One more "Best Of…" list that nobody asked for.
This was a great year for music, and I consciously spent a lot of time and attention exploring and appreciating this year's releases.
Here are some of my favorite songs from 2018.
There were lots of great records, but here are the ones I couldn't imagine being without this year. They may not be the best objectively, but they're my favorites. In no particular order:
- boygenius – boygenius — The supergroup with Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus. Don't miss this, and listen to all of these members' solo projects.
- Ólafur Arnalds – re:member — The latest from my favorite composer. He worked with a developer to programmatically generate notes on a pair of player pianos from a keyboard input, and the result is something special.
- Casey – Where I Go When I Am Sleeping — This album from a Welsh post-hardcore band probably won't win any awards, but it's a devastating depiction of depression. One screamed line that will stay with me forever: "This is an open letter to myself in ten years time. I'm sorry if you're not around to read this; I swear that I tried."
- Fiddlehead – Springtime And Blind — The latest project from Have Heart's Pat Flynn.
- Novo Amor – Birthplace — Gorgeously soft, tender, and beautiful. I listened to this while walking through a heavy rainstorm, and it was a memorable experience.
- Carb On Carb – For Ages — A heartfelt record from a New Zealand band reminiscent of 00s emo. It's under $4 on bandcamp; pick it up!
- Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends — I slept on this for too long; it's really excellent.
- Now, Now – Saved — I wasn't sure how I felt about this project going from a sort of dreamy indie band to more indie-pop, but it's so fun and groovy that I don't even care.
- Tiny Moving Parts – Swell — This band is one of the definitive "Midwestern Emo" bands right now. Check it out for lots of open tunings and twinkly riffs.
- Foxing – Nearer My God — I've enjoyed Foxing's other records, and was interested in listening through this one. I had my first listen walking back home from the park on an August night, and I wasn't at all prepared for how excellent this record is. Grand Paradise caught my attention immediately, and might be my favorite track of the entire year—when the second chorus hit at the end, I found myself dancing on the sidewalk like Baby on his coffee run in Baby Driver.
- Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs — Short, concise, and heartfelt.
- Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog — I heard Hop Along mentioned by a few people in interviews and in videos, and stumbled onto their Tiny Desk concert. When I heard "Well-Dressed," I knew they were something special.
- Wiley – Godfather II — A recent find for me, Wiley is referred to as the Godfather of Grime, a UK subgenre of hip-hop.
- Pianos Become The Teeth – Wait For Love — A little more lighthearted and hopeful than Keep You, but still enjoyable and poignant.