Calling all Orbits: Girl group LOONA, after amassing a mammoth fanbase through a two-year predebut project, are finally set to officially debut this month! The group’s predebut discography now includes over 40 songs performed by individual members or units of members, and already LOONA has set a standard of production and composition that many well-established groups never reach. To prepare ourselves for the release of LOONA’s first full-group single “favOriTe” on August 7, let’s revisit KAYBOP’s top ten picks out of LOONA’s predebut discography.
Honorable Mentions: LOONA 1/3, Rain 51Db; LOONA Odd Eye Circle, Loonatic; Gowon, One and Only; Gowon & Chuu, See Saw (feat. Kim Lip); LOONA 1/3, Valentine Girl; Yves, new; Chuu, Heart Attack.
10. LOONA yyxy, rendezvous 18.6y: The final LOONA unit to be revealed consisted of members Yves, Chuu, Gowon, and Olivia Hye. This side track from their unit album brings a retro-rock feel to lively composition, demonstrating not only versatility but an ability to tackle genres that most other groups shy away from.
9. Olivia Hye, Egoist (feat. JinSoul): Olivia Hye’s solo release, on which fellow member JinSoul rapped, shows just how much diversity can be packed into an electronic song. An elaborate structure of builds and drops combines with the occasional compositional oddity, creating a song that is fascinating as much as it is coherent.
8. LOONA Odd Eye Circle, Sweet Crazy Love: One of LOONA’s most enduring tracks is the lead single from unit Odd Eye Circle’s repackage album, “Sweet Crazy Love.” The unit’s members, Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry, bring both brightness and elegance to the terrifically replayable track.
7. Choerry, Love Cherry Motion: LOONA was well on their way to establishing themselves as a stylistically diverse group before the reveal of member Choerry, but it was her solo “Love Cherry Motion” which unequivocally declared that the group would be impossible to predict. Most songs this incongruent are bound to fall apart, but in “LCM,” the incongruence is the whole point. It demands that the listener ask, “What’s going on here?”, and the ear’s immediate engagement with the contrasting elements of the song makes “LCM” one of the best LOONA solos.
6. LOONA 1/3, Sonatine: The lead single from the repackage album of LOONA 1/3, LOONA’s first unit which included members Heejin, Hyunjin, Haseul, and Vivi, is often overlooked. However, the almost orchestral ballad rewards attentive listeners with unexpected turns and gorgeous harmonies throughout.
5. Haseul, Let Me In: Leader Haseul’s solo “Let Me In” is surely one of LOONA’s most unique, and that’s saying something. The remarkable song showcases Haseul’s vocals within an arrangement that is in turns dainty and grand, warm and cool, gentle and flamboyant.
4. Hyunjin, Around You: While Hyunjin’s solo “Around You” is perhaps the most criminally underrated song in LOONA’s entire discography, any LOONA fan could tell you that it’s one of their best. Hyunjin’s unpretentious voice delivers a beautifully composed tale of silent longing over an instrumental which builds steadily towards a lingering finish.
3. Kim Lip, Eclipse: One of LOONA’s most famous songs thus far is also one of their best. Everything about “Eclipse,” from the fluid melodies to the perfectly balanced production, is gorgeous. Kim Lip’s talent is only another plus in the song’s favor.
2. Heejin, ViViD: The first LOONA member to be revealed, vocalist Heejin, delivered the first LOONA song ever with “ViViD.” Its bouncing beat and slick vocal performance are only a few of the highlights. Jazzy and full of attitude in a way that only Heejin could pull off, “ViViD” is one of those songs that in just one listen can make an impression which will never go away.
1. LOONA Odd Eye Circle, Girl Front: Cutting songs from this top ten list, and ordering the remaining tracks afterwards, was phenomenally difficult since almost all of LOONA’s songs are just that good. Choosing number one, though, wasn’t hard. Odd Eye Circle’s “Girl Front” injects just the right amount of compositional quirkiness into a structure overloaded with unforgettable hooks, and the result is a pop triumph.
What are your top 10 LOONA songs? Are you as excited for their debut as I am? Let me know in the comments below!