Friday, December 13, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (Top 10)

We've come to the end of my list of the best songs of the decade.

I think these were the 10 best songs of the 2010s. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. For the Spotify playlist of all 100 songs, click here.


10. Ellie Goulding — "Lights"

The dance-club song of the decade.

(Unplugged.)




9. The Shins — "Simple Song"

"Well, this is just a simple song" — why put it in the top 10? How can you explain why you do or don't have an emotional response to certain music? Somehow, this song gives me chills when the piano comes in and the singing gets higher on: "I know that things can really get rough, when you go it alone…"

Click here if you want to listen to the song without the speaking that's added in this dark-comedy video:




8. St. Vincent — "Rattlesnake"

I don't have a strict rule of only one song per artist, but if I did then St. Vincent would be one of the most flagrant violators: my top 100 list has two of her solo songs, plus her collaboration with David Byrne. She isn't the only artist in my current top 10 who was also on my list last decade, but she's the only one who was in the top 10 for both decades.

St. Vincent is not just one of the great indie singer/songwriters, but also one of the most interesting guitarists around. 10 years ago I wrote about the decreasing importance of rock guitar, which has only continued decreasing, but St. Vincent shows us that you can still be relevant while using heavy guitar in unexpected ways.




7. Hozier — "Take Me to Church"

Lots of discussion of the lyrics at SongMeanings. Wikipedia notes that the video "follows a same-sex relationship in Russia and the violently homophobic backlash that ensues when the community learns of one of the men's sexuality."

Take me to church

I'll worship like a dog

At the shrine of your lies

I'll tell you my sins

And you can sharpen your knife
Hozier's soulful singing of the "Amen, amen…" part — relatively calm at first but passionate when the section is repeated later — clinches "Take Me to Church" as one of the high points of this decade of music.

(Cover with female vocals.)




6. Bent Knee — "Being Human"

This band from Boston is hard to categorize. Wikipedia says they play "multiple genres" including "art rock," "progressive rock," "industrial rock," "avant-garde," and "baroque pop."

Bent Knee has the confidence to take real risks.




5. Lana Del Rey — "Summertime Sadness"

This song is compellingly emotional by being simple and direct.

(Remix.)




4. Jónsi — "Animal Arithmetic"

After sadness, this comes bursting through — a song of pure, exuberant optimism.
Every time, everyone, everything's full of life

Every day, everywhere, people are so alive

We should all be, ohhh, alive! ...

Exist all in love and life!
In the second verse, Jónsi sings in his native language, Icelandic (as he often does in the band he's best known for, Sigur Rós).




3. Adele — "Rolling in the Deep"

Adele has one of the most powerful voices of the decade.




2. Janelle Monáe — "Cold War"

The video for this song from her 2010 debut album starts with no sound, until the screen tells us we're seeing "Take 1." The singer/songwriter described the process: “I remember crying during ‘Cold War’ [on the] first take. I didn’t know how that happened but it just did.... Then everybody else started to cry.”

I like the idea (however unlikely) that someone who hasn't paid attention to any music of the last 10 years is going through this whole list in order, so their whole view of Janelle Monáe was based on her contribution to "We Are Young," and then they get to this song…

(Mellow remix.)




1. Lorde — "Royals"

So many young musical prodigies try to impress us with their talents by emulating adults. One of the great things about how Lorde from New Zealand broke into the public consciousness at age 16 is that she seemed to feel no need to do that. She didn't sound like she was aspiring to mature respectability. She presented herself as a young person hanging out with other young people — but a unique young person who happens to be uncommonly reflective and expressive. This is just one of the standout songs from Lorde's debut album. That album is a pop masterpiece precisely because it doesn't feel like it's trying to be a masterpiece.




Bruce Springsteen radically transformed "Royals":




And honorable mention goes to this brilliant parody by Weird Al Yankovic — "Foil." You might think it's just one more Weird Al song about food, but wait till halfway through… Notice how he cleverly keeps two phrases from the original song.




String quartet:




That's all — thanks for listening! To go back to songs #11 to 20, click here — and check the bottom of each post to keep going back or forward in the list.

Again, here's the full list of 100 songs plus runners-up. There's a Spotify playlist of the top 100 (with some bonus tracks at the end), and a separate playlist for the runners-up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (11-20)

Now we're in the top 20 best songs of the decade...

