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Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of the 2010s, Ranked

December 11, 2019

(via Unsplash)

When it comes to selecting a personal “best” song, there’s so much more that goes into it than how far it charted on the Billboard Top 40. In fact, that doesn’t play a role to me at all.

What matters is how I felt about the song during its prime, if I feel the same way about the song now, if it had a legitimate “moment” in my life and if it brought some kind of unique sound or formula to the table. With each of these factors in mind, I’ve spent literally all of 2019 jotting down all my most monumental songs of the decade in a notebook as I thought of them.

With 10 years to account for, obviously a slew of songs came to mind. And while I’d have to say music basically died after 2014, the earlier years of the decade brought some of the most iconic songs of all time. Keep reading for skyelyfe’s 20 best songs of the 2010s, ranked. *Note: I left out all remixes even though some were absolutely amazing.

20. ‘Wide Awake’ – Katy Perry (2012)

While probably the last single you think of when you look back on Katy Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection album, “Wide Awake” was not only a powerful ballad from the characteristically gimmicky singer, but also one that came out during a trying time in my personal life when I felt like the world was crashing down on me and I was trying to recover from a rough patch. I found the song to be therapeutic in many ways, and I highly respect that this is a detour from much of the singer’s other work.

19. ‘Ice Tray’ – Quality Control, Quavo, Lil Yachty (2017)

This is simply the quintessential song you want to hear on a night out. I can’t tell you how many times I danced to this after-hours. The dark, pulsating track even managed to make Joe Budden relevant again for a hot sec. Had the song come out earlier in the decade, it would have made an even bigger impact, but it definitely holds a special place as one of the best of the latter years.

(via YouTube)

18. ‘I Met You’ – Anna Lunoe + Flume (2012)

2012 was such a year for electronic music. The genre expanded in so many ways, and I was absolutely obsessed with this track. I remember playing this and No. 17 interchangeably nonstop all throughout my work days that year. I very much miss this musical moment.

17. ‘All My Life’ – Gigamesh f./ Jana Nyberg (2012)

Much like the aforementioned track, this was on my Spotify rotation nonstop in 2012—so much so that the app listed it as my most listened to song of that year (not shocking!). Still when I hear it to this day, I don’t like it any less.

(via YouTube)

16. ‘The North’ – Summer Heart (2011)

Summer Heart seemingly came out of nowhere, and this song is hands down one of the most beautifully melodic tracks I’ve ever heard. Not to be fooled by the artist’s name, this song had every bit of a solemn fall vibe, accompanying the season swimmingly that year.

15. ‘Dreaming’ – The Knocks (2014)

The Knocks stole my heart in 2014, and I’ve seen them live countless times since. Their infectious energy lights up a stage, and I truly can’t think of a livelier duo. “Dreaming” is every bit the upbeat track that got me on my feet in 2014 (even when the year got me down).

(via YouTube)

14. ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing (2012)

Seriously bless Wild Nothing. They were my most listened to act of 2012 on Spotify, and have truly never let me down since. They encapsulate everything I could possibly want in a band, with their light, dreamy alt. rock melodies. I can seriously listen to “Nocturne” (and its album of the same name) forever. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

13. ‘Silhouettes’ – Avicii (2012)

Avicii’s tragic death last year was by far one of the most impactful and saddening. Not only a legendary trendsetter in electronic music, the Swedish DJ didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body (at least from what we know). On top of it all, he created some forever memorable tracks, including what I consider his most underrated, “Silhouettes.” This song takes me back to his then-signature sound when he first hit the scene with “Levels” in 2011. RIP, Avicii.

(via YouTube)

12. ‘Operate’ – ASTR (2013)

Short-lived electronic R&B duo ASTR was an act I found from my old-school favorite indie music blog BitCandy, and I instantly fell in love with them. They disbanded after 2015, but in their time together, Zoe Silverman and Adam Pallin released two insanely outstanding EPs that will forever hold a place in my heart. “Operate” was the first single they released, and therefore the most legendary. I got my entire group of friends hooked, and therefore they definitely made a large dent in my musical memories of the decade.

11. ‘L.A. Lights’ – Grum (2010)

There’s no song like this one (or like the album Heartbeats) on this list. In a shocking move, Grum (aka Graeme Shepherd) went from a retro synth sound to joining the Anjunabeats label going full-force trance. Prior to his musical transition, he released “L.A. Lights,” a beautiful melody that felt ever so fitting to my many late nights under the… L.A. lights.

