Friday, 1 January 2021

2020 Music Edit: The Top 25 Digital Songs

With so many digital releases to enjoy and many new artists and groups to discover in the year gone by, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly which song has become one of many favourites...

Are you ready to endure another Year End list from Okay! Musume Time?

It has been a long time coming everyone, but we finally made it to this point. Happy New Year. I hope you are all safe and well and celebrating in an appropriate manner~

After a heavy year that has taken a toll not only our mental wellbeing, but also our physical and financial well-beings, music has become a much needed solace for many of us. Whether we use it for escapism, relaxation or to simply help us keep calm, the music that has been delivered to us from around the world has been a much appreciated gift. For the Japanese music industry especially, the current state of the world became a topic of inspiration and allowed Idols and artists alike to create music that delivered hope for their fans and the people around them.

With live shows halted and an order to stay at home, it was no surprise to see digital tracks becoming a popular way to release music for many that would typically release their music physically, and whilst we could not hear every track that has been released, these digital songs have aided us in one way or another. So, for my first End of Year list for the year that was 2020, I will introduce my first 'Top Digital Songs' ranking and share with you all the songs that made my 2020 a little more bearable.

With well over 40+ songs to enjoy and many more that did not even clock onto my radar, I will take a look at the 25 Digital tracks that delighted me the most throughout 2020. As always, I have certain criteria that I go by when creating these kinds of lists, so without further ado:

⮞ The song was released by itself digitally
⮞ It can be a part of a single or album release later on
⮞ Replay factor
⮞ How invested I am in the song and the emotions I have tied to it
⮞ How memorable the song itself is
⮞ It can be as recent as December 2020

As always, my criteria is fairly basic and self-explanatory, but it's nice to keep it here as a refresher for myself when creating these types of lists.

Of course I hope that you all find something new or interesting to check out in this list, regardless of what is mentioned here, and I hope that this list allows you to think about your own favourites from 2020 when it comes to Digital music. For now though, it's time for this opinionated blogger to pass her own judgement on the Digital tracks of 2020 and share her favourites with you all. Are you ready to head into a brand new Year End list?

Welcome to The 2020 Music Edit: Digital Songs Edition. What will we tune into today?

2020 Music Edit:
The Top 25 Digital Songs

⮜ 25 

santa sangre by NECRONOMIDOL
(September 13th, 2020)

Of the two songs NECRONOMIDOL released this year, santa sangre is probably my favourite. With a slightly 80's synth vibe to its sound and some pretty harmonising on the members part, santa sangre is a rather pretty song that will certainly appeal to the fans of NECRONOMIDOL. It is a satisfying song to say the least and has a slightly magical, space-type sound that attracts me to it, and it's that vibe that allows it to trump TUPILAQ as a listener.

I am easy to please, especially when a song reminds me of an 80's anime opening track.

After listening to santa sangre a fair bit for my Halloween review, I do think that it is a fantastic song, however there are songs that I simply binged a little bit more, or hold a greater emotional attachment to in regards to digital tracks released this year. That does not detract from this songs incredible sound however, and I simply can't help but adore how it sounds and how great the current lineup of NECRONOMIDOL sounds together in the studio.

In A Nutshell: A great release from the current lineup of NECRONOMIDOL and a fun listen, santa sangre is something that I do enjoy binging every now and again, and the 80's synth certainly appeals to me as a fan of the group and their music. It's great, and certainly the song I enjoyed most from the group this year.

⮜ 24 

Happy♡Sweet♡Birthday! by Sasaki Ayaka
(June 11th, 2020)

Though I have a tendency to avoid most (if not all) Momoiro Clover Z and affiliates music for some odd reason, I did delve into the weird and wonderful world of Sasaki Ayaka's music when she released the track for Happy♡Sweet♡Birthday! on all digital platforms her birthday. Initially I was scared because, let's be real here, this song changes its genre of sound about as much as I change my mind on where I should place each song in this list, but eventually I got over that and realised. - Hey! - I enjoy the heck out of this track! Then again, I like most birthday themed songs because they're typically really cute and wholesome.

This song is no different, and whilst Happy♡Sweet♡Birthday! certainly gets weird at times (and the addition of the over-exaggerated voice to accompany Ayaka is borderline creepy), it is a lot of fun and truly entertains me. With that said, the reason it ranks pretty low against others is because I simply enjoy other songs more, and I have a tendency to skip this song if I'm not in the mood for it. Still, I enjoy the happiness it brings me, and I think Ayaka sounds simply adorable here.

