Reader’s Best: Kanra’s Top Ten Favorite Idol Songs of All Time

Welcome to the next installment of Readers Best. I should really be keeping count of how many we’ve posted so far but, you know, it doesn’t really matter ’cause after listenign to Kanra’s top ten, I just want to languish here. If your week is off to a bad start, you’ve come to the right place. Kanra is about to spin you ten tracks of shoegaze, dreampop and idol ballads to calm your brain right down. Let’s chill: 

Kanra’s 10 Favorite Idol Songs

SAKA-SAMA, to the Stars

It’s certainly one of the strongest opening tracks to an idol album I’ve heard. Those guitars certainly make you feel like you’re going to the stars, and even transcending beyond them. Kimi ga Ichiban Kakkoijyan couldn’t have started off on a better foot.

tipToe, Yume Biyori

Hopping straight from amazing openers to amazing closers, this is one of those “this is so cute and precious that I wanna cry” type of songs. tipToe has a few like this, but this one takes the cake. When I hear that organ, I’m tearing up, no questions asked.

GoodDay, Songs from the thistime

Yep, another one to cry to, these certainly take up a good part of my list. It’s my favorite vocal performance this duo pulled off, with the guitars really helping to create a beautiful atmosphere.

lyrical school, Find me!

This song has such a nice vibe during during the verses, and if the song was just those I’d like it a lot as is. What turns this song from really good to amazing is the hook. Idol shoegaze never, ever fails, as shown by what this song builds up to.

Cametre, Bara Bara


The song with easily the most infectious hook on this entire list. It’s the kind of hook that could drive most people to the brink of utter madness, but I fall more and more in love with each listen.


A truly gorgeous ballad with some beautiful vocal performances from everyone in the group, with very pretty pianos and acoustic guitars to match. What really blows me away about this song however is the guitar solo. It’s very washed-out, like it’s crying out to someone to no avail, and makes the song absolutely heart-wrenching in a way little other music gets to me. It’s a masterpiece.

RAY, Butterfly Effect

I’ve been on board with RAY from pretty early on, as hearing their first EP Blue at the end of 2019 showed loads of promise. “Butterfly Effect” was easily the song to leave the strongest impression on me in that release, with a very catchy lead guitar riff carrying this song around all the walls of warm distortion and wonderful vocals. The chorus is super strong, and this will always be the first thing I think of when I think about the wonder that is RAY.

fedress, I Love You ja monotarinai


A criminally overlooked song from a criminally overlooked group. Love the handclaps and thumping bass rhythms, alongside a fantastically catchy hook. Something about the way all of the song’s different elements come together is just spellbinding.

・・・・・・・・・, shiduka no umi


Every single part of this song is absolute bliss, from the vocal melodies and harmonies to the signature blaring shoegaze guitars. The spoken word buildup to the final chorus is one of the most thrilling moments I’ve heard in an idol song, as well as when the drums and guitars get heavier towards the very end before just leaving the one lone guitar riff and the beautiful voices of all the members. Peak shoegaze.

Oyasumi Hologram, Fairytale (1 re-recording)

It was very very difficult to choose between my number two and number one. What made me bite the bullet and go for “Fairytale” however was this near-indescribable sense of absolute magic that I feel deep within me whenever I hear this song, befitting of the name I suppose. The lead melodic guitar riff is incredibly infectious, I love how loud the drumming gets in the mix towards the end, and Hachigatsu and Kanamil are bringing their absolute A-game in the vocal department. Every time I put this on, I always have to go back for seconds or thirds right after. The original version is very pretty as is, but the rerecording on 1 takes it to astounding new heights. So much of what I love about alt-idol music is wrapped up in this one package, and I can’t sing its praises enough.