10. ‘I Get the Bag’ – Gucci Mane f./ Migos (2017)

Out of what was one of the most atrocious years in hip-hop (hip-pop?) came “I Get the Bag,” the Metro Boomin-produced track that made me give Migos a fair chance (I wasn’t big on “Bad and Boujee”). As a longtime fan of Gucci, he absolutely delivers here, on what was one of the best rap songs of the latter part of the decade.

9. ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ – Ke$ha (2010)

And this is where we cue the tears! 2010 was such a magical year for music, and Ke$ha (with then-dollar sign) was a huge proponent of that. Her album Animal came out on the very first day of the decade, setting the precedent for what was probably the best year of my life. This song, album, era brings back so many memories. I know the singer’s in a much healthier, better place now, following her horrifying experience with Dr. Luke, but there’s no denying her songs from the early 2010s will never compare to anything present.

(via YouTube)

8. ‘In the Morning’ – ZHU + Kaskade (2016)

This was my No. 1 song of 2016, and there’s no doubt in my mind why. I only knew like one song by ZHU at this point, but the collab with Kaskade was perfectly executed into melodic bliss, setting the tone for not just my Coachella vibe that year, but for the year as a whole.

7. ‘Slow Love’ – MØ (2014)

I found MØ on the brink of her No Mythologies to Follow album release, and it was a game changer. The unique style of songs is solid from head to toe, and Slow Love sounds like nothing else I’ve heard from her (or any other artist for that matter). According to Spotify, it was my most listened to song of 2014, and according to my blog, the song and the album were both my No. 1 picks of that year.

6. ‘Skin’ – Rihanna (2010)

Name a sexier song of this decade—I’ll wait. Rihanna took her provocative nature to new heights with this dark, alluring melody and bold lyrics to match. While definitely one of her most underrated songs of all-time, it’s hands down one of the best (especially if you were around to improvise an accompanying music video with my group of friends).

5. ‘Loyal’ – Chris Brown f./ Lil Wayne + Tyga (2013)

This classic came out at the very end of 2013, but definitely made its mark the following year. Between the video and Nic Nac beats’ music production, this trio of artists nailed it on what became the party anthem of 2014, in an otherwise lackluster year of hip-hop.

(via YouTube)

4. ‘What’s My Name?’ – Rihanna f./ Drake (2010)

Whenever these 2010 songs come up, I get super nostalgic. I literally remember exactly where I was and how I felt at the peak of these tracks. Rihanna’s Loud album was a surefire favorite of that year, and this was without question the best song that came from it. Major fall/winter vibes I will absolutely never forget.

3. ‘Super Bass’ – Nicki Minaj (2011)

Ah, simpler times. “Super Bass” epitomizes the old-school, inspiring, happy-go-lucky vibe Nicki Minaj’s music brought the world when she first stepped on the scene. Her Pink Friday album felt so pure, and to this day, no “love song” in the hip-hop genre has topped “Super Bass.” Every bit upbeat and sweet, even in my crazy year known as 2011, this song helped keep me sane.

(via YouTube)

2. ‘Ayo’ – Chris Brown f./ Tyga (2015)

This song needs no introduction. If you’ve ever been in an Uber with me, at a house party or in my living room, then you’re no stranger to this Nic Nac beats-produced track. As my most-played song of the whole decade, it absolutely deserves this No. 2 ranking.

1. ‘Teenage Dream’ – Katy Perry (2010)

And now, for the ultimate tearjerker… talk about the good ol’ days! “Teenage Dream” epitomizes carefree bliss and everything light that pop represented early in the decade. It’s easy to forget Katy Perry released one of the best pop albums of all-time, and I think I speak for everyone reading this that no pop song (or Katy Perry song, for that matter) will ever compare to this one.

(via YouTube)

Listen to the entire playlist below (and come back next week for my top 20 honorable mentions of the decade):

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Music

44 New Songs to Be Thankful for This November, Including Tracks by Ghost Loft, MØ and Bon Iver

November 7, 2017

November is without question one of the best months of the year.

The laidback feel of fall, combined with the excitement leading up to Thanksgiving, can produce a wealth of happy emotions.

While we’re in thankful mode, why not add new music to our list of necessary gratitude? As we know, music warms our soul, keeps us dancing, heightens our mood, helps us capture memories and is the soundtrack to our relationships. So, take these 44 new songs I bring you this month and embrace not only the beautiful season, but the wonderful vibe these tracks create.

Not to mention, listening to this playlist will give you something to do when your relatives get the best of you at Thanksgiving dinner!

Keep scrolling for fresh new music from Ghost Loft, , Bon Iver, Autograf, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, The Brinks, Miranda GloryMansions on the Moon and many more:

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Music

Cavaliers of Fun, MØ, Classixx & 17 More Artists: New Music Monday!

