We are all stuck inside during these quarantined times, so how about a list of OST’s to get you through the day?
Whether you want something heart pounding for doing those chores you just don’t want to do, heart fluttery for staring at that boy in the apartment across the way who keeps his windows perpetually open (thank you cute boy), or heavy for those days that you just want to sink into your “I’m an extrovert, get me out of my house” feels. We got you covered!
As we all know, there are many things that go into making a Korean drama great: the script, the acting, and the cinematography. But there’s something that plays an even bigger role than we realize: the soundtrack.
Music in general releases dopamine (known as one of the “feel good” chemicals in the brain), and can influence our perception of things. That means if a drama has a good OST, it’ll amplify the happy, effervescent moments and drive a dagger through our hearts during the tragic ones.
The music we hear during a drama can be so powerful, they may be the only thing we remember about it years later. So here’s a list for all you music lovers out there of drama OSTs we just can’t forget.
(Please keep in mind that even though there are many fantastic individual songs floating around, we’re talking about the soundtracks as a whole. the ones where you can just click play and relive the entire drama in your head from the music alone. There be gold in those hills, y’all).
Chuno (aka The Slave Hunters)
When I started workshopping the idea of writing about memorable OSTs, V and I immediately thought about Chuno. The drama about slave hunters came out ten years ago, but the fact that it popped into both of our heads is a testament to how good the music was.
“Change” by Gloomy 30s (What a name LOL.) is an explosive rock/rap opener that you wouldn’t think would work for a historical drama – but does! In fact, most of the OST is an interesting mix of traditional Korean music and modern genres like rock, rap, and pop. Another good example of this is “Damned Love” by Woong San. The soundtrack also boasts some epic ballads like “Stigma” by Im Jae-bum, which acts as the ending theme.
Out of everything, I’d have to say the true gem of the OST is “Lovers” by Flower Star. The mournful, wistful instrumental is heart-wrenching, and if you’re not on guard it can bring a tear to your eye.
- Get the Chuno soundtrack on Amazon! Get it, get it, get it!
Encounter (aka Boyfriend)
What a beautiful, delicate OST. It’s very much like the drama. Most of the songs are dreamy and slow or acoustic, and they create a fairytale-like atmosphere the moment you press play.
“The Day We Met” by Cheeze and “Into My Heart” by Lee Sora capture the sweet, wistful tone of the drama, while songs like “Don’t Hesitate” by Yong Joon-hyung and “Heartbeat” by O.WHEN capture its optimism. I also love the fact that the soundtrack essentially has a couple song. “Take Me On” appears on it twice; first sung by a female singer named SAya then a male singer named SALTNPAPER.
The only disappointing thing about Encounter’s soundtrack is the cool Bossa nova we heard while our main couple was in Cuba isn’t officially a part of it. (V – and it should be!!!! That song basically kick started the love story!)
The soundtrack perfectly mimicked the theme of this drama. It somehow managed to make me feel like a strong, independent woman who didn’t need no man, but achingly vulnerable at the same time.
The opening song “Search” by Elaine is a catchy digital bop, and tracks like “Scent” by Sam Kim, “Tonight” by Lee Chan-dong, and “Milky Way Between Us” by O3ohn amplify the push-and-pull chemistry between our two leads.
But Search: WWW isn’t just about falling in love, so the soundtrack reflects that. “Wow” by Mamamoo and “Reaching Hand” by Jang Beom June showcase that we’re all on the grind, hustling for a better life.
Guardian (aka Goblin)
For a drama that already had everything, a great soundtrack was almost sensory overload.
“Round and Round” by Heize featuring Han Suji is probably one of the most unique opening themes I’ve ever heard and does an excellent job of preparing its viewers for the dark fantasy that is to come.
The gut-punching ballads “Beautiful” by Crush and “I Will Go To You Like the First Snow” by vocal powerhouse Ailee also drive home the never-ending love of our main leads.
Last, but certainly not least is the iconic ending theme “Stay With Me” by Chanyeol and Punch. The melodic, bittersweet vocals combined with the rap will stay with us forever.
(Ha. See what I did there?)
Romance Is a Bonus Book (aka Love is a Bonus Book)
I guess it makes sense that one of my favorite Noona romances would also have one of my favorite soundtracks. Much of it is light acoustic pop and folksy ballads, so I can’t imagine anyone listening to it staying in a bad mood.
