The Best Songs of The 2010s

Lucien WD
Lucien WD
Oct 27 · 5 min read

As this decade of ours comes to a close, we’re digging into the best culture produced between 2010 and 2019 with a series of major features: you’ve read our Best Films of the Decade list, and there’s a TV list in the works, but today we’re discussing the music that most profoundly impacted the decade. And so, in typically subjective and controversial style, here’s Luwd Media’s list of the Best Songs of the 2010s…

1. GREEN LIGHT by LORDE

Snatching superproducer Jack Antonoff from her contemporary Taylor Swift, the then-20 year old Kiwi upgrades her (pure) heroin vocals with a heart-stopping pop piano, a touch of Gatsby and an ounce of Kate Bush.

“Green Light” pumps romantic melancholy into a flawless disco structure, the accentual vagueness of Lorde’s voice contributing its usual mystery to talk of kissing on the light-up floor and brand new sounds in her mind.

It’s an epic track that sets the mood for one of the century’s great, soulful pop records — “Melodrama” — and it’s hard to identify a stronger song from the last decade.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Royals”

“400 Lux”

“The Louvre”

2. THE SUBURBS by ARCADE FIRE

Through three 2010s releases — “The Suburbs”, “Reflektor” and “Everything Now” — the Canadian rock experimentalists have dropped a handful of songs that could be reasonably considered for inclusion here. Yet their 2010 album’s title track is fairly quintessential Arcade Fire suburban nostalgia — “Sometimes I can’t believe it/I’m moving past the feeling/And into the night” — and works as a great introductory song for new converts.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Ready to Start”

“Deep Blue”

“Porno”

“Everything Now”

3. COUNTING STARS by ONEREPUBLIC

As rousing as Top 40 can be, Counting Stars is pop’s Breaking Bad, a longing call for a trans-material free life. The genius is in the initial drop: Ryan Tedder lures us into a false sense of security for 22 seconds before the beat kicks in. Every 15-year old on earth suddenly understood why capitalism is bad. Stunning production to equal the accessible profundity.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Kids”

4. UNDER THE PRESSURE by THE WAR ON DRUGS

With its vibrating intro and punchy piano riff, Under the Pressure sets out its wares: this is unfettered atmos-rock powered by heartache… and back pain. “We stare straight into nothing/But we call it all the same”: it’s a song that allows the listener to zone out and focus in, it’s totally hypnotic.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Eyes to the Wind”

“Pain”

5. QUEENS OF THE BREAKERS by THE BARR BROTHERS

“Talk to your mother, she remembers when you were sick”… the high-energy folk passion of Queens of the Breakers is punctuated by a restlessness and homesickness that continues into the Canadian group’s entire catalogue.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Even The Darkness Has Arms”

“You Would Have To Lose Your Mind”

6. LATE BLOOMER by NANA ADJOA

Ridiculously, Dutch-Ghanaian singer-songwriter Adjoa has under 3,000 likes on her Facebook page, because Late Bloomer is one of the most creative and complex pop tracks in recent memory. A screeching synth provides an aurally-floral texture to a song that channels Arcade Fire, The Smiths and a dozen more influences into a distinctly female energy.

7. BLANK SPACE by TAYLOR SWIFT

Swift’s brand of glitter feminism becomes fully realised with this criminally catchy ode to ex-boyfriends, the standout track from 2014 release 1989 that triggers the tone of subsequent releases Reputation and Lover.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“New Romance”

“Delicate”

“Holy Ground”

“Knew You Were Trouble”

8. KING by YEARS & YEARS

The London trio brought a queer club sound to mainstream pop audiences with this dazzling breakout. Like all of Years’s best stuff, it reflects on sexual insecurity, party encounters and the feeling of Next Morning regret with a mix of cerebral joy and panic.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Shine”

“Rendevouz”

“Palo Santo”

9. GET LUCKY by DAFT PUNK, PHARRELL WILLIAMS & NILE RODGERS

Yes, six years later we’re all sick of it, its glorified “song of the summer” acclaim has been memed to death, but yet few would argue against the triumph that is Daft Punk’s 2013 comeback, hiring the services of top-of-his-game Rodgers for an exuberantly funky riff that facilitates a track that is truly joyful. Song of the summer forever.

10. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE by THE WEEKND

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, performing as The Weeknd, made his splash as a 2010s RnB Michael Jackson with this love-is-a-drug/drug-is-a-love smash hit that established his vocally-charged synthy style.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED:

“Starboy” ft. Daft Punk

and the rest…

11. Thirty — The Weather Station

12. Slow Burn — Kacey Musgraves

13. The Garden Rules — Snow Patrol

14. Mariners Apartment Complex — Lana Del Rey

15. Love Me Again — John Newman

16. Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)— Lloyd, André 3000, Lil Wayne

17. Blind Faith — Chase & Status

18. The Troubles — U2 ft. Lykke Li

19. Swallowtail — Wolf Alice

20. Mean Demeanour — Run The Jewels

Thanks for reading, let me know your favourite tracks of the decade in the comments below, and stay tuned for the Best TV Shows of the 2010s — coming in the next few weeks!

Luwd Media

Keeping You Interested.

Lucien WD

Written by

Lucien WD

Edna Mode's №1 fan.

Luwd Media

Keeping You Interested.

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