May 16, 2016

Cavaliers-of-fun-skyelyfeYour guess is as good as mine when it comes to the meaning behind Cavaliers of Fun‘s interesting selection of songs – but like their name suggests, they are, indeed, fun.

They just released their debut album Astral Division and the title track has been playing in my car on repeat. Their Facebook page refers to their music as “space electropop,” and their hometown is listed as “a distant galaxy.” Works for me!

COF are just one of the 20 artists featured in this week’s New Music Monday playlist.  has a lovely new track “Final Song,” while Classixx is back at it with “I Feel Numb,” featuring Alex Frankel.

Kygo released his long-awaited debut album Cloud Nine, so I’ve included “Raging,” featuring Kodaline. We’ve also got some new material from One Republic, Ladyhawke, MNEK, Paperwhite and CHVRCHES.

Click through the playlist below for the full set of songs – and as an added bonus, keep scrolling for a new music video for the song “Rebel Heart,” by The Shelters. The song was co-produced by Tom Petty and the video was co-directed by his daughter Adria.

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Music

DJ Snake, DJ Khaled, GEMS, White Sea & More: New Music Monday!

October 19, 2015

DJ-Snake-Middle-ft.-Bipolar-Sunshine-skyelyfeWoohoo! I’m seriously loving this week’s fun mix of New Music Monday tracks!

If I feel like kicking things up a notch, I’ve got DJ Snake‘s “Middle,” featuring Bipolar Sunshine. I also have Bit Funk‘s “Off the Ground,” Jacob Plant‘s “Reflections,” and Maduk and Logistics‘ “Solarize.”

If I feel like mellowing out, there’s “w/o u” by GEMS, “Never a Woman,” by White Sea, Monogem‘s “Gone,” Kill J‘s “You’re Good But I’m Better,” RAC‘s mix of On and On‘s “Drifting,” Dinka‘s “Breathe” and Leisure’s “All Over You.”

And I’ll never turn down a good hip-hop track. This week, we’ve got DJ Khaled‘s “Gold Slugs,” featuring Chris Brown and August Alsina – and Goodbye Tomorrow‘s “Noone or Nothing”

Click on the playlist below for 19 fresh tracks, also including , Minnesota, Andrew Ripp and Chairlift:

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Music

Coachella 2015: This 64-Song Festival Playlist Will Keep You Busy While Venturing Through Desert-Bound Traffic!

April 8, 2015

CoachellaDid it take far too much effort to rummage through the seemingly endless list of Coachella performers to weed out who you want to see live, aside from the obvious (I’m looking at you, Drake, RAC, St. Lucia, Tycho, , Odesza)?

Well, rest assured, I have a good grasp on the acts this year and I’ve got your must-sees covered. From my newer discoveries Alison Wonderland and Coyote Kisses, to some longtime favorites Kaskade and Nero, there is a slew of solid music options between Friday and Sunday for your listening pleasure.

So, whether you’re packing your bags for the big weekend that lies ahead, or you’re getting in your car to head to the festival, sit back, relax, and listen to this playlist of 64 artists worth seeing at Coachella!

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Music

Kate Boy, Major Lazer, Borgeous, Chelsea Lankes & 18 More Artists: New Music Monday, 3.9.15

March 9, 2015

kateboyhigherDid Daylight Savings Time leave you feeling a little unenergized this AM?

Fear not, because I have 22 songs that are certain to get you going today as part of this week’s New Music Monday!

There’s a little something for everyone this time around, ranging from that Houston rap sound you know and love by Paul Wall (featuring Alley Cat and Frank Wyle) to some disco house by Kali, pop by Kelly Clarkson and pure soft melody by Cinnamon Chasers.

What I’m especially feeling this week is Kate Boy‘s “Higher.” The Stockholm-based electro-pop trio has been featured on skyelyfe before. They’ve only released a handful of songs since coming on the scene in 2013, but everything they touch is pure perfection, so I’ll accept quality over quantity, as much as I’d like to hear more!

Major Lazer‘s upbeat collaboration “Lean On” with (a favorite of mine) and DJ Snake was a huge cyber success and I am also a huge fan of this debut track off ML’s forthcoming album.

In addition, Borgeous featuring Delane‘s melodic EDM track “This Could Be Love” is catchy, and I’m still totally digging sexy-sounding Chelsea Lankes (who I also wrote about last week). This week, give a listen to her latest, “Too Young to Fall in Love.”

And if you’re a fan of Deorro‘s “Five Hours” like I am, you’ll love “Five More Hours,” which is a vocal extension of the original and it features Chris Brown (so the combo of the two is just perfect!)

