Thursday, 7 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 20 Singles

In a year filled with music that broke away the silence, I return with another obnoxiously long Year End list of the singles that truly made my 2020 so much brighter.

Let's celebrate the happiness these single releases have brought us in such a tiring year.

In one of the easier lists that I have tackled I bring you my second post of the New Year, as well as the second music of 2020 list that took far too long to complete because I have an inability to contain my words.

Anyway, despite the difficulties of 2020 in regards to our favourite musicians, idols and artists releasing music, the year gone by has actually been very fruitful in regards to releases and the variety that it has given us. Yes, some groups and singers delayed the release of their singles until much later in the year for the sake of release events, but we got them one way or another and cherished said releases all the more.

Much like the digital tracks released throughout the year, these singles have aided us in one way or another and allowed us to look forward to something from our favourite groups and singers. It has also been a way of support in a very trying year, and whilst we certainly could not listen to or even buy everything that all of these groups and singers have released, we have done our best in keeping up with and supporting those that are important to us all.

I have lost count of how many singles I heard in 2020 alone, but I can honestly say that with a lot of time on my hands I was able to sit through plenty, to a point where I could pin-point the 20 favourite singles of a year gone by. Before I bore you with the actual list though, I have some criteria for this list that you will probably skip over:

⮞ Singles that I have enjoyed the entirety - or most - of
⮞ The Loop Factor
⮞ How invested I am in the entirety of the single
⮞ How intense my emotions are when I listen to it
⮞ How memorable the single is as a whole
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020
⮞ It can be a physical or digital release. If digital, multiple songs must be included; it can not be a stand-alone song.

I like listing the criteria, for some reason.

As always, just because a single has ranked highly in this list does not mean that all songs will appear in my Master List for my favourite songs of 2020. This list is purely based on the single as a whole and the joy it brought me, and how much I enjoyed the single from beginning to end. Honestly, some of these songs may not appear on the final list at all, but that's okay; it's all about the entertainment these singles delivered when I needed to feel happiness or even sadness at any given moment.

I hope that you all find something interesting in this list, and perhaps something new to enjoy as well. I also hope that it inspires you to think about the single that dominated your 2020, so please enjoy this list that I have created and indulge in some wonderful releases.

Let's dive into The 2020 Music Edit: Singles Edition. What will you discover this time?

2020 Music Edit:
The Top 20 Singles

⮞ 20 

(July 8th, 2020)

I feel like I'll get some flack for putting CAMEO in such a low spot for my favourite singles of the year, but hear me out: I really do like this release and what it has to offer because there are some amazing tracks on offer here, with at least two of these songs being some of my most repeat-worthy songs of the year. This release has some joy-harbouring tracks that have given me the motivation needed during the lockdown period in the first half of the year, but I sadly had one drawback when it came to this release.

Yeah, it's the title track.

As a song I just don't like CAMEO. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't One・Two・Three levels of disdain because I can certainly sit through the song without turning it off, but I certainly wouldn't want to keep it playing on repeat. The song also has some good moments going on, but as a whole I just don't care for it as much as others and consider it to be the worst A-side that the group has released thus far. Yeah, my tastes are up for debate here because I think a fair few people really love CAMEO, but I honestly can't justify placing this single any higher over other releases because I just don't care about the track that much.

The other tracks are, however, some of my favourites from the year and truly make up for the A-side. The three coupling tracks are so much fun to listen to, and the entire reason this single placed above my Honourable Mentions for 2020. If I didn't think that highly of them then, yeah, this single may not have even ranked. Yay for the saviour coupling tracks!

In A Nutshell: I love all of the coupling tracks and think they are absolutely beautiful, and despite my dislike of CAMEO as a song, it does have room to grow on me but for now, I simply love the coupling tracks so much more and have binged them throughout the dumpster fire that was 2020. Thank goodness for bright, sparkling music!

⮞ 19 

Kanjo Reversible by SAY-LA
(August 18th, 2020)

I actually started listening to Kanjo Reversible recently despite its August release date, but thanks to all four tracks present on this single being as charming as they are - and the title track being especially memorable and catchy - I have come to love listening to Kanjo Reversible in its entirety. It is such a varied, sentimental release that is sure to please all fans of the group and those who simply love cute Idol songs.

