-led (G)I-DLE in 2022, the Cube Entertainment group has been foreshadowing this global takeover for several years. With the releases of both their first full-length album and fifth mini-album, Miyeon, Minnie, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua come out guns blazing with two very distinct title tracks to convey important messages about independence and self-worth.


The inescapable, anthemic "TOMBOY" pop-punk hit is bigger, better, and more potent than most of that genre's often-boring, cliched songs in 2022, while "Nxde" is a firm reminder of everything great about K-pop and its diverse, multi-styled sounds. Of course, (G)I-DLE didn't claim one of the year's top spots solely on singles; I NEVER DIE and I love are packed with b-sides that sit among the year's best songs.


Part of being a top-tier K-pop girl group in 2022 is expressing your music in front of a live audience, and (G)I-DLE took full advantange of a post-lockdown world to tour countless cities, bringing their tomboy attitudes and nude personas to NEVERLAND across the world.


Song Highlights

Hype Boy


New group NewJeans are unquestionably the envy of the 2022 K-pop world. With a surprise summer debut, Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein captured the hearts and souls of seemingly everyone who has been fortunate to hear their whimsical songs.


The debut release from this team of five 14-18 year old girls was supported by music videos for every single song, including multiple official videos for their best song to date, "Hype Boy". Late winter single, "Ditto" -- an emotional masterpiece -- also received two videos, showcasing two sides of the same story.


NewJeans are effortlessly casual, releasing the best natural, carefree songs the world of K-pop has seen in a long time. Perhaps the only thing more exciting than the group's stunning 2022 output is knowing that they will likely be around, continually getting better, for a long, long time.


Song Highlights

In the Air (777)

Songsun, Kelly, Hyunbin, Jia, Soeun, and Mire (along with Jinha who is on temporary medical leave) make up one of K-pop's most interesting and unique groups, and their incredible 2022 output easily lands them a spot on the best-of-the-best list.


LEVIOSA title track "KISS" is the group's masterpiece this year, a unique Shinsadong Tiger production driven by a powerful synth and hooky smooches accented by hip-shaking drums. This foundation lays the groundwork for TRI.BE's darling vocals; the team is made up powerful singers and rappers alike, with confidence and deliveries that suggest a group far more experienced than debuting just last year.


TRI.BE also tacks on several other songs to their stellar 2022 resume, including the sparkling b-side "In the Air (777)" and a remake of the the 1986 hit single, "A Kind of Magic". The former stacks up as a top song across all of 2022 K-pop, while the latter is perhaps one of the strongest Queen covers of all time -- no small feat.


One more song fills out the 2022 TRI.BE output, a collaboration in the most unlikely forms. For "Memu Aagamu", the South Korean girl group teamed up with some of the biggest names in India -- Armaan Mailk and Allu Arjun -- to release the catchiest combination of Telegu, Hindi, Korean, and English the world has ever seen. An absolute bop, this song is a great representation, and invitation, into the unique world of TRI.BE.


Song Highlights

After LIKE


The IVE formula is simple in theory, but just about impossible to execute: just release absolute bangers. Just crank out hits. While this is of course easier said than done, Gaeul, Yujin, Rei, Wonyoung, Liz, and Leeseo make it look so simple on their two 2022 single-albums.


With a well-placed sample of "I Will Survive", "After LIKE" flamboyantly asks what happens next after you experience that intense human emotion. Like that feeling, the song is an absolute headrush. "LOVE DIVE" is another haunting cut powered by precise rhythms, soaring vocals, and eclectic electronic effects.


Oh, and, speaking of formulas and precision, both IVE title tracks clock in at exactly 2:57. IVE is cool, calculating, and undoubtedly out to capture the title of the year's best girl group. It's not out of the question in 2023.


Song Highlights

Talk That Talk

Queen of Hearts

From a pure discography perspective, TWICE had their quietest year since debut: "only" one full-length album and one mini-album. Behind the music, though, TWICE was as loud as ever, re-signing as OT9 to break the "seven year curse", touring the world on a 30+ song setlist every night, and sending their oldest member on a long-awaited solo debut.