Scroll through the playlist below for a slew of fresh tracks, which also includes a poppy melodic “Problems Problems” by Frankie, Urban Cone‘s “Come Back to Me,” featuring vocals by Tove Lo, and much more!

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Best & Worst of Music in 2014

November 15, 2014

BreezySome folks may beg to differ, but I’m just going to say it (in my own humble opinion, of course): 2014 was the most unsatisfying year in pop music that I can remember. Ok, Taylor Swift came through in the clutch at the end of the year with an album that took the world by storm. And there’s no denying that Ariana Grande is a cutie who can sing (even though her music doesn’t personally appeal to me). Obviously Sam Smith‘s music has a way with the ladies. And I have nothing but love for Tove Lo and Banks. But aside from that, hardly anything on the radio except for Chris Brown (despite his personal woes) resonated with me this year.

In the past, I could at least depend on a good hook in a commercial rap song to get me by, but even the so-called “hip-hop” this year was beyond laughable. Not only did every song sound the same, but I seriously can’t keep up with who anyone is or what gimmicky nonsense they’re talking about anymore. I mean, even Drake, who usually never lets me down, had me scratching my head in 2014.

That said, this is why I turn more and more to alternative avenues to find good music. From MØ‘s No Mythologies to Follow, to Tensnake‘s Glow, among many others, the year did indeed produce sounds that were rewarding to the ears.

Here is skyelyfe’s favorite and least favorite music in 2014:

10 LEAST FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj

2. “Rude” – Magic!

3. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

4. “Talk Dirty” – Jason Derulo

5. “Wiggle” – Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg

6. “Don’t Tell ‘Em” – Jeremih feat. YG

7. “Problem” – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

8. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

9. “Show Me” – Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown

10. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

10 FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Slow Love” – MØ

2. “Love Sublime” – Tensnake feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora

3. “Loyal” – Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga

4. “Main Chick” – Chris Brown feat. Kid Ink

5. “Busy Baby” – Tomas Barfod feat. Nina K

6. “All of You” – Betty Who

7. “Diamonds” – Lane 8 feat. Solomon Grey

8. “Bullet Train” – Gardens & Villa

9. “Self Control” – Kate Boy

10. “Dreaming” – The Knocks

15 FAVORITE ALBUMS (in order)

1. No Mythologies to FollowMØ

2. GlowTensnake

3. X (Deluxe Version)Chris Brown

4. BlondeGhost Beach

5. GoddessBanks

6. Queen of the CloudsTove Lo

7. Dunes – Gardens & Villa

8. Awake – Tycho

9. SinglesFuture Islands

10. Noise vs. Beauty Bassnectar

11. Take Me When You GoBetty Who

12. PolyphonyLogistics

13. Strangers, Part IIRAC

14. Nabuma RubberbandLittle Dragon

15. Down to EarthFlight Facilities

5 FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS OR ACTS (in order)

1. Cut Copy @ Lollapalooza in Chicago

2. DWNTWN/ASTR/The Knocks @ The Echo in L.A.

3. RAC/The Knocks (Something Classic Tour) @ The Fonda Theatre in L.A.

4. Robyn & Royksopp (Do It Again Tour) @ The Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

5. Future Islands @ Coachella in Indio, CA

While you anticipate what’s musically in store for 2015, here’s a playlist of my top 50 tracks of the year (in no particular order):

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Music Uncategorized Featured

Get Ready, Music World – Hayley Kiyoko Is Coming for You, and She’s Not Doing It Quietly!

November 14, 2014


HayleyKiyoko
If a person runs a quick IMDB search on Hayley Kiyoko, her name can easily be seen as one of the next on-screen stars-on-the-rise. Having just landed a series-regular role on CBS‘ CSI: Cyber and starring as lead character Aja Leith in 2015’s hotly anticipated Jem and the Holograms movie, the 23-year-old Los Angeles native is quickly making a name for herself on camera.

But acting for Kiyoko was “never part of my plan,” she tells skyelyfe. And apparently it still isn’t – at least not necessarily longterm.

“The acting is more of how I pay rent,” she says. “I started doing it honestly to make money to build a music studio growing up like in middle school. And things just started to progress and it’s become a platform to get my name out there. It’s crazy, I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

So, what is the ultimate plan for the part-Japanese beauty?

“Music is my number one passion,” says Kiyoko, whose second EP, This Side of Paradise, releases in February. “I love songwriting and performing on the stage. That’s what I’m really putting all of my energy into. When I finish [CSI], I’m going to be going on tour. A lot of people think that acting is my main thing, but it’s not. I think my fans know that, but people just looking me up might be like, ‘Oh, who’s this? She’s trying to do music?’ But that’s not me, I’ve always been into music. I really want to create a brand within my music with my name and I’m starting it from the ground-up.”