Each song has something about it that will grab your attention, though the two that stand out to me the most are Kanjo Reversible and the SAY-LA version of I-GET's 2020 anthem, WE ARE ALL ONE, both of which are my favourites from this single. With that said, I do enjoy Gomennasai, the final track on the single that perfectly rounds off the release whilst also acting as a beautiful send-off to now graduated member Mori Nonno.

In A Nutshell: Kanjo Reversible is a beautiful release that will entertain its listeners, and maybe surprise a few of you with at least one of its tracks. Definitely give it a try and have a fun listen!

⮞ 18 

(January 22nd, 2020)

In what is probably the best release this group has had in years (at least for me), KOKORO&KARADA / LOVEPedia / Ningen Kankei No way way is a fun, entertaining release that has delighted me a few times from the year gone by.

One of the only drawbacks for me in regards to this single is, however, the fact that KOKORO&KARADA can be a hit or miss for me as a listener. Depending on the day, this song will either be my jam or something that I have to skip entirely, whilst the other two tracks are something I can enjoy without issue. Still, I appreciate the variety of this single and what it has to offer thanks to its catchy sound and how enjoyable each song can be.

I think that the strong point of KOKORO&KARADA / LOVEPedia / Ningen Kankei No way way has to be that it has a good balance with each song. It embodies something fresh, something a little more unexpected and something that we have come to expect from this group, ultimately allowing it to be a nice, varied release that manages to stand out from the groups most recent roster of songs. Honestly, if it wasn't for the hit and miss aspect of KOKORO&KARADA alone, this single would probably rank a little higher, but that's a me problem and I fully own that.

In A Nutshell: Enjoyable, catchy and memorable, KOKORO&KARADA / LOVEPedia / Ningen Kankei No way way is the most promising release from Morning Musume '20 since who-knows-when. It is truly a wonderful triple A-side that is a lot of fun to listen to, and great to sing along with when the occasion arises.

⮞ 17 

(March 25th, 2020)

No matter what she releases, Aimer's songs are an experience to be had by all fans of Japanese music thanks to her husky voice and the gorgeous instrumentals that accompany it, and once again Aimer creates an immersive world with the release of Haru wa Yuku / marie. If you wanted Spring in a soundtrack then this is it, and I honestly could not recommend it enough because - damn - Aimer has done it again and created pure pleasure.

I have enjoyed Aimer's releases for a few years now, and with every new release I am blown away by the sheer beauty that this woman creates. I can't tell you all enough just how beautiful this music is, nor can I express the sheer joy that I feel from Aimer's releases. She is simply incredible and I can not help but fall in love Haru wa Yuku / marie over and over again. It's breath-taking, by far the most solid release of Aimer's this year and jam-packed with gorgeous songs that will entertain and refresh you.

It's simply beautiful, enough said.

In A Nutshell: Aimer once again releases a beautiful compilation of songs in the form of Haru wa Yuku / marie, a mesmerising release that will draw you into the gorgeous world of Aimer. With her enchanting voice and beautiful instrumentals, this is definitely a release that should be heard.

⮞ 16 

Against. by Ishihara Kaori
(November 4th, 2020)

Despite being on the newest additions to my playlist, Ishihara Kaori's Against. has quickly become one of my most played released throughout the month of November. With a catchy title track and an equally interesting b-side, this single has wormed its way into my heart and taken over my loop-hating music player thanks to how addictive this single is as a whole.

Granted, it took me a while to come around to You & I as a song, however I have come to enjoy both tracks individually thanks to how well they fit together thanks to their contrasting sound and style. Where Against. is a cool, dominating track that is easy to remember and sing along to, You & I is a little more adorable and upbeat thanks to its carefree sound. Honestly, You & I is typically the type of track I lean towards from AniSong singers, however it was the song I really was hesitant about at first, so I'm glad that I finally came around and enjoyed this charming track.

In A Nutshell: Against. is a great single all around and one of the most promising releases from the end of the year. I wish that I had had a little more time with it though, because if it had an earlier release date then I would certainly be placing it higher on the list.

⮞ 15 

Futari Dake No Hajimete Wo Motto by 26ji no Masquerade
(December 2nd, 2020)

Yeah, it's a December release. Yes, I am placing it pretty damn high on the list because - surprise, surprise! - this has been a non-stop addiction of mine upon its release for one reason or another. At first I was unimpressed by the title track after watching the music video, but much like almost all of 26ji no Masquerade's music, I found myself coming back to it despite my initial thoughts. It's an enjoyable release all around, with five amazing tracks that make me smile and pull me into the fairy tale world of 26ji no Masquerade.