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


20. Tame Impala — "Let It Happen"

Here's the official video with a much shorter edit of the song — but you might not want to watch it if you have fear of flying!

The full version of the song (below) sounds at one point like a CD is skipping over and over. But Tame Impala finds beauty in what might seem to be a mistake.




19. Kimbra — "Miracle"

You might not recognize Kimbra in this video (musically or visually) from her song in my runners-up list, "Come Into My Head," or from her guest appearance in Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know."

(Kimbra alone in the park.)




18. Fiona Apple — "Hot Knife"

This song seems ridiculously simple, but becomes dizzyingly intricate.

The video was directed by P.T. Anderson, who also directed Boogie Nights (1997) and There Will Be Blood (2007).




17. Justin Timberlake — "Can't Stop the Feeling!"

A good pop song needs a good hook. A great pop song like this is nothing but hooks.




16. The Beach Boys — "That's Why God Made the Radio"

Jim Peterik, who wrote this gorgeous song with Brian Wilson and others, described its origins:

[Brian and I] were at an Italian restaurant and we were talking about radio and how great songs used to sound through the AM radio coming through your oval speaker on your Plymouth Valiant and I said, "Man, that was the best sound of all," and Brian said, "Yeah, that's why God made the radio." Of course, I wrote that down. He didn't realize how brilliant it was, or maybe he did, but that's when we wrote that song.



15. Grizzly Bear — "Sleeping Ute"

It's too bad there isn't a video for this song, which could have had a good video in a natural setting; the music is so evocative of exploring new surroundings.




14. Soundgarden — "Bones of Birds"

This is my favorite song from Soundgarden's last album before Chris Cornell's death at age 52.

(Here's a list of my 20 favorite Soundgarden songs, and my post about their commercial breakthrough album.)




13. Phantogram — "Same Old Blues"

One of the things that most interests me in music is a song's structure — the different sections and how they work together. Pop songs often have a predictable structure with a verse, then a pre-chorus, then the chorus as the catchiest part of the song, etc. I like how in this song, it's hard to label the song sections; no one part is the obviously catchy chorus that stands out from everything else, and yet it still feels like a pop song (albeit a dark one) with distinct, catchy parts.

(Album version.)

(Remix.)




12. Beyoncé — "Love on Top"

One chord elevates "Love on Top" above most pop love songs ("Honey honey, I can see the STARS all the way from here…"). A similar chord change is found in the chorus of Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" ("They can feel it all OVER"). But Beyoncé makes it all her own. On top of that, the series of key changes in this song is stunning. Beyoncé is one of the great singers of our time.

(Live.)




11. Owen Pallett — "The Great Elsewhere"

The first lines are a take-off of Edwin Starr's "War":
Talking

What's it good for?

Absolutely nothing!



<— 21 - 30

Top 10 —>

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (21-30)

Some of the best songs of the decade…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


30. Taylor Swift — "Don't Blame Me"

(Rock cover with male singers.)




29. Foo Fighters — "Something from Nothing"

I like how the music reflects the song title by starting with almost "Nothing" (a lightly strummed guitar on its own) and gradually building up to "Something" …




28. fun. (feat. Janelle Monáe) — "We Are Young"

One of the anthemic singalong choruses of the decade.

(Live unplugged.)

(A cappella cover by Pentatonix.)




27. Billie Eilish — "When the Party's Over"

Billie Eilish is not yet 18 years old, but she's captivated the world of pop music. Her brother and collaborator, Finneas, wrote this song of haunting simplicity.

(Heavy cover by Our Last Night.)




26.  Mikal Cronin — "Turn Around"

I first heard "Turn Around" playing in a CD store, and I asked an employee what it was. He showed me the album MCIII, and I bought the CD on the spot. I had never heard of Mikal Cronin before, but this song was that good.

(Live.)




25. Arctic Monkeys — "Do I Wanna Know?"

One of the defining rock riffs of the decade.

(Dua Lipa turns it into a piano ballad.)

(Reggae cover by Groove Da Praia.)

(Classical version by the Vitamin String Quartet.)




24. Portugal. The Man — "Feel It Still"

(Cover with female singers.)




23. Black Pumas — "Colors"

They're new, and they're great. This song is from their 2019 debut album.




22. Tori Amos — "Shattering Sea"

What's so amazing about really deep songs?

