There’s a new K-pop quartet in your area and their name is not Blackpink. It’s Aespa, a four-piece girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2020. Since their debut, they’ve been on a dizzying path to the top, with the viral hyperpop-EDM singles “Black Mamba” and “Next Level” blowing up with K-pop fans worldwide. Now they’re back with a gig at the Good Morning America concert series in Central Park, performing tracks from their second EP, Girls — a follow-up to their debut mini-album Savage, which hit a historic No. 20 on the Billboard 200. Members Karina, Winter, Giselle, and Ningning are the first K-pop girl group to open the concert series, debuting the title track “Girls” and performing pre-release singles “Life’s Too Short (English Version)” and “Black Mamba” on the GMA stage.
And Aespa fans, known as MYs, are being well-fed. Last week, Aespa spoke at the United Nations High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, and before that, in April, they debuted “Life’s Too Short (English Version)” at their first-ever Coachella stage. Together with the nine-track mini-album Girls, out today — whose highlights include the EDM-trap song “Illusion,” a hip-hop remake of the 1998 K-pop song “Dreams Come True,” and the breezy pop song “Lingo” — the girls are venturing into the SM culture universe, an extended franchise made up of complicated metaverse lore. Each Aespa member has a metaverse counterpart, also known as their “ae’s,” who ventures into the made-up land of Kwangya to defeat the Black Mamba. Sounds confusing? Well, you’re just gonna have to learn the lingo, start calling yourself a MY, and listen to the record below.