The SiC 200: Our Favorite Songs From 2010-2014 (Group 4)

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 -- 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, and on these pages:


Full list: 

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

Speakers in Code

"Bright Lights" - Gary Clark Jr.

When you think about it, I really don't know if there's much of a difference between John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. Oh wait, I just figured it out -- it's this song.

"Shock To My System" - Gemma Hayes

"You were right, I was half alive," Gemma Hayes sings. And really, it's the way she sings it that makes this song so delightful. Find her other work, it's wonderful.

"KMAG YOYO" - Hayes Carll

While I wait for a new Hayes Carll album, this will be playing on my stereo.

"Blue Ridge Mountain" Hurray For The Riff Raff

The multi-talented Alynda Lee Segarra leads New Orleans' Hurray For The Riff Raff. If you don't know where to start, may I suggest "Blue Ridge Mountain." Go on, stream it now.

"Me and You" - Jake Bugg

His voice isn't for everyone, but maybe that's what makes him special. Or maybe that's just what I like about music: being perfect is often a flaw.

"Head Underwater" - Jenny Lewis

"But when the walls came down, the shit got real." Again, sometimes it's only a line that makes me perk up. There's a lot of these moments on Jenny Lewis' The Voyager, but this one is the best.

"Wake Up" - Jenny Owen Youngs

I just like the way she sings. With abandon, with force, with nothing left. But there is plenty left.

M83 - "Midnight City"

 I’ve loved this song since 2011, but it was watching a friend jump out of his reception-hall-chair and literally bounce about 50 yards to the dance floor when the DJ dropped it at my wedding that cemented it in my heart forever. It will always be a song that illustrated the sheer power of pop, and its ability to make anyone and everyone a star for a moment or two.

Phosphorescent – "Song for Zula"

Strings. Sparse bass. Driving beat. They’re great – but what truly sets this song apart are the weak and seeming strained vocals that give it a sense of emotion that sets it apart. Don’t get me wrong, the entire thing comes together beautifully, but it’s the way it’s sung that makes it seem less produced than it could have.

"A New Life" - Jim James

Jim James has a knack for capturing a moment, and there is none better than the opening of "A New Life." Oh, and this line: "Let's get one thing clear, there's much more stardust when you're near."

"Erase Me" - Kid Cudi

Featuring Kanye, but does Kid Cudi really need him here? Probably not.

"Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye

I don't know what the future holds for Gotye, but I will always love this damn song.

"Runaway" - Kanye West

The best version of "Runaway"is still this one. "I'm so gifted in finding what I don't like the most."

"Blue Hotel" - Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden

Love the voice, love the guitar, love the overall atmosphere of Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden. Find their album, The Shape The Color The Feel.

"Sidecar" - Kathleen Edwards

For now, Kathleen Edwards is out of the game, having decided to open a coffee shop. But we were left with "Sidecar," so that's okay.

"Coffee Cups" - Langhorne Slim & the Law

"What are we doing up still, drinking wine out of coffee cups." Langhorne Slim and imagery go hand in hand.

"Toes" - Lights

Somewhere along the line I started to believe that pop music equaled little or no talent. I'm sorry I ever listened to that bullshit. Lights is talented as they come.

"Say Anything" - Tristan Prettyman

I used to sing this at dusk, driving down these dusty back roads, just thinking. I would listen until my mind was clear, until the stress from the day's work had vanished. A good song should do that. This does.

"Wings" - Birdy

The melody is perfect, and what I mean by that is its fucking intoxicating to the point that its immediately interesting and arresting. And, oh yeah, Birdy is only 19.

"Mountaintop Removal" - Lissie

"What's the use in making something new," Lissie sings. "If all that made us must be ruined." I could have picked three or four from Lissie's last album, but she sounds the most alive on this one.

"Colombia" - Local Natives

One of the saddest songs that exists. "Am I giving enough?"Kelcy Ayer sings. Is it ever enough? Can it ever be?

"Tennis Court" - Lorde

I'll never forget the first time I saw Lorde. She walked out in front of at least 30,000 people, and when she was totally in her groove, she performed "Tennis Court." It was only the third song of the set.

"Black Roses" - Escondido

Whenever I listen to this song, I feel as if I'm in the desert with Jessica Maros and Tyler James of Escondido. The wind is blowing, it's getting dark, and there's coyote howling. Music often does strange things to my mind, and that's when I know it's good. 

"Let Me Back In" - Explosions in the Sky

If I could make one suggestion, it would be that each and ever one of you see this amazing band live at least once in your life. And when that happens, you should be so lucky to hear this song.

"Fairytale" - Cowboy Junkies

Michael Timmins is ridiculously good at what he does: writing lyrics. Come to think of it, he's a bad ass on guitar, too, but let's stay with words for right now. His skills are on display on "Fairytale," and his sister, Margo, never sounded better.

