Ten Sounds that Shaped the 2010s - Rolling Stone
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Ten Sounds that Shaped the 2010s

From saxes to whispers to glitchy vocals, here are the sonic ticks that kept popping up across genres throughout the decade.

Best Sounds, Rolling Stone, DecadeBest Sounds, Rolling Stone, Decade

Images in Illustration from Shutterstock

In the 1960s, heavy use of reverb and echo helped form the sound of psychedelic rock. Four-on-the-floor beats came in during the 1970s with the rise of disco, and the ’80s saw the introduction of the synthesizer. Every decade has its own sonic quirks — ones that range from revolutionary (AutoTune) to fleeting (airhorns). 

The 2010s was no exception. Here are 10 sounds that helped defined the music of the decade.  Sometimes they were side effects of streaming — the blending of genres, the rise of hip-hop,  and the growing influence of electronic music. Sometimes they were visionary indicators of where music is heading. Other times, they were the result of producers seeing just how weird things could get, the aural equivalent of Pizza Hut’s hot dog-stuffed crust. Time will tell which ones stick around (but let’s hope it’s not the Millennial Whoop). 


In This Article: 2010s, 2019YearinReview


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