100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #52: “Renegades” by X Ambassadors

The song at #52 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Renegades” by Ithaca, New York-based rock band X Ambassadors. The beautiful song of inspiration was already in the process of being written by the band when their label Interscope Records was approached by Jeep, who wanted a song to promote their new Jeep Renegade SUV. The band and label delivered the song within a few days, and it was simultaneously released as a single in March 2015.

The uplifting lyrics speak to courage and perseverance in living one’s life to the fullest, no matter the obstacles placed in our paths. This not only satisfied Jeep’s goal of having a song that would appeal to young people’s sense of freedom and exploration, but also had personal meaning for the band, as one of its members Casey Harris was blind since birth. The video that was later produced for the song shows several people with disabilities working to overcome their challenges. Musically, the song starts off with a lovely strummed acoustic guitar riff that slowly builds, then a thumping drumbeat ensues along with a deep bass line and swirling keyboard synths to create a stirring soundscape. Lead vocalist Sam Harris fervently sings “Long live the pioneers, rebels and mutineers, go forth and have no fear, come close and lend an ear. And I say hey, hey hey hey Living like we’re renegades.

The song was a sizable hit, peaking at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Rock Airplay, Adult Top 40 and Alternative charts, where it spent many weeks at the top spot.

Top 30 Songs for September 27-October 3, 2020

  1. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (1)
  2. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (3)
  3. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (2)
  4. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (5)
  5. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (4)
  6. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (6)
  7. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (7)
  8. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (8)
  9. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (10)
  10. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (11)
  11. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (13)
  12. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (9) 21st week on list
  13. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (N)
  14. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (15)
  15. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (16)
  16. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (12)
  17. WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? – Bastille featuring Graham Coxon (20)
  18. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (21)
  19. FOR SURE – Future Islands (22)
  20. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (23)
  21. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (25)
  22. HERO – Weezer (27)
  23. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (29)
  24. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (30)
  25. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (14)
  26. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (17)
  27. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (18)
  28. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (19)
  29. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (24)
  30. COME & GO – Juice WRLD & Marshmello (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 20-26, 2020

  1. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (1)
  2. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (3)
  3. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (4)
  4. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (2)
  5. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (6)
  6. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (7)
  7. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (8)
  8. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (9)
  9. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (5)
  10. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (14)
  11. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (20)
  12. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (12)
  13. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (17)
  14. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (15)
  15. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (18)
  16. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (19)
  17. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (10)
  18. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (11)
  19. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (13)
  20. WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? – Bastille featuring Graham Coxon (23)
  21. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (24)
  22. FOR SURE – Future Islands (25)
  23. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (26)
  24. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (22)
  25. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (27)
  26. FIRE – Black Pumas (16)
  27. HERO – Weezer (N)
  28. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (21)
  29. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (N)
  30. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 13-19, 2020

  1. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (5)
  2. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (2)
  3. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (3)
  4. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (4)
  5. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (1)
  6. MY SOUL’S OWN WARNING – The Killers (9)
  7. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (12)
  8. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (13)
  9. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (14)
  10. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (6)
  11. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (7)
  12. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (8)
  13. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (10)
  14. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (17)
  15. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (16)
  16. FIRE – Black Pumas (11)
  17. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (19)
  18. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (20)
  19. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (21)
  20. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (25)
  21. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (15)
  22. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (24)
  23. WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? – Bastille featuring Graham Coxon (26)
  24. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (27)
  25. FOR SURE – Future Islands (28)
  26. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (29)
  27. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (30)
  28. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (18)
  29. HELL N BACK – Bakar (23) 23rd week on list
  30. HOW WILL I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (22) 21st week on list

Top 30 Songs for September 6-12, 2020

  1. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (1)
  2. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (2)
  3. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (6)
  4. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (8)
  5. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (20)
  6. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (3)
  7. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (4)
  8. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (5)
  9. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (10)
  10. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (9)
  11. FIRE – Black Pumas (7)
  12. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (12)
  13. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (15)
  14. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (16)
  15. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (14)
  16. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (17)
  17. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (19)
  18. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (13)
  19. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (21)
  20. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (23)
  21. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (24)
  22. HOW CAN I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (11) 20th week on list
  23. HELL N BACK – Bakar (18) 22nd week on list
  24. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (25)
  25. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (29)
  26. WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? – Bastille featuring Graham Coxon (N)
  27. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (N)
  28. FOR SURE – Future Islands (N)
  29. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (N)
  30. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 30-September 5, 2020

  1. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (2)
  2. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (1)
  3. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (3)
  4. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (4)
  5. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (5)
  6. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (6)
  7. FIRE – Black Pumas (8)
  8. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (9)
  9. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (10)
  10. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (11)
  11. HOW WILL I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (7)
  12. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (16)
  13. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (12)
  14. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (15)
  15. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (17)
  16. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (19)
  17. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (20)
  18. HELL N BACK – Bakar (13) 21st week on list
  19. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (21)
  20. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (29)
  21. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (23)
  22. STRANGERS – Mt. Joy (14)
  23. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (26)
  24. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (27)
  25. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (28)
  26. DON’T LET ME DOWN – Milky Chance featuring Jack Johnson (25)
  27. LEVEL OF CONCERN – twenty one pilots (24)
  28. IF NOT FOR THE FIRE – The Million Reasons (18) 22nd week on list
  29. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (N)
  30. REAL LONG TIME – White Reaper (30)

