Welcome to Fan Chant, a weekly column for K-pop fans, stans, and newbies alike. Each week, I’ll be rolling out interviews, lists, and all kinds of content to keep you in the loop on the latest and greatest from our friends in Seoul and beyond. Also, make sure to subscribe to my companion newsletter!

    Readers of Fan Chant, you are going to be among the first to hear of a new journey I’ve somehow found myself on. The rumors are true — I’m tiptoeing into my CARAT era.

    I’m not sure if any other K-pop fans feel this way, but I try very hard to be a casual listener a lot of the time. When it comes to groups I really and truly take the time to dive into — learning names, choosing a bias, etc. — I’m just not sure I have the time for more wonderful people to add to the mix. I’m busy!

    …I’m also a liar, and it’s very easy to get me to want to know everything about an act once they’ve caught my attention.

    I remember each gateway for the groups I’ve ended up taking the spiral with: For TXT, it was when I heard “We Lost the Summer.” My TikTok algorithm tried to get me into ATEEZ for months, but it wasn’t until I was invited to their show that I really started to get it. (I walked into The Forum still almost entirely unfamiliar with them and left ready to pick up a sword right alongside Seonghwa and fight for that merry band of pirates forever.)


    With SEVENTEEN, I’ve been able to hold out and maintain my “enthusiastic listener” status for some time — I’ve written about them in the past, connected with them over email for Track by Track breakdowns, and chatted with them over Zoom around the release of “Darl+ing.” Up until now, I was staying chill — I could quickly identify Vernon, obviously, and liked Hoshi’s “Spider” and Woozi’s “Ruby.” “Cheers” really and truly almost did me in, but what was it that finally put me over the edge?

    This video of them eating crabs while here in America on tour.