In A Nutshell: If you want something a little random, weird and happy, this is your track! Just try not to get creeped out by the commentator voice that I certainly want to punch whenever I hear it.

⮜ 23 

set fire to now by Yoneko
(January 22nd, 2020)

With what I consider to be 2020's anthem, set fire to now was the first release for Yoneko this year, and the first song she created during her post-idol career. As an early favourite of mine, I expected the song to be in this list thanks to how powerful and telling it was as a release, however after not listening to it for months on end I expected it to fall into the 'Honourable Mentions' category, only to revitalise my love for it. It is truly an incredible track, one that portrays the rough and turbulent emotions of Yoneko thanks to plenty of screaming, out of breath dialogue and some incredible singing on her part.

There is a lot to love about this song, and whilst I did stop listening to it for a while I am thankful that I could rekindle that flame the song once sparked in me. It is absolutely breathtaking as a track, and a wonderful release that truly reminds me of the uncertain and scary year that was 2020 as a whole.

In A Nutshell: This is the anthem of 2020, and if you don't believe me then just listen to this song; it is a ride, and you will understand why I consider this 2020's anthem.

⮜ 22 

AS ONE by Predia
(November 23rd, 2020)

I believe that I am doing Predia a disservice by placing this song so low, however after a lot of careful consideration towards the songs below the #20 mark, I do think that it'd be unfair to place this any higher when I have not listened to it as much as other songs, especially when it was released just a month ago. My emotions certainly cloud my thought process in regards to this song, however I do think that it is incredibly beautiful and would have totally placed it much, much higher if it weren't for the fact that I have only recently been enjoying this track.

Still, as a celebratory release for the groups 10th anniversary, AS ONE is an emotional track that makes me want to cry like a baby. It's absolutely gorgeous, with stunning vocals that portray the gratitude the members have for making it this far as a group. With a stunning and powerful instrumental to accompany the lyrics, the members truly throw their all into AS ONE and create something memorable for not only themselves, but the fans as well. As a song, AS ONE is honestly on-par with some of more powerful and memorable tracks that come before it in this list, including Keyakizaka46's final release.

In A Nutshell: An amazing and powerful track, AS ONE delivers the emotion of Predia as they celebrate their 10th anniversary as a group. With amazing vocals and an incredible instrumental, this is a release that has to be heard.

⮜ 21 

Dare ga Sono kane o Narasu no ka? by Keyakizaka46
(August 21st, 2020)

In one of the bigger plot twists (though not unexpected) of 2020, Keyakizaka46 released what is now their final original track as a digital single before officially disbanding and reforming themselves as Sakurazaka46 following the withdrawal of Hirate Yurina earlier this year. With all that we know about the group and the circumstance behind this tracks this release, it makes sense that this would be an emotional and powerful release for the group.

So why #24?

Truthfully speaking, I have not given this track as much time as I could have, and whilst I do enjoy it a great deal and consider it a strong and memorable song, I have other songs that I prefer and think a little more highly of. With that said, I consider Dare ga Sono kane o Narasu no ka? a beautiful send-off for an incredible group, though an untimely one. It is powerful much like the groups past releases, but I do wish that it had been released as a final single; Keyakizaka46 deserved that at the very least, and were denied it because management well and truly fucked up.

In A Nutshell: A difficult and emotional release for what was a great group, Keyakizaka46 delivered a beautiful send-off for its fans despite the tough year that was 2020. It is an incredibly moving song, one that has power and emotion behind it, and I am thankful that we were given one last track from the group before they transformed into Sakurazaka46.

⮜ 20 

Route 246 by Nogizaka46
(July 24th, 2020)

I have really stepped down on my Nogizaka46 game in terms of keeping up to date with their releases, however Route 246 is the one that didn't slip from being noticed. With a sound similar to that of the recently disbanded Keyakizaka46, Route 246 takes on a more dramatic sound that feels incredible. It's catchy and memorable, and probably one of the groups most exciting releases for me as a listener in a long while. I absolutely love it!

