Every year is a good year to be a K-pop fan, especially as even more groups debut and even more types of music are created by increasingly international collaborations. K-pop is an incredible cultural melting pot in that regard. With all of that in mind, it is worth it to take a look back at 2023 and count down some of the best girl group and girl soloist songs in K-pop this year. However, we’ll be honest about something in advance — there is no such thing as a definitive best list. The truth is that the best K-pop songs of the year are just whatever songs that you happened to enjoy the most! As such, K-Pop Answers is presenting a rather unique and highly subjective list of “best” K-pop girl group songs from 2023. This list includes a mix of songs that were intensely popular, excellent songs that deserve more attention, and/or songs that were just really unique in some regard. It is fully okay for you to disagree with this list, and we invite you to share your favorites of 2023 in the comments section!
A Very Subjective List of the Best 2023 Girl Group & Soloist K-Pop Songs
15. “Macaroni Cheese” – Young Posse
Music is fun when it gets weird. “Macaroni Cheese,” the debut song from DSP and Beats’ Young Posse, is weird. The song receives many of its lyrics from the Young Posse members themselves, and it is literally about the love of and craving for macaroni cheese. There’s an inherent fun and silliness to delivering lyrics like these with absolute sincerity, and when combined with a low-key hip hop sound, it becomes pretty unforgettable — especially when you factor in the literal cheese cave created for its music video. Young Posse is a group to watch in 2024 and beyond.
14. “Slay” – Everglow
“Slay” isn’t Everglow’s best song, but any Everglow song at all is usually pretty stellar. It had been a year and a half since their last comeback (practically an eternity!), but this track is business as usual, a take-no-prisoners “girl crush” banger. It feels like girl crush as a concept may be waning slightly in popularity right now, but Everglow simply owns the concept better than almost any other group does — so there’s no danger of its becoming stale here.
For more about the group, check out how old the Everglow members are.
13. “Bet on Me” – Itzy
“Bet on Me” is an intimate Itzy track about confronting self-doubt, and it becomes even more poignant considering member Lia would go on hiatus for extreme anxiety only a month and a half after this album’s release. Regardless, it’s a heartwarming and inspirational song that isn’t usually the type to get a music video, which highlights all the more how valuable a great B-side track can be.
For more about Itzy, check out our analysis of their incredible English skills.
12. “Kitsch” – IVE
Of all the songs IVE released in 2023, “Kitsch” might seem like an odd choice to select over the others in a list of the best K-pop girl group songs of the year. To that, we can only remind the readers that this is a very subjective list! “Kitsch” simply stands out with its melodic verses and bridge that segue into an unexpectedly pulsating and heavy chorus. It just works.
For more about this group, check out with citations how tall the IVE members are.
11. “Drama” – Aespa
Besides “Macaroni Cheese,” there might not be any K-pop song in 2023 that embodies its title like “Drama” does. It just sounds weirdly oppressive for a pop song, and the guitars in the chorus really punctuate the heaviness. Even the “Dra-ma-ma-ma-ma” part is awfully catchy despite its inherent cheesiness. This is the kind of unorthodox yet excellent track you can count on from SM Entertainment.
10. “Doxa” – Secret Number
Pretty much everything Secret Number does is great, so it’s a bit frustrating that they aren’t part of the K-pop conversation more often. Nonetheless, “Doxa” is a terrific song with a “poison” concept that emphasizes the charms of the individual members well. “Starlight” is another excellent song the group released in 2023, but we’re giving the slight nod to “Doxa.” If you want to make sure you’ve heard all of the best K-pop girl group songs from 2023, you should give this one a listen.
For more about this group, check out how old the Secret Number members are.
9. “Super Shy” – NewJeans
It shouldn’t be that controversial to say that virtually every NewJeans song follows the same formula. However, the good news is it’s a really effective formula. (They’re basically the Bad Religion of K-pop in that respect.) As such, we could have selected almost any song from their 2023 Get Up album (or “OMG”) for inclusion here, but we’ve landed on “Super Shy.” “Super Shy” just bombards the listener with the same repetitive but extremely addictive hooks until you have no choice but to be a fan. This is a NewJeans world, and we’re just living in it. (BabyMonster will have something to say about that in 2024 though.)
