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