At first I had no desire to continue listening this song after my initial impression on it, but thanks to its catchy tune and addictive nature as a song, I found myself thinking of it on more than one occasion and, more often than not, humming it. So my desire to re-listen to and experience the song again only increased, which is why it has made its way onto this list. Route 246 is a wonderful song and deserving of being on this list. Thank you for blessing us with something this good, Nogizaka46.

In A Nutshell: Nogizaka46 aim to treat your ears with this catchy and entertaining track, one that will stick in your head and keep you wanting for more. If you are the sort to sing along to the music you listen to, then be warned that Route 246 will have you chanting along with each listen no matter what.

⮜ 19 

Ai wo shiru by Last Idol
(March 11th, 2020)

Initially a big favourite of mine, Ai wo shiru lost a bit of its lustre as the year went on and found itself being picked last amongst other songs. With that said, my memories of this song and how incredibly catchy is have allowed it to stay within my pickings for my year end favourites from the Digital batch of releases that I have enjoyed. I never truly forgot it either and I am glad that it stuck in my mind and made its way to my Top however many favourites digital singles that were released this year alone.

Energetic and memorable, Ai wo shiru is a song that is just easy to fall into and enjoy thanks to how much energy and happiness is packed into this one song. I can't say that the rest of the single is as good - I simply did not enjoy or even remember the other songs on offer - but as a digital release, Ai wo shiru absolutely slaps and must be appreciated by others.

In A Nutshell: Despite it not making it into the Top 10 of this list as I had expected it to back when it was released, Ai wo shiru is a fun track that is memorable, catchy and entertaining to sit through. It's worth about ten listens and I just enjoy how upbeat and fun it is!

⮜ 18 

Ephemera wo Atsumete by Suzuki Minori
(June 3rd, 2020)

With a joyful and pretty sound to entice you, I can not help but adore the beautiful song that is Ephemera wo Atsumeta by Suzuki Minori. With her sweet and energetic vocals, this is a release that captured my attention right away and made me smile from beginning to end. Sure, it may not be the most catchy or memorable song for some, but I found myself returning to this gorgeous song time and time again because of how happy it made me.

Seriously, how can you not smile when listening to this? Minori truly brings joy thanks to her vocals because she herself sounds delighted by this song and its lyrics. It is a song suited perfectly to her, and I am in love. I can only hope that her other songs are just as expressive and entertaining as this one, because Ephemera wo Atsumete is a treat for the ears.

In A Nutshell: As a song Ephemera wo Atsumeta simply delights me. I can not help but smile whenever I listen to it, and whilst it might not be everyone's cup of tea, the sheer enjoyment this song delivers to me is exceptional. I adore it, hence why it is on this list.

⮜ 17 

(May 29th, 2020)

Though I considered color a fairly boring song at first, it has managed to weasel its way into both my heart and my Digital Songs edit for the year of 2020 because - let's be real - HIRAGANA KAMIYADO are a little difficult to dislike, and their music is pretty much a blessing to our ears. I feel like I have really fallen for this group, and color was one of the first releases that allowed me to descend into the delight that is their music.

color is bright and pretty, and whilst it may not be as colourful as I would have liked it to be in sound, it is an appealing song that will do its best to grow on you. The vocals of the members are absolutely lovely, and the simple but cute instrumental does well to soothe and entertain you when you tune into it. It's a gorgeous spring-like release, one that I have looped over and over again since its release. I doubt I will ever tire of this release, and I sincerely hope that its lasting power within 2020 will extend to 2021, too.

In A Nutshell: A release that I initially considered a little bland, color found its way into my head and has delighted me over and over again since May of 2020. It is a wonderful song, and one I will happily endure once again even after the year has packed itself up to make way for 2021.

⮜ 16 

Untitled world by ReoNa
(July 1st, 2020)

In regards to all of the tracks that I thought would not make it on this list, Untitled world is the one I was certain would not make its presence known after my first listen of the song, heck, I did not even think it would appear in the Honourable Mentions. Well, guess what ranked in the Top 20 of this list because it grew on me like a weed? This song!

Untitled world is a great track, and the whole reason I know who ReoNa is now thanks to it being my introduction to her. With a wonderful voice and a great instrumental, this is the kind of song that creeps up on you in terms of how much you initially like it, and how much you freakin' adore it after remembering it over and over again. Honestly, the amount I remembered this song despite my low interest in it is incredible, and as time wore on I came to truly enjoy Untitled world for all it is. It's catchy, memorable, a great show of ReoNa's vocals and a track that simply draws you into a futuristic and entertaining world. It's incredible, and it is worthy of its standing in this list, no matter how much I tried to convince myself that I would never like it after my first listen of the track.