But even with their lightest output in seven years, TWICE still positioned themselves near the top of this list on the strength of songs like "Talk That Talk" which simultaneously recall the girls' cute younger years while firmly establishing Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu as the K-pop leaders they are.


Song Highlights


Beautiful Monster

Fueled by the the production and songwriting of Black Eyed Pilseung, STAYC girls had the best year of their brief career in 2022. Beautiful monsters Sumin, Sieun, Isa, Seeun, Yoon, and J are in top form across YOUNG-LUV.COM and WE NEED LOVE as well their first Japanese single and first OST appearance.


STAYC's 2022 highlight is the energetic "RUN2U", possibly group's best track to date. With a catchy chorus built on the simple phrase, "So I'll run to you", the song showcases STAYC girls' beautiful vocals and penchant for sugary-sweet messages of love and hope.


Song Highlights


Rookies Chanty, Shana, Yue, Bessie, Seowon, and Haeun exploded onto the scene with the year's best gym song, "HIT YA!", an absolute slapper that belongs at the top of every K-pop hype playlist. Follow-up mini-album GIRL's ROUND Pt. 1 solidified Lapillus as more than one-hit-ya-wonders.


On top of showing off as some of the best rookie vocalists and dancers in The Class of 2022, the young group (maknae Hauen was born in 2008) adds a natural, global appeal to their brand with members holding citizienships across the world -- including Argentina, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and United States -- and being fluent in the languages of more than just a few countries.


Song Highlights



In between a world tour and releasing a couple of records as a part of South Korea's most beloved girl group, Im Nayeon found time in the summer of 2022 to debut with a solo project. Cleverly titled IM NAYEON, the first mini-album from the oldest member in TWICE packs seven sugary sweet songs into just over 20 minutes.


While the undeniable highlight (and one of K-pop's best songs of the year) is "POP!", guest filled b-sides like "LOVE COUNTDOWN" (featuring Wonstein) and "NO PROBLEM" (featuring labelmate Felix from Stray Kids) and the rest of IM NAYEON are all absolutely fantastic songs performed by one of this generation's greatest idols.


Song Highlights



The world is their oyster: Sakura, Chaewon, Yunjin, Kazuha, and Eunchae (and, briefly, unfairly-ousted member Garam) debuted with a FEARLESS attitude in mid-2022, packing five great songs into that debut.

It's their first comeback, though, that truly cemented this five-piece as one of the year's most stellar groups. On the strength of the anthemic "ANTIFRAGILE", LE SSERAFIM became a household name taking their very first steps towards true K-pop royalty.


Song Highlights


We Fresh

Perhaps no rookie group was more prolific than Kep1er. Girls Planet 999 winners Yujin, Xiaoting, Mashiro, Chaehyun, Dayeon, Hikaru, Bahiyyih, Youngeun, and Yeseo released three Korean mini-albums and still found time to drop even more songs across several other projects throughout the year.

Kep1er's title tracks and music videos are a high-octane rush (and excellent display of the nine girls' various charms), but the group excels equally on b-sides like the powerful "MVSK".


Song Highlights


Life's Too Short

Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning continue to showcase their real-vs-meta life dualities in 2022 with Girls. The second mini-album from the future of SM Town is a strange mixture of powerful, distorted electronics and softer, reflective ballads. Just as aespa finds themselves shifting in and out of both reality and the metaverse, the quartet comfortably tackles both sounds with fantastic results.


Song Highlights

BIBI Vengeance
Animal Farm

Kim Hyungseo's first full-length album is a powerful, badass display of BIBI as a strong woman unafraid to stand up for herself and take what is she is owed. The twelve-track Princess Lowlife: Noir is itself a beautiful masterpiece, but it truly comes alive with several supporting music videos, including the epic, must-see, Quentin Tarantino-inspired "Animal Farm".


Song Highlights

RING ma Bell (what a wonderful world)

What a strange, wonderful world Billlie cultivates across their music in 2022, a continuation of the bizarre foundation Moon Sua, Suhyeon, Haram, Tsuki, Sheon, Siyoon, and Haruna laid out in their rookie year. The group's first combeack, "GingaMingaYo", sounds unlike anything else in 2022 while the many b-sides across both of the year's mini-albums further solidify the septet's ability to expertly execute on their experimental visions.


