Oh man, it's been a crazy year - pandemic, election, wildfires, protests, etc. But if there's one good thing that came out of it, it's that the Newgrounds Audio Portal has been on a hot streak. By my count, there were 90,657 pieces of music uploaded to Newgrounds in 2020, up from 61,164 in 2019. It seems that COVID-19 really has driven people to seek community online.
Anyway, I obviously haven't listened to all 90,000+ tracks uploaded to NG in 2020, but among the several hundred I have listened to, I'd like to highlight a couple of lasting favorites, in chronological order:
- I've tried to limit myself to one song per artist on this list. Miyo made this rule the hardest - just listen to his In My Garden EP and the soundtrack to Will of the Wisp, and I'm sure you'll agree.
- Gritty club beats overlaid with jazzy melodies and quirky vocal samples. Thoroughly, toe-tappingly enjoyable.
- Rosendale is probably my favorite male vocalist on Newgrounds. He's also critically underrated. When he teamed up with Kevlah for this EDM bop, it checked all the boxes for an insta-fave and DL from yours truly.
- Super catchy and creative VGM track with a distinct pirate theme. You really can't go wrong with making a track about pirates.
- An airy cinematic piece with gorgeous string melodies. The epitome of tranquility in a year of chaos.
- I know, I know. There's already too much EDM on this list. But I swear I lost like 5 pounds this summer just from jogging to this song, lol.
- A mesmerizing cinematic guitar track. As I said in my initial review of it in August, "that lead guitar could convince me to leave my family and join a religious cult if it wanted to."
- With consistently powerful vocals and crisp lead guitars, AjSkull's band, The Galacticas, gives me strong Green Day vibes. Also, this is the track on this list with the fewest listens, so show it some love, y'all!
- It's actually a shame that Kor-Rune doesn't upload more often. The dude is just crazy talented, and this pop-rock-jazz fusion is my favorite track of his since, well, 2019.
- A solemn and moving tribute to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The beginning even reminds me of a @LucidShadowDreamer piano improv, which is always a good thing.
Let me know if I missed any especially good ones, guys! I'm always looking for new pieces to review. ^^ Until then, happy 2021!