In A Nutshell: After thinking I would never like this song, Untitled world grew on me and has since become a song I look forward to hearing. It is a great track that introduced me to ReoNa, and it is also one of my favourites from the year that has been 2020.

⮜ 15 

Anata ga Iru Koto de by Uru
(February 9th, 2020)

With a gorgeous voice and breath-taking instrumentals to accompany this gifted songstress, Uru has enchanted me in the year of 2020 with songs that feel both comforting and emotional, with Anata ga Iru Koto de being one the first to introduce me to this ethereal songstress. How I have not listened to her music before this baffles me because, much like Aimer - who her vocals have a similar feel and sound to - Uru is someone who enchants and soothes me with her voice. This is one reason for choosing this track out of many others to be ranked in this list.

Another reason is because I simply enjoy Anata ga Iru Koto de. As a winter track, it appeals to me because of how lonely and distant it feels, which is strange to type out but it's true. I like melancholy songs that move me to the point of feeling the sadness that is expressed in both the instrumental and vocals, and I enjoy the story that this song paints in my mind. I also love how powerful Uru is as a singer here, and the balance between the instrumental and her voice to create something that is not only strong in terms of Uru's vocal ability, but gentle as well thanks to the instrumental.

It's beautiful, I love it. Enough said.

In A Nutshell: Uru delivers a melancholy track that is perfect for the lonely winter season. With a powerful and emotive voice, Uru truly brings you into her world and allows you to understand just how incredible of a singer she is.

⮜ 14 

Hyakku bun no Ichi by Tani Nobara
(November 1st, 2020)

This one is difficult to listen to without paying for it, however Tani Nobara's solo release, Hyakku bun no Ichi, is truly a delight when you do get to hear it. With her cute vocals against an upbeat and memorable instrumental, this adorable release truly does Nobara justice and I am so delighted that she finally made it available for the fans after withholding it from us for this long.

This is pure joy in a song if you ask me, and whilst it may not be everyone's go-to for a pick me, this has been a song that I continuously go to when I am in need of some zest and energy. The only thing that disappoints me about this track is its release date, because if it had been released any earlier then I have no doubt in my mind that Hyakku bun no Ichi would be far, far higher on this list. Alas, it is a late 2020 release, so I will have to give other songs that had a little more lasting power a chance to win. Still, this is a delight to listen to, and I absolutely love what Nobara has provided for us all in this one release.

In A Nutshell: A fun and energetic release, Hyakku bun no Ichi is Nobara's spirited solo song that gave us something to enjoy in the last two months of 2020. It's cute and memorable, and it definitely acts as the pick me up I need when I am feeling a little down. I adore it, and I only wish it had been released a little earlier so that it could rank even higher than this.

⮜ 13 

Rainbow by Anly
(September 9th, 2020)

One of the more surprising tracks to grace this list has to be Anly's Rainbow, because whilst it is indeed a beautiful track that has entertained me for hours on end, it feels like the type of song that I usually wouldn't pick for these kinds of lists. With that said, I truly enjoy Anly's voice and how friendly this song feels as a whole. It reminds me of a campfire track, something that you can listen to with friends and sing together easily as someone strums a guitar to keep everyone to the beat.

It is simple but lovely, and whilst Rainbow may seem a little out of left field for some, it certainly entertains and delights me. It's bright, friendly and makes me want to clap and sing along! I am so glad I gave it a chance, and I am even happier that this song was able to make me fall in love with to a point where I had to put it in this list.

In A Nutshell: This is my campfire song and we are going to sing it together, damnit! Also, this song placed way higher than I imaged. Wow.

⮜ 12 

Sunflower by I Don't Like Mondays.
(July 22nd, 2020)

If we are going to discuss a surprise addition to this End of Year music edit, it has to be the addition the group, I Don't Like Mondays. With two incredible tracks that piqued my interest this year alone, Sunflower is one that truly takes the cake when it comes to the pure enjoyment I get from listening to it. Smooth, charming and a delight for the ears, Sunflower is a wonderful piece of music that has relaxed and entertained me for many hours over a period of days, especially during the quiet summer period we have experienced this year.

