First and foremost, we are super duper excited to guest on Ghosts of the Stratosphere’s blog! We could never pass up the opportunity to collaborate with podcast friends of ours, especially when it means we can blab about great music. So thanks, GotS! You truly don’t know what you’re in for. (Insert sneaky winky face here.)
Secondly, a disclaimer of sorts. You’re probably expecting two hosts of a music podcast to have something poignant and intelligent to say about their Best Songs of the 2010s list, but they can’t all be winners, amirite? Sometimes a jam is just a jam and you can’t explain it.
If you’ve listened to our podcast then you probably already know that our tastes differ pretty vastly – Maggie is more in tune with pop and electronic, whereas Ashleigh gravitates towards indie rock and metal. That doesn’t mean our lines never cross, though!
Below we’ve laid out some of our faves of the 2010s that we both agreed on (our Venn Diagram tends to overlap at indie pop and Missy Elliott), and even tried to explain why they be like they do. But hey, sometimes they just straight up got a beat and you can dance to it, and that’s just fine with us!
And now, in no particular order:
Robyn – Dancing on My Own
Whether you know her or not, Robyn is the undisputed Queen of Pop Ditties. “Dancing on My Own” re-introduced her to American audiences in the last few years, because we’re assholes and kinda forgot about her after “Show Me Love” came and went in 1995. This song, however, is the break-up song of the millennium. Who can’t relate to being heartbroken but also really goddamn curious about what your ex is doing in the dark corner of the club?
Joywave ft KOPPS – Tongues
There’s naked people in this music video. Seriously. Go ahead and YouTube that shit. We’ll wait.
See? Boobs. But we should say other things about this song. Honestly, it’s just a solid jam. We’re pretty convinced Joywave has a tiny indie dance hit factory hidden up their butts or something. Have they tried going through airport security? We’re sure they’ll find it.
Devin Townsend Project – Kingdom
As we’ve mentioned before in our episode about Devin Townsend, we really wish he would just sing into our vaginas. His voice is THAT amazing. “Kingdom” is the perfect example of the astonishing shit he can do with them vocal chords.
But it’s not just his voice that’s fascinating; his complex musical composition skills, guitar mastery, and brilliantly silly sense of humor all add up to one hell of a sonic orgasm.
M83 – Midnight City
“Midnight City” may have been released in 2012, but it fits right into the new decade ahead. With its 80’s synthwave-y vibe, it conjures up a nostalgic and melancholic feel that only children of the Reagan Era can remember. Thanks to Stranger Things, it fits right into the current resurgence of 80s pop culture.
This song makes our short list of best sexy sax solos, for sure. It’s also one of our jukebox staples; one song that everyone at the bar will agree on.
Janelle Monae – Tightrope
“Tightrope” was our first introduction to Ms. Monae, and boy was it impressive. The music video highlights her style and grace, not to mention those sweet ass dance moves and a voice of a goddamn angel. Most intriguing, though, was the fact that she was clearly fucking weird. And we like that shit.
It was one of the first in a long line of bops that are superior to most of the crap shoved down our throats these days – her music covers heavier topics like race, gender, and sexuality. This isn’t just some surface bullshit – Janelle Monae makes you think as you bounce your head along to her music.
She doesn’t get the accolades she deserves and it makes zero sense to these ladies why she doesn’t have a chokehold on the airwaves or dominates awards shows year after year. We hope that even as her acting career advances, she continues keep it weird and interesting and pushes the envelope as far as it will go!
Queens of the Stone Age – My God is the Sun
QOTSA is an absolute Rock Candy favorite, both of us being big fans of the band and all things Josh Homme since the early 2000s. Both albums the band released in the last decade, …Like Clockwork and Villians, were choice, but we collectively decided …Like Clockwork should be featured.
“My God is the Sun” is one of, basically, all good songs on this album. Seriously, we can’t argue that any of the songs are bad. The only issue we see is that the album as whole is a serious bummer. Imma still slide into Josh Homme’s DMs tho.
Missy Elliot – WTF (Where They From)
After a long hiatus because of health issues, Missy Elliott graced us with new music in 2015. “WTF (Where They From)” is a solid comeback jam that reminds you that Missy still got it. Her beats are fresh, innovative, and overall head-bopping goodness, but she gilds the lily with lyrics that are smart and sophisticated, even when she’s rapping about her snatch.
Pharrell’s there, too. Shrug.
Fitz and the Tantrums – Moneygrabber
We’re not going to talk about Fitz and the Tantrums’ new music. We’re not. Not at all. Not even gonna think about it. That’s not what we’re here for. Nuh uh. Not gonna do it.
UGH okay it’s hot garbage and they need to stop before their dumpster fire of artless nursery rhymes explodes. WE SAID IT.
Back to the song at hand(clap). “Moneygrabber” is a butt shakin’ ditty reminiscent of Post-Modern Jukebox, bringing your ears back to the soulful sounds of the 60s. It’s the perfect amalgamation of retro goodness, soulful R&B, and modern pop. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep it going and gradually sacrificed substance for mass appeal. They were, and should have continued to be, better than that.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Wasting Time
Speaking of our alcohol problems, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats are the perfect kind of bar band. Accessible yet deeply emotional rock ‘n roll reminiscent of the better parts of Lynard Skynard, with a front man that you just wanna squeeeeeeeeze like a teddy bear. Gimme dat beard!
Arguably, “S.O.B.” was the biggest hit off their self-titled album, and that’s a damn good song, too. But “Wasting Time” is the best kind of porch hangs song. Anytime you have the opportunity to sit in that rocking chair with a glass of nice whisky while overlooking some rolling hills, you put this song on and re-fucking-lax.
Lily Allen – Hard Out Here
It really is hard out here for a bitch, and Lily Allen knows first hand all about it. “Hard Out Here” not only is a solid pop song that should have been WAY more popular in the States than it was, but it’s a song celebrating female solidarity. Only a year after this song was released, Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” was celebrated for featuring a ton of famous women in the music video, despite the fact that the song is about female-on-female hatred. “Hard Out Here” is a cheeky celebration of feminism and in typical Lily Allen humor, she really takes the piss out of everyone with this song. Love huh.
Once again, thanks to Ghosts of the Stratosphere for letting us take over for a hot second. There are so many more songs we could have put on this list, but we didn’t want to be total wind bags on someone else’s blog. We do that enough on our own podcast! 😉 Party on, kids!