Song Highlights

Tick Tick Boom


My Teenage Girl winners Hyungseo, Chaewon, Hyeju, Riwon, Jimin, Boeun, and Seonyou debuted as CLASS:y in May 2022 and quickly unleashed an unstoppable barrage of incredible title tracks and b-sides supported by fantastic, eye-catching music videos making them one of the year's most promising rookies and most exciting groups to follow in 2023.


Song Highlights



JYPE's newest girl group exploded onto the scene this year with AD MARE, an incessant, in your face assault that introduces the NMIXX concept of "mixx pop": the art of tastefully combining as many genres into one song as possible. Of course, NMIXX didn't invent dramatic tempo and genre shifts mid-song, but they certainly run with the concept, no holds barred.


And it works, largely due to the expert producers that provide the foundation for Lily, Haewon, Sullyoon, Bae, Jiwoo, Kyujin, and formerly Jinni, to unleash their incredible vocals and exciting, unpredictable choreography.



Song Highlights

Stay This Way


It's been several years since fromis_9 emerged from Idol School, but 2022 may be the group's strongest year to date. Saerom, Hayoung, Jiwon, Jisun, Seoyeon, Chaeyoung, Nagyung, Jiheon, and formerly Gyuri, packed a dozen songs into this year's output, including the stellar "Stay This Way" and endearing "DM".



Song Highlights


Pretty Psycho

PURPLE KISS is among the most unique K-pop groups promoting in 2022, with music videos and songs that rarely fit the already-broad "mold" of what is expected from a K-pop girl group. The many talents and oddities of Goeun, Dosie, Ireh, Yuki, Chaein, Swan, and formerly Jieun, are on full display this year through the group's latest mini-albums, Geekyland and memeM.


Song Highlights


Flip That

Vivi, Yves, Jinsoul, Haseul, Kim Lip, Heejin, Hyunjin, Go Won, Choerry, Olivia Hye, Yeojin, and, previously, Chuu, continued their unique brand of spacey K-pop in 2022 with appearances on (and excellent contributions to) Queendom2, yet another Korean mini-album, another Japanese single album, and a hits-filled world tour. While the future of LOONA and their LOONAverse remains a massive question, if 2022 marks the end of the girl of the month, the group will have exited on more than one high note.


Song Highlights

Nirvana Girl

Sharp Objects

Chonnasorn Sajakul released four singles in 2022, the highlight being the funky, rhythmic "Nirvana Girl". The Thai idol's latest single in her post-CLC career is a powerful, confident romp about her journey on her way to becoming the titular nirvana girl, laced with line-after-line of clever courage, determination, and bragadocious bars ("On my hot girl shit, if you missed it / you can find me on every girl's wish list / check me out while I manifest it / I'll marry myself even be my own mistress").


Song Highlights

Talk 2 Me Nice


Singer-songwriter Kwon Sohee returns in 2022 with her second full-length album, S:inema, a stellar collection of sexy, rhythmic tracks. SAAY's hour-long journey is as inviting as it is captivating. This is the album for late, late nights.


Song Highlights

Loveticon (♡TiCON)
Pop? Pop!

Geumhee, Sihyeon, Seoyeon, Yuna, Duna, Sua, and Yeham debuted in 2022 as CSR, a lovable team of 17-year olds singing their hearts out about first love and other in-the-moment topics high school girls might face. While the latest "Loveticon (♡TiCON)" is sugary sweet headrush, calmer b-sides like "Anding (&)" offer another worthwhile glimpse into the hearts of CSR.




Song Highlights



PIXY issued one of K-pop's most surprisingly violent music videos in 2022, but it wasn't just for shock appeal: REBORN is one of the year's best mini-albums, and title-track "Villain" is a great introduction into group's strange world. With the departures of Ella and Satbyeol, PIXY is now just Lola, Dia, Sua, and Dajeong, but if this year is any indication, there should be no doubts that this four-piece is ready for big things in 2023.



