It's time to say goodbye to an unprecedented year. This month, we asked our Mass Mix contributors to choose their favorite songs released in 2020. Many gravitated toward tunes filled with energy, ethereal sounds, melancholy, comfort, and anger. Here's what they said.

Alaina Ray, “I Think”

One of the more notable songs this year was from local newcomer pop artist Alaina Ray. Following two other stellar singles as an introduction, she capped off the year with a final release called “I Think.” The song balances a unique juxtaposition of melancholy lyrics while presented within a light-hearted feel-good sound. With its catchy hook, slick production, relatable lyrics, and a captivating voice which would capture any music fan’s attention, Ray not only made a large splash into the local music world, but with songs as good as this who knows how long she’ll remain “local” at all. -Joel Gray, Editor-in-Chief, The Lowell Spin

IDLES, "Grounds"

In December, I'm usually pouring over my favorite songs and albums of the previous year, tinkering with rankings, delegating on-the-cusp releases to "Honorable Mention" status, etc. 2020 isn't like that. My faves have all fallen nicely into place because they've become dear companions over the course of this year of isolation, this year of upheaval. Ultra Mono from IDLES is one of these. It's pure, positive energy: a kick in the seat of the pants when I need it. "Grounds" captures the spirit of the protests for social justice we all witnessed this summer. "Do you hear that thunder? That's the sound of strength in numbers." That's a song and a message worth taking away from a busted-up 2020. -Adam 12, Weekdays 11a-4p, ROCK 92.9

Frances Quinlan, “Your Reply”

One song I have been listening to non-stop this year is "Your Reply" by Frances Quinlan, the frontwoman of Hop Along. The instrumentation on Quinlan's debut Likewise is light and dreamy, featuring acoustic guitars, a harp, and synthesizers. Quinlan's ragged, energetic voice on the album makes her stories even more captivating with minimal instrumentation, keeping your attention during every line she sings. Filled with literary references and pieces of candid dialogue, "Your Reply" is a charming song that captures the story of someone who can't seem to understand another person who's close to them. "If anything, the speaker is frustrated at coming so close to understanding another person completely," Quinlan said about the song. "But still what a gift that is, to come close." Though Likewise was released in January, the whimsy of "Your Reply" helped me get over a case of pandemic fatigue in the fall, transporting me directly into the narrator's world and making me forget about social distancing and isolation for just a moment. -Lea Tatoris, Program Coordinator and Playground Host, WERS 88.9FM

Axestrumentals, “Run My Errands”

One of my "on repeat" songs of 2020 is "Run My Errands" by Boston-based rapper and producer, Axestrumentals. I love this song's up-tempo beat because it gives off feel-good summer vibes, which I always welcome, especially this year. It also has socially conscious lyrics without profanity, which you'll find with a lot of Axestrumentals' music. I'm not suggesting that songs with a "parental advisory" sticker don't have the same impact on the ear, but there's something to be said about an artist who provides dope lyricism without it. -Danielle Anderson, Social Media Manager, BAMS Fest

Tomtsu, "Can You Hear My Thoughts?"

This song is perfect. Or, at least, it feels that way, contextually: It was released March 5 of this year, less than two weeks before the pandemic took full hold of the country and the world. Tomtsu, consisting — then — of four Brookline High School students, recorded and released a song that feels at once ethereal, beautiful, and somber, the lead singer asking throughout: "Can you hear my thoughts?" Of course, this felt fitting given having to, in early March, wave goodbye to an old-time and brace for the new. As we began to burrow into quarantine, this song kept bumping around my head. How is it possible to feel so separated yet uncomfortably close? How can I truly know how others feel in a time when social interactions are almost completely digital? How can I strive to be authentic at a time like this, heart-wrenchingly traumatic yet stiflingly boring? "Can You Hear My Thoughts?" — melancholic, nostalgic, and cathartic — offers not so much an answer as it does a reframing of the question. You are already in the ideal headspace to hear this song: You have suffered through this pandemic, and you are alive. Exit your other tabs, turn off your phone, close your eyes, and listen. -N. Malte Collins, Editor, Sound of Boston

Janelle Monáe, “Turntables”

This was the year of a public health crisis and also the year of protest and revolution. That's why I often turned to Janelle Monáe's music, which is always joyous yet urgent and prescient when it comes to issues of justice. She wrote "Turntables" for the Amazon documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy, an exploration of voter suppression, and in the song, she calls for "liberation, elevation, education." It's a soundtrack for the revolution we have been engaged in since the start of this country. The video, which she calls an 'emotional picture,' weaves together images of the civil rights struggles of the past with images of what an inclusive America could like in the future when the tables are finally turned. -Meghan Smith, Digital Producer, GBH

Soft Kill, “Pretty Face”

With all of the insanity that is 2020, I’ve relied heavily on music to cope. That said, selecting just one song to be the epitome of my year is, at best, crazily difficult. Since I have to pick one, it’d probably be “Pretty Face” off Soft Kill’s, Dead Kids R.I.P. City. It was the second single off of the November release, and it was the band’s way of coping with survivor’s guilt after the loss of a very close friend. The musicality of the song is bright and cheerful while still maintaining the band’s postpunk heart. But there’s a distinct split between the sound and the dark lyrics, and the refrain of, “relax your pretty face boy/ the pain has left you.” I’ve had to navigate loss in its many forms this year and this song, though arriving late in the year, comes as a welcome companion and a soothing balm after what has assuredly been a treacherous time for us all. -Ashley Kreutter, Music Section Manager and Associate Music Editor, Boston Hassle