The SiC 200: Our Favorite Songs From 2010-2014 (Group 3)


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:

GROUP 1    GROUP 2    GROUP 4 

Full list: 



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

Love,
Speakers in Code


"Right Time" - Nikki Lane



Pretty sure that Nikki Lane would drink me under the table. She probably parties at bars where people get knifed on the regular.

"Fall In Love" - Phantogram



Phantogram put on one of the better shows I saw last year because it simply never wavered; instead, the beats kept coming in waves. And then, boom! This song.

"The Mother We Share" - CHVRCHES



Have you ever seen CHVRCHES? Did you notice the way that it appears lead singer Lauren Mayberry just doesn't seem to give a fuck? I mean that in a good way. It can be mistaken for ambivalence, but I'm not so sure. I just think she's a rare breed, and so is this song.

"Boyfriend"- Best Coast



Now if this isn't a beachy sun-soaked anthem. 

"It's Time" - Imagine Dragons



They get a lot of shit for their fame, but when they are good, they write songs like "It's Time." Maybe anthems aren't for everyone, but this one is for me.

"You and Your Heart" - Jack Johnson



"You and your heart shouldn't be so far apart." Ah, the best of Jack Johnson starts with that line.

"Gun" - Sam Quinn


"I never thought that I would hurt you -- I hurt you." The ex-everybodyfields member once release a hell of a solo album, and this was the best track.

"Hotel Plaster" - Nicole Atkins



I feel like Nicole Atkins recorded this in a dilapidated castle. Probably not true, but the beauty of music is that it can take you places. 

"The Rumors Are True" - David Wax Museum



"Ohhhh when we were young." I hate to break it to you, but you're gonna get old. Those aren't rumors, those are facts. And the fact here is that you'll be singing this song if you give it a try.

The Roadside Graves - "Liv Tyler"



I went through my lists of my favorite tracks from the last five years, and as I compiled them and listened to them and all of that, the one I kept coming back to was "Liv Tyler", a nearly seven minute slow burn from Jersey's The Roadside Graves. It's almost everything I shouldn't love in a song, from topping four minutes to the crazy tempo shift as it rumbles to the end, but, man, after five years, I still love this song without reserve.

"Serial Bowls" - Futurebirds


Stoner jam rock (I just made that up maybe) never sounded so good, an the best part of this song is -- you guess it -- the jam at the end.

Kacey Musgraves - "Follow Your Arrow"



In case you weren't getting enough mind your own damn business attitude from Kacey's latest single, "Biscuits", "Follow Your Arrow" (from 2013's Same Trailer, Different Park) still cheers me up every single time some nosy coworker gets all up in my stuff. And I can't say I don't enjoy making lots of noise, either.

"Emmylou" - First Aid Kit



I suppose any band could write a song about Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, etc. Some even have. But are any this good? No.

"Helplessness Blues" - Fleet Foxes



Although the Fleet Foxes are basically no more (or maybe it's one of those popular hiatus things), they sure did go out with a bang: "Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see." 

"Tattoos" - Frank Turner




In 2013, when Tape Deck Heart came out, "Recovery" was my favorite song on it -- the one that made my year end list. But the more I listened to the album, the song I played over and over again was "Tattoos", the bonus track about those of us who ink things permanently under our skin. It was sealed when Frank, bless him, played it for me at a show the week before my birthday. It's slight and it's silly, but it means something to me: if we had the luck to live our lives a second time through, we'd be sure to get the same tattoos.

"Isn't This World Enough?? - Admiral Fallow 




SiC pals Admiral Fallow never stop impressing me, but this song from 2012's Tree Bursts In Snow just lights up the day every time I hear it. 

Lydia Loveless - "Steve Earle"




Last year's Something Else took Loveless's songwriting and musicianship to a totally new place, but this song from 2011's Indestructible Machine still makes me laugh my head off and wonder if, while sharing a label with Steve's son, she ever did get to meet him. 

Caleb Caudle - "How'd You Learn"




Another 2014 gem, albeit one that got a lot less radio play than some of the others on this list, another song that makes me think of long weeks apart from somebody I love -- but gave me the hope to get through it, and the line home doesn't share you with the places you've been still consistently rips my heart out and tap dances on it.

