Woohoo what a start to 2019. I have been eagerly awaiting this new release from HEALTH. They have been dropping these incredible collaboration singles all last year. Their song Innocence with Youth Code was my pick for #1 of 2018, so you know I’m hyped for even more new stuff. Just got my preorder and upon 1st listen it’s dark and beautiful. Not sure if I like it more than Death Magic but it is different enough to mark some new territories for the band to explore. The title track is a hooky gem and on constant repeat over here. And if you haven’t seem them live, get tickets NOW.
When a year ends, I always look forward to reflecting back on all the music that passed through my ear drums. The music that was born in 2018 reflected the mood of our current social and emotional situation in this world. Full of anxiety, fear, angst and downright anger. Within this tumultuous spin of turmoil there were beautiful glimmers of hope and warmth. Despite the rollercoaster of what this year was, the following soundtrack will hopefully be a nice guide to all the amazing sonic high points.
Starting with over 5000 new tracks, editing them down to my 101 was not an easy task. Going through the arduous process made me appreciate all the gems that came through and I hope you enjoy the journey and get exposed to some new bands.
OK, enough blah blah
My Top Albums of 2018
10. Screaming Females – All at Once
9. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Limited
8. Half Waif – Lavender
7. Noname – Room 25
6. Sleep – The Sciences
5. Camp Cope – How to Socialize & Make Friends
Hard to not include a band from Australia on any top list. This punk trio from Melbourne doesn’t pull any punches on this lyrically charged album with songs full of resilience. Themes of inequality, loss and growth come through with emotional and shrieking vocals. Reminds me of early Rainer Maria in all the best ways.
4. Snail Mail – Lush
A strong solo album by Lindsey Jordan. Moody, emotional and introspective lyrics over heartfelt guitars. Her deadpan delivery of earnest lyrics are carried along with instrumental flourishes and jangling chords. This guitar driven dream pop album was a gem.
3. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
Was very excited when the underground and experimental rapper and producer from Baltimore dropped this full length. It is a clusterfuck of mastery production full of weird, crazy, aggressive sounds. The frenetic album is one of the most creative and unique rap glitch hop albums of the year.
2. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
This somewhat schizophrenic album was on a heavy repeat all year. Elements of post punk and art punk weave throughout the album. The lyrics and instrumentation are powerful and engaging. This album is far more polished but the band hasn’t lost their edge and if anything they are flexing their musical and emotional range.
1. Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want
With their first album in 8 years, Daughters come back with a frightening tour de force of avant-garde noise rock. The production on this is incredible, highlighting the shrill guitars, violent dissonance and barking vocals. The songs are longer than in previous releases which allows the listener to fall into the abyss on these songs. My emotions were swirling when this album finished and needed to take a mental pause before I played it all over again. This album is pure dread and it’s absolutely amazing. One of the most intense and powerful releases I have heard in a long time.
My Top Songs of 2018
10. “Future Me Hates Me” – The Beths
9. “Killshot” – Emimem
8. “Jetty” – Tycho
7. “Dead Eyes” – Dusted
6. “Prom Queen” – Beach Bunny
5. “Leveler” – Half Waif
4. “Baby Love” – Nilüfer Yanya
3. “Palindrome” – Azure Ray
2. “In Camera” – Yumi Zouma
1. “INNOCENCE” – Health, Youth Code
Listen to the rest of the top 101 songs here on Spotify
Best songs of 2018
There was so much great music this year, its almost impossible to fit it all onto an arbitrarily numbered list.
Here’s another playlist of all the amazing tunes I also absolutely loved
More from 2018
Best Band Name Awards:
Thanks for tuning in
If you like the bands or hopefully introduced to new sounds, go and support them!
Buy their music, merch, or better yet, see them live!
here is a sampling of upcoming shows from bands featured on the list.
Noname 1/5-6 @ Brooklyn Steel
Palehoud – 1/17 @ Brooklyn Steel
Azure Ray – 1/19 @ Bell House
HEALTH – 1/23 @ Elsewhere
Lala Lala – 1/26 @ Rough Trade
Bodega – 1/31 @ Rough Trade
Cup – 2/1 @ Alphaville
Nilüfer Yanya – 2/9 @ Beacon Theater
Naked Giants – 2//13 @ Rough Trade
Adrianne Lenker – 2/14 @ Luke Temple
Cherry Glazer – 2/16 Bowery Ballroom
Anderson .Paak – 2/22 @ Hammerstein
Kamasi Washington – 2/23 @ Apollo
Julia Holter – 2/22 @ Warsaw
The Beths – 3/01 @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Viagra Boys – 3/12 @ Elsewhere
Daughters – 3/13 @ Warsaw
Dilly Dally – 3/21 @ MHOW
Numb.er – 3/23 @ Baby’s All Right
Let’s Eat Grandma – 4/5 @ Elsewhere
Black Belt Eagle Scout – 4/24 @ Bowery Ballroom
HEALTH – 4/25 @ Elsewhere
Happy New Year !!!
and so exited for what 2019 has to come
As always, thanks for listening
Current concert list LINK HERE
Vinicius Cantuária was born in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, then moved to Rio with his family at age 7. As a musician he connects several zones of Brazilian music. He is sometimes labeled as a ‘post-electronic acoustic’ and typically included songs by Jobim and Gilberto Gil. I got introduced to him when he was collaborating with Arto Lindsey while working at the Knitting Factory and I was fascinated with his experimentation and fusion of many genres of music. Tonight he teams up with avant-roots guitarist Bill Frisell to play selection from their new Lágrimas Mexicanas. Cantuária’s new album was inspired by the scenes outside his brooklyn apartment on 7th Ave. He blends bluegrass to boss nova with elements of pop. The collaboration between the two was delightful as they played off each other’s notes and melodies rising slowly and inviting you into the larger compassion.
Soundscapers Ben Neill, Michael Lowenstern and Todd Reynolds combined their imaginative sounds for a unique performance in Brooklyn. The venue was fitting for the artistic and musical spectacle. Each artist displayed their talents in solo, duo and trio sets. They were accompanied by incredible dynamic video projections that perfectly captured the energy and sound in the room in visual form. I knew Ben Neill from my Knitting Factory days and I am so glad he has matured into a more creative composer blurring the lines of electronica and contemporary jazz. These three combined ambient, funk and jazz in such a perfect union and I hope more of these collaborations are planned for the future. Michael Lowernstern will be at SXSW and Todd Reynolds sill be releasing a new album later in March.