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Top 30 Songs of the 2010s

So, yeah, what the list head says. For a playlist, you can go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWprWK6AVnu4FefolpZPnrMZXkef4ll44. Again, it wasn't the best decade I've lived through, but I guess it will do.
30Snail Mail


Lo-fi grrl rock of the genre that my daughter likes to refer to as "chicks singing about their feelings".
29Dot Hacker


Slow, psychedelic dance track by this experimental rock band from L.A.
28Charly Bliss
Young Enough

"Hard to Believe"

A high-energy track by this Brroklyn quartet about hanging on to a decaying relationship.
Ghosts of Download

"A Rose By Any Name"

A dual vocal by Deborah Harry and Beth Ditto (of Gossip), in praise of beauty and gender fluidity.
26Candy Hearts
All The Ways You Let Me Down

"Top of Our Lungs"

A song about a night of fun and drinking between two friends who become friends with benefits.
25Candy Hearts
Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

"Lighter Than the Air"

A relationship song that starts with the ups, then gets into the downs, but then remembers the ups again. So I guess it all works out.
24Linkin Park
One More Light

"One More Light"

Yeah, the album sucked, but this song was its one bright spot. A song about the importance of a single human life, made all the more poignant by Chester Bennington's subsequent suicide.
23Leslie Mendelson
Love and Murder


A wistful and touching folk ballad about finding your way back home.
22Glen Hansard
This Wild Willing

"Brother's Keeper"

A folksy ballad about brotherly love from one-half of the team that wrote the TONY-Award winning musical Once.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1


I was so-so on the album, but this one is really good. Favorite line: "Time away from me is what I need." I know what you mean, brother.
20The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

"Till the Water Is All Long Gone"

A slow, creepy track about guarding the water supply from some people who come down from the mountains, even though there's no one left to drink it.

"Plimsoll Punks"

An energetic winner from this Toronto indie pop band.
18I Am the Avalanche

"Anna Lee"

A tale of friend and suicide from the gravel-voiced Vinny Caruano and his punk/pop punk band I Am the Avalanche.
Ghost Stories

"A Sky Full of Stars"

An upbeat, smile-inducing song that puts the lie to those heartless curmudgeons who claim that Coldplay sucks. No, sir. They do not.
The Cordon Bleu Years

"Wolfman Moon"

You've got to love a track that says "Ah-ooo!" at the chorus. Just ask Warren Zevon. My favorite track from Long Island singer-songwriter's rock opera, The Cordon Bleu Years.
Follow the Freedom

"Even the Mistakes"

A highly danceable track from the former lead singer of Antigone Rising, exhorting you to live your life to the fullest, 'cause "Even the mistakes are gonna be great!"
14Soundtrack (Film)
Suicide Squad: The Album

"Heathens" by Twenty One Pilots

Taken from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, a heartwarming song of misfits and misanthropes finding belonging with one another.
13Daft Punk
Random Access Memories

"Get Lucky"

The song of the summer for 2013, wherein the two French robots of Daft Punk and American singer Pharrell Williams repeatedly stay up all night in hopes of getting into some chick's pants.
12Soundtrack (Film)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

"My Love" by Sia

A slow ballad featured on the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack, sung to a dead lover who taught the protagonist how to stand, fight and survive.
Killing Time

"Sick, Sick, Sick"

One of Raneri's best f-u numbers, sung to his recently divorced wife. He even curses the magistrate who married them. Fun, fun, fun!


An ode to a late friend who seems to have become a house-bound shut-in, a goal I'm coming closer to achieving for myself.
9Metal Mother


Electronic pop by a fairly unknown L.A. band. Thanks to my friends at WUSB radio for turning me on to this one.
I'm Only Dreaming

"A Song for the Birds" (featuring Max Bemis)

Pop rock the way it ought to be done, as sung by the husband-wife team of Sherri DuPree and Max Bemis.
Critical Mistakes

"Critical Mistakes"

There aren't usually do-overs in life, even though this track wishes it was otherwise. The video was a collaborative effort with The Forgiveness Project, a UK charity that focuses on forgiveness and alternatives to revenge.
6The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

"Make You Better"

A strange track, but probably the best one the Decemberists have ever produced. Their version of a love song.
5Soundtrack (Television)
The Walking Dead Vol. 1

"Carl Poppa" by Bad Lip Reading

OK, here's a hip hop song I actually like, even if it's really a comedic treatment of a Walking Dead episode. It's actually a pretty great song, though.
4Jeremy Gilchrist

"Letter From the 21st"

This is a musical missive to future generations, apologizing for the shortcomings of our own, and hoping they've done better. It's quiet and beautiful.
3Gary Numan
Savage (Songs from a Broken World)

"My Name Is Ruin"

The '80s electronic artist has gone all industrial. The little girl singing backup is his 11yo (at the time) daughter.
Endless Forms Most Beautiful

"The Greatest Show on Earth"

This was the most exciting piece of music I've heard in two decades, and this live version really catches the energy of the piece. For a bonus, here's a cover person put together by a young woman named Fernanda Alba, with the help of other young musicians from all over the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U92uYshKs38
1Antigone Rising
Whiskey & Wine Vol. II

"My Town"

The only thing that topped the excitement of "Greatest Show on Earth" was the simplicity and sincerity of this country-rock song. It was the best song of the decade.
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