The SiC 200: Our Favorite Songs From 2010-2014 (Group 1)

Five years and counting of Speakers in Code, and we have finally decided to catch up with ourselves. This isn't so much of a list than it is a collection of all the songs we love in one place. So, we're not calling it "The Best Songs..." We're just calling them our favorites from 2010-2014 -- no more, no less.

They are listed in groups of 50. In no particular order. We couldn't rank these gems if we tried.

But, we did write a line or two about them, so we hope you enjoy that, too.

(Note: Songs released in 2015 are not included.)

Find them below, starting with Group 1, and on these pages:


Listen to each song individually, or subscribe to the majority of the list on Spotify here.

Full list:

Speakers in Code

"A Little Bit of Everything" - Dawes

When I saw Dawes perform this at Lollapalooza a few years ago, Taylor Goldsmith sang "stupid fucking ring" instead of "stupid little ring" and it sort of made sense and it really gave me the chills. One word, that's all it takes sometimes. Seriously, though, what a timeless, amazing song this is. 

Damien Jurado - "Working Titles"

Quite literally all I can say about this song is to quote lyrics at you, from late in a verse: You wrote about me on every new record / And I'll show up in a title of your song / I only hope somebody requests it. It's another song about hope -- those have been my favorites over the last few years for a lot of reasons -- but it's one that doesn't guarantee a happy ending. The idea that a song might not be the one requested just wrenches at all the softest spots in my heart, and something about Jurado's rhythmic lyrical delivery doubles that resonance.

"Post Script" - Typhoon

Unconditional. Whenever that word is used in a song, and when the song is as good as "Post Script," it always leaves a mark on me.

"One Sunday Morning" - Wilco

A long, long Wilco song that closes The Whole Love, and it used to open many of their shows. "Bless my mind I miss being told how to live."

"Fire's Highway" - Japandroids

Rock for the sake of rocking is hard to do, but when it's Japandroids, you can always count on quality. And here's the best start I can give you.

Arcade Fire - "We Used to Wait"

From the opening repetitive plunk of that piano, you know you’re in for something emotional. The song delivers, painting a picture of the disposable nature of our surrounding, lifestyles and ultimately lives. Downtown will become wilderness again one day – we just won’t be here to see it.

"Sweet Ride" - Courtney Jaye

Sweet, sweet Courtney Jaye. I dare you not to fall in love with her voice on "Sweet Ride." I certainly did, and I've never ever ever let go. 

"The Hours" - Beach House

I went into my first Beach House concert almost cold. I knew two songs; I did not know "The Hours." But some woman standing in front of me was doing this sort of gypsy dance to it, and it had me hooked. Now, I can't get enough.

"Honey & I" - Haim

If you think Haim hasn't exploded yet, wait until they open for Taylor Swift this summer. This is their best song.

"The Weary Kind" - Ryan Bingham

"This ain't no place to fall behind." That line really resonated with me a couple years ago at the exact moment I needed to hear it.

Bon Iver - "Perth"

Atmosphere y’all. Pure, heavy, soul crushing atmosphere. It’s a song that incites cinematic visions in even the lamest of souls. The marching roll of those drums, flowing guitars and lyrics that hearken back to each and every heartbreak we’ve experienced throughout life. But in the end, it suggests a ray of sunshine – gawd is it needed after crying through the first 2/3 of the track.

"The Woodpile" - Frightened Rabbit

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit has written some of my favorite songs, including "Poke," "Yes I Would," "My Backwards Walk," and this amazing freaking song that I still repeat whenever I hear it. "Would you come back to my corner?"

"Pauvre Coeur" - Jillette Johnson

One of my favorite singers, writers, artists. Jillette Johnson has it all, and if you don't know her already, just give it time.

"Rambling Man" - Laura Marling

"But if I sit here and weep, I'll be blown over by the slightest of breeze." That's another way of saying, "don't feel sorry for yourself, but Laura Marling never did take the easy road in songwriting.