Futari Dake no Hajimete Wo Motto is a magical experience for me as a fan of the group, and whilst it might not tickle the fancy of many, it's the kind of release that brightens my day and keeps me feeling optimistic. All five songs are bright and joyful in their own way, and I only feel happiness whenever I tune into this single. It's so pretty and I am delighted that I could hear it before the year came to a much needed end.

In A Nutshell: A positive end to the year that was, 26ji no Masquerade delivered a release filled with positive sounds and beautiful music. It may be the newest release on this list, but it honestly a great single to fall into so please give it a much needed listen and maybe a few hundred loops.

⮞ 14 

Jumpin! Nappu! JAPAN! by BANZAI JAPAN
(March 24th, 2020)

Though I have not listened to Jumpin! Nappu! JAPAN! as much as I should have during 2020, the sheer enjoyment I have from this single even in the smallest of doses is incredible high. Made up of 3 songs, BANZAI JAPAN's second major single release is filled with the personality of the members and truly represents what this group is about. Each song is distinct and unique, and though this single may not have been heavily looped like others, I look back at Jumpin! Nappu! JAPAN! with a smile.

In short, I am pretty damn fond of this single and each song, hence why it's on this list.

If I had actually listened to the release more than I did, it would definitely be a lot higher on my list, but I am pretty content that it made it on to the list regardless of where it has been placed. It's so much fun, and truly shines as a release. It truly embodies BANZAI's goal to bridge the gap between traditional and modern Japan whilst simultaneously showcasing their individuality and how fun the group is in sound.

In A Nutshell: I should have listened to this more, but whenever I play Jumpin! Nappu! JAPAN! I feel happy and invigorated. It's so much fun, and I only smile when I think back to how good this single is. It is memorable, entertaining and filled with BANZAI JAPAN spirit!

⮞ 13 

Pierce by Yamaide Aiko
(April 29th, 2020)

When it comes to beautiful releases from 2020, Pierce is up there with some of the most gorgeous releases of the year. With a crystal clear voice and sweet vibrato, Yamaide Aiko will certainly pierce into your soul thanks in her fourth solo release.

I am simply enamoured by Pierce as both a title track and a single because - to put it simply - it is absolutely gorgeous and worth every moment spent listening to it. There was a lot of thought and care put into this single, with each track complimenting the other in order to create a wonderful listening experience that is both peaceful and entertaining. It is such a joy listening to Pierce, so much so that I wish I had listened to the single in its entirety a little more over the course of 2020. Ah well, what's done is done I suppose.

Pierce is amazing and I can not emphasise just how worthy this single is of your time. Check it out, fall in love and relive the beauty of Aiko's voice over and over again.

In A Nutshell: If you want something beautiful to listen to, Pierce is a great single to settle down with. Thanks to Aiko's clear voice and the complimentary instrumentals to accompany the lyrics. Simply gorgeous and just so damn perfect.

⮞ 12 

Peace!!! by Haruna Luna
(March 18th, 2020)

Believe me when I say that, if it weren't for the cop-out b-side on this single, Peace!!! would be a hell of a lot higher, maybe in the Top 5 area because I simply love this song. Addictive, catchy and a lot of fun to clap and sing along to, Peace!!! is that feel good song you tune into when you want something to brighten your day. It is such a blast to listen to and one that I return to over and over again. I love it so much, and I am so glad that I fell in love with this incredible tune.

My love for Peace!!! wasn't always there of course. When I first heard the track I didn't like it whatsoever, but after remembering it and constantly thinking of it, Peace!!! grew on me and soon became one of my favourite songs from 2020. But why is it a favourite single, you ask? Because the b-side is... well, Peace!!! -Infinity Combo Remix-.

It's the exact same song aside from it being a remix, hence why it is hard to dislike because it's a fun variant on a song I already enjoy. Still, it's a cop-out of a coupling track in my eyes because it is a remix and makes the release feel a little lazy. I enjoy both songs of course, but I can't help feel a little disappointed about the lack of an extra song that is different to the A-side, so I can only place Peace!!! fairly low on my list for that reason.

In A Nuthsell: I freakin' LOVE Peace!!! and think it's a great single, but the cop-out of a b-side is what pulls it down in the ranks for me. This is still worth a listen of course, but the remix may not be to everyone's tastes.

