DISABILITY DECADE CELEBRATION! The 101 Greatest Songs of the Last 10 Years

Right, so I’ve just taken on another huge list without anyone asking? Cool.

And the overall quality of this list is… pretty mindblowing, as you’d imagine. It was a painful experience getting it down to just 101, and the strength of the competition has meant that proper Necessary Evil alumni like Sharon van Etten, Christine & the Queens and Lykke Li couldn’t fit in. And speaking of harshness, strictly (kinda strictly) only one entry per artist, which has meant that even some former Legit Boss winning songs failed to get in simply because the artist did an even better song in a different year. And remarkably few of the Necessary Evil albums of the year are represented.

And I’m not trying to spin any narrative here – these aren’t the 101 songs that I can link back to my disability in any way, I’m not saying that these next 101 songs were all important to my recovery, or that these 101 songs saved my life in any way (though they all did, as music can do that), just the scientific fact that these are 101 songs released since Mat 4th 2013 that simply slapped hardest.

At the very least, these 101 songs make up the greatest YouTube and Spotify playlists of all time, and the quality of these next one hundred and one songs is going to be headspinning.

Beginning with the least headspinning to the most, yeah? You know how this goes:

kick in the door, waving the coco

#37 Stella Donnelly: Flood

I always… liked… Stella Donnelly. I literally first got into her because I liked the cover of her debut EP ‘Thrush Metal’ (and, yeah, the title, because – hurhurhurhurhur – geddit?), and it contained one of the most gorgeous and powerful indie ballads of recent times. That same song was included on her 2018 debut album, which was… good… Really good, in fact. Not amazing, but really good. I thought the cover of ‘Beware of the Dogs’ was an allusion to the wonderfully freaky 1924 novel ‘The Story of the Eye‘. I asked her about it on Twitter. She never got back to me. So fuck her, right?

‘Flood’ though, is on some real good shit. Firstly, it sees a talented young songwriter strive to make changes for their second album and not just introducing synthesizers! That alone is a notable achievement. Musically, Stella (Stellaaaaaaaa!) decided to centre songwriting around her piano playing rather than her acoustic guitar, and encouraged her bandmembers to similarly try instruments that they didn’t feel as comfortable with. This gives the album a much looser and less fastidiously tight sound to its predecessor, it sounds alive and almost improvised in places. The biggest change and improvement, however, comes with the lyrics. You know why? Yeah, that’s right, the spectre of Communism again, that’s why!