Top 30 Songs for August 23-29, 2020

  1. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (1)
  2. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (2)
  3. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (4)
  4. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (5)
  5. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (6)
  6. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (7)
  7. HOW WILL I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (3)
  8. FIRE – Black Pumas (8)
  9. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (10)
  10. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (13)
  11. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (19)
  12. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (14)
  13. HELL N BACK – Bakar (11) 20th week on list
  14. STRANGERS – Mt. Joy (15)
  15. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (16)
  16. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (17)
  17. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (20)
  18. IF NOT FOR THE FIRE – The Million Reasons (9) 21st week on list
  19. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (23)
  20. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (24)
  21. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (25)
  22. LIVING IN A GHOST TOWN – The Rolling Stones (12)
  23. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (26)
  24. LEVEL OF CONCERN – twenty one pilots (18)
  25. DON’T LET ME DOWN – Milky Chance featuring Jack Johnson (22)
  26. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (28)
  27. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (30)
  28. I GOT YOU – Michael Franti & Spearhead (N)
  29. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (N)
  30. REAL LONG TIME – White Reaper (29)

Top 30 Songs for August 16-22, 2020

1. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (2)
2. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (3)
3. HOW WILL I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (1)
4. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (5)
5. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (7)
6. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (8)
7. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (10)
8. FIRE – Black Pumas (11)
9. IF NOT FOR THE FIRE – The Million Reasons (4) 20th week on list
10. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (14)
11. HELL N BACK – Bakar (6)
12. LIVING IN A GHOST TOWN – The Rolling Stones (9)
13. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (15)
14. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (18)
15. STRANGERS – Mt. Joy (13)
16. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (19)
17. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (20)
18. LEVEL OF CONCERN – twenty one pilots (12)
19. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (21)
20. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (22)
21. MARIA – Two Feet (16) 20th week on list
22. DON’T LET ME DOWN – Milky Chance featuring Jack Johnson (17)
23. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (27)
24. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (29)
25. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (N)
26. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (N)
27. LEMON DROP – Absofacto (23) 20th week on list
28. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (30)
29. REAL LONG TIME – White Reaper (24)
30. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 9-15, 2020

1. HOW WILL I REST IN PEACE IF I’M BURIED BY A HIGHWAY?// – Kenny Hoopla (1)
2. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (3)
3. BLACK & WHITE LOVE – Beating Hearts Club (4)
4. IF NOT FOR THE FIRE – The Million Reasons (2)
5. HONEYBEE – The Head and the Heart (6)
6. HELL N BACK – Bakar (5)
7. PSYCH FILM – Strangely Alright (8)
8. SOMEONE ELSE – Rezz & Grabbitz (9)
9. LIVING IN A GHOST TOWN – The Rolling Stones (10)
10. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (N)
11. FIRE – Black Pumas (13)
12. LEVEL OF CONCERN – twenty one pilots (7)
13. STRANGERS – Mt. Joy (12)
14. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (14)
15. HEAVEN IS HEART – Jaded Jane (15)
16. MARIA – Two Feet (11)
17. DON’T LET ME DOWN – Milky Chance featuring Jack Johnson (18)
18. NOT OK! – Chaz Cardigan (19)
19. SWIMMING CLOSER – HAZY (20)
20. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (21)
21. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (23)
22. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (27)
23. LEMON DROP – Absofacto (16)
24. REAL LONG TIME – White Reaper (17)
25. MAYDAY!!! FIESTA FEVER – AWOLNATION featuring Alex Ebert (24)
26. WOLVES – MISSIO (28)
27. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (30)
28. LAY YOUR HEAD ON ME – Major Lazer featuring Marcus Mumford (22)
29. ZEN – X Ambassadors, K.Flay & grandson (N)
30. BACK TO HIM – Soricah (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 18-24, 2019

1. DOIN’ TIME – Lana Del Rey (2)
2. BAD GUY – Billie Eilish (1)
3. FALLING WITH STYLE – Heist At Five (6)
4. COMING UP FOR AIR – Mars Motel (7)
5. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE DEVIL – Revolvers (8)
6. WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU – Local Natives (9)
7. I SEE YOU – MISSIO (3)
8. ALLIGATOR – Of Monsters and Men (5)
9. UNDER THE COLD LIGHT OF THE MOON – Crystal Cities (12)
10. 3 NIGHTS – Dominic Fike (14)
11. GO – The Black Keys (15)
12. HERE WE GO – Ben Priory & Charlie Pereira (13)
13. CRINGE – Matt Maeson (16)
14. MISSED CONNECTION – The Head and the Heart (4)
15. ROOM TO BREATHE – Made of Eyes (10)
16. SOCIAL CUES – Cage the Elephant (22)
17. FOUR WINDS – Unquiet Nights (18)
18. RAGGED TOWN – Second Player Score (19)
19. THIS LIFE – Vampire Weekend (20)
20. THE HYPE – twenty one pilots (23)
21. BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars (21)
22. BROTHERS – Harroland (25)
23. HEAT OF THE SUMMER – Young the Giant (26)
24. OLD MAN’S WAR – Roadkeeper (17)
25. HELP ME STRANGER – The Racounteurs (24)
26. GOOD THINGS FALL APART – ILLENIUM with Jon Bellion (30)
27. GOODBYES – Post Malone featuring Young Thug (N)
28. BOOM – X Ambassadors (27)
29. THE MIDDLE – Agency Panic (N)
30. SECRETS – The Million Reasons (N)