Top 50(ish) Songs of 2020

Posted by Stephanie on January 2, 2021

Music

It’s that time of year again! Time to reflect on the very serious, hot button topic of… what were your favorite songs of 2020?? Despite what happened…or perhaps because of it, 2020 was a really good year for music. I’ve been working hard on my list this year, not wanting a repeat of the last one where I was scrambling to remember all of the songs I liked throughout the year. I started a playlist and every time I liked a song, kinda liked a song, or wanted to listen to one again, I’d toss it in there. Or at least I tried to. And here are the results!

Looking at the list, there’s a LOT of new stuff on here. New artists, or at least new to me artists, new pairings, and one or two new obsessions for me. It’s actually a surprise when I look at it all together. It’s a little more…melancholy or full of feelz than in past years, but, I guess that’s to be expected, right?

Since there’s no way I could give these to you in rated order as that wouldn’t be fair to them or me, I’m sorting the list chronologically by month. TL:DR? There is a single playlist down at the bottom if you just to want to press play and let it go.

Enjoy!

January

Zico, Any Song

So long ago, I would not have thought that this song was in 2020. It started with the Anysong Challenge and I was hooked from there. It really cements Zico as an artist who is willing to try anything…and it works!

February

MCND, Ice Age

It’s actually funny, I had MCND’s first song on my list last year but turns out? Yep, turns out it was actually released in January of 2020. Whoops! Luckily this NuGu had a lot more options to consider. Leila and I decided we were going to put effort into learning them and I was even able to teach them to SaraG on the podcast!

March

DPR Live, Legacy

This song, this video, instant HOLY CRAP as I watched again and again and again.

Jackson Wang, 100 Ways

This one was a bit of a cheat. The video, not loving the song. The original video for this song is pretty epic with a historical love story, dead Jackson, but this video he made for the fans, just made me smile and laugh until I cried because I was happy. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Demain, Cassette

This song was actually a Musical Monday from Alix as it was a song she loved, turns out? She was NOT wrong. This song was just perfect. Love the high breathy sound of the chorus.

Corbyn, Odsee

Corbyn has been on my radar for a while, always checking out his music when it pops up on my youtube feed. I think “Oh, I like this” and then never really think of him until the next song comes out. But this song? Ugh gets me right in the stomach. So many songs this year are reminiscent of songs I used to listen to when I listened to American music. I could totally see this being added to a writing mix, it has that sort of feeling to it.

SBFive, Candy Crush

This is the guilty pleasure addition to my list. If you remember my post about this song/group, its actually a bunch of BL actors who were put into a group. This song just makes me smile and reminds me of old-school B1A4.

NCT 127, Kick It

This one actually makes me laugh due to the memory attached to it. It was the Friday before everything was shut down, just when we knew things were going to be bad but we had no idea how bad. We all went to a restaurant (our last one since) one of those big public ones, like a fancy-ass food court, ate communal food, drank alcohol, touching surfaces like dumb-dumbs. We then walked across the street to Target to buy toilet paper, hand soap, and the new NCT 127 album.

April

Stella Jang, Villian

This song? Was like the soundtrack of the first few weeks of my quarantine. I tried to make everyone I knew listen to it and if you do, make sure you have the subs on, its a fun way to make you think as what she says is the truth. I mean, not that I’m out here to kill anyone…well…..

Hoppipolla, Enough

This was a suggestion from SaraG in one of her sneak on Musical posts once she was elbows deep in the COVID response and had to give up writing for a while.

Enigma, After Journey

This is the theme song for a Chinese drama I watched for a while called My Roommate Is A Detective. The song is so striking, something you wouldn’t expect for a show which is technically supposed to be a historical. I guess it’s a great way to announce to everyone that this show wasn’t going to be your typical historical drama. It was definitely one I would never skip the credits on! (Word on the drama, I hated the girl in it so much I had to stop watching once I realized she was actually the love interest. PASS.)

Winner, Remember

The last Winner song in a while had to be added. See you post-military, boys!

Bibi, Kazino

Probably a surprise to the list, but the video and the actual language of the song is what drew me in first. Oh wait, they’re allowed to say that? Then I actually listened to the song and it reminds me of some of the 90’s female-powered songs I used to like.

May

AgustD, Daechwita

I really enjoy the solo work of the BTS members, it reminds me of where they used to be. This video is epic.

Nu’est, I’m In Trouble

One of my new loves of 2020! I love when a comeback is timed perfectly with a new love.