Song Highlights



With the dissolution of GFRIEND in mid-2021, Eunha, SinB, Umji quickly formed VIVIZ and went to work on their February debut. With Beam of Prism, competing on Queendom2, Summer Vibe, and few additional singles, these three veteran idols quickly built a fairly large discography and packed it with some of the year's brightest bops like the uncontrollably-catchy "LOVEADE".




Song Highlights


Catch 'n' Release

Seoi, Riina, Hwiseo, Yel, and formerly Sitala, are high-key among the most exciting idols to watch in 2022 (and look out for in 2023). Driven by an athletic, high-energy concept -- and athleisure-filled music videos -- H1-KEY made a splash with the awesome "ATHLETIC GIRL" just one week into the year and continued that momentum with RUN this summer.

Brave Girls

Song Highlights

Thank You

Home Come

Brave Entertainment's Minyoung, Yujyeong, Eunji, and Yuna returned with their sixth mini abum, the appropriately titled THANK YOU, with the title track continuing to display the group's laidback tropical sound. Contributions to Queendom2 and a fantastic Brown Eyed Girls cover round out another year of fantastic output from Brave Girls, the undisputed summer queens.



Song Highlights

Bizarre Story: Get Out

Bizarre Story: The Game

SeeA, Yechan, Harin, Momoka, Arang, Miku, Heesun, and the masked member known only as Daewang continue their dark, strange-as-hell brand of K-pop in 2022 with the excellent Squid Game-inspired EDM dance bop "The Game" and haunting title track "Get Out".

WJSN Chocome

Song Highlights

Super Yuppers!


Soobin, Luda, Yeoreum, and Dayoung reawaken K-pop's cutest sub-unit, WJSN Chocome., in 2022 and bring with them the aegyo, crime-fighting "Super Yuppers!". Following the infectious charm of the sub-unit's hit debut, "Hmph!", seemed all but impossible, yet the quartet once again raised their own bar even higher leaving fans wondering what might be next in 2023 and beyond.


Song Highlights

When I Get Old


Kim Chungha is no stranger to collaborations, and 2022 finds her on "When I Get Old", one of the strongest such songs in her discography. Along with the release of her gripping Bare&Rare, Pt. 1 mini-album (which leaves us all begging for Pt. 2), Texas-raised CHUNG HA easily grabs a spot on the list of the year's best artists.



Song Highlights

Go Away


Nana, Wooyeon, Sora, Lucy, and Minseo shine brightest when they eschew K-pop cliches and explore their own quirky brand of the genre. In 2022, woo!ah! finds this in the standout JOY, most notably with the bratty b-side "Go Away". Their more straight-forward songs, like "Catch the Stars" aren't to be missed, either!


Song Highlights


Same But Different

Lee Chaeyeon debuts as a generation MZ vampire with HUSH RUSH, the first release from the former IZ*ONE member. On top of the infectious title track (and its kitschy music video), this debut mini-album adds three more top-notch b-sides including the surprisingly smooth "Same But Different".


Song Highlights



Sangah, Chowon, Nayoung, Hina, Juhyeon, Yujeong, and, at the time, former members Huiyeon, and Jian, hit the United States in 2022 on support of their first mini-album, Into the Light, as part of the KCON Tour. Night after night the girls' inescapable charms and powerful choreographies brought songs like "ALIVE" to life and solidified this Cube Entertainment group as a group to watch in 2023.


Song Highlights

Last Sequence


2022 finds K-pop veterans WJSN releasing a single-album, participating in Queendom2, and promoting through KCON. Seola, Bona, Exy, Soobin, Luda, Dawon, Eunseo, Yeoreum, Dayoung, and Yeonjung are in top-form this year with the excellent Sequence, a four-song released packed with all the lights and flash you expect from these Cosmic Girls.


Song Highlights



Solji, Jonghwa, LE, Hani, and Hyelin return as EXID for the first time since 2020 to bring the heat with "FIRE" and the accompanying b-sides on X. K-pop's spiciest girl group goes hard on their third single-album, even including another fan song for LEGGO who have been anxiously waiting the quintet's return.


