Howdy y’all! Happy end of year to you all. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that this has been quite the year, filled with tons of memories and experiences with music. One of my favorite signs of a good music year is looking back on records and being able to attach them to unique memories, and this year’s records were filled with that staying power. I hope you have a good time working through my favorite records of the year, and here’s to another good year in 2019!
If you caught me for a randomly selected 30 seconds of 2018, chances are you’d catch me listening to the best song ever, Kacey Musgraves’s “High Horse.” Golden Hour is a true culmination of everything that Kacey has put forth in her career. After being snubbed by the country sphere for two albums, Musgraves put out a record that throws further disregard at the tropes of a scene that excluded her, and ended up putting out a release that put all the haters to shame.
Dirty Computer record takes Janelle Monae’s eccentric artistic foundation and stretches it as wide as her personal and political vision will take it. Monaé is known for her eclectic influences and unabashed loyalty to her own vision, and the synthy, feminist, sci-fi disposition that she and Grimes show off on “Pynk” encapsulates the record’s conscious and self-aware disposition. Dirty Computer will go down as one of the most powerful musical moments in the Trump generation.
In the year of the 20 minute rap album, Daytona is the magnum of the opus. Pusha came out swinging as part of Kanye West’s (problematic) month in the mainstream, where he produced four weeks of 20 minute records, and his tight construction on this record gives Pusha’s flow and lyricism a chance to shine.
Snail Mail’s Lush is the foundation for the future of indie rock. While Lindsey Jordan is only 19 years old, her debut full-length is densely filled with raw, unabashed emotion that is presented in an almost “pristine” package. Songs like “Heat Wave” peak with an irresistible emphasis on solid songwriting and tight musicianship, a common trend that weaves through the record from start to finish.
Something about this year made me really appreciate records that were free-wielding in their willingness to explore and stretch themselves creatively, and Isolation succeeds in that department, and then some. While rooted in some definition of R&B, Kali Uchis navigates soundscapes ranging from funk to reggaeton and dream pop, to name a few. Uchis succeeds in how she weaves these sounds into a package that will continue to hold its own as she makes her way up the pop and R&B stratosphere.
6. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
7. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
8. Soccer Mommy – Clean
9. Lucy Dacus – Historian
10. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
11. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
12. U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
13. Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
14. Ashley Monroe – Sparrow
15. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs
16. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
17. The Internet – Hive Mind
18. Beach House – 7
19. Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
20. BOYO – Me, Again
Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
Vince Staples – FM!
MewithoutYou – [Untitled]
Camp Cope – How To Socialize & Make Friends
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
boygenius – boygenius
Most Anticipated: La Dispute – Panorama
Want to see what the rest of the staff liked this year?
Check out The Top Albums Of 2018!