30 Alternative Rock Songs That Defined The 2010s

By Katrina Nattress

November 22, 2019

Another decade is wrapping up, and as we reflect on the music that's come out in the past 10 years it's not hard to point out two bands that not only plotted their own paths to success, but also paved the way for the future.

Imagine Dragons released their debut album Night Visions in 2012, which boasted a song that would steal the heart of the ALT rock world: "Radioactive." In the years that followed, they gifted us three more albums that featured more instant classics like "Believer," "Thunder," "Natural," "Whatever It Takes," and "Demons."

Around that same time, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun were getting their bearings as a two-piece rock band; however, it wasn't until Twenty One Pilots released their fourth album Blurryface that the world really started to take notice. That record gave us songs like "Stressed Out" and "Ride," and became so popular that Billboard crowned it top rock album of the decade. That momentum led to singles like "Heathens" and a worthy follow-up in Trench.

The 2010s also saw some powerful females rise to stardom. Lorde blurred the boundaries of rock and pop when she released her stunning debut album Pure Heroine in 2013, and 2019 was the year of Billie Eilish — another young woman who refuses to play by the rules.

The last 10 years also introduced us to bands like Mumford & Sons, Foster The People, and The 1975, while groups like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco made resurgences that garnered them more success than ever before.

These are the 30 alternative rock songs that define the 2010s.

Imagine Dragons - “Radioactive”

Twenty One Pilots - “Stressed Out”

Panic! At The Disco - "High Hopes"

The Lumineers - “Ho Hey”

Hozier - “Take Me To Church”

Billie Eilish - “Bad Guy”

Portugal. The Man - “Feel It Still”

X Ambassadors - “Renegades”

Fall Out Boy - “Centuries”

Lorde - “Royals”

Mumford & Sons - “Little Lion Man”

Foster The People “Pumped Up Kicks”

Walk The Moon - “Shut Up and Dance”

Muse - “Uprising”

Bastille - “Pompeii”

Gotye f/ Kimbra - “Somebody That I Used To Know”

AWOLNATION - “Sail”

Foo Fighters - “Rope”

The Black Keys - “Tighten Up”

lovelytheband - “Broken”

Elle King - “Ex’s & Oh’s”

fun. - “Some Nights”

Vance Joy - “Riptide”

Coldplay “A Sky Full of Stars”

Of Monsters and Men - “Little Talks”

American Authors - “Best Day Of My Life”

Arctic Monkeys - “Do I Wanna Know?”

The 1975 - “Somebody Else”

Capital Cities - “Safe And Sound”

Paramore - “Hard Times”

Photo: Getty Images

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