After several years of boy bands and girl groups ruling K-pop, 2012 has seen female soloists finally making a comeback. Newcomers Ailee and Lee Hi have joined more established stars like G.NA and IU at the top of the charts, easily fending off competition from the millions of idol groups that still make up the majority of the commercial K-pop scene. One of the biggest new names on the female solo scene is 19-year-old Juniel, who broke out earlier this year with her mega-hit, “illa illa.” The teen songstress initially came off as a bit of an IU knock-off, but in retrospect, the only thing that the two girls have in common is that they’re both pretty, young, and play guitar. For the most part, their music is vastly different, which is really highlighted on Juniel’s latest single, “Bad Man.”
Juniel proves that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned on the acoustic ditty, which is basically just four minutes of the singer wishing nothing but the worst for her ex-boyfriend. “Don’t you ever love again, because you’re such a bad person,” she croons, her silky sweet voice betraying the venom in her lyrics. “For the price of leaving me, don’t ever be happy.”
Is it just us, or is Juniel giving off some major Taylor Swift vibes with all this heartbroken boy bashing? And just like hits by Swift—who is the kind of singer that both little girls and their mothers can listen to—Juniel’s “Bad Boy” has a fairly broad reach, musically speaking. It’s the kind of song that would sound right at home in a Korean coffee shop alongside the K-indie crossover hits of Busker Busker, as well as at the top of the K-pop charts competing with the industry’s glossiest idol acts.
Just call her Juniel Swift and count us as one of her new fans, because we’re totally in love with “Bad Man” right now.