Actually, I might go as far as to say that this is the track that defined my summer. Usually I prefer Idol music for the summer period, but Sunflower is the song that I returned to time and time again during what should have been beach season. It is a splendid release, one that I am extremely happy to return to and indulge in whenever I feel like experiencing a relaxed song with a summer flare to its sound.

In A Nutshell: If you want to indulge in something a little different then definitely check out Sunflower by I Don't Like Mondays. Chilled out yet filled with summer vibes, this breezy release is sure to charm its way into your playlist thanks to its smooth and enjoyable sound.

⮜ 11 

So many stars by E-girls
(July 5th, 2020)

In a similar vein to Keyakizaka46's last release, E-girls were given an incredible original song for their last release that was sadly packaged as a digital track instead a full-fledged single, which they honestly deserved for their incredible work over their years. To add further blow to the groups last release, the music video that accompanies So may stars was not unveiled until many months later, and was a poor attempt at a goodbye for the group. Yes, I'm mad. Yes, I am airing my grievances on this small segment about why I like the song.

Thing is, this is an incredible release. It is emotional and the perfect send-off for a group like E-girls, which makes it harder for me to accept that this was released in such a half-assed way by a company that can do so much better. It makes me cry, it makes me smile, and it reminds me of how wonderful this group is and the things that they have accomplished. During some of the darker days 2020 has put me through, this song became a track that comforted and allowed me the strength to move forward when I felt like I couldn't. It is incredible and I am glad that E-girls were given something this beautiful for their graduation track, but I am also annoyed on their behalf when this could have been so much more than a mere digital release. It is truly a slap in the face for the group to be given a digital song, instead of a much deserved single, for their last official single release.

In A Nutshell: This beautiful, sentimental and emotive release that acts as the last official single for E-girls is incredible. It deserved so much more and so did the group, but I do honestly love this single.

⮜ 10 

(September 30th, 2020)

Despite it being release at the tail end of September, Acacia is already a song that holds a lot of meaning for me as a listener thanks to its ties to the Pokémon universe. As a fan of the game series and the nostalgia I hold for it, Acacia made its way into the ranks as one of my favourite releases from 2020 thanks to the emotions the song gives me. The song alone is amazing thanks to how fun, upbeat and catchy it is, but I am aware that the reason I even listened to Acacia in the first place is because of the GOTCHA! music video that accompanies this song.

Acacia alone is a lot of fun to listen to and will certainly make you want to sing and clap along to it. It's catchy, memorable and bright, and whilst it may not be the strongest song BUMP OF CHICKEN have produced, it is enjoyable and will delight fans of both the group and the Pokémon franchise. I'm glad that Pokémon is the reason I heard this song, but if I didn't enjoy it I wouldn't have placed it this high on my list. I love Acacia as a song, and I will continue to indulge in this release  a little while longer. It is worth the repeat loops.

In A Nutshell: Pokémon brought me to Acacia, but the songs bright sound and catchy tune are what kept me wanting more. I truly enjoy Acacia, but its ties to the Pokémon franchise that I love so much are certainly a factor in how emotional I find this song to be.

⮜ 9 

Kokoro no Chizu by HIRAGANA KAMIYADO
(June 5th, 2020)

In the run-up to the groups first album release, HIRAGANA KAMIYADO graced us with their very own cover of the popular One Piece opening track, Kokoro no Chizu. Upbeat, catchy and charming, this release won me over because it felt nostalgic and sounded fun, and whilst I myself am not a fan of the One Piece series - the art style makes me feel sick, and that's enough of a reason to ignore it - I do think this is an incredible song. So, props to One Piece for having something to enjoy about its existence for me as a listener.

As HIRAGANA KAMIYADO mostly sang cover songs before they were given original tracks, the song probably feels a little more sentimental to the group and its fans thanks to it being one part of their roots. You can truly feel the energy and delight that the members have thrown into this song as they sing it, and the more I listen to it the more I fall in love with HIRAGANA KAMIYADO's version of the song. The girls did an incredible job, and I am overjoyed by this song with each and every listen and can not help but smile every time it plays. Bravo, HIRAGANA KAMIYADO!

In A Nutshell: A song that brings me joy and makes me smile with every listen, Kokoro no Chizu is a wonderful cover from HIRAGANA KAMIYADO in the run-up to their official album debut. It's catchy and charming, and hopefully it will please the fans of One Piece who happen to stumble upon it.