Autre Ne Veut – "Play by Play"



2013 saw some sort of indie-soul movement that’s still somewhat inexplicable in its timing. As a child of a father stuck on the Motown side of the 1960’s, it was right up my alley. And while hundreds of songs spawned by this movement still tickle my fancy on the daily – “Play by Play” remains THE go-to-song when the sun goes down.

"Ways To Go" - Grouplove



Easy to like because of their energy, Grouplove brings it all together for "Ways to Go,' which I'm surprised isn't the soundtrack to more commercials (and I totally mean that as a compliment).

 "Seasons (Waiting on You)" - Future Islands




When we covered this song in 2014, we compared it to a beach music song on drugs, and looking back, that was some smart-ass-shit. It still sounds like that, and watching it propel this band to stardom makes total sense framed in that light. It’s accessible while not overtly sounding accessible – guarantee you my mom would bristle at first, but end up bopping that permed head in no time.

Grimes – "Oblivion"



Not too much to say about this song other than it was fucking inescapable for the entire year of 2012. It was on every radio station, including the country station. It was in commercials, it was played in TV shows, sporting events, funerals, bar mitzvahs, KKK ceremonies – even on MTV! And while we may be sick of it now, it was certainly our jam for at least 3 months. That’s a lot.

Kurt Vile – "Walking on a Pretty Daze"




We could have gone one of five ways when including Kurt Vile on this list, but we decided to go the catchy, springy way this time around.  A breath of fresh air after his crushing Smoke Ring for my Halo LP, this jam just beacons you to turn the radio up, grab a drink and walk around whatever hood you hail from.

Lana Del Rey – "Video Games"




It was snowy when I first heard this song in 2012. I’m guessing it was January based on that time frame, and I listened to it while driving down an un-cleared road. It was sheer scene-setting-perfection. I remember it being loud. And beautiful. And one of those songs that made you want to memorize the words and understand what could drive such beauty.

"Giant" - Matrimony



I saw them perform this in a St. Louis club called Off Broadway to around 30 people, and it was spectacular. It was like they were playing to 3,000. And that's why Matrimony will succeed.

"Kiss Quick" - Matt Nathanson



"I've got a line out the door who all think they can save me." The first time I heard that line, I knew I loved this song.

"Laredo" - Band of Horses



Guitars, man. Sometimes they're just instruments. And sometimes they sound like the ones being used in "Laredo."

"Harder Than Stone" - City & Colour



"Some day I will walk away," Dallas Green sings. I don't really believe him, but I believe in this song and its beautiful chorus. Makes you want to sing, you know?

Twin Shadow – "Five Seconds"



White people can’t dance. I know that. You know that. It’s horrible when they do – and even though I live my life by a strict “no dancing in public” rule, I couldn’t help myself when Twin Shadow blasted into this during a 2012 set. Rules are made to be broken? I dunno – but this song makes me want to dance fight with someone. Dance fight to the death!

Vampire Weekend – "Step"



Is that a harpsichord? I’m not sure, but this song screams upper-west-side money. The music itself would be something a stuff old guy would listen to while taking tea – but the lyrics as cheeky as modern music gets. Mixing hip hop phrasing with pure poetry – it all combines into a sound that’s never been created – and it’s a gorgeous creation when it’s all said and done.

"Have One On Me" - Joanna Newsom




Joanna Newsom's 2010 double LP Have One On Me is bursting with spectacular music, but this sprawling, eleven-minute track should be essential listening for any aspiring songwriter. Newsom leads the us through a splendid landscape of fantastical creatures and evocative imagery that only becomes richer upon repeated listening.  

"Finish Those Cigarettes and Go to Bed" - Josh Tillman



Tillman's soundtrack to The History of Caves was one of my favorite records of 2013 and continues to be in heavy rotation. "Finish Those Cigarettes and Go to Bed" is a stark, beautiful reminder of how to subtly evoke many emotions.

"Hedron" - BadBadNotGood




BadBadNotGood are a post-bop jazz trio from Toronto and their 2014 release, III, is a facemelter. "Hedron" is a prime example how deftly they synthesize brooding jazz improvisation and hip-hop breakbeats to create enjoyable, stylistically interesting music.      

