Writers reflect on songs of the decade


Illustration by Emily Brinkman

The decade is coming to an end, meaning it is time to discuss what songs have stood out and defined the 2010s. With this being the final issue of the Student Printz for the decade, the staff has come together to decide on what songs have truly made a lasting impact. These are the top five of the Student Printz writers’ favorite songs released in the past ten years. 

1. Arctic Monkeys- “Do I Wanna Know?” (2013)

Written by Morgan Usry

“Do I Wanna Know?” is an emotional song that embodies the feeling of longing like no other song of the 2010s. The way lead singer Alex Turner yearns about unrequited love is enough to move anyone and is a predicament nearly everyone can relate to. 

The entire song is amazing, but the second half is where it takes off into something more. The multiple levels of sound and vocals create a rich listening experience like no other. The music video for “Do I Wanna Know?” adds to its iconic status. With over 900 million views and consisting of vibrating lines in the form of sound waves and line drawings, the video enhances the song in an extraordinary way.

2. Gorillaz- “On Melancholy Hill” (2010)

Written by Brian Winters

“On Melancholy Hill” is the Gorillaz song that got me back into the Gorillaz. The last time I listened to Gorillaz was in 2006, so hearing “On Melancholy Hill” for the first time in 2010 brought me back to my early life and the love I had for the band.

The music is calming and more mellow than previous Gorillaz songs. To me, the song gives off a sense of relaxation. The music video – which if you have not seen, I suggest watching – adds to that relaxation. The music video is basically just submarines going through the ocean until they make it to Plastic Beach. “On Melancholy Hill” perfectly reminded me of the love I had for Gorillaz and reignited the love I still have for the band.

3. Beyoncé- “Formation” (2016)

Written by Kaylyn Jones

Beyoncé came in swinging with her song and music video, “Formation,” proving that you can be fun, political and empowering. Both the song and music video masterfully intermingle black empowerment and issues. 

Beyoncé proudly sings about loving where she came from and her roots as she puts her culture in your face with afros and hot sauce. She brought amazing imagery and real-life audio of flooding in New Orleans to call out the incompetence and racial implications of the handling of Hurricane Katrina. 

4. Kacey Musgraves- “Golden Hour” (2018)

Written by Ashlyn Levins

The song “Golden Hour” is a smooth and attractive mix between country and disco rhythm. Throughout the album of the same name, Musgraves creates a sense of awareness of the world around her, as if it is all new to her. 

The album’s title track relates this awareness to the time of day and tone of light. This song, along with the rest of the album, breathes feelings and embraces happiness. “Golden Hour” speaks to Musgraves’ evolution from country-pop to a new tone that calls for strings, boldness and the appreciation of beauty.

5. Childish Gambino- “This Is America” (2018)

Written by Conrad Acosta

“This is America” by Childish Gambino is a perfect example of the magic that can happen when different mediums of art collide. The song, released amid the heated discourse surrounding gun violence in America, uses a variety of creative methods to show the listeners what America looks like through the metaphorical lens that Gambino provides. 

The rhythm is short and punchy, giving the lyrics plenty of impact and allowing the meaning behind the words to take center stage. The real beauty of the song, however, is found in its music video which features a choreographed tour through the chaotic landscape that is meant to represent an America riddled with gun violence. 

Honorable mentions:

6. Adele- “Rolling in the Deep” (2010)

7. The Chainsmokers- “Closer” (2016)

8. Post Malone, Swae Lee- “Sunflower” (2018)

9. Hozier- “Take Me To Church” (2013)

10. Lana Del Rey- “Video Games” (2011)