Performances of the decade
10. Lizzo – Glastonbury, 2019. Lizzo at her prime, preaching to the masses and making me, Isobel and Liz the happiest people in the world for just an hour. We laughed, we cried, we sang, we loved.
9. Madonna – O2 Arena, 2015. An icon in the flesh. A slick production – albeit messy at points. Nevertheless, singing Like a Virgin with my mother while Madonna pole danced will be a memory I will certainly cherish from this decade.
8. Lianne La Havas – Wilton’s Music Hall, 2015. One of my favourite artists from the decade, as recommended by Mr Smith, who as usual was accurate in his suggestions. Seeing some of my favourite songs in a gorgeous intimate venue was unforgettable.
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – O2 Islington, 2013. I decided at the age of 14 that the YYYs were my favourite band, and thus began my indie rock phase that lasted a max of 3 years. This was a lot of fun, and I am thankful for Karen O spitting her water over the crowd, resulting in my baptism.
6. Florence + The Machine – Glastonbury, 2015. Singing and dancing in a field with my best friends to some classic songs with a fantastic performance. What more is there to say?
5. Charli XCX – Heaven, 2014. Interestingly, this is a gig pre-Sophie and PC music. However, this is representative of Ms XCX’s phenomenal stage presence and talent. The woman knows how to put on a show. Me and Jess came away absolutely gobsmacked.
4. Robyn – Alexandra Palace, 2019. Miss Robyn. Hearing the perfection that is Honey live was a real treat, and that alone would render this concert a position in my top 10. However, with a back catalogue as iconic as hers – Dancing On My Own, Call Your Girlfriend, With Every Heartbeat – and a performance as emotional and heartfelt as was witnessed – in addition to enjoying it all with the wonderful Celina, this is undoubtedly a top 5 of the decade for me.
3. Lorde – Alexandra Palace, 2017. Nothing says existential crisis like seeing Lorde sing about getting older while wearing a suit after having recently joined the corporate world. Her albums mean a lot to me and this was pure catharsis.
2. Lana Del Rey – Hammersmith Apollo, 2013. Very clever Josh attended this in the middle of his AS exams,and subsequently fucked them up. But we digress. After 2 years of intense stanning and Twitter DMS, it was time to see the Del Rey perform. It was everything 16 year old me wanted and more, and having her recognise me in the crowd will always make this gig a special moment for me.
1. FKA twigs – Roundhouse, 2015. One of the most formidable performers of our time. Twigs is a tour de force and not simply a singer songwriter, not simply a dancer, but an artist. I do not use the term loosely. I have never been so astounded at a performer as I have with her, and this gig at the gorgeous Roundhouse will forever be ingrained in my brain as the most pure example of high art.
#Albums of the decade
10. Ceremonials, 2011 – Florence + The Machine. Florence at her most refined. A gorgeous body of work. The latter part of the album really digs into Welch’s psyche, and Remain Nameless and Seven Devils are underrated deepcuts.
9. The Suburbs, 2010 – Arcade Fire. An album that fills me with nostalgia and makes me wish I was always on a road trip in the American West. Dips a little in the middle but picks up back into flawless territory with the cool Wasted Hours.
8. Honey, 2019 – Robyn. Slick, experimental, unexpected. After the bangers from Body Talk, I would never have thought Robyn could better herself – but I was wrong. No skips, even Beach 2k20 (in the right mood). I listened to this a lot while pounding the streets of Elephant & Castle at night.
7. Blood Pressures, 2011 – The Kills. The epitome of 2011 for me. A perfect indie rock record with absolutely no skips.
6. Born This Way, 2011 – Lady Gaga. 2011 was a big year for me. I have very vivid memories of listening to ‘Bad Kids’ on Benfleet platform while waiting for the train to school, wondering why Lady Gaga was being rude about her parents. I also remember listening to the lyrics of Born This Way at the ripe age of 14 while realising I was gay, absolutely terrified, and having no idea of how I would live with that. Looking back, this album really helped me more than I realised at the time, and symbolises one of the hardest years for me. Thanks Gags.
5. Golden Hour, 2018 – Kacey Musgraves. One of the most beautiful albums that makes me happy, makes me sad, and keeps me calm. I will cherish this album for years to come.
4. Teenage Dream, 2010 – Katy Perry. Like Born This Way, I attach this album with my coming out and the summer of 2011 – a lot of which was spent at Shoebury East Beach. This album really makes me nostalgic, but is also full of so many 10/10 bangers, and as such has aged well.
3. E•MO•TION, 2015 – Carly Rae Jepsen. We all knew this was coming. The second coming of Jepsen. A perfect collection of pop that I don’t think I will ever tire of.
2. Born To Die, 2012 – Lana Del Rey. While now this is not necessarily her best album, it is an album I look to fondly, and this is undoubtedly an album that defined my decade in music.
1. Pure Heroine, 2013 – Lorde. Despite being released in 2013, Lorde’s debut has stood the test of time sonically and lyrically,and still manages to reflect how I feel. A truly timeless album that has been with me through it all.
#Tunes of the decade
- Unlock It, 2017 – Charli XCX. Charli really came into her own with her mixtape, ‘Pop 2’, and Unlock It is the cherry on top of a fantastic collection of industrial, experimental pop. It also brought the wonder that is Kim Petras into my life.
- Teenage Dream, 2010, – Katy Perry. Pop perfection and the intro always makes me feel nostalgic for 2011.
- 1991, 2011 – Azealia Banks. The biggest travesty of the decade is Ms. Banks inability to maintain a solid career despite an abundance of sheer talent. 1991 for me is a flawless 3 and a half minutes that doesn’t hold back.
- Hannah Hunt, 2013 – Vampire Weekend. Beautiful, simple, and the slow build up to the euphoria at the end is porn for the ears.
- Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), 2010 – Arcade Fire. A loud and huge anthem that just makes me so so happy. It feels like an event, honestly.
- Run Away With Me, 2015 – Carly Rae Jepsen. The song that defined Jepsen as the pop icon we never knew we needed, but are forever grateful for. The saxophone at the start of the song really sets the tone of the song and takes you on a journey of excitement and wonder.
- Everything Is Embarrassing, 2012 – Sky Ferreira. This song sounds absolutely brilliant. It used to make me think of tumblr and being miserable, but has aged well into a millennial angst anthem. I just wish Sky’s career had aged well, too.
- Ribs, 2013 – Lorde. Existential anthem that fits every mood. “Feels so scary getting old” – it really does, but it’s a fun ride.
2. Dancing On My Own, 2010, Robyn. The pop song to end all pop songs. Absolute perfection that elicit’s every emotion of heartbreak alongside the joy of dancing it all away.
- Oblivion, 2012 – Grimes. I love everything about Oblivion. It already feels like a classic, and I don’t think I’ve listened to any other song more this decade. I’ve never tired of it. The whole song feels so joyous despite the dark lyrics, and I like to think come 2030 I’ll still be blasting this at least 10 times a week.