Song Highlights

Log In

Tell Me

On their debut mini album, THE FIFTY, Keena, Saena, Sio, and Aran dabble in a variety of styles, from tropical vibes through experimental electronic girl crush jams.


Song Highlights

Heart Burn

Oh Sorry Ya

It's been more than a decade since Lee Sunmi debuted with (and quickly departed from) Wonder Girls, but it feels like she's really only getting started in 2022 with her unbelievable "Heart Burn" comeback. In typical SUNMI fashion, the single is accompanied by a must-see, truly unique music video.


Song Highlights



Former IZ*ONE leader Kwon Eunbi continues her fantastic solo career in 2022 with two more mini-albums and a handful of special projects. While nearly everything the 27 year old idol touches is worth a listen, her highlights this year unquestionably come in the form of title tracks "Glitch" and "Underwater" and the accompanying music videos for each song.

Red Velvet


Song Highlights

Feel My Rhythm


Red Velvet has spent nearly a decade releasing interesting, genre-blending hits, and 2022 was no exception for Irene, Wendy, Seulgi, Joy, and Yeri. With Bloom the group issued their first full-length Japanese album -- packed with bangers like "WILDSIDE". And with the return of the ReVe Festival concept, the quintet tacked on two more fantastic mini-albums to their Korean discography, including one of the best songs in their extensive career, "Feel My Rhythm".



Song Highlights



BVNDIT may have disbanded by the end of 2022, but their third and final mini-album had Yiyeon, Songhee, Jungwoo, Simyeong, and Seungeun going out in top form with perhaps their best title track to date ("VENOM") and a slew of loud, powerful b-sides.

Girls' Generation


Song Highlights



In another unlikely 2022 reunion, SNSD returned with their seventh Korean album powered by the incredible title track, "FOREVER 1". With a music video that quickly brings stray SONE (and K-pop newcomers) up to speed on each member's extensive (and very successful) solo activities, Girls' Generation displays the charms, vocals, and choreographies that established them as one of the world's first international, leading K-pop girl groups and looks forward to a potential future with them still a force to be reckoned with.

tripleS AAA


Song Highlights



Yooyeon, Nakyoung, Yubin, and Hyerin debuted in October 2022 as Acid Angel from Asia, the first unit from tripleS, a K-pop group that is planning to be a 24-member act with rotating, active sub-units. As the first team to bring this concept to life, AAA set the bar high and delivered a solid mini-album powered by the fantastic title track, "Generation".



Song Highlights



Following her successful career in IZ*ONE, Choi Yena brought her quirky, unique charms into ˣ‿ˣ (SMiLEY), her debut mini-album featuring the fantastic "SMILEY" title track that finds the singer battling against BIBI to bring smiles (and happiness) to the world. The equally-bouncy SMARTPHONE mini-album followed at the end of the summer with yet another must-see music video for its title track.



Song Highlights



Léa, Dita, Jinny, Minji, Soodam, and Zuu continue to release hard-hitting bops with big choruses in 2022, further refining their take on the girl crush concept that kicked things off for them in 2000. "DOOMCHITA" is a must listen for fans of in your face K-pop.



Song Highlights



Sohee, Aurora, Saebom, Lu, Chaebin, Haru, Loha, Uchae, and Sunshine significantly expanded their discography in 2022 with 7 new songs, including the infectious "LIMBO!" which all-but-guarantees an instantaneous dance party when it hits the speakers.

Rocket Punch


Song Highlights

In My World


Juri, Yeonhee, Suyun, Yunkyoung, Sohee, and Dahyun issued their fourth Punch mini-album, another single-album, and a Japanese debut in 2022, marking yet another busy year packed with high-energy singalongs for the consistently-underrated Rocket Punch.

Cherry Bullet

Song Highlights

Love in Space


Haeyoon, Yuju, Bora, Jiwon, Remi, Chaerin, and May remain as infectiously cute and catchy as ever in 2022 with "Love in Space". This title track feels like a proper sequel to the excellent 2021 "Love So Sweet" but this time upgraded with some of the best rap verses in any K-pop song this year.