Jvcki Wai, Coogie, Paloalto, The Quiett, 뱃사공, Fadeaway

I’ve really come to love the sound of Jvcki Wai’s voice. Usually, you see her guesting or part of a collab on a song, which is why I was excited for her to get top billing here (even if it is really a true collab). Not going to lie, this song got stuck in my head and primarily on this list as it tickles me that it sounds like they keep saying Michael Che and the idea that they are shouting out to the head SNL writer. (Yes, I know they aren’t but wouldn’t it be funny if they were?)

Lay, Lit

THIS SONG IS AMAZING. I don’t really need to say more. IT IS AMAZING. ALSO THE VIDEO IS COOL TOO.

June

장예은 X 전지우 X 제이미 X 치타 X 효연 – 마녀사냥(WITCH)

This is a song done for a tv program so I don’t think its a real release but its cool.

Victon, Mayday

With this song and Sejun’s dimples, Victon has found itself on my “Need to learn” list.

Blackpink, How You Like It

I give up. I like Blackpink. Sigh.

Woodz, Love Me Harder

Turns out, I also like Woodz. I love the almost whistly sound right before the chorus.

 

July

Ash Island, Error

SWOOON ASH ISLAND. This song came to me through the chat I have with Leila and SaraG and after I watched the first time, I watched like 8,9,10 more times.

Lee Hi, Holo

Nice to see you back Lee Hi! We hope you have a better time with the AOMG crew, seems like a fun bunch.

Kang Daniel (Featuring Simon Dominic, Jamie), Waves

I may have come for Simin Dominic, but the song outside of him is also pretty solid.

A.C.E, Stand By You

First A.C.E of the list! Yes, there will be two. When I realized my list ran a little over I tried reducing songs from duplicate groups but….I couldn’t do it with A.C.E, it hurt my heart. This song, written for the fans is beautiful and I think proves that Jun could be a really good actor.

Jessi, Nunu Nana

JESSI! I just love Jessi. The song really grew on me and I love that she’s been able to preform it at a lot of the end-of-year concerts.

3YE, Yessir

No idea who these ladies are but I totally approve.

Oneus, Come Back Home

Come back home? Well, if you insist! Oneus doing a dark and gothic take of their prince image, surprisingly, it works.

Hyo (Featuring Loopy, Soyeon), Dessert

Talking about surprisingly working, this song I didn’t think I’d like at first, and yet, I did. I mean, she’s just shouting out deserts so what’s not to like? Plus second time that Loopy has appeared on the list (First being a feature spot on the Ash Island song.)

WayV, Bad Alive

BY THE POWER OF TEN’S NIPPLES THIS VIDEO MADE IT TO THE LIST.

August

Wonho, Losing You

The return of Wonho! This song, written for his fans, just hurts my heart with its message. If you listen, if you think about it, the whole thing just makes me sad. But we’re happy to have you back, Wonho! I’m proud to be a Wenee.

1Team, Ullaeli Kkollaeli

I never really remember 1Team  but when I listen to their songs, I do like them, a lot! This one actually reminds me of kpop three or four years ago. Man, that was a fun time, wasn’t it?

Paloalto, jerd, Reddy & Soovi – Kid Rock

There were a bunch of quarantine/covid songs out there, but this is one of my favorites!

The Rose, Black Rose

I have a sad suspicion that this is going to be the last song from The Rose we’re going to get. Outside of COVID, it was a rough year for them and now with two of the four in the military, I worry for their future. The idea that this last song is one dedicated to their fandom, seems fitting.

BlackPink, Lovesick Girls

Just try and listen to this one and not get it stuck in your head.

September

Jay Park, pH-1, BIG Naughty , Woodie Gochild, HAON, TRADE L, Sik-K, The Purge

Another, I didn’t think I’d like it at first, but its catchy and puts you in a badass mood.

pH-1, HAON, Woodie Gochild, Jay Park, Sik-K, TRADE L, Big Naughty, Telephono

Another song from the gang from H1gher Music, this one got me first with the fun video, it just made me laugh, but then the good song actually hits you.

A.C.E, Goblin (Favorite Boys)

Remember what I said about a comeback happening in perfect timing with a new love? This is what happened with A.C.E for me. I feel in first, second, and third love, then their new album came out and my love was set. A.C.E has gotten me through some hard times this year and I’m excited to see where this love will take me.