(My blog tribute to Tori Amos.)




21. Beck — "Dear Life"

This feels like it could have been one of the Beatles' piano-driven songs by Paul McCartney, like "Lady Madonna" (which was already a retro song inspired by Fats Domino).




<— 31 - 40

11 - 20 —>

Monday, December 9, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (31-40)

More of the best songs of the decade…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


40. Two Door Cinema Club — "What You Know"

Sounds like Death Cab for Cutie at times, especially when he sings in the chorus: "You don't want to be alone, you don't want to be alone…"




39. Tove Lo — "Not on Drugs"

Swedish pop with an edge.

(Remix.)




38. Britney Spears — "Till the World Ends"




37. Broken Bells — "Holding on for Life"




36. St. Vincent — "Cruel"




35. Fort Wilson Riot — "Love Song for Mabee Burlingham (Pieces of the War Pt. 1)"

Full disclosure, they're friends of mine, and the male singer/guitarist is a former bandmate.




34. Aloe Blacc — "Miss Fortune"

This singer/songwriter conjures up pictures and stories in sound.




33. Sia — "Chandelier"




32. Alan Hampton — "Keep it in Your Dreams"


31. Sky Ferreira - "Everything Is Embarrassing"




<—41 - 50

21 - 30 —>

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (41-50)

We're now in the better half of the best songs of the decade…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


50. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — "Life is Hard"

I cried at one part of this video.




49. Lorde — "400 Lux"

(Here's a fun cover with a new wave vibe by an Israeli group, the Young Professionals.)




48. Francesca Esmé — "Adult Things"

Full disclosure, the singer is a friend of mine. The song was written by David Safran from Chicago, Illinois; here's an Atlantic post about it.




47. Paul McCartney — "New"

After half a century of making music, Paul McCartney still keeps things "New." I love when this song seems to be ending but then there's a doo wop coda.

(Unplugged backstage.)




46. Ra Ra Riot — "Boy"




45. Chairlift — "Wrong Opinion




44. The Strokes — "Tap Out"




43. King Tuff — "Black Moon Spell"

Rock isn't dead.




42. Regina Spektor — "You've Got Time"

(Strings version.)




41. Prince — "This Could Be Us"




< — 51 - 60

31 - 40 —>

Friday, December 6, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (51-60)

Now halfway through the 100 best songs of the decade…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


60. Pharrell Williams — "Happy"




59. Red Hot Chili Peppers — "Dark Necessities"




58. Muse — "Madness"

(Cover by the Pretty Reckless.)




57. Dream Theater — "Barstool Warrior"

Dream Theater might be the most technically complex rock band in the world, but this is one of their more accessible songs. "Barstool Warrior" also makes up for the songs on this list that glorify excessive drinking…




56. OK Go — "I Won't Let You Down"

This amazing video must be watched from beginning to end! (I recommend "full screen" mode.)




55. Fitz and The Tantrums "Don't Gotta Work It Out"




54. Radiohead — "Burn the Witch"




53. Esperanza Spalding — "Elevate or Operate"




52. Gotye (feat. Kimbra) — "Somebody That I Used to Know"




51. nine inch nails — "copy of a"

(Album version.)

(Here are my blog posts about NIИ's first and second albums.)




<— 61 - 70

41 - 50 —>

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (61-70)

More of the best songs of the decade…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


70. Of Monsters and Men — "Little Talks"

The female singer of this Icelandic band, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, explained that she and the male singer, Ragnar “Raggi” þórhallsson, wrote this song about a widow having a "conversation" with her dead husband. Hilmarsdóttir added: "We don’t know if she’s going crazy or if someone’s actually there."




69. Spoon — "Let Me Be Mine"




68. Passion Pit – "Take a Walk"




67. The Black Keys — "Tighten Up"

David Letterman seemed to like this: "That's it! That's what we're looking for! … Don't kid yourself: this kid can whistle."

(Official video.)




66. The Weeknd — "In the Night"

It's no surprise that this Canadian singer/songwriter has said one of his biggest inspirations is Michael Jackson. You could imagine this song on the Bad album in place of "Smooth Criminal" or "Dirty Diana."

