K-pop Playlist Of The Week: GD, DAY6 & Sistar

K-pop artists pump out new tunes like nobody’s business, and with an overwhelming amount of releases and comebacks every week, picking out the cream of the crop can seem like an impossible task. While we don’t claim to be musical experts, we’ve assembled a shortlist of what we’re listening to — both old and new! — to give you a bit of a jumping-off point:

“Untitled, 2014” – G-Dragon

Dropped just last week, G-Dragon’s latest title track is a smooth, bittersweet ballad about longing for someone you can’t have. On top of the emotional catharsis that the music provides, we love hearing the BIG BANG rapper actually sing for a change, proving yet again that GD can do it all. Other tracks on his self-named album are perfect to get you hyped before GD’s tour makes its way over to the U.S.

“I Smile” – DAY6

DAY6 has made good on their promise to release a new track on the 6th of every month, and the group is wrapping up their six-month promotion cycle with their title track, “I Smile.” The group has tackled emotional songs before, (see “You Were Beautiful”) but although their latest track covers familiar territory, it still delivers some of the best that DAY6 has to offer audiences: beautiful instrumental build-ups and versatile vocals, blending seamlessly to create an emotional listening experience.

“Drip Drop” – Taemin

K-pop fans might remember those days when the SHINee maknae was just a lead dancer who couldn’t hold a note, but Taemin’s slew of impactful solo releases has shown audiences that those days are long gone. “Drip Drop” was dropped as a pre-release to “Press Your Number,” the title single for Taemin’s first full-length solo album, “Press It.” The video opens with a stunning aerial shot of Taemin in a desert, and of course, what’s a Taemin video without some of the idol’s killer choreography? While the glitchy electronic sound of the track may not be for everybody, there’s something to appreciate about the risky edginess of the song, which luckily doesn’t overwhelm Taemin’s enormously improved vocals.

“Palette” – IU x G-Dragon

IU is 25. She likes it, she’s got it, and she’s truly fine. IU’s music has always been a stand-out among K-pop releases for having more of a “classic” vibe. Over the years, IU has experimented with various sounds and styles, but “Palette” has the musical and artistic maturity of someone who is finally settling into her own skin, and we love the comforting message attached to her latest release. Simultaneously playful and chill, IU’s song about finding herself unconsciously gives listeners permission to do the same.

“Lonely” – Sistar

The K-pop Queens of Summer bid their farewell with one last track, and while known for sweeping the summer months with sultry, sunny bops, “Lonely” is a much more subdued, emotive affair. A slow blend of acoustic and electronic elements, one of the track’s strongest points is how clear and untouched the girls’ vocals sound, adding to the song’s intimate sound. “Lonely” provides Sistar fans with much-needed closure without being overly sentimental, a trap that goodbye-tracks are wary to fall into.

What are you listening to this week?