2019 in review: the best songs of 2019

And the last episode of my 2019 in review series is finally here! Yes I released all four parts on the same day… I have A LOT of posts that need to go up before January is already HALF OVER so it couldn’t be helped. Hopefully it has been a nice welcome back to my blog after my LONGGGG hiatus? Like with my top 5 books post, these aren’t in any particular order, but just a collection of my favourite albums and songs of the year!


Firstly, a quick honourable mention to MAX’s Hell’s Kitchen Angel that I loved this year, but was released previously and therefore doesn’t count!


BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR


Catfish and the Bottlemen- The Balance


It wasn’t until I was struggling to decide which song from this album deserved to be a song of the year that I realised it was hopeless, I loved this album and the whole thing had to be here. So here it is.

Catfish and the Bottlemen are a Welsh rock band who were formed in 2007 and have been releasing stunning albums ever since. As they are a rock band, naturally, this is a rock album.

Songs to listen to include my personal favourites Basically, and Overlap, but listen to any song and you’re in for a treat.


Jus2- FOCUS


Jus2 is a 2-member sub-unit of boygroup GOT7 and is made up of two Korean vocalists: JB and Yugyeom. This is the duos debut album, although Yugyeom has been around since 2014, and JB since 2012.

Both have released songs on Soundcloud before, and their personal sounds are very evident in this R&B-meets-House album. A sprinkle of pop and K-Pop production magic makes this the perfect in-between album to appeal to fans of both their solo and group work.

Songs to listen to include the chic title track, FOCUS ON ME, the brighter track Touch, and the seductive Toiki (Sigh), which was released on the Japanese edition of the album (wait to the end for the best part).


IU- Love Poem


IU is one of my favourite Korean solo artists. She’s been around since 2008 and is incredibly beloved in Korea, although she doesn’t receive nearly as much attention in the West. Her voice is gorgeous, her songs are well produced and have an IU-quality that make them incredibly special.

I always look forward to IU’s work and this is my favourite album from her since 2013’s Modern Times. In fact, this album brings back some of the jazzy sounds of the 2013 album, along with a mix of slow R&B and emotional ballads, for a varied but perfectly cohesive album.

Songs to listen to include Blueming and above the time, both of which have music videos, as well as Love Poem, which is incredibly beautiful and was released as a single prior to the album coming out.


Honourable mentions go to GOT7’s Spinning Top: Between Security and Insecurity, and TWICE’s Feel Special! Please check these albums out to and give them all the love!


BEST SONGS OF THE YEAR


The Night of Seokyo- Dancing In The Moon (ft. Dawon)


The Night of Seokyo are a K-Indie production crew that have been around since 2016. They often work with vocalist Dawon, who is featured on this track, and her vocals make the song even more expressive with her dreamy vocal colour. Dancing in the Moon is my favourite of their songs to date and really encompasses the sound and dreaminess that I have come to associate with their work.


Lee So Ra- Song Request (ft. SUGA)


Lee So Ra is a beloved singer in Korea. She first debuted in 1993 as part of a jazz group, and released her first solo album in 1995. As an artist she is incredibly versatile, having sung everything from heavy rock to soft ballads, and this latest song is definitely towards the ballad side. Suga’s rap here is soft and heartfelt, adding to the heart-warming and comforting atmosphere of the song. I highly recommend watching the music video above with English captions on as the lyrics are particularly beautiful.


GOT7- Page


GOT7 are a boygroup with 7 members who debuted in 2014. PAGE is a b-side track off of their album Spinning Top: Between Security & Insecurity and was written and produced by member JB (of Jus2, above) in collaboration with other producers. The group initially wanted this to be the title track, but it was passed up for the more marketable ECLIPSE, but I can see why they wanted this to be the title track: it’s full to the brim with personality and catchy hooks.


Honourable mentions go to Red Velvet’s Sunny Side Up! and TAEYEON’s Four Seasons! Please give these amazing songs a listen.


And those were my favourite releases of 2019! Feel free to discuss your own favourite music in the comments, I would love to hear what you have been listening to!

  • What were your favourite albums of 2019?
  • What were your favourite songs of 2019?
  • Were there any songs here you didn’t know?
  • Did you like any of these songs too? Or do you disagree with me?

Happy listening,

Keira x.

JUNE TBR

Summer is almost here! (Not looking forward to the heat, but I am looking forward to it being light later.) I finally finished mock exams, so now I have loads of IAs (read: coursework) to do, but it’s still less pressure so hopefully I’ll be reading a bit more this month. Without further ado, here are the books I will (hopefully) be reading, and the music releases I am anticipating!


I’ ve already read Monstress Vol 1, but I own volumes 1 and 2, so I plan on continuing the series this month. Marjorie Lu & Sana Takeda’s Monstress series is a series of comics (kind of) set in an 1900’s Asia in an alternate universe. It incorporates elements which will be familiar to readers of dystopia, fantasy, and steampunk!

