The Menzingers were already one of the best punk bands in the world, but what they were able to do with After The Party is truly special. It’s such a deeply introspective look at growing old that is handled beautifully while never losing an ounce of the punch the band has become so known for.
This record takes the heart-on-your-sleeve stylings of its peers and folds in an uncanny knack for infectious melodies. It takes the distinctly singular feel of a DIY record and builds upon to create fleshed out songs that hold their own but also meld together to form a cohesive piece.
It would have been a safe (and profitable) move for Harry Styles to stay within the pop realm with his first solo effort outside of behemoth boy band One Direction, but the branching out that comes with his debut is immensely rewarding. A nostalgic romp that covers all sorts of ground between softly picked acoustic tunes to stomping full band songs, Styles’s solo record is a fantastic piece that is even more impressive given who it’s coming from.
It’s hard to judge this album solely on the music, as its story is such a strong part of how it turned out. Equal parts heartbreaking and breathtaking, it’s a record that is so sparse throughout that the emptiness of the songs acts as an instrument of its own. It may “barely be music” according to its mastermind, but this album is undoubtedly filled to the brim with an unending weight of emotion that makes it truly special.
Phoebe Bridgers’s official debut is more than just a strong voice with a guitar. She weaves in such an eclectic array of sounds throughout, sounds that swirl around and build up each song while also keeping to the periphery in order to let Bridgers’s immaculate voice take the spotlight.
6. Lorde – Melodrama
7. Tigers Jaw – spin
8. Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet
9. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound
10. Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
Most-Anticipated for 2018: Now, Now