That said, she is by no means knocking the incredible opportunities that have come her way outside of being in the studio.

“It’s really cool,” she says of her gig playing TV’s Raven Ramirez. “I’ve never had like a steady job. I never planned on being a series regular on a show. I’m just like going with the flow. It’s been fun. I’m going to be a tech hacker and play a really smart person. My brother was like, ‘Why do you always play smart people?’ I was like, ‘Thanks a lot. Thanks, I really appreciate it.’ The cast is all really nice and the crew is so nice. It’s cool. I grew up doing plays and musical theater, so it kind of feels like being in a production like that, that never ends.”

Acting aside, the starlet reiterates, “This past year has just been focused on making good music just for myself and that I really get excited about.”

Citing Sia Furler and Metric‘s Emily Haines as two of her longtime musical influences, Kiyoko also gets into some Frank Ocean and Chris Brown.

“That’s what’s exciting about music, though,” she says. “It’s always changing and it’s always exciting and you’re never doing the same thing.”

And speaking of changing music, Kiyoko, who just released the video (see below) for her new single “This Side of Paradise,” likes this new “left-of-center pop” that is currently trending.

“I think there’s a lot of great music coming out right now,” she says. “Like with The Neighbourhood and Tove Lo and Lorde. It’s pop, but it’s not like the normal Katy Perry-type stuff. So I think that’s opening a new avenue for artists like me and other people. They’re still catchy, but not, you know, the simple pop equation. With [my upcoming EP], it’s definitely pop in the sense of melodically it sticks in your head, but it’s a lot of hip-hop and 808s and drumbeats.”

But, Kiyoko clarifies, “I don’t think there’s anything out there right now that sounds exactly like me. I take bits and pieces from other artists and mash it into my own sound. I’m hoping my sound sounds fresh to people.”

She adds: “I don’t have the Christina Aguilera voice, but I have a certain charm that I think is unique and I write and produce all my music, which really sets me apart [from some other pop artists]. I’m really involved with everything. I’m creating all the artwork and T-shirts. I produce and co-direct all my music videos. My fans know me, I always stay true to myself.”

Unfortunately, admirers hoping for an L.A. run-in with Kiyoko may be disappointed to know the chances are slim.

“I just always stick to myself,” she explains. “I’m like a homebody. I don’t go out in the Hollywood scene. I only go out if I have to. I just do stuff that I love.”

And doing just that has taken Kiyoko on the dream journey to where she is now.

“It’s kind of crazy because in this industry, you’re always going through ups and downs and highs and lows,” she says. “But my life has just been great – steadily great. I’m like, what’s going to happen? Something bad is going to happen. You can’t just be happy, [I thought], but apparently you can!”

5 FUN FACTS

Last concert you went to:

I saw MØ at the Echoplex. It was crazy. She was such an amazing performer. It’s very rare to go to a concert and actually have the artist be a good performer. She really impressed me. I’m totally rooting for her. She was crowd-surfing. She’s like the ultimate rockstar.

Last time you were embarrassed:

I get embarrassed all the time. I think probably the worst thing is when you’re walking by yourself and you trip by yourself. And you nonchalantly kind of walk out of it like you meant to chase something. I do that all the time.

Last makeup item you purchased:

I don’t really wear makeup, so I don’t really buy any. I would say maybe ChapStick.

Last time you ate junk food:

Well, right now, I’m drinking a peppermint mocha Frappuccino. But I would say the last junk food was probably an orange Kit-Kat.

Last big splurge:

I just bought an iPad. I’ve been wanting to buy one for three or four years and I finally decided that I need one. I’m really excited about my purchase. I’m finally joining the world.

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Music

Need the Perfect Fall Party Playlist? Here Are 50 Songs That Will Be Playing at Mine!

October 18, 2014

A fall party playlist is nothing to be taken lightly! Next to the obligatory carved pumpkins and generous supply of booze, the perfect selection of songs is top priority. As with any gathering, there is a certain vibe to achieve, so for this little fete (I’m excitedly hosting my annual one this evening), the rap and dance will be brushed to the side for slow (Banks, Washed Out, Miike Snow) and sexy (Crazy P, , Lane 8). But a host must remember two things: It’s not winter just yet (so no Bon Iver unfortunately) and you don’t want your guests to fall asleep, so the music still has to be somewhat upbeat.

Below is the full list of what I will be playing tonight. I’m always open to fun suggestions, so feel free to chime in!

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