Here's the album version, and here's a live performance with Lauryn Hill, which clearly blew away Jimmy Fallon:




65. The New Pornographers — "Fantasy Fools"




64. Foster the People — "Pumped up Kicks"

Some radio stations banned this controversial song about a school shooter. The lyrics start in the third person but switch to the shooter's voice in first person. See Wikipedia for the songwriter's explanation. He recently talked about possibly "retiring" the song.

This live performance is better than the album version:




63. Alice in Chains — "The One You Know"




62. The Big Moon — "Silent Movie Susie"




61. Hiatus Kaiyote — "Jekyll"




<— 71 - 80

51 - 60 —>

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (71-80)

10 more of the best songs of the 2010s…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


80. Metronomy — "The Look"




79. Kendrick Lamar (feat. Cee Lo Green) — "untitled 06 | 06.30.2014."




78. Green Day — "Brutal Love"




77. Tool — "7empest"

Unlike almost all popular music these days, Tool has the nerve to venture outside of standard 4/4 time (one of at least 3 songs on my list to do so). Adam Jones's guitar playing on this 15-minute song has been called his best work in over 25 years with Tool.




76. The Claypool Lennon Delirium — "Blood and Rockets: Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons / Movement II, Too the Moon"

This supergroup is Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, the only child of Yoko Ono and John Lennon. John was younger when he died than Sean is in this video.




75. Leon Bridges — "Smooth Sailin'"

Leon Bridges smoothly sails into the past, evoking Sam Cooke.




74. Snarky Puppy (feat. N'Dambi) — "Deep"




73. Bat for Lashes — "A Wall"




72. Sufjan Stevens — "Carrie & Lowell"

Sufjan Stevens wrote this quietly beautiful song shortly after his mom died. She and her husband were named Carrie and Lowell.




71. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — "Despair"




<— 81 - 90

61 - 70 —>

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (81-90)

Continuing with my list of the best songs of the 2010s…

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)


90. Rihanna (feat. Calvin Harris) — "We Found Love"

This is really a study in minimalism, seizing on one emotionally resonant line and repeating it over and over as the foundation of the song:

We found love in a hopeless place
(Piano-based cover.)




89. Phoebe Bridgers — "Motion Sickness"

She sings the first two lines with such pure directness:
I hate you for what you did

But I miss you like a little kid
(Live.)




88. Young the Giant — "Superposition"

(A more stripped-down version.)




87. Temples — "Hot Motion"




86. Dirty Projectors — "About to Die"

A band that seems constantly comical, yet serious.




85. Rose Windows — "Wartime Lovers"




84. Metallica — "Halo on Fire"

(Mini-documentary on the making of this song.)




83. Arcade Fire — "The Suburbs"




82. The Smashing Pumpkins — "Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)"

So many of the great '90s rock bands have lost their lead singers, forcing them to either disband or reinvent themselves with new singers. So it’s good to see other '90s bands still going strong with most of their original members, like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Smashing Pumpkins. The Pumpkins are no longer doing their best work after 3 decades, but they haven’t run out of inspiration.

(My blog tribute to Billy Corgan.)




81. Japanese Breakfast — "Boyish"




<— 91 - 100

71 - 80 —>

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Best Songs of the 2010s (FULL LIST)

Here's my list of the best songs of the decade, 2010 to 2019:

91 - 100

81 - 90

71 - 80

61 - 70

51 - 60

41 - 50

31 - 40

21 - 30

11 - 20

TOP TEN

(plus 100 runners-up)


Here's a Spotify playlist of the whole top 100 list. (The track numbers are reversed because I counted down, so track 1 is the song I ranked #100, track 2 is #99, and track 100 is the song I chose as the best of the decade.)




*

In memory of the singers on my list who died in this decade:

David Bowie (1947 - 2016)

Chris Cornell, singer/guitarist of Soundgarden (1964 - 2017)

Gord Downie, singer/guitarist of the Tragically Hip (1964 - 2017)

Sharon Jones (1956 - 2016)

Tom Petty (1950 - 2017)

Prince (1958 - 2016)


(And here’s my list from 10 years ago: the best songs of 2000-2009.)

The 100 Best Songs of the 2010s (91-100)

10 years ago, I listed the best songs of the decade, 2000 to 2009.

Now I'm doing it again: the best songs of the decade that's coming an end, 2010 to 2019.

(Click here for the whole list so far, with a Spotify playlist.)