Jason Isbell - "Cover Me Up"

If this song doesn't make you want to fall in love just so you can put it on a mix for someone, I think you might be doing life wrong. Southeastern is full of genius songwriting, and "Elephant" deservedly got a huge amount of praise, and "Stockholm" was on my favorite songs of 2013 list when I made that list, but "Cover Me Up" remains the one that I love the most, and play the most. 

"Copenhagen" - Lucinda Williams

"You have disappeared," sings Lucinda Williams. "You have been released." About the death of her manager and friend, Frank Callari. Not many can write a song like Williams. 

"Putting the Dog To Sleep" - The Antlers

One of the saddest songs I know by one of the best live bands I know. The other song by them you need to hear is called "Two." Well, come to think of it, there are many songs by The Antlers you need to know. But, it's 2015, and there's like two hundred streaming services that all will tell you they're the best. So, get to work.

"Killed the Lord, Left For the New World" - This Will Destroy You

This ethereal masterpiece will aid in your quest to transcend space and time. Listen late at night while stargazing.

"Hard Way Home" - Brandi Carlile

I tell everyone who will give me a few seconds about Brandi Carlile. Problem is, I've come to believe most of them think she is some kind of coffee house singer-songwriter, which is simply not true. She's one of the most dynamic artists that I know, and I can still sing every freaking word to this song.

"Goddess" - Banks

If image means anything, and I believe it does, then Banks is a master of creating some kind of dark, brooding pop-electronic persona. Hundred bucks says her blood is red and black. "Fucking with a goddess and you get a little colder..."

Josh Ritter - "Hopeful"

This song. My God, this song. This song was my light at the darkest point in a long, dark set of years. My days are much lighter now, but this song still resonates in that spot right under your ribcage where the best songs resonate.

Courtney Barnett – "Avant Gardner"

I’ve learned throughout life many people don’t listen to lyrics. They’re stupid – and here’s proof. Courtney Barnett pulls off everything from poetry, to plays on words, to hidden drug references, all in the same song. She’s the Jimmy Page of lyric writing, and she’s only 4? years old! God help us if she continues to get better than this…

"Lonely Fortunes" - Ha Ha Tonka

"We're never gonna have much," Brian Roberts of Ha Ha Tonka sings on "Lonely Fortunes." "Myself I'd take such as a compliment." This song still really takes me back to one of the best periods of my life. And it probably always will.

The National – "Bloodbuzz Ohio"

If I were a betting man, I’d place five whole dollars on the probable fact I’ve sung “I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bee-ees” more than any other lyric I’ve ever memorized. I sang it showering, driving and vacuuming the carpet. Actually, insert any situation here, and I probably at least hummed that lyric during it. Holy shit I just did it while writing.

"Gimme Something Good" - Ryan Adams

This is why Ryan Adams is still more than relevant: he can take off as much time as he wants and deliver a song like "Gimme Something Good." 

"Everything is Embarrassing" - Sky Ferreira

"You know I'm tryin', I was always tryin'." With the help of Dev Hynes, Sky Ferreira can't possibly be beat. Here's a great performance of it.

"The Storm" - Geoffrey Louis Koch

"Sometimes the one you love dies before forever ends." This is exactly why Geoffrey Louis Koch is a great songwriter. Epic song.

"Circuital" - My Morning Jacket

I still wanna drive 100 mph rolling down an open freeway listening to this song. One day. Yes, one sweet day.

"Ramada Inn" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse

"She loves him so, she does what she has to." Probably Neil's best song in the last 10 years. I love cranking it on vinyl and just letting it rip. Wish I could see him with the Horse one last time.

"Half Moon" - Blind Pilot

"So hold up high how faint your reasons / Don't you forget you come from nothing." This is a dear, dear song to me for reasons that I can't possibly explain. I have a t-shirt that displays these words, though, so if you ever see me wearing it, ask, and I might tell you. 

"Dear in Your Headlights" - Blondfire

"I don't want to be like that, I don't want to be like you." The opening is still immediate thunder every single time I hear it: it just makes me wanna dance. Not every Blondfire song is the same, but the best ones make me want to forget my worries and just slip away.