Then, I want to read the final two manga on my shelf that I haven’t got around to yet. I have the first volume of Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul series in German which I picked up earlier in May and want to get around to. Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kanedi as he is thrown in to the world of Ghouls when he is transformed into a half-human, half-Ghoul hybrid.

Orange by Ichigo Takano follows a girl who receives a letter from her future self telling her to watch over the new transfer student, for only he can save her from a terrible future. My edition is an omnibus of the first half of the series.

So you may have noticed that I am picking lots of quick reads, and if you have you would be right: I have ridiculously large TBR and have been a bit slumpy lately, so I want to read some quicker and easier books to help decrease the size of my TBR a bit and also get me out of a slump. These Penguin Modern Classics are all around the 50 page mark, which is perfect for a slightly more serious quick read!

Letter from Birmingham Jail is the letter that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote whilst imprisoned. The Breakthrough is a short story by esteemed author Daphne du Maurier about a deranged scientist who attempts to extract the essence of life. Finally, Cyprian Ekwensi’s Glittering City is a story of charming and untrustworthy Fussy Joe breaking hearts in 1960s Lagos. (And yes, the fact that it is slightly lighter than the other two annoys me.)

  1. LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS (x5) by Sam Steiner- a play in a world where real life has a word count, and not just Twitter.
  2. Passing for Human by Liana Finck- a memoir in Graphic Novel format.
  3. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami- a short story collection from the esteemed Japanese author, which I will be buddy reading with the lovely Adele @bookishdella.
  4. Croquette & Empanada by Ana Oncina- a Graphic Novel eARC that I received from NetGalley combining food and romance.

And of course, I plan on finishing the books I’m currently reading (hopefully). The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu is a YA magical realism story about girls who are never allowed to fall in love, simply because of the street they live in. I’m not very far in- only about 9%- but I’m enjoying it so far.

An einem klaren, eiskalten Januarmorgen zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts (aka: on a clear, ice-cold January morning at the beginning of the 21st Century) by Roland Schimmelpfennig is a very interesting contemporary novel following a variety of characters in Poland and Germany whose lives seem to be linked by something. I’m about 22% through this book, making it the most read of my current reads.

Finally, we have A History of Korea by Kyung Moon Hwang, which is simply a fairly short comprehensive history of the Korean peninsula. I started reading it and using it for research into my History IA on Ancient Korea, and now I will be finishing it for my own enjoyment!


There aren’t actually many music releases this month that I am aware of and excited for (although I do want to know when Taylor will be dropping her new album)! It is possible I have missed something, so please do let me know what music you are looking forward to!

That being said, girl groups such as IZ*ONE, WJSN, and fromis_9 look to be dropping some things this month, and we will be getting a mixtape from The8 of SEVENTEEN, so I’m interested to see what that will bring!


So yeah, about three times the amount of books I’ve had on TBRs recently, and less excitement for music, but there we go! If you haven’t seen my May Wrap Up, you can check that out here.

What are your reading plans for June? Are there any upcoming music releases you are excited for?

Happy reading, Keira x.

P.S. As per the results of a poll I hosted on my Twitter yesterday, I will be posting my current WIP in serialised form, so watch out for that coming soon!

Mamamoo’s White Wind | Album Review

Image result for mamamoo white wind

White Wind is the fourth and final installment of Mamamoo’s Four Seasons project which started in Spring of 2018. This album is WheeIn’s album and has a white colour theme.

There are six tracks on the album, including one title track with a music video, one other promoted track, and a solo by WheeIn. The album blends the liveliness of RED MOON with the more relaxed sounds of Yellow Flower and BLUE;S in a culmination of the project that ties all of the albums together.

Continue reading Mamamoo’s White Wind | Album Review

Mamamoo’s BLUE;S | Album Review

Image result for blue;s

BLUE;S was released in November 2018, making it the third installment in the group’s 4 Seasons project. This was Solar’s album and contains a solo song by her, along with four other tracks, two of which were promoted.

This album has a more mature and understated wintery feel, a long way from the summery, vibrant vibe of RED MOON. As suits a title named BLUE;S, this album contains all of the songs you could possibly need for when you’re feeling down.

Continue reading Mamamoo’s BLUE;S | Album Review

K-POP ME VS. MY FRIEND (ft. Adele @Bookishdella) PART 1

Okay, so I’ve been watching quite a few of these types of videos on YouTube at the moment because… procrastination, and they looked like a lot of fun, so I suggested to Adele (a fellow book and music blogger) that we should do it together!

Both of us have been big K-Pop fans for a couple of years now and we often have quite different yet similar tastes in music at the same time. For example, we might both like the same group or album, but my favourite song will be her least favourite, and vice versa. It’s really interesting when we discuss our thoughts, so hopefully you find this post interesting too!

Also, this is part 1 of 2 (for now) so please go and check out part 2 on Adele’s post!

note: click on the gifs to view the videos

Continue reading K-POP ME VS. MY FRIEND (ft. Adele @Bookishdella) PART 1