There’s a lot going on right now so what better time than now to disappear into nostalgia. This year marks the 10th anniversary of plenty of game-changing tunes. While not all these songs are game-changers, they’re sure to spark a memory.
Here are some of the most notable songs turning 10 in 2021.
Rihanna - We Found Love
The best song from the EDM era came when Rihanna teamed up with Calvin Harris. We Found Love is a glistening, euphoric depiction of tainted love that soundtracked every club moment that year. That opening synth-line is still more than enough to fill an entire dancefloor.
Adele - Someone Like You
At the beginning of 2011, Adele took to the stage at the Brit Awards and performed with just a piano. The song Someone Like You was the closer of her album 21 and it would go on to make her one of the most prolific artists of our time. It’s still one of the greatest ballads of all time and surely the soundtrack to a few of your tears.
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (Feat. Kimbra)
In 2011, Gotye played Splendour In The Grass, introducing Kimbra to the stage to thunderous applause. It was a clear sign that something special was going on but no one could’ve predicted what this song went on to do. It went on to become a global hit, nabbing Grammy Awards, topping the triple j Hottest 100 and becoming the highest-selling single of the following year.
Grouplove - Tongue Tied
Grouplove were one of the most buzzed bands around in 2011. They made waves with their debut album bursting with optimistic, vibrant hooks. Tongue Tied was the one that caught fire, soundtracking Apple ads and taking over the triple j airwaves. It still makes you feel good.
Beyonce - Countdown
Beyonce’s 4 is a criminally underrated album, coming just before she stopped the world with her surprise self-titled record. Countdown remains one of her best songs though. An experimental, grandiose moment with a video featuring a heavily pregnant Bey.
Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory
Gaga was the biggest popstar on earth this time 10 years ago. So much so, she was granted the power to make an album as bold and bonkers as Born This Way. It finishes with this momentous electro-pop opus. The kind of song that every popstar wishes they had in their catalogue.
M83 - Midnight City
Before it was the theme song for Made In Chelsea, M83’s Midnight City was the song that forced the French producer into everyone’s psyche. It features one of the most iconic synth-lines of all time and remains one of the most instantly recognisable songs of all time.
The Black Keys - Lonely Boy
The Shannon Noll to Guy Sebastian, The Black Keys’ Lonely Boy was the runner-up in the triple j Hottest 100 coming in second to Somebody That I Used To Know. Lonely Boy plucked The Black Keys out of indie obscurity and made them the biggest rock band in the world. Even if just for a moment.
Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
“This one is for the boys with the boomer system / Top down AC with the cooler system.” Super Bass may have been a bonus track on Minaj’s 2010 record Pink Friday but it became her hallmark track. A glossy, charismatic ear worm that expertly merged commercial hip-hop with saccharine pop hooks.
Lana Del Rey - Video Games
Lana Del Rey bewildered everyone a decade ago. Here was this highly stylised, almost fictional character with one of the most earnest ballads of all time. We know now it wasn’t a performance. Just the start of an artist who would go on to get her recognition as an excellent, untouchable songwriter.
Calvin Harris - Feel So Close
Back when Calvin Harris would still sing, he became the king of EDM with Feel So Close. It’s a song that unites people, conjuring nostalgia for a time when Stereosonic was the hot ticket of the year.
Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks
It still bewilders us as to how this sweet melody holds such a dark story. It soundtracked every summer festival of 2011 and yet the lyrics tell the tale of a school shooting. The band are now rightfully considering retiring the song but it’s really damn hard to get that chorus out of our heads.
Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out
Florence + The Machine’s debut Lungs established her as the alternative artist of the moment but Ceremonials took it to the next level. Her vocals were bigger and the production even more grandiose. Shake It Out took on the threat of sophomore slump with might. Florence’s performance on this song is earth-shattering.
Nero - Promises
2011 was a time when electronic music could be as abrasive and loud as possible. Nero relished in that realm with the British act delivering relentless, soaring music. Promises is as combative as they come, going hard from the first second with furious synths and piercing vocals.
Kanye West & Jay-Z - Otis
Kanye and Jay-Z’s bromance was in full flight in 2011, resulting in the much-anticipated collaborative project Watch The Throne. Otis kicked it all off, turning an Otis Redding sample into a thunderous arrival announcement. Redding gently starts proceedings before being chopped and screwed as Jay declares, “I guess I got my swagger back.” Boom.
Bon Iver - Holocene
Bon Iver earned a cult following on their debut but the Justin Vernon-fronted act took it to the next level on the sophomore. Holocene aimed right for the heart, garnering Grammy nominations and stirring emotions simultaneously.
Radiohead - Lotus Flower
Radiohead’s In Rainbows follow-up King Of Limbs may not have drawn as much praise as its predecessor but it did give us this moment. The wonky Lotus Flower may be best remembered for Thom Yorke’s eccentric dance moves in the video clip.
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
Party Rock Anthem may have been the most divisive song of 2011. Many tried to hate it, but a decade later you can’t deny that an instantaneous shuffle comes over your feet when you hear that four-to-the-floor beat.
Drake - Headlines
Before Drake was winning the streaming game, he was garnering critical appraisal with his sophomore record Take Care. Many still argue it’s his best and it’s hard to look past it. Particularly with a lead-single that’s as blaring and self-assured as this one.
The Weeknd - The Morning
Back when The Weeknd was an enigma, he popped onto the scene with a game-changing mixtape House Of Balloons. It birthed this eerie, late night anthem The Morning which simmers along with plucked guitars and airy vocals. Haunting.