Nostalgic Songs for a Decade Throwback

The top ten songs from the 2010’s decade that will guarantee a good time


Billboard, Labeled for Resuse.

These songs from previous Billboard charts that completely embody the feeling of the past decade.

Ella Berrend, Head Editor

As the decade comes to a close, it’s normal to feel nostalgic over the recent past. The best moments, the greatest movies, and of course, the best music. The last decade may have seemed like a revolution, as we’ve pop songs go from bouncy to mellow, we’ve seen the top rappers switch from the dudes to the women, and we’ve made bro-country. With so much change and diversity in the music industry, lots of songs jump out as the top hits from the last ten years. To make it simple, I’ve picked one song from each year of the past decade. These may not be the most played songs or even your favorite song, but these were the songs that mattered and that have stuck around. Hopefully, this list will have you reliving the glory days of elementary and middle school.

2010: “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz

As number 50 on Billboard’s top songs from the decade, Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” brought the electronic pop songs to the floor for an all-out good jam. The song was a top song for several weeks on the charts and is one of the best songs for its repetitive and memorable beat. The words give a total feel for early 2010 as well. All around, I love the song because of its lasting nostalgia which also aged incredibly well. 

2011: “Someone Like You” by Adele

As Adele released her first Billboard-topping album, the song “Someone Like You” told an emotional and soulful story that topped the charts. This was surprising to me how big this song got, as it wasn’t the stereotypical electronic beat that the earlier part of the decade lived for. The song showcases her voice brilliantly and is easy to relate to for anyone who might’ve had a broken heart. The iconic piano intro has become a staple for talent shows and anybody who may want to show off their talents the catchy yet haunting melody. The song made a comeback in 2018 on the TikTok app- further proving it’s lasted. 

2012: “We Are Young” by fun.

Although this wasn’t the highest-grossing song in 2012, it hits all the marks to be an amazing anthem for the year. The song resembles a chant for everybody in the moment of the night, making everything that they can at the young and experimental age they can. fun was making their rise with several Billboard toppers, but this song has always resonated with me. The strong drum in the background matched with the group vocals adds onto the perfection- making it one of my most memorable songs of the decade. 

2013: “Royals” by Lorde

Lorde released her first album Pure Heroine in 2013, which gave a very different sound on the charts. Her intricate lyrics became a heavily influential song and many more songs followed that after her recognition. This is an amazing song due to its lower-key background music and an easy vocal range for people to sing along with. Although it’s slower-paced, the booming bass makes up for it in every way. Lorde’s unique sound also came into play as it wasn’t the sound of every other female artist at the time. Her raspy voice became one that was copied a lot in years to follow (so much so, it’s now the defining sound of pop), but “Royals” will always be full of reminiscence and power as the first. 

2014: “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift made a complete turnaround from her country-style music in 2014 when she released her album, 1989. The song “Blank Space” topped the charts with a very different sound for Taylor. Although the album received a lot of criticism for her switch-up, it’s good to note that several of her songs topped the charts from that album. This was one of my top songs due to its catchy and (at the time) ahead of the curve beat. The song became an anthem for ‘crazy girls’ everywhere because of the lyrics that went even deeper when the music video was later released. Her style of having a talking verse goes along with the sing-a-long aspects of her music. 

2015: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

After Ed Sheeran’s big return, his beautiful song by the name of “Thinking Out Loud.” Although this song wasn’t full of pop beats, the lyrics made a beautiful slow song that was stuck in everyone’s head for months. The background guitar matched with Ed’s voice was fantastic. This song was one of the best of the decade because of its longevity on the charts and the creative deviations from the norms of pop songwriting. 

2016: “Closer” by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

The start of The Chainsmoker’s popularity was in 2016 and this song was a hit from the start. With the new rise of DJ-based music, this electronic beat was an immediate dance tune that made everyone happy. This song was on the top charts for several weeks- which made sense due to the catchy love song. The lyrics were easy to sing to and the hard beats made for a great party song. I mean, who and Colorado has sung “from your roommate back in Boulder” out loud?

2017: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars’s newest album came out as an album chock-full of amazing lyrics and great vocals. The R&B-based song was immediately a good vibes song that was repetitive enough for everybody to love. His ability to belt was shown off in this song and although I haven’t heard this song since its peak a few years ago, this song is full of good beats that are a good listen whether it was now or in 2017.

2018: “Thank u, next” by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande released music alongside her album in 2018, but ‘Thank u, Next’ was immediately a hit single. The song brings up her previous exes after the breakup of her and her boyfriend Pete Davidson. The catchy beat made the song good, but her easily-relatable lyrics caught everyone’s attention. This was one of my favorite songs of the decade, due to the memories I have of blasting this song in the car with my friends (which I heavily recommend). All in all, this song is still on my playlists and her writing came through on this track. 

2019: “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse)” by Post Malone & Swae Lee

After the release of the newest animation of the Spider-Man franchise, the main character’s favorite song included in the soundtrack was ‘Sunflower’. The song immediately topped the Billboard and it was well deserved. The well-laid bass and summer vibe lyrics made for a great song for the season. Along with the music itself, the lyrics coincided with both Post Malone’s rap feel and the pop music of the year. Therefore, this song was one of the best of 2019 and the decade.