The rules:

• I'm using the traditional definition of "song," meaning it has to be sung — no instrumentals.

• The song had to be released in 2010 or later. No covers of old songs.

All the usual caveats apply: that this kind of ranking is inevitably arbitrary, that the list is based on my opinions and tastes, etc. For instance, I'm not a big hip-hop fan, so don't expect to see that genre well-represented here (though my 2000-2009 list did include a hip-hop song at #22).

Check out some of these other song lists for different perspectives.

I'll roll out 10 songs per post, counting down from 100 to 1, and I should have the whole thing up before Christmas.

Here goes!


100. The Lumineers — "Ho Hey"




99. Jukebox the Ghost — "Jumpstarted"

Remind you of anyone?




98. CHVRCHES — "Never Ending Circles"

I like how it sounds like the singer's breath is incorporated into the instrumental backing.




97. Vampire Weekend — "Unbelievers"




96. David Byrne & St. Vincent — "Who"

A collaboration by two wonderfully weird musical geniuses.




95. Soundgarden — "Been Away for Too Long"

Full disclosure, this video stars my second cousin, Ariane Rinehart.




94. The National — "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness"

The best song title of the decade?




93. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings — "I Learned the Hard Way"

Sharon Jones died in 2016, but her soul music lives on.

The song starts at 1:15 in this video.




92. Mumford & Sons — "I Will Wait"




91. The Zombies — "Chasing the Past"

It's still the time of the season for the Zombies.




81 - 90 —>

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Best Songs of the 2010s: Runners-up

10 years ago, I posted a list of the 100 best songs of the decade, 2000 to 2009.

Now I'm doing it again with the decade that's coming to an end: 2010 to 2019.

But first, here are 100 runners-up — songs I like but didn't have room for in the top 100 — in no particular order. (The song title usually links to an album the song is on, and after that I embed or link to video.)

A Spotify playlist of these songs is at the end of this post.


Owen Pallett — "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt"



Zola Jesus — "Dangerous Days" — WATCH (official video)

Broken Bells — "Good Luck" — LISTEN

The face of evil is on the news tonight

We see the darkness over light

But have we ever really lived in better times?
The Naked and Famous — "Young Blood" — WATCH

Robyn — "Ever Again" — WATCH

Spoon — "Do I Have to Talk You Into It" — LISTEN

Frances Quinlan — "Rare Thing" — WATCH

Regina Spektor — "Small Town Moon" — LISTEN

The Tragically Hip — "In a World Possessed by the Human Mind" — WATCH

Estelle — "Wonderful Life" — WATCH

Wye Oak — "Glory"

How do 2 people make so much sound? Look at the drummer: he's playing keyboard at the same time!



I Don't Know How But They Found Me — "Nobody Likes the Opening Band" — WATCH

Daft Punk (feat. Pharrell Williams) — "Get Lucky" — WATCH (acoustic cover)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor — "Come with Us" — WATCH

Feist — "How Come You Never Go There" — WATCH 
 
Faded Paper Figures — "Information Runs On" — LISTEN

Willie J Healey — "Polyphonic Love" — WATCH

David Bowie — "Sue (or in a Season of Crime)" — WATCH (rock version)

Lorde — "Tennis Court" — WATCH

Joanna Newsom — "Easy" — LISTEN

Hiatus Kaiyote — "Breathing Underwater"



Cults — "Always Forever" — LISTEN

Sky Ferreira — "You're Not the One" — WATCH (live)

Florence and the Machine — "Hunger" — WATCH

Black Pumas — "Black Moon Rising" — WATCH 

Marian Hill — "Down" — WATCH

Cage the Elephant — "Trouble" — WATCH

Rise Against — "Lanterns" — LISTEN

The Strokes — "80's Comedown Machine" — LISTEN

Wilco — "Art of Almost" — LISTEN

Aloe Blacc — "Loving You Is Killing Me"

I like the raw energy of the live version below, but here's the more polished recording.



Hot Chip — "Spell" — WATCH

Phantogram — "Fall in Love" — WATCH

Belle and Sebastian — "Party Line" — WATCH

Tame Impala — "The Less I Know the Better" — WATCH  

P!nk — "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" — WATCH

The Stepkids — "Art of Forgetting" — WATCH

Grizzly Bear — "Losing All Sense" — WATCH 

Rose Windows — "Native Dreams" — WATCH

Red Hot Chili Peppers — "The Hunter" — LISTEN

Kimbra — "Come Into My Head"

Check this blog later for a very different Kimbra!