⮞ 11 

Start Line / Seishun no Hana by Kobushi Factory
(March 4th, 2020)

With the shock disbandment of Kobushi Factory earlier this year and the tears I shed over this release, it makes sense that I would rank the groups final hurrah somewhere on these lists. It helps that I like both songs a great deal anyway, but I want to at least appreciate what Kobushi Factory left us before they said their goodbyes to the idol world and headed their separate ways.

Start Line / Seishun no Hana, though by no means original for H!P's standards in music, is a sentimental release that will pull at the heartstrings of any Kobushi fan. With two polar opposite songs - the upbeat, happy-go-lucky Start Line and the nostalgic pop-ballad that is Seishun no Hana - Kobushi Factory deliver a sweet and memorable release that perfectly showcases their vocals, as well as the serious and happy sides of the girls that fans knew and loved.

It was the perfect goodbye, one that reflected the groups vocal talent and their bond perfectly, but it goes without saying that this farewell was too sudden. I still can't register the fact that the group disbanded this year and will often find myself thinking that this single was released last year, because it seems like so long ago that Kobushi Factory disbanded. Alas, it was the year of 2020, and my heart has still not healed over this loss.

In A Nutshell: We're going to be crying over this release for a while, lads.

⮞ 10 

Time Warp by Perfume
(September 16th, 2020)

No matter the time of day or the mood I am in, Time Warp is a welcome addition to my playlist that will always put a smile on my face and make me want to get up and dance. It's the perfect mood-enhancer for the year that was 2020, and I continue to come back to it no matter what because it is such a trip whenever I listen to it. I freakin' love everything about Time Warp as a single, aside from the short-lived time frame that is Time Warp itself. Thank goodness the b-side track, Saisei, more than makes up for the lack of time.

Energetic, catchy, memorable and a lot of fun, Time Warp is honestly one of the best things to come out of this year alone. It's pure joy in a two-song release that I can't help but adore, and whilst it may not be my favourite release of 2020, it is definitely up there in the ranks for me. I love it, I think it's an amazing single and quite possibly my favourite Perfume release so far. It is truly a magical experience that only Perfume could deliver and, if it weren't for some other amazing singles that graced my ears this year, Time Warp would definitely be higher up on this list.

Time Warp is a lot of fun, and despite the woes of 2020 I would not warp the passage of time just in case this song was destroyed in the process. It is amazing, I love it and there is nothing more to say on this matter.

In A Nutshell: I freakin' love Time Warp. If you want a song that makes you feel happy, will give you a desire to dance and be silly or just warms your soul a little bit during the cold winter evenings, this is a great single to tune into! It's simply amazing and worth every second of your time.

⮞ 9 

Shakunatsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra by Houkago Princess
(July 29th, 2020)

I have spent a good many hours replaying this single during the summer, and whilst it isn't as overplayed as it was before I still consider it to be on of my favourite singles from 2020. With two catchy but contrasting songs, this sparkling summer release is perfect for heating up your playlist and will surely entertain you with one dance-style track, as well as a glittering idol tune that is reminiscent of HouPri's songs from their first indies era.

It goes without saying that I think this is an amazing single, one that allows me to enjoy both the current style of Houkago Princess as well as the classic version thanks to the inclusion of two vastly different tracks. With Shakunatsu no Mystery Eye we have a cooler, dance-unfused track that has won over both fans and people who don't know about Houkago Princess, whilst Zesse Cleopatra celebrates the old-school sound of the group in order to bring together both versions of Houkago Princess that fans - as well as members Maika and Michishige Saho - have grown with.

This is a stellar single, one that I love so damn much, and I am so happy to include it on this list. It's everything and more than I could have ever imagine, and I adore it in its entirety. I just hope that others can appreciate it as much as I do and enjoy the warmth of this beautiful summer single.

In A Nutshell: Shakunatsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra is a beautiful summer single that celebrates the old and current formation of Houkago Princess, whilst also delivering a heated release for the fans who could not spend their summer days as they typically do this year.

⮞ 8 

(November 25th, 2020)

When you know, you know.