"Chosen" - Blood Orange

From the spoken intro to the magical way Dev Hynes sings the chorus. This man just bleeds creativity and passion, breaking barriers along the way. "Another day and I'll lose / But I don't want to choose." What does that mean to you? 

"Gunshot" - Lykke Li

One shot, that's all you get. And sometimes it's a gun shot from Lykke Li.

"Bruises" - Band of Skulls

I simply love the unpredictable pace of this song.

"Loud Song" - Old Lights

What happened to St. Louis' Old Lights? Because I need more songs like this. Love the long intro.

"Miracle Mile" - Cold War Kids

"I'll be alright if I could just see you." Haven't we all felt like that at least a hundred times in our lives? But you gotta hear Nathan Willett belt it out. That's the sauce right there.

"Psychopaths" - Collin Herring

"What are you running for again?" Whatever it is that makes this song tick -- anger, curiosity -- I loved it from the first listen. And I'm still not tired of it. Hell, the whole album, Some Knives, is wonderful

Taylor Swift - "Blank Space"

I hadn't given Taylor Swift much thought before 2014, aside from having spent six days in 2012 obsessed with "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together", but last year, my boyfriend and I were long distance, and one of the ways we stayed close while not seeing each other as much as we'd have liked was to listen to the same podcasts, and then dissect them. And those podcasts we shared were all, to a fault, obsessed with, in a good way, Taylor Swift. So by July I found myself kind of stockholmed into caring about Tay Tay, and by the time 1989 dropped, I genuinely cared about Tay Tay, and that record became another thing that my guy and I shared an obsession with. So "Blank Space" might be a song about a trainwreck of a relationship, to me it's a dance party in my living room and a turntable I bought for him just so we could listen to "Blank Space" over and over on repeat on vinyl. And also, come on: that video is amazing. I've always wanted to ride a horse standing on its back.

"Sirens" - Pearl Jam

The more mainstream side of Pearl Jam can still be very, very good, and "Sirens" is one of the best songs the band has recorded in the last decade. "I didn't care before you were here." Thanks, Eddie.

"Atomic Man" - Portugal. The Man

"After you, Hell should be easy." Or easier. Whatever the case may be, Portugal. The Man keeps getting better because they don't take it easy.

"Desert Island Feeling" - Mutual Benefit

This song works well late at night while alone and contemplating issues of the self or interpersonal relationships. I have been coming back to this song for years and it always helps me traverse difficult emotional states.

"Gold on the Ceiling" - The Black Keys

I didn't really "get" this song until I heard it live, and then I couldn't stop playing it for weeks. 

"Change" - Kopecky

"And don't you know...don't you know you're made for me." We change, we grow, we move apart. And sometimes we come back. 

"Gone Again" - Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

I first experienced Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band while they were on tour with Dead Confederate in September 2010. My friends and I were the only people at Cat's Cradle early enough to catch their opening slot, and it was a transformative experience. The timbral richness and odd-time grooves inspired me, but I still remember the awe-inspiring experience of seeing "Gone Again" performed live. Slow to build but extremely gratifying, "Gone Again" is catharsis at a tectonic pace.

"Swimmer..." - Amanda Shires

When she sings, "The way you walked into the room..." well, my heart kinda moves. You know that feeling?

"Still Into You" - Paramore

I dare you. DARE YOU to reason with me why this isn't one of the best pop songs in the last 5 or so years. Hayley 4 lyfe.

"Hero" - Family of the Year

You probably know it from the excellent film, Boyhood, but I know it from randomly hearing it at Lollapalooza in the afternoon sun a few years back. See, music festivals serve a musical purpose.

"I Am Not Waiting Anymore" - Field Report

Any song that talks about a being in a "windowless room on a credit card" has my attention. 

"A Little Less" - Jill Andrews

"A little road somewhere." See, that's what makes this song great -- just that little, perfect opening. 

"Nobody Dies Anymore" - Tweedy

The more I listen to Sukierae, Tweedy's debut album, the more I love it. And there is something about this song -- the way that it refuses to speed up, the way that Jeff Tweedy sings, the way that it ends with, "I love how every song ends."