Middle school music is such a special thing. There is nothing quite like listening to Drops of Jupiter, and I mean that with the utmost sincerity. In middle school, I listened to music almost exclusively on YouTube, and discovered new music through the Push Rewind station on iHeartRadio. It was a simpler time.
I spent some time collecting what I believe to be the best hits of the past, because sometimes in order to move forward we must look back, and coming into the new decade I think we all need a dose of positive nostalgia to remind us that times were good before and they will be good again. I've had this playlist on in the background all day, and overall it is very adolescent and very upbeat, minus the Adele song I put on there. Listen to it here on spotify.
Here are some song highlights, since its a pretty comprehensive playlist of every song I sort of listened to in my younger years.
The Great Escape - Boys Like Girls
Boys Like Girls was a band that often came up on the iHeartRadio station I listened to every night before bed. This is probably their best song. It makes me want to roller skate really fast and dance in a meadow and just be happy. Very in tune with this roaring 20s vibe we've got going on. Gatsby definitely would've liked it.
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
When I first heard this song I literally, LITERALLY, listened to it nonstop for about a week. Its one of those songs that just sticks with you. I don't know what it means, I don't understand any of the lyrics, and in hindsight its honestly a pretty mediocre tune, but it definitely made me the person I am today. Whatever that means.
Cooler Than Me - Mike Posner
This was the first bad b*tch song I listened to. This song made me feel like an Alpha popular girl in a 2000s movie. I would walk down the halls of Mountain Ridge middle school singing this in my mind and it gave me the most solid and concrete dose of confidence I've ever experienced. Years later, same effect. Put this on while you're walking into an exam and you're pretty much guaranteed an A on vibes alone.
Glad You Came - The Wanted
I only really started listening to The Wanted because of the little feud they had with One Direction which was made out to be more dramatic than it actually was. They're honestly not a bad band, and this song is by far their most popular. It just has a nice beat, you can really bust a move to it, but its often forgotten when we think of 2010 song nostalgia. Lets change that. Bring this song back.
Starships - Nicki Minaj
This is the only Nicki Minaj song I ever listened to, and it was truly era defining. This song has such a unique and poignant place in my memory. I will never forget where I was when I first heard it. In Chicago in my friends car, visiting her over the summer. Things were tense, but this song came on and we continued to play it all through our trip, and when it was playing no one was angry and our world knew peace.
We Are Young - FUN
Another song that gets forgotten too much. This is a solid anthem. It is a windows down, driving fast, all your friends singing at the top of their lungs kind of song. You can walk to it down the runway, have it playing as you make a dramatic exit, it can even accompany you as you walk down the aisle. It truly captures the essence of the roaring 2020s.
A Drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope
The first soul-crushingly sad song I ever heard. One of those sad songs that lingers long after its done playing. Will make you cry, unannounced for no reason. Stirs sad memories you didn't even know you had. Make you long after a lost love you never even had. Not very upbeat, thats for sure, but it is the Yin to the rowdy Yang of the new decade.
Push Rewind - Chris Wallace
You've probably never heard of this song. Oddly enough, the only reason I ever heard it was because it was played on an ad on iHeartRadio. BUT, despite that, its a really good song. Its the starting point for this whole playlist and my whole taste in music in middle school. The way iHeartRadio works is very similar to Spotify channels. You put in a song and then the app creates a special playlist with songs similar to the one you chose. Almost all the songs on the playlist, and in turn the songs that defined my adolescent self, all came from that iHeartRadio station. So I have Push Rewind to thank for a decade of good music.
Once again, here is the link to the playlist. Put it on in the background whenever you're doing something that would typically be boring, and you'll find yourself instantly more energized and excited to be alive. Lets kick this new year off with a bang, I hope you're all ready for the roaring 20s to make a comeback.
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