October

Joohoney, Smoky

Joohoney is back! (I know, I shudder at the name still too but what can you do?) I love this song. Its in both song and lyrics.

Lee Suhyun, Alien

This one might be here by the power of the video first as it’s just whimsical and fun! But it turns out the song is really good too.

DPR Ian, So Beautiful

This song is here despite the video, which I really disliked, but the song? The song is awesome.

NCT U, Make A Wish (Birthday Song)

With all the versions and releases of NCT my favorite will probably be from NCT U. Its such a weird song and idea, but I’m here for it!

Ateez, The Black Cat Nero

This cover just makes me laugh whenever I watch. I know it shouldn’t be the Ateez addition to the list, but it makes me happy, sue me.

Mino, Run Away

MINO is back! It took me a few listens to warm to the song but I finally got there!

9z, Kiss

This song is dreamy and lovely. Another add to the writing list, it reminds me of old school Nell.

Cherryboy17 – Bikini

Found this one on Redit, it was a huh, I’m going to add it for the list for now, and it has yet to come off.

Dawn, Butterfly

Here’s one I don’t know if I should actually have it on the list, but whenever I try to take it off, I listen again and here it stays.

November

Treasure, MMM

When SaraG put this on a Musical Monday, I commented that it was going on my list, and it did, and I’m happy to have it!

Lacuna, Dancing In The Rain

This song was the first time I’ve actually ever heard of this artist, but I’ll be checking them out again. It fits with my moody mood.

Mino (Featuring Bobby), Ok Man

100% this song is on here for Bobby. This song is a lot of fun although…I could tell you how they could have made it better…82% more Bobby. I love it when these two collab and it’s fun to see Bobby performing again.

LXX, Black

With the permission of SaraG, I’d like to add this song to the SmexyTimes playlist we curated. His voice, the beat, the mood. Just…yeeeessss.

Jang Hyunseung, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

Another, I don’t know who he is, but I’m going to after this song! Looking at the comments he has quite the following out there.

December

Heechul, Min Kyung-hoon, (Featuring Bibi), Hanyang

This song reminded me how much I love and miss Heechul. And the fact that Ateez is here, only to dance? Makes me laugh. Love the styling of all of the

 

So this is my list! And as promised, here is my complete playlist.

What do you think? What are some of your favorite songs of 2020?

4 Comments

  • Reply Dea Hershey January 3, 2021 at 12:52 am

    Thanks so much for this, you put so much work into it! As a newbie I appreciate it! I came for the kdramas and then then got hooked on the music too. So much so I subscribed to Apple Music so I could listen to the Korea top 100. I like your list as it gives me more ideas what to try than I’ve found by myself. I tried some bands you mentioned in your podcast and right now like all the NCT versions, Monsta X and Super M. How many of these bands have you seen in concert? I am a concert goer and I hope soon this world gets back on track and bands can tour and we can travel to see them. Happy New Year and thanks again for your podcast.

    • Reply Stephanie January 10, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      WELCOME NEWBIE! That’s actually how I got into Kpop too. Started with the shows and then started listening to the music, by the time BigBang’s Alive album came around, I was hooked! Now I can actually say I’m more of a kpop fan first. You should check out SaraG’s Musical Monday and Throwback (Musical) Thursday posts, she’s got a great variety of sounds and genres in there and is really my inspiration for branching out from Kpop Top 40.

      How many of these bands have I seen in concert? That’s a great question and really made me think! From this year, I think it’s only NCT and Wonho when he was in Monsta X, Jackson in Got7 performance, AgustD in a BTS concert, The Rose (swoon), Joohoney as part of Monsta X, Dawn when he was in Pentagon, Zico in Block B performances, Heechul in Super Junior performances. Not bad! And you’ve inspired either a post or a future podcast topic!

      Good luck in your newbieness! Feel free to come back for any suggestions, we LOVE to share!

  • Reply DBChen January 4, 2021 at 8:17 am

    There are some good ones here that I missed, like Villain and The Purge, two songs that sound completely different.

    As for “My Roommate is a Detective” I really enjoyed that show.

    And lastly, I had to share this post with a few friends because of what you wrote about Bad Alive. 😀

    • Reply Stephanie January 10, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      They do sound completely different! I didn’t think either would make it to the list originally, but then kept listening to them.

      Thanks for letting me know about My Roommate is a Detective, is it worth continuing?

      And thanks for the share, what’s not to love? Good song, liberal use of Ten’s nipples? I never stood a chance!

    Leave a Reply

    Back to top