I don't know what it is about this single that makes me enjoy it so much, but ever since the release of the A-side's music video I have been in love with Seishun Subliminal as a song and with the release of the single, I am simply enamoured by all four songs and the enjoyment they offer me as a listener. I only wish it had been released a little earlier in the year because despite already hitting the Top 10, it would have ranked so, so much higher on this list. Still, #9 is a freakin' high place to be, but this one could have definitely sat at #1 if it weren't for a late release date.

This is pure joy to listen to in its entirety and the best =LOVE release from 2020 for me by far. With three incredibly uplifting =LOVE tracks and a serious, cool song in the form of P.I.C. from sister group ≠ME, I can't help but think highly of this release. Seishun Subliminal is glorious and I adore it the more I listen to it. If only it had been released a little earlier in the year so that I could enjoy it more!

In A Nutshell: An absolute joy to listen to and experience, this release is =LOVE's strongest of their two releases from the year that was 2020. I only lament over the fact that this is a November release, but otherwise enjoy Seishun Subliminal a great deal. A must-listen for any =LOVE and ≠ME fans!

⮞ 7 

#Yappa Motto by Ohara Sakurako
(September 30th, 2020)

If it weren't for the fact that there are other singles on here with stronger coupling tracks, #Yappa Motto would easily break the Top 5 of this list because - yes, it's true - I have a bias towards Ohara Sakurako and her music. I can't help the fact that her songs are so good!

Despite not placing this any higher, I do love the coupling tracks that come with this single and think that they are just as entertaining as the title track. There is a nice variety here, all of which showcase the strength of Sakurako's vocals in a different way. For instance, Long Distance shows off the emotion that Sakurako can portray in her songs, whilst #Yappa Motto is a good song to fall into if you want to understand just why this woman is a pop-ballad goddess. No matter what song you listen to, there will be something to appreciate and enjoy from Sakurako.

As a listener I have a lot of fun whenever I sit through this single. It always catches my attention and has me singing along, regardless of the song that is playing at the time. #Yappa Motto includes a nice variety of songs, all of which are catchy and memorable in their own right, and though I am slightly biased towards it, I do think that it is worth your time if you decide to check it out.

In A Nutshell: I am extremely biased towards Ohara Sakurako, but as a single #Yappa Motto offers three wonderful new tracks that are all catchy, memorable and easy to get into. Whether you want a ballad or something a little more energetic, it's here (though it isn't the kind of energy that AniSong singers offer, just sayin').

⮞ 6 

Aozora Moment by Gunjou no Sekai
(April 14th, 2020)

One of my favourite releases from the start of the year, Aozora Moment was the track that gave me a much needed boost in happiness and motivation during the first quarter of 2020. Alongside =LOVE's Kimi to Watashi no Uta, this song quickly became my first quarter anthem and - despite falling off my radar a little as more music was released - it still stands as one of my favourite releases from the year gone by.

Soundtrack wise, this is a pretty generic idol release that can be enjoyed by anyone, or can act as background noise if you want something easy to listen to. With that said, Yume wo katatte Ikite iku no does offer a more cool and serious sound against the cute and sparkling Aozora Moment and the lighter Chronicle, and will probably appeal to more listeners if you want something with a little more depth. Of course I think the entire experience of this single is wonderful, but that's because I am slightly biased and adore everything about it from beginning to end.

Also, the inclusion of the solo versions is a nice touch and gives you a peek into the (lack of) vocal ability these members have, if that is something you're interested in!

I love it, and I will continue to love this single for a while. It brings me a great amount of joy and I can't help but smile whenever I listen to Aozora Moment, the song that became my anthem of 2020's first quarter. It is simply wonderful, and one of the best music experiences I have had this year.

In A Nutshell: My 2020 first quarter anthem and pure joy to listen to, this is definitely one of the brighter moments of this year during a trying time. It may not appeal to everyone, but if you want to brighten your day a little then I do think that this single will certainly do that. Give it a try and enjoy.

⮞ 5 

Kono Te Wa by Misawa Sachika
(April 29th, 2020)

Huh, I didn't expect Kono Te Wa to make it this high, but given how much I remembered the title track especially, as well as how much I loop both songs and refuse to pause or skip either one of them, it does make sense to place it in my Top 5. This is seriously an incredible release from Misawa Sachika and an amazing comeback after a four year break from releasing music, and I am glad that it was the type of single I couldn't help but return to. It is addictive, catchy and so much freakin' fun, and I encourage everyone - I mean it, everyone - to listen to this single.

