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Decade End Lists

The Dear Hunter – “Misplaced Devotion” If we’re being realistic, I could probably fill about 10 spots on this decade 100 with Dear Hunter songs that I simply adore.  That’s how prevalent they’ve been in the rock scene since 2010, with The Color Spectrum marking my introduction to the band in a grand 9 EP, […]

Regina Spektor – “Open” “Open” is an anxiety attack in a song.  The lush piano notes rise and fall gently, subtly building to a gorgeous but understated chorus: “potentially lovely, perpetually human, suspended and open.”  It’s a song about vulnerability; being suspended in time and exposed to all of the wonderful – and terrible – […]

Yellowcard – “Fields & Fences” No feeling in music can match the emotional magnitude of one of your all-time favorite bands, one that you grew up with and connected to your entire life, hanging up the mic.  That’s what happened for me with Yellowcard in 2016, and I was fortunate enough not to have to […]

Hey Rosetta! – “Yer Fall” / “Welcome” The memories I have attached to Hey Rosetta! are fleeting, but very powerful.  As such, I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, but I do have a profound appreciation for Seeds, and in particular the tracks “Yer Fall” and “Welcome.”  The first time that I actively listened to Hey Rosetta! […]

Circa Survive – “The Amulet” I was late to the Circa Survive party, with The Amulet serving as my first full-album experience with the talented post-hardcore/indie-rock outfit.  Although Blue Sky Noise went on to become my favorite album of theirs, as I backtracked through the discography, no individual song has stuck with me quite like […]

Fair to Midland – “The Greener Grass” As a rather obvious indie/folk aficionado, I probably don’t have nearly enough progressive rock on this list – and in a decade where there has been some damn good examples.  Fair to Midland is a band that caught my ear in 2011 – their album, Arrows and Anchors, […]

Fleet Foxes – “Third of May / Ōdaigahara” Fleet Foxes’ “Third of May / Ōdaigahara” begins as if we arrived in the middle of a show, unannounced – crashing in with drums and hearty acoustic chords atop Robin Pecknold’s all-too-appropriate line of “light ended the night / but the song remained.”  Clocking in at nearly nine minutes, it […]

Taking Back Sunday – “Death Wolf” I still remember being pretty taken aback by just how good Tidal Wave was.  I came to expect catchy pop-punk from Taking Back Sunday, but not, however – and especially at this point in their careers – anything that sounds like “Death Wolf.” “Death Wolf” is the fulcrum – […]

Brand New – “Lit Me Up” “Lit Me Up” is a simmering brooder; this moody slow-burn whose pinnacle isn’t a guitar solo or chorus, but rather a creepy, electronically distorted “when I grow up, I want to be a heretic.” The song is hauntingly prophetic, as Lacey unwittingly predicts his demise: “Lit me up and […]

Radiohead – “Ful Stop” A Moon Shaped Pool is sort of the antithesis of 2011’s The King of Limbs.  The album takes a much safer, warmer approach than its electronically-infused predecessor.  The results were disappointing to some who hoped that the band would continue to push a more experimental direction, but to the rest, it […]

The Tallest Man on Earth – “Burden of Tomorrow” Who had a more productive and revered ten years than Kristian Matsson?  The man started off the decade by earning top honors from multiple publications for his 2010 masterclass in folk, The Wild Hunt.  From there, he cemented his position atop the genre with There’s No […]

Kevin Morby – “Destroyer” Of late, Kevin Morby has turned into a one-album-wonder for me.  I got into his music with 2016’s Singing Saw, from which “Destroyer” hails, and the album is a borderline classic in my opinion.  City Music and Oh My God followed in rapid succession with tepid results, failing to live up to […]

Silversun Pickups – “Skin Graph” On the heels of 2009’s Swoon, Silversun Pickups’ trajectory over the course of the ensuing decade will depend on who you ask.  There’s a lot of staunch supporters of the band’s first two albums who feel that everything they’ve done since has been varying grades of disappointing.  For me, I […]

Ariana Grande – “Into You” On 2016’s Dangerous Woman, we witnessed Ariana turn a corner and hit her stride as an artist: one who became aware of her strengths and how to best utilize them.  Sure, Yours Truly and My Everything demonstrated flashes of brilliance, but even those moments sounded more like question marks than resounding statements – as if […]

Tame Impala – “Elephant” I was late to the Tame Impala party, finally discovering them in 2017 through a co-worker who played ‘Elephant’ for me – and it blew my mind.  Who were these modern Beatles, playing their psychedelic hearts out, only to an even more addicting rhythm?  The sheer confidence and craftsmanship made me […]

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