Gregory Porter — "Don't Lose Your Steam" — WATCH

Frank Ocean — "Thinkin Bout You" — LISTEN

Alvvays — "Dreams Tonite" — WATCH

Daedelus (feat. Inara George) — "Penny Loafers" — LISTEN

Snarky Puppy (feat. Knower & Jeff Coffin) — "I Remember" — WATCH

U2 — "The Blackout" — WATCH

Caribou — "Odessa" — WATCH

Imogen Heap — "Lifeline" — WATCH

Bon Iver — "Holocene" — WATCH

Fleet Foxes — "Helplessness Blues"
I was raised up believing

I was somehow unique

Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes

Unique in each way you can see

And now after some thinking

I'd say I'd rather be

A functioning cog in some great machinery

Serving something beyond me


Sharon Van Etten — "Seventeen" — WATCH

Jenny Lewis — "Wasted Youth" — WATCH 

Kacey Musgraves — "Follow Your Arrow" — WATCH 

Paul McCartney — "Alligator" — LISTEN

White Rabbits — "Heavy Metal" — WATCH

Raury — "God's Whisper" — WATCH

Cherri Bomb (later known as Hey Violet) — "Shake the Ground" — WATCH

nine inch nails — "find my way" — LISTEN

Lana Del Rey — "Video Games" — WATCH

Björk — "Notget"



Becca Stevens — "Queen Mab" — WATCH

HAIM — "The Wire" — WATCH

Anderson .Paak — "Put Me Thru" — WATCH

Sleater-Kinney — "Reach Out" — LISTEN

FKA twigs — "Two Weeks" — WATCH

Lady Gaga — "Judas" — WATCH

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — "Red River" — LISTEN

Weezer — "Beach Boys" — LISTEN

Pearl Jam — "Sleeping by Myself" — LISTEN

Snarky Puppy (feat. Laura Mvula & Michelle Willis) — "Sing to the Moon" — WATCH 



MGMT — "It's Working" — WATCH

of Montreal — "Nursing Slopes" — LISTEN

Carly Rae Jepsen — "Call Me Maybe" — WATCH

The Kooks — "Junk of the Heart (Happy)" — WATCH

Keri Hilson — "Pretty Girl Rock" — WATCH

Pale Waves — "There's a Honey" — WATCH

M83 — "Midnight City" — WATCH

Beck — "Morning" — LISTEN

Labrinth & Zendaya — "All for Us" — WATCH

Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) — "Uptown Funk"



Norah Jones — "Say Goodbye" — LISTEN
Well, it ain't easy to stay in love

If you can't tell lies

So I'll just have to take a bow

And say goodbye
The Horrors — "Still Life" — WATCH

The Smashing Pumpkins — "Panopticon" — LISTEN

Melissa McMillan — "Keep Coming Back To You" — WATCH

Parcels — "Overnight" — LISTEN

Santigold — "Disparate Youth" — WATCH

Rival Sons — "Soul" — WATCH
 
Thurston Moore — "Aphrodite" — LISTEN

Snarky Puppy (feat. Chris Turner) — "Liquid Love" — WATCH

Angel Olsen — "Lark"

This song has a stunning climax starting about 4 minutes in.



Kitten — "Like a Stranger" WATCH 

Esperanza Spalding — "One" — WATCH

BØRNS — "Past Lives" — WATCH 
 
The Dodos — "Black Night" — WATCH

Intervals — "Moment Marauder" — LISTEN

Paul Gilbert — "Adventure and Trouble" — LISTEN

Death Cab for Cutie — "Codes and Keys" — LISTEN

Justin Timberlake — "Mirrors" — WATCH

Jónsi — "Sinking Friendships" — LISTEN

*

Thanks to all who offered suggestions for the list, including Akponoluo, Alex, Ariel, Brit, Chris, Francesca, Jamie, John, Matt, and Nick.

*

Here's a Spotify playlist of all the runners-up, except two songs that aren't on Spotify ("Easy" by Joanna Newsom, and "Nobody Likes the Opening Band" by I Don't Know How But They Found Me):




Click here for the full list of the best songs of the decade.