"She Found Now" - My Bloody Valentine




Going 22 years between dropping albums results in high expectations for the finished product to live up to, or even exceed, previous efforts. Luckily My Bloody Valentine traversed this difficult situation tactfully, releasing mbv to widespread critical acclaim. "She Found Now" introduces the album, and its everything one could ever hope for in a My Bloody Valentine song; gauzy and atmospheric, with a hefty dollop of androgynous vocals mixed in perfectly.  

"Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" - mewithoutYou




Visceral and poetic, the music of mewithoutYou will grab you and not let go. This track is particularly intense, but traversing its winding narrative is an extremely gratifying experience.      

Main Theme - Andrew Hale (L.A. Noire Original Soundtrack)




Video game soundtracks sometimes suffer when taken out of their in-game context. Not the case for the music of L.A. Noire. It draws heavily on 1940's jazz to create an atmosphere of authenticity for the mid-century crime drama it accompanies. Even outside of the video game world that it soundtracks, the music is breathtakingly beautiful and moving in its own right.    

"Reno" - Colour Revolt




Colour Revolt are the most under appreciated band of the last 15 years. Someday they will be recognized as the infallible powerhouse that they are, but until then we have two albums and the best eponymous EP of all time to remind us how excellent they really are. "Reno" is off their final album, The Cradle, and is evidence enough to argue their greatness, but I urge anyone to check out their entire discography.  

"Who The Waves Are Roaring For" - Colin Stetson




Colin Stetson is imbued with superhuman saxophone powers that allow him to craft otherworldly soundscapes that retain a fundamental human quality. This instance sees Stetson accompanied by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on vocals and the juxtaposition of the clanging, reedy horn with Vernon's delicate falsetto makes for an arresting listening experience.

"All You Need Is A Wall" - The Books




Rarely does a song move me upon first listening like "All You Need Is A Wall" did. This song is relatively stripped down by The Books' standards but this unpretentious production is beneficial creating a relatable piece of art. The Books can get a little heady sometimes, but this track is life affirming and poignant in a very grounding way.  

"Moses" - Chelsea Wolfe




Doom queen Chelsea Wolfe is quite prolific, but I've never gotten over the first time I heard "Moses."  Opening with shrill white noise and a gloomy drum machine beat, the song quickly materializes around crunchy guitars and layers of Wolfe's ghostly vocals. Really great stuff for a long, rainy drive.

"Sweetest Kill" - Broken Social Scene




Broken Social Scene are, to me, the perfect band. There's so much diversity and quality in their back catalog that there is surely something for everyone and if not, one of the countless side projects that they have spawned will certainly appeal. "Sweetes Kill" is from the band's last album,  Forgivness Rock Record, and it's easily the darkest track on that LP. It broods with such intensity that it requires two bass players and the video is about cutting up your significant other with an ax. Great stuff!

"Turning Tables" - Adele




For all the shit Adele gets, 21 was a pretty damn great album. This was the one I always replayed while painting my old kitchen (yes, imagine that scene). So it gets the call again. 

"Hold On" - Alabama Shakes




Why they hardly ever play this live, I will never know. Maybe it's because they know how hooky it is, and they probably don't want to be known for just one hooky song. But still. 

"Let 'Em Eat Cake" - Alexz Johnson



Alexz Johnson should already be a star, but that's not for me to decide. And it's because of songs like this. Confident, amazing singer, a hint of every damn good thing worth your time. 

"Burn.flicker.die" - American Aquarium



"And by every now and then I mean most of the time." I love that line because it comes after, "Every now and then she still crosses my mind." Gold.

"Coming Down" - Anais Mitchell




Devastating. I played this so many times when my heart was shattered a few years ago. It means something different to me now, though, and that's okay, too.

"Liar" - Annie Stela




The ultimate "fuck you" song, if you ask me. Annie Stela tells it like it is. Plus, she screams.

"You Never Need Nobody" - The Lone Bellow


You want passion? Look up the word and you will find a photo of The Lone Bellow. This song might start playing, too.

"Say You Love Me" - Jessie Ware


Okay, a little cheesy, and it was on that diamond commercial. But hey, I'm the king of cheddar.

 "Little Too Late"- Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers



"It's a little too late to die young." The groove is the cake. And Nicki Bluhm is the icing.