There are only two songs, but that is all you need to fall in love with Misawa's vocals and style because both song is just as invigorating as the next. I have such a blast listening to Kono Te Wa and atto ippo together, to a point where I don't even listen to the songs individually any more because I think this single is at its best when played back to back. It's such a trip and just so, so atmospheric and pleasing to the ears. I honestly adore Kono Te Wa, and I am so freakin' pleased I could be introduced to Misawa Sachika this way.

I certainly intended to rank the single a little higher for my 2020 favourites in singles, but I can't deny my the other four singles that rank higher in both my heart and my mind. Still, #5 is a bloody good spot when you consider just how many singles I sat through and enjoyed this year alone, and I think that putting Kono Te Wa any lower than this would be a crime against nature. It is an incredibly beautiful and worthwhile release, and I have loved every moment spent on looping the single as a whole. I have no regrets here, and I look forward to any and all future releases that Misawa delivers because damn, she is incredible.

In A Nutshell: With a beautiful atmosphere, dreamy instrumentals and gorgeous vocals, Misawa Sachika will bring you into a world of splendor in Kono Te Wa. The single is nothing short of glorious, and whilst it didn't take the #1 spot it still ranks pretty damn high in my heart and continues to impress me with each new listen. I freakin' love it and I implore you to give it a go and fall into the world of Misawa Sachika's Kono Te Wa.

⮞ 4 

(May 27th, 2020)

After discovering halca somewhere in the middle of the year I have been obsessed, and with good reason. Though her music may not appeal to everyone, halca is an undeniably fun and expressive singer with a bundle of energy and a cute, husky voice that I simply adore, and it is thanks to Tokitoshite Violence that I could fall in love with halca and her music. So it makes complete sense to rank her in my Top 5 for my favourite single release of 2020, because this is one single I have definitely enjoyed coming back to.

With three wonderful tracks that showcase halca's vocals beautifully, Tokitoshite Violence is a single that not only packs an energetic punch, it is one that will make you smile and make you want to sing along. It is such a feel-good release, one that I happily to return to when my weekly dose of halca is needed. It offers me so much joy as a listener, and this probably has to be one of my favourite introductions to a solo singer that I have heard all year. It is such a blast, and I have no regrets in binging this release in its entirety!

If it weren't for a few other releases that I heard this year, I do believe that Tokitoshite Violence would have ranked as my #2 in single releases for the year because of how much I enjoy the single. I love all of the songs as well, which is why it was so freakin' difficult to rank the blessing that is halca's fifth single, but I need to prioritise the singles that either impressed me more, or had a little to a lot more pull than Tokitoshite Violence. With that said this is a single that I frequent a lot, with one song in particular playing victim to my looping habits, but I'm basing this on how much I replay the single in its entirety and not the individual tracks. That list will come a little later, because lists!

So, yeah. I love Tokitoshite Violence and knew it would rank fairly high on my list of favourite singles of the year, but there are others that deserve the higher ranks much more. I'm just happy to see Tokitoshite Violence this high because damn, it really is a God-send of a single from 2020.

In A Nutshell: I absolutely adore everything that this release contains, and despite it not hitting the Top 2 as I had expected it to, it is still a release that I come back to without fail. Tokitoshite Violence is that kick of energy I need on even the gloomiest of days and continues to be one of the brightest releases of 2020. I love it, I want you to love it, and I hope that you give it a chance and fall in love with halca just as I have.

⮞ 3 

Free Turn by TrySail
(January 22nd, 2020)

When it comes to a single that I can not imagine being without in 2020, Free Turn is the release that comes to mind. Throughout the entire year this has been one of those releases that I constantly return to, and when you consider that it was released at the very beginning of the year, you can only begin to imagine just how much I have looped both songs present on its track list. Honestly, this may be my most heavily-looped release of the year and I have no shame in admitting that.

Sure, Free Turn may not be the strongest release this year has seen, but it is one I have come back to time and again thanks to how easy it is to listen to, the catchy hook on each track, and the addictiveness that both songs provide. This single provides me a great deal of happiness whenever I listen to it much like many of the other singles present on this list, but because of how symbolic this single is to me as a 2020 release allows it to trump all the other singles. This was the beginning of the year for me, and it will end the year as well because I love it so much.

