100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #21: “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King

The song at #21 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is the utterly delightful and bawdy “Ex’s & Oh’s” by American singer-songwriter Elle King. Born Tanner Elle Schneider (and the daughter of actor and comedian Rob Schneider and former model London King), the wildly-talented spitfire blew us away in 2014 with her wickedly-funny breakout single “Ex’s & Oh’s”. Released as the first single from her debut album Love Stuff, the song was a huge hit, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Hot Rock, Alternative and Adult Top 40 charts, as well as in Mexico, Iceland and the Czech Republic. It was nominated for Grammys in the categories of Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

The song is a ballsy, foot-stompin’ mix of blues and alternative rock, with generous amounts of Country swagger thrown in. The hard-driving beat is infectious as hell, and when paired with a pummeling bassline, lively banjo and those distorted guitar riffs, the result is positively electrifying. With her sexy dominatrix-style persona and raspy ‘don’t fuck with me’ vocals, King plays the alpha figure here, turning the tables on men by objectifying them as sexual playthings to be used and discarded: “One, two, three, they gonna run back to me / ‘Cause I’m the best baby that they never gotta keep / One, two, three, they gonna run back to me / They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave.”

The fantastic video, directed by Michael Maxxis, is one of the best and funniest I’ve ever seen, and perfectly brings the lyrics to life in a way that most other videos fail to do. King is the only female, surrounded by hordes of adoring, scantily clad beefcake, all romping about in the Mojave Desert. I love it!