⮜ 8 

Dear My Friend by Little Glee Monster x Pentatonix
(November 25th, 2020)

Okay, so this is where my bias truly shines, because despite the fact that this song was released on digital platforms towards the end of November, I am already obsessed with it. Longevity be damned, Little Glee Monster deserves to be on this list, and despite how young this song may seem against others in this list, Dear My Friend is an incredible track that not only entertains me as a listener but moves me as well. It goes beyond the realms of beautiful in sound, and thanks to the addition of Pentatonix in this surprise but much-needed collaboration, Dear My Friend becomes incredible.

I do not think that I can express just how wonderful this song is, because after only listening to it for less than a month I am aware of just how much I love it. I think about Dear My Friend a lot, more so than others that have already appeared on this list. I suppose that is the true power of Little Glee Monster; they are powerful enough to climb the ranks of my list despite the song only being out for just over a month.

I love it, enough said, but other songs certainly precede it. Still, it deserves this spot and I am happy to hand it a position in the ranks of the Top 10. I freakin' LOVE this song.

In A Nutshell: I am obsessed and the date this song was released is not going to stop me from giving it the #8 spot, ya hear me?

⮜ 7 

Skeleton by Ohara Sakurako
(November 25th, 2020)

Return of the bias because much like Little Glee Monster's Dear My Friend, Ohara Sakurako also released her impeccable Skeleton on November 25th and bowled me over with her sheer talent and brilliance. Given how much she seems to rank in these lists each and every year, it is fairly obvious just how much I adore the hell out of this woman, but honestly? Skeleton takes the cake in how impressive it is.

This is the kind of song that I never want to skip, and if that is not enough to convince you of its superiority and why it ranks so high despite being so damn fresh, it is also the kind of song I have to turn the volume up for. Like, the highest volume is not enough for me, I have to hear this glorious song at its highest point because it is that amazing for me as a listener. It is such a thrill to hear and damnit, I am absolutely in love with this song and have once again become a fan of Ohara Sakurako... not that I ever stopped being one, of course.

I love this song. I love Ohara Sakurako. Need I say more?

In A Nutshell: I have a huge bias towards all that Queen Sakurako does and I won't deny it.

⮜ 6 

Rainy by Kimura Yuka
(June 6th, 2020)

One part of what I consider an incredible release, Rainy was available for digital purchase prior to the
release of Kimura Yuka's beautiful mini-album that shares the title of this song. With an instrumental that includes various instruments to create the effect of rain drops accompanied by the real-life sound of pouring rain bouncing off the pavement outside to create atmosphere, this song truly captures the image of rain and the beauty it holds. Along with Yuka's gorgeous vocals, this song becomes more than a pretty tune to entertain you on even the dreariest of days.

I simply adore Rainy. It's atmospheric and peaceful, and whilst rainy days are not my favourite at this point in time, I can not help but love the imagery that comes to mind whenever I listen to Rainy. It's such a soothing song that envelopes you as you listen to it, and when it comes to the end of the track you can only think of the sunshine that comes after the rain has faded. It is a perfect spring tune, one that I can not help but adore. It has stuck with me since I first heard it, and I couldn't be happier to have it so high on my list of favourite digital tracks from 2020. It is absolutely wonderful.

In A Nutshell: The perfect song for a rainy day, Rainy is an atmospheric and soothing tune that will allow you to fall in love with the beauty of Kimura Yuka's voice.

Okay. Now for the hard part of this ranking...

⮜ 5 

KIRIFUDA by Penguin Research
(April 27th, 2020)

Some of my favourite releases of 2020 come from the month of April, and KIRIFUDA is one of those songs. When I first talked about this song back in a Quarterly digest I was still in the process of truly understanding how much I liked the song, and now many months later it has become one of many favourites that stood the test of time and made its way up in the ranks. Heck, I thought this would be my winning song of all the digital releases because, despite its short run-time of not even 3 minutes, KIRIFUDA is a force to be reckoned with.

Powerful, catchy, memorable and more, this song is beyond incredible and deserves to be heard. It is one of those songs that sticks to you like glue and does not let go, and even though it did not snag the #1 spot - Hell, it really could have - it's an impressive, cheery track that will drag you into its world and keep you there forevermore.

I love this song.