I look back at this single with such fondness and think highly of it as a listener, which is why I originally considered it for my #1 release of 2020, however I have a stronger emotional attachment to two other releases that takes precedence over Free Turn. That doesn't stop me from adoring this single or thinking any less of it of course, but I need to be honest with myself and rank Free Turn accordingly, and I think that the #3 spot is one of the best spots it could be in.

Free Turn is definitely a symbol of 2020 for me despite not hitting the #1 spot, and I think that has to do with it being one of the earliest releases I listened to from the year gone by. It's a fun single, one that I will continue to return to because of how wonderful it is to me.

In A Nutshell: If I had to describe 2020 in a single release, I might as well say Free Turn. This is a release that has never failed to please me and continues to brighten my day no matter how many times I loop it. As one of the earliest releases on this list it makes sense to rank it this high because it has been a consistent favourite since I first heard it. I absolutely adore Free Turn.

⮞ 2 

(February 11th, 2020)

I think that of all the singles I have heard this year, Ningen is one of the most emotive and powerful releases I have experienced. Though it does embody a rather stereotypical WACK sound, it is a lot of fun and continues to impress me no matter how many times I play both songs present on this track list. It's an incredible release that truly showcases the expressiveness of the members and the beauty of their individual voices in a way that only WACK can do.

This is also the type of release that makes me want to move and express myself through headbanging or dancing along to it, and sometimes it makes me want to cry. Of course the wanting to cry over their music comes a little easier now that CARRY LOOSE have disbanded because Watanabe is a dick, but I think that shows just how much of an impact this groups music has on me as a listener. I can't help but feel the emotions that reverberate through the members' vocals, which ultimately creates a more powerful experience for me whenever I sit down to experience the beauty that is Ningen and 23-59.

Ningen has been a high ranker for me since I first heard it, so it doesn't come as a surprise to me that it ranked so high on my list for my favourite singles of the year. It's also the type of release that I will never skip either, and one that I rarely pause because the experience is just so incredible for me, and if it weren't for another release that I love so much, Ningen by CARRY LOOSE probably would have snatched that #1 spot away from the true winner of the year because, let's be real here, it is an amazing release that should be heard, appreciated and enjoyed. So my dear Readers, please go forth and give this single all of the love that it deserves. It is truly an experience to be had.

In A Nutshell: An amazing release from the recently disbanded CARRY LOOSE, Ningen is an beautiful, emotive release that gives me all the feels and makes me want to move along to the music whilst also crying. It's incredible and worth your time, so please listen and immerse yourself in CARRY LOOSE's short-lived but memorable sound.

After listening to who knows how many singles in the year gone by and sitting through so many wonderful releases that have brought me joy, sent me to tears and more, it's time to fixate on the single that overthrew them all and stood out to me the most in 2020. With an amazing selection of songs to delight me throughout 2020's darker points and a replay factor that would break a shit CD player, this has become the single that has defined my 2020 as a complete release and became the single that I can happily call my Top Single of 2020.

So without further ado my Dear Readers, let's play this release over, and over, and over again. Are you ready to endure all that I love my #1 Single of the Year that was?


The 2020 Single Edit

Hoshi wo Atsumete by fhána
(February 26th, 2020)

Of all the singles that I expected to be in this list for my End of Year rankings, I actually didn't anticipate seeing fhána ranking this high, let alone appearing in my final ranks at all. Yes, I was enamoured by this release at the start of the year and considered it a fun release, but with other impressive releases that came after it I never anticipated Hoshi wo Atsumete sticking with me the way that it did.

Well, colour me surprised by my own preferences and the perseverance of this single because somehow, someway, Hoshi wo Atsumete stuck to me like a bungee cord that springs me back when I need a dose of joy, or simply a raincheck on how incredible this release is. It is amazing what this single does for me, and whilst I have had periods where I didn't listen to it, it is a single that stayed in my mind and brought a smile to my face without fail.

It goes without saying that Hoshi wo Atsumete is the type of release that never fails in brightening your day. It is a burst of energy and I know that whenever I pop it on, I am in for an experience that will leave me fulfilled and happier than I was before playing the songs present on its track list. I never fail to smile when I hear those opening bars, and you can bet that I sing and dance along to each and every track because they are just that catchy and enjoyable for me as a listener. Of all the releases I have experienced this year by far, Hoshi wo Atsumete is certainly the strongest, most memorable release of them all, and the one that I makes me the happiest I can be when listening to music. It is blissful, pure joy.