8. “Show Down” – ALICE
ALICE (originally ELRIS) is another group that has never really gotten the attention it was owed, and the lineup shifts haven’t helped things. (At the time of writing, it appears that even Sohee has left the group now, but the company has yet to confirm it.) Regardless, “Show Down” is a terrific song, even if it isn’t quite as phenomenally good as “Dance On” was in 2022. This is another one you shouldn’t miss if you want to ensure you have heard all of the best K-pop girl group songs of 2023.
7. “Bubble” – StayC
“Teddy Bear” went viral to propel StayC back into the spotlight this year, and the song is great. However, we just happen to like “Bubble” a bit more, as the song and the music video alike seem to radiate classic K-pop vibes. This song is simply way too infectious to ignore, and its message of not sweating life’s little problems is helpful. Anyone who enjoys pop music in general could probably appreciate “Bubble.”
For more about the group, check out how old the StayC members are.
6. “L.O.V.E” – Youngji
KARA’s Youngji finally received her time to shine solo with Toi Toi Toi in 2023, and “L.O.V.E” is just fantastic. It’s not even easy to put a finger on what makes the song so good, but it is. And while Youngji may have joined KARA later on, she still comes from an era of K-pop when an idol had to be able to sing when the occasion calls for it — and her talent radiates through when performing live.
For more about Youngji, check out how old the KARA members are.
5. “Un-Normal” – Queenz Eye
“Un-Normal” is such an outstanding R&B track. It’s almost impossible to listen to this song without bobbing your head. The verse builds splendidly into the bridge, the bridge builds even better into the chorus, and then you’re just hooked forever after. Having only debuted last year, Queenz Eye is an even more obscure group than ALICE, but they desperately deserve much more attention. (“This Is Love” is another track fully deserving of your attention.)
For more about the group, check out our comprehensive, fact-checked Queenz Eye members profile page!
4. “The Flash” – Kwon Eunbi
Like the other songs remaining on this list, “The Flash” just seems to do everything right. From the first moments of the song and through to the end, the melody drags you along by force. It’s an excellent showing for Kwon Eunbi, and even the choreography is fun, with its simple “corkscrew” arm movement in the chorus. More songs like this are always welcome.
3. “Heartris” – NiziU
The Korean debut of NiziU did not disappoint. This song emphasizes perhaps more than ever how the NiziU music catalogue is basically a redux of the early, cutesy years of Twice. But Twice comparisons or not, “Heartris” is just extremely enjoyable bubble gum pop with an addictive chorus. NiziU deserve all the love they can find outside of Japan, and “Heartris” deserves a space among the best K-pop girl group songs of 2023.
For more about the group, check out our complete archive of all of the NiziU music videos.
2. “Pandora” – MAVE
“Pandora” is admittedly the most unusual and controversial selection on this list, especially at such a high ranking. That’s because MAVE doesn’t actually exist; they are a group of women created in computers from Netmarble and Kakao. However, the fact remains that… “Pandora” is an absolute banger. It’s just absurdly impactful. Even the dance choreography for these fictional women is perfect. As a song or a music video, “Pandora” is a fantastic piece of spectacle. But that being said, we’re definitely not in any rush for more music from people who don’t actually exist. (“What’s My Name” is pretty excellent too though.)
1. “Cupid” – Fifty Fifty
“Cupid” was a true phenomenon in 2023, spreading across the far reaches of Spotify and TikTok to take over the world. It’s a perfect pop song, written in Sweden as many flawless pop songs are, and the vocals (especially those of Aran) fit the song immaculately. Any accolade this song receives is fully deserved, and any accolade it misses might very well have been a mistake. “Cupid” is an all-time great song, whether in Korean or English, so it’s a shame that Fifty Fifty all but ceases to exist in its original form after lawsuits and illegal activity by The Givers. Only Keena remains of the original lineup, and it remains to be seen what new form Fifty Fifty will take in 2024 and beyond.
For more about the group, check out our Fifty Fifty members trivia profile.
That does it for our highly subjective list of the best K-pop girl group and soloist songs in 2023. We know there are so many other groups that could have been included here — Kiss of Life, Red Velvet, Viviz, XG, just to name a few — but we had to draw a line somewhere. Let us know what you think of these picks, and share your favorites of 2023 in the comments!