"I Don't Want to Change You" - Damien Rice

Sometimes I get tired of the whole "Don't take no for an answer" mantra. Enter Damien Rice and when he sings, "I don't want to change your mind." How fucking beautiful and confident is that? Love or leave it, how 'bout them apples?

"Go Home" - Lucius

Young singers take note: one of the reasons why Lucius exploded is because of this song, and they way they sing it.

"Point of Creation" - Marketa Irglova

A hymn about starting new. Are all hymns like this? If not, all hymns should be sung by Marketa Irglova.

"Patti and Robert" - Mason Jennings

"Patti was a universe, complete and incomplete." That's like the perfect definition, and it somehow makes the song shine brighter than most.

"Just Friends" - Deer Tick

John McCauley is such a versatile songwriter, and "Just Friends" is exhibit A. Exhibit B is a song called "Easy." And with that I rest my case.

"I Forget Where We Were" - Ben Howard

"Hello, love, my invincible friend." Sometimes all it takes is a line like that to light up a song. It completely changed my mind on Ben Howard: from good songwriter to great songwriter.

"Guttersnipe" - Bhi Bhiman

If you ever get a chance to hear Bhi Bhiman belt this one out live, don't hesitate to get your booty to the music venue where it's gonna go down. 

"California" - Delta Spirit

Try running to this song -- seriously, it won't seem so bad (unless you're one of those people who actually like to run). Anyway. When Delta Spirit is good, they are "California" good.

San Fermin – "Sonsick"

This one was catchy to me, but it didn’t vault into “best of” territory for me until I saw it performed live, after that – it became superglued into my psyche. Like a musical laid down on wax, this song is the female perspective of a longer dialogue that runs throughout San Fermin’s eponymous debut. Male and female play equal roles, but from a song standpoint. Female wins.

Sleigh Bells – "Rill Rill"

Remember when Sleigh Bells dropped their first LP? How it was so damn loud you felt your eardrums would be pounded through your skull and rip out of the top of your head, annihilating your brain and killing you instantly? This song was the melody band-aid that kept your shit together, and unsurprisingly, it’s the one that left the most lasting impression.

"Ain't Much More To Say" - Matthew Mayfield

"I have a crippling fear of seeing you again." Do you have anyone like that in your life? (Or should I say, anyone who used to be in your life.)

"And It's Such A Drag" - Matthew Ryan

"It doesn't even make you sad." That's the worst part of breaking up, right? One person always isn't sad, or at least they play it off as such. Maybe sadness comes later. Or maybe nothing was ever real. Matthew Ryan wrote a song about all of that, and that's why it's on this list.

"Desire" - Meg Myers

There's going to come a day -- and probably very, very soon -- where Meg Myers is going to be playing this song for thousands of people. And that's going to be a great day.

"Clone" - Metric

"It's too late in the day to turn it around, or change my mind." Isn't that the truth, though? We're all enamored with this idea of "it's not too late," when the reality is that the prime of life is finite. One of Metric's best.

"Nothing To Show For" - Nathaniel Rateliff

Somewhere along the way, maybe we all fall into the trap thinking that guarantees exist. They do not. And after listening to this song for the first song, I think Nathaniel Rateliff knows that, too.

"Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" - Neko Case

Not many artists could pull a song like this off, but Neko Case is rare when it comes to authenticity. If you've never heard this, I suggest listening to it alone for the first time.

"Fires in the Backyard" - New Animal

This reminds me of dusk at summer, maybe right after a BBQ. And the lights from a nearby pool are glowing. 

"Came Back Haunted" - Nine Inch Nails

For all I know Trent Reznor hates lists like this. But hey, "Came Back Haunted" has gotten me through a workout or two, so there's that.

"Lifetime" - Noah and the Whale

Apparently, Noah and the Whale broke up on April Fool's Day. Totally thought that was a joke. Good news: we'll always have "Lifetime."

"Cigarettes" - Noah Gundersen

Comparing love to cigarettes is not easy, but Noah Gundersen manages. This one really only works in the depths of winter, but life isn't about waiting. So play it now.

"Cherry on Top" - Oh Land

I saw Oh land perform this once. Her hair was blue, and she was wearing a really awesome jacket. She's the real cherry on top.

"The Hunter" - On An On

"They'll pray for you to come back." Infectious electro-basement-pop. I totally just made up that genre.

"Meet Me At The Edge Of The World" - Over The Rhine

Over the Rhine do what they do, and there will never really be any reason to change that. Unless they want to something different. And they would probably good at that, too. 

"It's Spiritual" - Patrick Sweany

Now, this dude can play. Do yourself a huge, monumental favor: find where Patrick Sweany is playing and go see him.

"Wild Old Dog" - Patty Griffin

Patty Griffin is a crown jewel who always seems to stay out of the spotlight. And she does whatever she wants: like write songs about wild old dogs.