Music Monday, September 28, 2020 – UNVS, CHECKMATE, BDC, ONEWE + MOONBIN&SANHA

Some great songs from new rookies, one of the best bands and a strong unit debut.

“Sand Castle,” UNVS

After a pair of excellent releases this year, including their debut, UNVS returns with a quite unexpected single in “Sand Castle.” The sexy song (with matching music video!) has the group capturing the final days of summer. It’s a great vibe. But definitely different from what they’ve released so far. It’s an exciting and pleasant surprise from a great rookie group.


Speaking of rookies, co-ed group CHECKMATE debuts with the energetic “Drum.” Its tropical flavor will certainly remind many of KARD and perhaps something its label GraceCompany would like to think about moving forward. As great as KARD is, it would be awesome to see CHECKMATE be able to carve out their own sound and style.

Not to say that they’re in any way copying other groups. But with co-ed groups still a rarity in K-pop, I’d love to see CHECKMATE and other potential groups solidify a strong initial identity right out of the gate. Comparisons will be inevitable, but being able to plant that flag in the ground immediately would go a long way.

Still, “Drum” is a great, fun song and the music video allows the five members to show off their charm and charisma. Definitely looking forward to what they have in store.

“Shoot the Moon,” BDC

I had not even realized it’s been almost a year since BDC first debuted and that they hadn’t released anything since. But “Shoot the Moon” is definitely the kind of song that effectively announces their return. It’s a classic K-pop song with contemporary touches that make it current and an easy listen. But the trio’s vocals and performance definitely grab your attention. It’s great to see them back and with a strong release like this.

“Parting,” ONEWE

ONEWE is back with another excellent song in “Parting.” The mid-tempo rock song speaks of heartbreak after a tumultuous relationship. CyA offers his smooth rap while Yonghoon and Dongmyeong’s powerful vocals drive the emotions home. I’ve enjoyed ONEWE’s funkier and more pop-infused tracks. But my favorites from them are their ballads and the more dramatic, emotional songs like this one.


And a bonus track this week. Released two weeks ago, ASTRO’s Moonbin and Sanha branch out for their unit debut with “Bad Idea.” It’s a strong dance track that allows both of them to showcase a powerful, yet seductive performance. It sets the track apart from ASTRO’s discography without forcing some kind of new identity on the two members.

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