Love The Rose? Add these 5 K-pop bands to your playlist

The Rose was a popular underground indie band prior to their debut. (Image via Twitter/ The Rose)
The Rose was a popular underground indie band prior to their debut. (Image via Twitter/ The Rose)

The Rose debuted in 2017 with Sorry, a ballad with a soft-rock aura that set the tone for the band's music. The Korean band has leader Woosung on lead vocals and electric guitar, Dojoon on vocals, keyboard, and acoustic guitar, with Hajoon on drums and sub-vocals, and Jae-Hyeong on bass and sub-vocals.

When the four members come together, masterpieces like She’s In The Rain from Dawn are created. She's In The Rain helped The Rose gain recognition in the Korean band scene. It is about living through hardships and accepting them.


Another song that fans will connect to is Black Rose, which happens to be the name of The Rose's fandom. The song was released prior to the military enlistment of three band members (Dojoon, Hajoon, and Jaehyeong). Black Rose promises fans that they will overcome all trials and come back stronger.

5 K-pop bands to jam to along with The Rose


The band members have cited Coldplay and The Script as their musical inspirations, even covering their songs several times. The Rose's songs have a similar appeal, walking the fine line between pop and rock.

If you admire The Rose, these five K-pop bands might interest you as well.

1) DAY6

DAY6 was the first-of-its-kind "idol band" that debuted under JYP Entertainment in 2015. Their first album was titled Day with the title track, Congratulations. In the song, the narrator sarcastically congratulates his ex-lover for moving on after breaking his heart.


If Adele's Someone Like You was about catharsis by feeling the pain of heartbreak, Congratulations is about the purgative nature of bitterness released via music. The music video stars Choi Woo-shik of Parasite fame who plays the part of the jilted, broken-hearted protagonist to perfection. The band currently has four members:

  • Sungjin (main vocals and guitar)
  • Young K (bass, rap, and vocals)
  • Wonpil (synthesizer and vocals)
  • Dowoon (drums)

Ex-member eaJ (previous stage name, Jae) left DAY6 and JYP Entertainment in December 2021.

The pop-rock band has a distinct artistic voice that allows them to tackle different genres, including emotional ballads like You Were Beautiful, punk-style dance numbers like Dance Dance, and summer-pop tracks like I'm Serious.


CNBLUE was formed in 2009 but their Korean debut didn't take place till 2010. Members Jung Yong-hwa (leader, main vocals, guitar, keyboard, rap), Kang Min-hyuk (drums), and Lee Jung-shin (bass) currently make the band.

One of the band's most famous songs, Cinderella, is a fresh electronic-based take on the age-old fairytale. The track, written by leader Jung Yong-hwa, deviates slightly from CNBLUE's usual pop-rock music while preserving the connection to their roots. Music critics have compared Cinderella to Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger.


What sets CNBLUE apart is that despite being a rock band, their music is just populist enough to appeal to large audiences. They are also not shy about experimentation in music. Zoom, their latest Japanese single released in 2021, is fresh and peppy, and fills the listener with happiness.

3) Nell

Edging towards alternative rock, Nell was brought to global attention after the arrival of their album Newton's Apple in 2014. Along with members Kim Jong-wan (lead vocals, guitar, and keyboard), Lee Jae-kyung (lead guitar), Lee Jung-hoon (bass guitar) and Jung Jae-won (drums), Nell have been on the Korean rock band scene since 2001.

Among their most well-known tracks is Grey zone, which is on the radar of Coldplay's Chris Martin.


With special significance to the bass guitar and drums, the track has only four lines of lyrics. The album (Newton's Apple) is about accepting and embracing chaos and dissent without falling into the depths of inherent despair.

Both Newton's Apple and Separation Anxiety are classic albums that will pull listeners into Nell's psychedelic and addictive music.

4) South Club

In 2016, Nam Tae-hyun left the K-pop boy band WINNER to start his own venture, South Club. This decision allowed him more creative control over the music he was putting out.

Nam's vocals were complemented by Nam Dong-hyun on the bass, with Jang Won-young as the drummer and Kang Kun-ku playing the guitar.

South Club's first EP, 90, had a nineties British pop vibe. The lead single titled Dirty House will remind listeners of Nirvana. Tae-hyun's voice is different to what fans of WINNER would have heard. His gravelly voice and Kang Kun-ku's guitar riff create a song that is easy to listen to.


The band's current lineup has bassist Jung Hoe-Min, drummer Lee Dong-Geun and guitarist Kang Min-Jun with Nam Tae-hyun. Despite the changes that South Club has gone through, their music will take listeners on a journey to the nineties and back. Nam Tae-hyun's blues background also brings in that element in the band's music.

5) Hyukoh

Formed in 2014 by frontman Oh Hyuk, Hyukoh came to prominence after their appearance on Infinite Challenge. With bassist Im Dong-geon, guitarist Lim Hyun-jae, and drummer Lee In-woo led by singer guitarist Oh, the band produces music in a mixture of Korean, Mandarin Chinese and English.

Hyukoh's song Wonderful Barn with host Hyeong-don appealed to listeners due to its addictive riff and American country vibe.


Their second EP, 22, and lead single Comes And Goes, secured Hyukoh's place outside the indie band scene. Oh Hyuk's husky yet clear vocals, combined with the a quick beat and guitar strumming, keep listeners on their toes. The song evokes nostalgia about lost childhood, being thrust into adulthood, and finding oneself in the process.

Hyukoh's music will resonate with listeners in their twenties, or those who are past that age. Apart from this, the range of genres covered by the band will appeal to lovers of music in general.

The Rose carved out their own niche in the Korean music scene that seemed to be filled only with K-pop boy and girl bands. All the bands recommended also occupy a unique space that will appeal to fans of The Rose or anyone who enjoys rock music.


Due to certain issues with their agency, J&Star Company, The Rose has terminated their contract. Beauty and the Beast, which was recorded prior to the band members' mandatory military enlistment, is the last song they recorded with the agency.

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