In A Nutshell: I was ready to make this my #1, but there are songs that are marginally closer to that spot. I love KIRIFUDA however because the song is cheerful and packs a punch, and is one of the most memorable and delightful releases I could have stumbled upon this year. I freakin' love it. Thank you for becoming a song I adore in the year of 2020, KIRIFUDA.

⮜ 4 

Start Line by cota
(April 24th, 2020)

A strong contender for the #1 spot and one of the most replayed tracks from the year 2020, cota's Start Line is a release that I have, for lack of a better phrase, fallen in love with. Relaxing, mild and beautiful in every sense of the word, this song was a surprise addition to my playlist in the sense that it is typically the kind of song I wouldn't seek out. Well, aimlessly finding songs to try for my Quarterly Digest this year proved worthwhile because it introduced me to this beauty and allowed me to understand how soothing a song can truly be.

Placing Start Line is actually one of the hardest things I could do on this list because, to put it bluntly: I love it. It is so different from most of the songs I listen to and with each new play of it, I am reminded of how splendid this song is. It is a breath of fresh air that delighted me in the year of 2020, and despite many other songs coming to my attention in the months that went by, I returned to Start Line without fail.

It stood the test of time and continues to impress me with its beauty even now, but despite the amount I love this song and all it delivers, there are a few more that rank above it.

In A Nutshell: One of the 5 contenders for #1 spot, cota's incredible Start Line became an irreplaceable track in the year that was 2020. With her earthy vocals and simple instrumental, this song became an unanticipated favourite that truly deserves its spot in my Top 5 digital songs of 2020.

⮜ 3 

(May 22nd, 2020)

In what has to be one of my favourite tracks from a variety of digital releases this year, HIRAGANA KAMIYADO's magnificent Super Hero has stood out amongst many others and found its way into my Top 3 Digital songs of the year. With it's catchy and energetic sound that delivers nothing but happiness to the listener, this is the kind of song that I can not ignore no matter what I do. It makes me sing, it makes me want to dance and - most important of all - it makes me aggressively punch the air to the beat.

Super Hero has delighted me from the moment I heard it, and though this group has released some amazing tracks digitally in order to promote their first official album, this is the track that made me want to listen to their music even more. I feel energised whenever I hear this cheery, fun song, and much like the name suggests, Super Hero honestly saved my 2020 in a way and kept the evils of the world at bay when I needed a moment of solace.

Despite the fact that it did not reach #1, it is definitely one of the best digital releases from an Idol group in 2020. I hope that many more of you can come to enjoy the sound of HIRAGANA KAMIYADO like I have. For now, I will continue to sing and dance along to this beautiful track as aggressively as possible, and I look forward to the future of HIRAGANA KAMIYADO's music.

Super Hero is wonderful, so please enjoy it as much as I have!

In A Nutshell: It might not be my #1 digital release of 2020, but Super Hero is certainly my #1 digital release by an idol group from the year gone by. I adore it and hope that it brings you as much joy as it did for me!


start line by Kimura Yuka
(April 6th, 2020)

If there was any digital release that came so, so close to hitting that #1 spot, it was start line by the magnificent Kimura Yuka. One of many digital releases to promote her beautiful mini-album, Rainy, this song captured my attention thanks to how it felt as if it had been sung with the sunshine after the rain in mind. Upbeat, cheerful and ready to put a spring in your step, start line is an optimistic tune that swept away my 2020 blues whenever I played it.

This is one of those songs that - much like cota's own Start Line - was one of my most played for the year 2020, though unlike cota's own track, Yuka's style of music is the kind I typically lean towards as a listener thanks to its bubbly sound and the beautiful vocals of the singer herself. It is truly a delight, and though there have been plenty of songs that I delighted in during 2020 and the lockdown period, start line never failed to please me no matter what my mood. I absolutely love how happy it makes me feel and honestly, I knew it would make it this high.

Thing is, I thought that start line would win, and whilst it definitely had that potential to snag the #1 spot, there was one song that simply surpassed it with one simple thought: That digital track makes me think of 2020.

My 2020 might have seemed a little duller without start line, however I am happy I could discover Kimura Yuka's gorgeous vocals and the playful, bright sound that is start line. I am happy that this became a song I could turn to no matter what, and I am beyond delighted that I could share it here with everyone so that you can experience one of my favourite tracks from 2020.

