It's that time of year again
It feels like this year was especially hard, I started with a list of almost 30 albums, and in the end have managed to narrow it down to just 10. I'm pretty sure I say it was a tough year every year but looking back 2018 seems like it was a really great year for music. Here's hoping that doesn't slow down in 2019.
Before we get into albums, I want to do something a little different from previous years and do individual song shout outs. These may be songs that didn't come on full albums, or the album didn't live up to how much I enjoyed the individual songs. Either way, these are some of my favourite songs of the year and each of them has been on heavy repeat since they came out and are 100% worth checking out:
Now on to the main event, my top 10 albums of 2018:
10. Pusha T - Daytona
Dragon slaying aside, this is a great album. Produced by one of the best in the game, the beats are top notch and Pusha's very emphatic, one. syllable. at. a. time. style fits so well. Plus, the Drake diss track and ensuing back and forth was hilarious to follow along with.
9. Clean - Soccer Mommy
More sad female vocals and guitars, this time with a little more lo-fi indie rock flavour to it. Unsuprisingly, the songwriting and vocals are the real star of the show here, where her sometimes also deadpan delivery fits perfectly with the music.
8. Ballads 1 - Joji
It took me about 30 seconds into this album to know it was going to really like it. The drop on Attention where everything gets all bass-y and fuzzy is so satisfying. This is just some great sad-Brendan music, not much else to say. Some individual songs are a little forgetable, but the album is a whole is an easy front to back listen on a rainy day.
7. Amen - Rich Brian
I really didn't expect this album to be so high up on my list when it came out in February, but I kept coming back to it. When I first saw the Dat $tick music video a couple years ago I honestly couldn't figure out if it was a joke or not. A skinny kid in a light pink polo and a fanny pack with a voice two octaves too deep rapping about gangster shit is just too funny. That being said, his flows are great, the beats aren't bad, and there are some very solid features that make this an album I just keep coming back to.
6. Future Me Hates Me - The Beths
The lead single off this album has been on constant repeat for the last month, I just can't stop listening to it. To me this album feels like it's straight out of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in all the best ways. This album is a little rough around the edges, but somehow also has this brightness and pep to it that I just can't get enough of. Every time I've come back to tinker with this list this album keeps sneaking up higher and higher.
5. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Easily the album I least expected to have on my list at the start of the year, I slept on this for so long because I kept seeing it mentioned near words like pop and country, but after seeing it pop up on a lot of year end lists I didn't expect it to I decided I had to give it a listen, and holy am I glad I did. To me, I hear pop country and I think of douches in flannels playing guitars on top of flaming trucks, but this is something totally different. The instrumentation and song writing really shine here, there's tasteful banjo, catchy hooks, and just a great collection of quality songs.
4. Exhibitionist - Let Go of Love
This is the sort of album I'm all over. Dreamy, somewhat sad female vocals on top of some minimal instrumentals lead by really strong percussion makes this an album I kept coming back to throughout the year. This is fantastic background music, but I was also happy to listen to this on its own as well. The album is short and sweet and one of my favourite new artist finds of 2018.
3. SOPHIE - Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
SOPHIE produced my album of the year in 2015, and has consistently been involved in or around a lot of my favourite music since. My only complains with this album come from the pacing. It feels even more all over the place than usual, and features this very on/off, high/low, thing that makes it challenging to listen to as a whole album. That being said, there tracks on their own are all fantastic, uniquely SOPHIE, but still something new and fresh.
2. Leon Bridges - Good Thing
I feel a little bad about this, because my brother must have told me to give this album a shot about a hundred times before I finally got around to it, but once I did it was on repeat for months. To me the real star here is the lyricism. Each song is so well thought out, soulful and you can really feel the emotion in everything. This is a really solid album in so many ways and was very hard to pick between this and my number 1.
1. Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears
This album is incredible on a bunch of different levels to me. It's so cool that two young girls from a smallish town in the UK can make and distribute music with so many influences from all over the world that reaches so far away. The SOPHIE collaboration on Hot Pink as the second track after a completely instrumental, space-y intro really sets the tone of the album, and they deliver. This album jumps between genres, there are obviously heavy influences from SOPHIE and the rest of PC music with the aforementioned Hot Pink, and the second feature on It's Not Just Me, but I hear influences from UK legends Pink Floyd in some of the later tracks, and everything in between. I think every track on its own is fantastic, but it's even more impressive to me how well they go togther, moving between genres effortlessly and making catchy, energetic music the whole time.