If you read my monthly “Global Pop Round-Up” feature, you’ll know how much I like dance music. It’s rare to find a straight-up club track in K-pop these days, as idol group configurations usually require an arrangement that mixes genres and tempos. The last all-out dance track I can remember was Somi’s Fast Forward — a song that found permanent residence on my playlist. Now, Hello Gloom’s new single Mamacita feels poised to join its ranks and become the soundtrack to many a workout.

Hello Gloom and from20’s Way Better company is a diamond in the rough, allowing the two to self-produce a number of bangers with the heart of an indie artist but the pop smarts of (ex) idol performers. Of the two, Hello Gloom seems more interested in straightforward dance music, and that comes to the forefront in the pulsing Mamacita. The song takes an insanely catchy chanted hook and surrounds it with smooth melodies and a chugging house beat that keeps the energy relentlessly high. Brass accents give the instrumental character, but Mamacita has a singular mission. It aims to get your body moving, and does a good job of that.

If I have any complaints, I only wish Mamacita pushed over the three-minute mark. from20’s recent single also felt too short, and Mamacita could do with a big wallop of a finale. However, this is where the track’s focus comes in handy. Without any dull moments, it uses every moment of its two-and-a-half-minutes and keeps momentum high without wearing out its ideas.


Grade: B

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