#13. Spoon - The Way We Get By

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Artwork by Adam Sarpalius

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As 2009, and the decade come to a close, PMA will be looking back at our favorite songs of the last ten years. We will update a list with 75 empty slots until we reach that song that changed everything. You can keep track of this list by keeping an eye on this page. We make these lists in hopes that you guys will chime in the comments and share your favorite musical moments of the noughties.

Is there a song that better summarizes suburbia than “The Way We Get By”? Britt Daniel bundles the world of millions into a tidy package, capturing the moments that make memories – walking through a rain storm, getting high in cars, breaking laws and making love. It’s a movie montage waiting to happen, Rushmore, American Beauty, and Garden State wrapped up in one.

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And somehow, whether you’ve gone through these shared experiences or not, the song feels intimately personal. It’s a tune that was written for you and your friends to share, to fill slots on mixtapes. It’s accessible and catchy, sure, but there’s also a wrinkle here that separates it from the pack. A real nostalgia, except situated in the present.

Nothing tangible makes “The Way We Get By” stand out from other piano-based rock and roll, and perhaps that’s the quality that makes the song special – it’s a tribute to the mundane, a snapshot of the little moments made to feel as if the song itself is mixed up, somehow, in these day-to-day lives of ours. It’s Britt Daniel singing as one of us, a random kid in a random town doing random things. In reality, songs like this are the way we get by.


#14. The Killers - All These Things That I've Done
#15. Panda Bear - Comfy In Nautica
#16. Arctic Monkeys - Leave Before The Light Comes On
#17. Kanye West - Jesus Walks
#18. Beyonce - Crazy In Love
#19. LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
#20. Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
#21. The Strokes - The Modern Age
#22. Jay-Z & The Beatles - 99 Problems (Danger Mouse)
#23. Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
#24. The Knife - Heartbeats
#25. Lil Wayne – A Milli
#75-26: Various