Bop Shop: Songs From Sky Ferreira, Foster The People, Szjerdene, And More

I went back and forth over which song from Stray Kids‘s latest album, Clé 1: MIROH, to include on this week’s list. In fact, I started writing this with “Victory Song” in mind — a confident, in-your-face track with an explosive EDM hook that boasts the kind of big energy we’ve come to expect from the young Korean group. It’s a song that quite literally commands you to listen. But as I was writing it, album closer “19” started to play… and here we are.

Written by rapper Han last year, “19” is a moody hip-hop track about being, well, 19 — more specifically, that confusing moment in a young person’s life when you simultaneously want to grow up and stop time; you yearn to linger in your teenage years for a just little while longer because the thought of being an “adult” is honestly terrifying. (In Korea, the legal age is 19.) “Twenty years old that I wanted to become so badly,” Han raps. “Did everybody go through this same experience or am I the only one that’s anxious?”

Stray Kids’s greatest strength as a group — other than the fact they primarily write and produce their own music, led by members Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han — is their ability to candidly speak to their generation directly. They can relate to these coming-of-age emotions and anxieties because the nine members are on the cusp of adulthood themselves. So it’s no mistake that an album full of turn-up anthems and bold statements ends with “19.” It’s deeply reflective, yet speaks to their limitless potential. And it puts things into perspective for the group: Dreams that once felt unattainable are finally within their reach. —Crystal Bell


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?