“Rainbow” by Rothy is one of the first songs on the OST, and it’s so darn chipper, it makes me want to skip down the sidewalk. Or work at a trendy publishing company with my own personal Lee Jong-suk.
“Take My Hand” by JANNABI and “I Pray” by Motte also give off wistful, but happy vibes.
If I’m being honest though, the best song is “Someday” by the Black Skirts, which becomes the ending theme about halfway through the drama. I love it, because it perfectly sums up the soft, whimsical, and hopeful tone of the show.
I’m now a huge Black Skirts fan because of it.
- Get the OST and photobook on Amazon
- Romance is a Bonus Book Review (Spoiler)
- Romance is a Bonus Book Review (Non-spoiler)
- Bing Watch: Romance is a Bonus Book Episodes 1-8
My Mister (aka My Ahjussi)
This emotional rollercoaster of a drama cut many to the core and the soundtrack only made the blood loss worse. (V – But in the best way possible! OMG! Best drama evaaaaah)
Sondia’s “Adult”, the ending theme conveys the stark reality of the characters’ lives, while songs like “An Ordinary Day” by Jung Seung-hwan and “Rainbow” (the acoustic and band version) by Vincent Blue and O.WHEN make me want to crawl under my covers and never leave.
There are definitely somber threads running through this OST, but gems like “Dear Moon” sung by both JeHwi and IU offer a sliver of hope.
- Get the soundtrack on Amazon
- Drama Milk Complete Music List for the Kdrama My Ajusshi / My Mister
- That Moment When My Ajusshi Had Me
- My Ajusshi Recaps
Ah…what a palette cleanser.
Just like the thoughtful poetry in the drama, the soundtrack features thoughtful lyrics and acoustic guitar chords you’d most likely hear at a coffee shop while waiting for your order.
“Youth These Days” by Stella Jung, “I Love You Girl” by Sugarbowl, and coincidentally “Because It’s You” by Coffee Boy are three good examples of this.
Of course, an OST made up entirely of cheerful acoustic pop could get stale, so I like that we get a little variety with songs like “Feeling” by O.WHEN, which has a little more of a rock vibe it.
If you’re someone who’s not impressed by mainstream music, then this OST is for you.
Right out of the gate, the song “Not in Love” by Lee Min-ki sets up this alternative coming-of-age story and follows with “Jaywalking” by Sung Joon. The riff heavy track is like
a shot of adrenaline and solidifies his performance as the grieving front man of the fledgling rock band.
The sweet acoustic duet “Love U, Like U” by L and Kim Ye-rim also adds a touch of sweetness to the soundtrack. I wish “Long-D” by Neon Bunny was included, but it’s not, so you’ll have to check it out on her album Seoulight.
“Baby, I don’t wanna care about anything tonight!”
This soundtrack is so catchy and upbeat! Especially the ending theme “True” by Runy. For a webtoon-based drama about self-love (no matter what your journey there looks like), the cutesy bubblegum pop songs like “Love Diamond” by Weki Meki and “D-Day” by Jung Gi Go sure are healing. I also appreciated the tongue-in-cheek song “New Face” by Psy.
But at the end of the day, my favorite song is “Something” by George and Gang Hae-in. The acoustic, jazzy duet is so smooth it sounds like honey.
Say what you want about this crazy drama, but the soundtrack is adorable. The upbeat pop/rock songs like “Still” by Lee Hong-ki and “Promise” by A.N.Jell (in the drama) and Lee Hong-ki featuring Jung Yong-hwa (in real life) are infectious, and the ballads are sweet. I have proof that “Without Words” by Park Shin-hye gave me cavities and “Goodbye” by Jang Geun-suk slowed my heartbeat.
You’re Beautiful was such a zany drama with moments that made me soft. I love that the OST brings the same energy.
So, there you have it! Hopefully our little list has helped you discover some good music or remind of the songs you’d forgotten.
Did you spot any of your favorites? Calling us crazy because we missed your favorite? Let us know what drama OST holds a special place in your heart in the comments! We would love to hear it and we just might make a post about it.
Stay cuddled up at home if you can during the quarantine. If you work in healthcare, thank you! Crank up that Chuno soundtrack and get that ish done. If you work in the grocery store, you are amazing because we are headed out to shop today! How about putting in that My ID is Gangnam Beauty to stay upbeat and smiling (because we know peoples can be crazy sometimes – all the time?). And thank the Lord for all the deliveries and trash pickup, I just want to play you a love song hmm, how about Encounter because due to social distancing, our love feels forbidden.