Girl Groups New and Old Bring In the Year 2017

David Song, Dec. 12, 2016, 8:40 a.m.

Next year’s K-pop calendar looks set to be dominated by girl groups, from first-generation groups to rookies. One of the earliest sensations S.E.S. will kick off 2017 with the release of its first album in 14 years on Jan. 2. The group, formed by SM Entertainment in 1997, led the first wave of K-pop girl groups, alongside Fin.K.L. and Baby Vox. S.E.S. released the single “Love (Story)” in November and will be holding a year-end concert on Dec. 30 and 31, revving up its activities for 2017.

Junior groups such as AOA, EXID, Girl’s Day and Hello Venus -- which all debuted between 2010 and 2012, and somewhat faltered against the huge popularity of groups like Twice, G-Friend and Mamamoo -- are also set to return with new albums next month.

AOA is currently active in Japan, having released its first Japanese LP “Runway” there last month. The album topped the Oricon World Albums Chart upon its release.“We’re looking to release a new album sometime between December and January, but the specifics are yet to be discussed,” the group’s agency FNC Entertainment said. 

Girl’s Day didn’t issue any new releases in 2016, while Hello Venus gave only a few on-screen performances for its two new singles, “Glow” and “Paradise.”

Joining their older sisters in the January rush are a handful of rookie groups who have also lined up releases.

Melody Day, which debuted in 2014, has been lauded for the members’ vocal skills, but has yet to produce a hit. The group will set the ground for next year’s activities with a digital single in December, to be followed by an LP in January, its members said in a Naver V app stream last month.

Some groups however will be returning with more than new music. The formerly four-member group April is set for a January comeback complete with two new members, DSP Entertainment’s trainee Rachel, and Yoon Chae-kyung, who starred in the girl group audition program “Produce 101” earlier this year. April debuted in 2015.

Four-member multinational group MIXX, which debuted in May under Chiko Bros. Entertainment with the single “Oh Ma Mind,” will return in January as a five-member act.

Happyface Entertainment is heavily promoting Dream Catcher, its upcoming seven-member group, releasing multiple teaser posters from last month. The releases will continue until the group’s January debut, the agency said.
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