Song Highlights

Ring the Alarm


Co-ed K-pop is about as rare as it comes, but J.Seph, BM, Somin, and Jiwoo prove that it's not a gimmick: KARD returned in 2022 with their fifth mini-album, Re:, and showed no signs of slowing down their year-after-year onslaught of hard-hitting K-pop. This year's highlight is title track "Ring the Alarm", a fine introduction into KARD's world of Latin-inspired dance numbers.



Song Highlights


Back in Vogue

AleXa spent the first part of 2022 preparing for and participating in American Song Contest, which found the Oklahoma-born idol representing not only her state but K-pop as a whole in the United States-based competition. In typical AleXa fashion, she was not just content to appear but determined to win, and the obscure K-pop idol claimed the grand prize first place spot in May 2022, beating out household American names like Jewell, Macy Gray, and Michael Bolton along the way with the dazzling "Wonderland". AleXa further asserted her dominance in 2022 with Girls Gone Vogue and a global tour.



Song Highlights


Red Carpet

More than a decade after their debut, Chorong, Bomi, Eunji, Namjoo, Hayoung, and formerly Naeun, released HORN, one of the strongest records in their very extensive discography. This full-length album even features songwriting from every member, and while title track "Dilemma" is the clear highlight, the entire record is worth a deep listen.



Song Highlights


Tippy Toes

If their 2022 debut year is any indication, then Chisa, Hinata, Jurin, Harvey, Juria, Maya, and Cocona are truly Xtradorinary Girls: in addition to releasing heaters like "MASCARA", XG is making a name for themselves in South Korea as a group comprised entirely of Japanese members and singing in English!



Song Highlights



Teramoto Yukika released one of the year's best full-length albums in 2020 (SOUL LADY) and has been slowly following up with excellent singles and collaborations (and a 2021 mini-album) since that time. 2022 found our city K-pop queen with four such releases, including a fantastic duet with Kim Mi Jeong.



Song Highlights

La Luna

Play Hide & Seek

Jiyoon, E.Ji, Jackie, Joonie, Chaerin, Yeju, Chowon, and formerly Sohee, are as exciting as they are refreshing in 2022, with fast, fun songs like "La Luna". If their tiny company, KM Entertainment, can continue to offer ICHILLIN' opportunities, expect even more exciting things from these talented girls in 2023.



Song Highlights


Easy Move

One of K-pop's most interesting groups unfortunately disbanded this year, but Eunchae, Yoona, Rainie, Cyan, Choyeon, and Zin concluded their far-too-brief time together as bugAboo with a fantastic second single album, POP.



Song Highlights



Cho Miyeon spends most of her time with (G)I-DLE (and hosting M COUNTDOWN), but the 25 year old singer found time in 2022 to flex her own vocal and dancing abilities through her excellent debut mini-album, MY.



Song Highlights


Blue Moon

Mako, Rio, Maya, Riku, Ayaka, Mayuka, Rima, Miihi, and Nina spent most of 2022 rolling out their unique brand of quirky singles in preparation for what will likely be an excellent 2023 full-length album.



Song Highlights

Ven para


After a busy (and breakout) year in 2021, Soojin, Monday, Soeun, Jaehee, Jihan, Zoa, and formerly Jiyoo, took a more relaxed approach in 2022 with just one single album (featuring the great "Ven para") and some special singles, including an excellent EXID cover.



Song Highlights



Kim Hyoyeon has been building her debut mini-album for a few years, and perhaps the only thing keeping her from appearing higher on this 2022 list is that much of this record has already been released. Still, the Girls' Generation idol dropped two new great songs in 2022 and forged her way into the year's best of the best list!



Song Highlights



Jessica Ho drops fire singles year after year, but 2022 found her biggest hit yet with the TikTok-ready "ZOOM"; this song alone nets her a spot on this list. It was otherwise a quieter year for the always-vivacious New York native, but she also collaborated with PSY -- co-writer on "ZOOM" -- for the infectious "GANJI".

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