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Sweet and wholesome, South Korean girl group April specialize in pleasant and uplifting dance-pop anthems infused with the nostalgic spirit of the '90s K-pop era. Debuting in 2015, the outfit underwent a couple of lineup shifts in the beginning, finalizing their roster in late 2016. After years of single releases, reality shows, and a sub-unit, they hit a career peak in 2020 with their best-selling and highest-charting effort to date, seventh mini-album Da Capo.
Formed by DSP Media, the six-piece was announced in February 2015, consisting of members Somin Jeon, Hyunjoo Lee, Chaewon Kim, Naeun Lee, Yena Yang, and Jinsol Lee. Soon after the release of their debut EP, Dreaming, leader Somin parted ways with April. The remaining women forged on as a quintet, releasing the single album Boing Boing and a holiday track, "Snowman." Their second EP, Spring, landed fittingly in April 2016. That year, they also took their first steps into the Japanese market. Another lineup shift occurred in October, with Hyunjoo leaving the group for health reasons. A month later, the reduced quartet filled the pair of empty spaces with new member Rachel and leader Chaekyung (who was Somin's former group mate in Puretty). The sextet made its debut with April's third EP, 2017's Prelude, which included their highest-charting Korean single to date, "April Story." Things remained busy for the group that year, with a pair of reality shows (A-IF-Ril and April Secret), the "Mayday" single album, and fourth EP, Eternity.
In 2018, April kicked off another era with its fifth EP, The Blue, and its first sub-unit, Naeun & Jinsol. The pair released the single "My Story" before resuming duties with the main group, which made its official Japanese debut with a re-recording of 2016's high-energy anthem "Tinkerbell," hitting the Oricon chart's Top 30. That October, April's sixth EP arrived. The Ruby featured nostalgic throwbacks like "Oh-e-Oh" and "Oh! My Mistake." The former received the Japanese-language treatment in 2019, sending April to the Top 20 on the Japanese charts in 2019.
After years of steadily climbing the charts, April made a major breakthrough in 2020. Initially plotting a big comeback for early March, plans were delayed by COVID-19 concerns and promotion was pushed to late April. When it finally arrived, Da Capo was a hit. Their seventh EP, the set rose to number five on the Korean album chart, boosted by pulsing club anthem "Lalalilala," the group's first Top 40 single on home turf. ~ Neil Z. Yeung