The 2010’s included the most transformative years of my life. I started off the decade as a kid in elementary school and ended it as a second-year college student. Special years like these would not be complete without the music I listened to during those times. Although some songs were not released in the same years that I listened to them, they are all associated with some of my favorite memories of the decade. Here are the top 15 songs that represent the playlist of my 2010’s:
- “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift (2010)
Of course we have to start off this playlist with the most iconic artist of the decade. Taylor Swift songs always bring back such wholesome childhood memories. The first time I heard “Speak Now” was during a sleepover with my best friends. We were supposed to be sleeping because we had a softball game the next day, but we kept giggling and singing the song over and over until we eventually knocked out.
- “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele (2010)
“Rolling in the Deep” is incredibly special to me because I sang it for my school’s talent show in sixth grade. It was my first time singing a powerful song in front of a large audience, and it helped me realize I had a passion for singing and performing. Not to mention, it also goes hard.
- “Up All Night” by One Direction (2011)
Like many other pre-teens, I went through a major One Direction phase. During the summer before seventh grade, my friends and I made up a dance to “Up All Night,” which we got our parents to record. I also made a music video to this song the following year. I just recently found all the videos again, and they are horrifyingly embarrasing, but hey- simple things like that made me happy. I was able to see One Direction live at the 2015 Jingle Ball, which was one of their very last performances ever. My middle school self was quaking.
- “Wild Heart” by The Vamps (2013)
Ah yes, the continuation of my boy band phase. My obsession with The Vamps began at the end of my eighth grade year when I first saw the music video for “Wild Heart” and fell in love with both the song and the lead singer, Bradley Simpson. For a while, The Vamps were all I could talk about, and I was actually lucky enough to see them live twice and meet them! I also had an Instagram fan account for them. Yeah, it was embarrassing…
- “She Looks So Perfect” by 5 Seconds of Summer (2014)
And… one last band obsession! I started listening to 5 Seconds of Summer because a lot of people that I followed with my Vamps fan account also listened to them. “She Looks So Perfect” was constantly on the radio when I was in middle school, but I did not think much of it. However, by the end of summer 2014, that song hit different and I was hooked on their album. I saw them live in concert during my freshman year of high school and also at Jingle Ball 2015.
- “One Day More” by Les Misérables Cast (2012)
During my freshman year of high school, I started getting into Les Misérables because I had a crush on Eddie Redmayne, who plays Marius in the movie. While watching the movie, I fell in love with all of the songs, especially “One Day More.” Les Mis kicked off my obsession with musicals, which is still going strong, so we can thank Eddie Redmayne for that. I saw two live performances of the song, once at the Pantages for the musical, and once at a Hugh Jackman show. My eyes were filled with tears during both.
- “YOUTH” by Troye Sivan (2015)
Troye Sivan was one of my most-streamed artists in high school. Funny story: sophomore year, I saw a tweet with a video of “Bet on It” from High School Musical 2. Except instead of “Bet on It,” Troy Bolton was dancing to the chorus of “YOUTH,” and it fit perfectly. That is when I realized the song was a major bop and added it to my Spring 2016 playlist.
- “Bad Things” by Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello (2016)
“Bad Things” brings back so many memories of the fall of my junior year. It was on all of my playlists, and I remember it always being stuck in my head. I feel like I was constantly singing it, whether I was belting it out while giving my dog a bath or humming its tune with my best friend during our AP Lang class.
- “Final Song” by MØ (2016)
“Final Song” encapsulates the spring 2017 softball season of junior year. One of my teammates was obsessed with it and played the song whenever she got the chance. Soon enough, I fell in love with it too and listened to it nonstop. It is just one of those songs that exudes good vibes no matter what.
- “Cleopatra” by The Lumineers (2016)
The first time I heard “Cleopatra” was senior year during a bus ride on the way back home from a softball game. The weather was a bit gloomy, it had just started to drizzle, and we were on a road surrounded by fields and hills. I had my headphones in, and I remember everything feeling extremely peaceful. It was the perfect song for that moment, and it is still one of my favorite songs today.
- “Breezeblocks” by alt-J (2012)
Although this song was released way before my senior year, it resurfaced through a Spotify playlist that I was listening to while driving on a Saturday morning. It became part of my Spring 2018 playlist, and I remember playing it almost every morning before school and jamming to it with my sister.
- “Sister Golden Hair” by America (1975)
I first heard “Sister Golden Hair” in the movie Miss Stevens. The song holds a special place in my heart because I always played it while driving during my last few months of high school. It is what made me realize how much I love the beauty and simplicity of my hometown. It really induced nostalgia and added to the bittersweet feeling of graduating and moving onto new chapters of life.
- “Chateau” by Angus and Julia Stone (2017)
Hands down, one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. “Chateau” was on my playlist the summer right before I started college. It makes you want to be young and in love, experiencing all the cheesy things you see in rom coms. Just watch the music video, and you will know what I mean.
- “Almost (Sweet Music)” by Hozier (2019)
Hozier is a musical genius. “Almost (Sweet Music)” was one of the first singles off his new album Wasteland, Baby!. I listened to it all the time while walking through campus freshman year, and I loved it so much that I learned the song’s clapping breakdown. The stunning music video also stars the gifted and forever-loved Cameron Boyce.
- “All I Want” by Olivia Rodrigo (2019)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was pretty much the only thing keeping me going during this past finals season of my sophomore year. One of my favorite songs from the show is “All I Want,” which was written by the talented Olivia Rodrigo herself. I never get tired of singing this song while playing it on the piano. “All I Want” was the perfect tune for the conclusion of my decade.
This past decade was a time of major change, and it gave me some of the best memories I could ever ask for. Thankfully, music has the power of taking me back to those simple moments that brought me immense joy. I cannot wait for what 2020 has in store, as I know I will definitely be making more memories and playlists along the way.