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Our Favourite Asian Music Releases of March 2023

Each month, we carefully curate a selection of our favorite tracks by talented artists from Asia. For March 2023, we’re thrilled to present our top picks that showcase the diverse and dynamic music scene of the region.

Check out these exceptional tracks and experience the artistry of these gifted musicians.

1. NMIXX – expérgo (South Korea)

I have to be very honest that NMIXX was never on my radar since their debut last year, but their latest EP has caught many’s attention.

Starting strong earlier this year with the release of the single ‘Young, Dumb, Stupid’, the youthful girl group from South Korea already began to grab attention across social media, and their current hit ‘Love Me Like This’ has propelled them to even greater heights, clinching them their first-ever music show win.

Besides the two singles, the rest of the tracks on with ‘PAXXWORD’ showing the potential to be a hit on its own, while songs like ‘Just Did It’ and ‘HOME’ allowing NMIXX to exhibit their range in genres beyond the typical K-pop sound.

As of the first week of April, expérgo has also debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at No. 122, taking NMIXX to even greater heights.

2. So! YoON! – Episode1: Love (South Korea)

Obsessed with this album. This is easily one of the best albums in 2023, and I know it is only April.

Soyoon has always had a great track record in her music career, be it as the frontwoman of indie band Se So Neon, or her solo career which has led her to collaborate with the likes of Phum Viphurit and Japanese Breakfast.

This latest release sees her collaborate with none other than BTS superstar RM on the single ‘Smoke Sprite’, which is already one of the most streamed songs from Korea this year.

The rest of the album is just an amazing ride and my favourite album of her solo career so far. Sit down with a drink of choice at night and put on this album, let the first track ‘IN (Void)’ engulf your senses, and before you know it, you will sink right into this wonderful work of art.

Look out particularly for the tracks ‘Till the sun goes up’, ‘LOVE (a secret visitor)’ and ‘CANADA’, as they are some of my personal highlights in this experience.

3. Jean Tan – ‘dance’ (Singapore)

Beginning from last year’s ‘Oh, Friend’, Singaporean singer-songwriter Jean Tan has been releasing a series of singles that promise to lead up to an exciting collection when the full album drops.

With the latest release ‘dance’, Jean showcases her flair for jazz with this light-hearted ditty that will make you feel the urge to grab your partner for a quick dance in your living room and breathe in the love in the air.

After a strong build-up to a romantic climax, the song introduces a melodic interlude that slows down the pace, before ending off on a passionate note. Perfect for date nights and romantic evenings.

4. ATARASHII GAKKO! – ‘JANAINDAYO’ (Japan)

Ever since they joined 88Rising, ATARASHII GAKKO! has been one of my favourite Japanese acts, ever so consistent in their abilities to entertain both on stage and via social media.

However, past hits such as ‘NAINAINAI’ and ‘Pineapple Kryptonite’, while memorable, tended to come off as gimmicky, with more of a gag factor rather than presenting as a strong musical piece.

With their latest single ‘JANAINDAYO’, ATARASHII GAKKO! has shown their ability to create a single that can last for the ages.

This single will not be out of place when put beside some of the top hits of the modern Japanese pop scene, coming off as a well-produced track that continues to showcase the strengths of the group.

ATARASHII GAKKO! is ready to move beyond their image as comedians and memes to be seen as serious musicians, and I can’t wait to be there when they do it.

5. Hot Hot Neighbros – Hot Hot Neighbros (Taiwan)

Chancing upon this newly debuted Taiwanese rock band made for a pleasant surprise as Hot Hot Neighbros usher in what I believe will be a new age of rock for the Taiwanese indie scene.

Formed from a mix of industry veterans and youthful newcomers, the band offers a fresh take on Taiwanese rock which peaked in 2018 and gradually faded during the years of the pandemic.

With a sound clearly influenced by 80s Britrock, combined with a “local flavour” that only Taiwanese bands can pull off, Hot Hot Neighbros reminds me a lot of one of my favourite Mandopop rock bands Mr. Loud Who Chance, who have unfortunately disbanded.

Their first eponymous album Hot Hot Neighbros is a strong introduction to the scene that has been lacking in this brand of rock music for the past few years which have been dominated by dreampop and lo-fi beats.

With other rock bands in the Mandopop scene also looking to make moves, 2023 and beyond will definitely kickstart a new era of rock music that will attract many more fans of Mandopop and Taiwanese rock from around the world.

6. aespa – ‘Hold On Tight’ (South Korea)

At the risk of including too many South Korean entries in this roundup, I have to give a shout out to aespa’s ‘Hold On Tight’ as one of my favourite new releases in March.

With this contribution to the soundtrack of Apple TV+ original film Tetris, aespa is the latest K-pop group to make waves in the Hollywood scene, and deservedly so.

The quartet has always been impressive since their debut and have constantly been at the forefront of innovation and reinventing the K-pop space, and this international-standard single may be their best yet.