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Flood of big-name K-pop artists set to return this summer

Super Junior (Label SJ)
Super Junior (Label SJ)
Summer is one of the busiest seasons in the K-pop scene, always loaded with refreshing bops for the sweltering heat. This year again, the competitive industry welcomes numerous big-name artists returning with a new batch of bangers that will find their way into listeners’ summer playlist.

On the star-studded roster is Super Junior, one of the longest-running K-pop boy groups. The group is set to make a grand return with its 11th full-length album Vol. 1 “The Road: Keep on Going” on July 12. The album is a follow-up to the act’s February single “The Road: Winter for Spring.”

Starting with “The Road: Keep on Going,” the boy group will also release the 11th album Vol. 2 and bound volumes of the album with different album titles, respectively, within the year, according to the eight-member act’s agency Label SJ.

The K-pop veterans of Girls’ Generation will also make a long-awaited comeback in August by dropping a new album in celebration of the 15th anniversary of their debut, the band’s agency S.M. Entertainment said. Further details are yet to be revealed. 

All eight members of the girl group will take part in the album, which will be the band’s first release in nearly five years since its sixth studio album “Holiday Night” in August 2017. 

Girls’ Generation (S.M. Entertainment)
Girls’ Generation (S.M. Entertainment)
Four high-profile female K-pop acts who featured on the second season of Mnet’s hit survival program “Queendom” that hit the air from March to June are also set to unveil new albums, starting at the end of this month.

Loona and Kep1er are both set to release Eps on Monday, titled “Flip That” and “Doublast,” respectively. The program’s final winner WJSN will then take the baton, rolling out the special single “Sequence” on July 5.

Hyolyn, formerly Sistar, will also make a comeback sometime next month.

Aespa will prerelease its first-ever English-language single “Life’s Too Short” on Friday. The quartet previously performed the song for the first time at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in California in April.

Soon after the release of “Life’s Too Short,” the four-piece band will also unveil its second EP “Girls” on July 8.

The group is also set to perform its new songs and hit at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, ahead of its first showcase in Japan on Aug. 6-7.

Itzy (JYP Entertainment)
Itzy (JYP Entertainment)
Itzy will roll out its 5th mini-album “Checkmate” on July 15, before kicking off its first-ever US tour starting in Seoul in August. The upcoming EP will mark the band’s first release in about 10 months since its first full-length album “Crazy in Love” last September.

Debuting in 2019, the girl group has actively promoted itself in Korea and Japan. It has released hit songs, including “Dalla Dalla,” “Icy,” “Wannabe,” “Not Shy” and “In the Morning.” It also reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 main albums chart with its first LP.

Co-ed group K.A.R.D will resume its activities as a full group after J.seph completed his mandatory military service. The four-piece band will release its fifth mini-album “Re:” on Wednesday, more than two years after its last release, “Red Moon,” dropped in February 2020.

Winner will release a new album next month after a 27-month hiatus. His third studio album “Remember” was released in April 2020. YG Entertainment hinted at Winner’s full-group comeback by sharing a poster on its social media platforms on Monday. Although more details about the album have not yet been provided.

Youngjae of GOT7 will be dropping a second solo mini-album “Sugar” on Tuesday. The artist participated in his soon-to-be-released five-track EP, from lyrics-writing to composition and arrangement. Meanwhile, GOT7 made its full-group comeback with the self-titled EP “GOT7” in May after a 15-month hiatus. 

Stray Kids (Sony Music Labels)
Stray Kids (Sony Music Labels)
Stray Kids and Twice will separately release albums in Japan. Stray Kids will roll out its second Japanese EP “Circus” on Wednesday, followed by its last Japanese EP “All In” in November 2020. Celebrating the fifth debut anniversary in Japan, Twice’s fourth Japanese album “Celebrate” is slated for release on July 27.

Nayeon of Twice will release her first album as a solo artist as well. Her EP “Im Nayeon” will be unveiled Friday. Sunmi is planning on making a comeback with a new digital single on June 29. Enhyphen is also set to return with its third mini-album “Manifesto: Day 1” on July 4.

Blackpink is gearing for its new album release in August, while other K-pop artists including SF9 and Chungha also eye returns to the local music scene sometime next month, according to the singers’ agencies FNC Entertainment and MNH Entertainment, respectively.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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