So with all of that in mind I think that it is sagfe to say that I consider fhána's Hoshi wo Atsumete my #1 single release for the year of 2020, because what more could I want from a single?

I have put a lot of listening hours and emotional investment into this single, to a point where I can only consider Hoshi wo Atsumete a strong, reliable release that is almost perfect for me. It certainly helps that the single has been with me since the start of the year, giving it the factor of time and its ability to grow with each listen, but I do think that my desire to return to it throughout the year, as well as how much I thought about it even when I wasn't listening to it, is a testament to the strength of this release and its ability to keep me wanting more of it after the first, second and third listen.

Despite all of the incredible releases that fell into my lap this year alone, despite the many releases that I experienced and the music that filled my ears, it was Hoshi wo Atsumete that shined the brightest of them all and kept me coming back for me. This release stuck in my mind from February to December and allowed me to experience a glimpse of happiness in my darkest hours, and even when I wasn't listening to it I would think about it, wake up to it in my mind and look back at it with fondness when I wasn't experiencing the music first hand.

I love Hoshi wo Atsumete more than I realised, because whilst I knew that it would rank in a good place I didn't expect it rank any higher or lower than the #5 spot. Yet after looking back at the singles I enjoyed in 2020, re-experiencing each and every song and writing about how they make me feel and why I like them, I came to the realisation that despite all of the incredible releases 2020 has given us, despite how much I love the other releases, it is Hoshi wo Atsumete that truly shined as a single from beginning to end in the year of 2020 and the single that I wanted to listen to in its entirety, no matter what.

So this is it, this is the single that made my 2020 a little more worthwhile. Thinking back to the year that was, I really can't think about the singles that entertained me without this one coming to mind more than others. I am just so happy that I could experience Hoshi wo Atsumete and love it to this extent.

The Honourable Edit
Single Edition

Continuing this tradition of sharing the Honourable Mentions on my obnoxiously long favourites lists, here are the releases that - despite not making it into the Top 20 - I also enjoyed a great deal, but probably did not listen to as much or forgot a little as time went on. They are all great singles in their own right and deserve to be heard, so I hope you all listen to them as well and entertain yourself with some glorious honorable mentions from this list~

Plunderer by Ito Miku (February 12th, 2020)

I・LOVE・YOU!! by Ogura Yui (February 12th, 2020)

Endless Night by Dreamcatcher (March 11th, 2020)

Wasure Sakura by SUPER☆GiRLS (March 18th, 2020)

Music by Fudanjuku (March 25th, 2020)

SHINEMAGIC / Hyalu lonely Girl by ZOC (April 21st, 2020)

Otome no Route wa Hitotsu Janai! by angela (April 22nd, 2020)

Sunday! Sunshine! by wasuta (August 12th, 2020)

Kokuhaku Bungee Jump by halca (September 2nd, 2020)

SPARK AGAIN by Aimer (September 9th, 2020)

Ashiato by Little Glee Monster (September 9th, 2020)

Itsuka no Kioku / Toumei no Pedal by Waki Azumi (October 7th, 2020)

Dear My Friend by Little Glee Monster x Pentatonix (December 16th, 2020)

Alpha Omega -ΑΩ- by Satanic Punish (December 25th, 2020)

To close this post:

It has been a lot of fun listening to all of these singles over the past year, and despite how difficult it can be to create these lists, this was relatively easy and the first one to be finished. I listened to a lot of great music in 2020, and no doubt you did too, but for me these were all incredible releases in their own right and I am happy that a lot of these songs delivered nothing but happiness during an uncertain time.

Of course I hope that this list has proven useful to all of you as well and that it has given you something new to enjoy, or perhaps introduced you to a group or artist you may have skipped over in favour of others. Creating these lists is not only for my own enjoyment and to showcase what I liked during any given year, but to help you expand your own music tastes and offer something new to indulge in, or to discover something you may have otherwise ignored.

I also hope that this list gives you a chance to reflect on the single releases that you enjoyed in the year gone by and that it gives you the desire to go back through some of your favourite releases for nostalgia's sake, and to relive some of the best moments these songs gave you. Finally, I hope that I have not bored you too much with my writing, and I hope that you are all enjoying the New Year.

Until the next post everyone, please stay happy and healthy and continue to love your idols. Let's meet again soon and share even more music from the year gone by~

Much Love and well-wishes,

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