In A Nutshell: Kimura Yuka's start line is a beautiful piece that creates an image of spring and happiness in your mind whenever you listen to it, and is one of the songs that introduced me to the magic that this singer creates when she releases music. start line is one of many songs that made my 2020 so much better, and it is also a song that stood the test of time during a weary, strange year. I hope you listen to it and fall in love with this song as I have.

And so we come to this, the digital release that has defined my 2020 in digital releases for the year gone by. Though I heard many incredible songs and enjoyed so many new singers, this is the song that basically stood out amongst them all and the one that held the most impact for me as a listener. Sure, it may not be to everyone's tastes, but this is the very song that I loved the most from all Digital releases to the point where I can only think 'this is 2020 in a Digital release'.

It's time to see who made it as my #1...


The 2020 Digital Song Edit

flora by tiny little charm
(March 21st, 2020)

You know that song that no matter how much you play it you can't help but smile when it begins? Or the song that never fails to make you dance and sing along to it because it is so catchy, even when you feel like you're about to crumble apart and cry? What about the song that transports you back to when you first heard it and that feeling of butterflies in your stomach because it is just so incredible?

That's what flora is to me, a song that creates magic and happiness whenever I listen to it and reminds me of exactly how I felt when I first heard it. Granted, I may not have played this song as much as others as the year wore on, but replaying it for this list reminded me of just how incredible it is and the joy it brings me because - for lack of a better word - flora is powerful. I did not understand how much it meant to me until I listened to it again, and after having difficult placing it as I slowly whittled down this list, a thought popped into my head upon hearing it against my final 5 songs:

This is my Digital song of 2020.  No wonder I had such a difficult time placing it.

I adore flora a great deal and the delight it gives me. I love how it simply makes me think of 2020, and how fresh the song sounds no matter how many times I play it. flora is incredibly beautiful, atmospheric and lively, and it gave me the escapism I needed throughout the year. I am glad that I could experience a song this wonderful and entertain myself with it for hours, so yes; I love flora. I love that it makes me smile, I love how refreshing it is and I love how positive it makes me feel. This is a great song, and despite the year of 2020 being a bit of a dumpster fire as far as years go, flora made 2020 a great deal better in sound.

flora is my Digital release of 2020. If a song never fails to make you smile despite the world falling apart, then it is definitely doing something right. So, in a nutshell: I bloody love flora.

The Honourable Edit
Digital Edition

What would one of my obnoxious Year End Lists be without its honourable mentions? Without further ado I present to you The Honourable Edit: Digital Edition. Sure, these songs were great in their own right, but they missed the mark by a small amount. Will one of your favourites appear in this list? It's time to find out~

Anata no kanojo janai n da ne by Ueno Yuka (February 4th, 2020)

Peace Sign by Kakinuma Natsumi (April 1st, 2020)

Tsumetaku shinaide yo by CHIHIRO (April 15th, 2020)

Zenbu anata no sei nanda by I Don't Like Mondays. (May 6th, 2020)

TUPILAQ by NECRONOMIDOL (June 2nd, 2020)

Nanairo Finale by Nanahira (August 10th, 2020)

Kokoro Knock by YuNi (August 14th, 2020)

Kimi wo Toshite by Amamiya Sora (September 27th, 2020)

To end this never-ending post, I have had a lot of fun listening to some wonderful digital releases in the year of 2020! There were plenty of amazing songs, many that I was not able to listen to because time simply escapes us all, even when we have a great deal of time on our hands. With the amount of songs I have listened to this year alone though, I am glad that I could experience some incredible tracks such as these!

I hope that the releases you see here have been enjoyable for you as well, dear readers, and if there is something new to discover I can only hope that you check some of these releases out and see if they are to your tastes. Of course, this is just the first in a few Year End music posts I aim to release, so please look forward to the next one which will focus on the Singles of 2020 that pleased me.

As always, thank you for sitting through my wordy posts and for enduring the boredom I have potentially put you through. It has been a lot of fun creating this list, despite the time it takes to create something this lengthy and word-heavy and how tiresome figuring out my favourites may seem. I hope that you have enjoyed regardless, and I hope that this list give you some thought towards your own Digital release of the year.

I look forward to seeing you in the next post and sharing even more music with everyone! Until that post comes however, please take care, enjoy your New Year and stay healthy, safe and wonderful.

Happy New Year to all,

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