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Old 12-26-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
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Best Music of 2018

Perhaps we won't have formal tallying this year, but I think the B&C year-end thread is a great tradition that we shouldn't lose sight of. So post whatever you want here about the year in music: best albums, favorite tracks, whatever. I will have a top ten albums ready in the next week, I hope.

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Old 12-26-2018, 10:32 PM   #2
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Very glad you made this thread, iYup. Looking forward to what others post; I'm finalising my year-end lists this week.

"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

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Old 12-26-2018, 10:45 PM   #3
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Yeah I won't be doing a post, but looking forward to this thread!
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:51 AM   #4
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I haven't finalized any rankings yet, need to give some of these some more spins before it settles. But this is the list I'm working off at the moment:

Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
The MALK - Sparkle Hard
Forth Wanderers - S/T
Rosalia - El Mal Querer
Ty Segal - Freedom's Goblin
Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt
Snail Mail - Lush
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs
Tracey Thorn - Record
FJM - God's Favorite Customer
Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now
Neko Case - Hell-On
Yo La Tengo - There's A Riot Going On
Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive
Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

Disappointment of the year based on my expectations is Cat Power. Not a bad album but really failed to capture my attention. I've also kind of checked out on hip hop at this point; I was never heavily into it but would still be familiar with and enjoy some of the more prominent artists. Oh well.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:17 AM   #5
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Hope Downs tho
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
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2018 is a funny year for me because I probably listened to a few new albums and that's it. For me, this is the year I discovered the band Biffy Clyro, who has probably become my close 2nd favorite band of all time behind U2 in a matter of 8 months. It's a damn shame that I missed the first 16 years of their existence.

I'm guessing they probably wouldn't be too popular in these forums because they actually play guitars and can get pretty heavy at times. Early in their career, they were more Prog/Indie, and then they blew up in the UK but for whatever reason, they never hit in the US. I'm hoping they tour the US in 2019 so I can see them, most likely up close in a smaller venue!

So yeah, while I can't easily point to my favorite new album of 2018, it was one of the better music years for me.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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Here is the tracklisting to my best of this year. Depending on what else is posted in this thread, it could change. But in my opinion, one of the strongest years in a while.

Cat Power - The Wanderer
Lord Huron - The Night We Met
boygenius - Souvenir
Linn Kock-Emmery - Wires
Kurt Vile - Loading Zone
The Ophelias - Fog
Rostam - In a River
Shout Out Louds - In New Europe
Death Cab - Northern Lights
Flora Cash - You're Somebody Else (probably may favorite song this year)
Frightened Rabbit - How it Gets In
Middle Kids - Edge of Town
Barns Courtney - 99
The Vaccines - I Can't Quit
Brett - Doll
CHVRCHES - Graffiti
Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes - Running
*repeat repeat - Girlfriend
Alvvays - Antisocialites (I know late 2017, but i kinda missed it last year)
Manchester Orchestra - It's Amazing
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:38 AM   #8
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I’m still working on my Favorite Songs list. But I got my albums ready to go, if we decide to do tallying.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:30 PM   #9
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I haven't been listening to nearly as much new music as some of you, but the Beach House album 7 should probably be mentioned. It's really good.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:20 AM   #10
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I culled the following list/write-ups from a RYM list that I compiled, which can be read in full here:

Since we're all pretty familiar with top 15 lists from previous years, I will use that as a foundation and go from there.

Best albums:

15. Julia Holter - Aviary
In a word: overwhelming. This is spiritual jazz flavored by decades of experimental and modern classical music. There's no good way to describe this record; listen to it and allow yourself to be swept away.

Key tracks: Turn the Light On, I Shall Love 2, Words I Heard

14. Robyn - Honey
The best "comeback" album of 2018, but unlike most comeback albums, there was never any doubt this would be good. The first half is one reliable Robyn banger after another, while the second half takes her music into some fresh new directions.

Key tracks: Missing U, Honey, Ever Again

13. Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - Fetti
One of those instances when the ingredients are amazing but the end result is somehow even better. Please drop Bandana soon, Freddie.

Key tracks: Saturday Night Special, Willie Lloyd

12. Pejzaż - Ostatni Dzień Lata
If you thought The Avalanche's Wildflower was excellent but wanted just a little bit more downtempo and nu-jazz in the mix, boy do I have the record for you!

Key tracks: Przyzwyczajamy Się, Ostatni Dzień Lata

11. Hookworms - Microshift
RIP to this now-canceled but endlessly great neo-psychedelic band. If you can ignore that the singer is an asshole, you can hopefully enjoy the year's finest musical shift this side of KKB, an invigorating mix of neo-psychedelia, krautrock and progressive electronic.

Key tracks: Negative Space, Ullswater

10. Melody's Echo Chamber - Bon voyage
Melody Prochet returns from a life-altering accident with her best record, a fresh and modern spin on neo-psychedelia that never fails to surprise, even when its influences are clear as day.

Key tracks: Cross My Heart, Quand les larmes d'un ange font danser la neige

9. Kero Kero Bonito - Time 'n' Place
My pick for the best band of 2018 capped off their incredible year with this, a varied, joyous and thoughtful stew of sounds that cemented Sarah Bonito as one of the most creative, relatable and charismatic artists in music today.

Key tracks: Time Today, Make Believe, Swimming

8. U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited
You won't believe how funky this is until you hear it. A groovy, psychedelic fever dream that evokes the best aspects of disco, funk and 1960s pop.

Key tracks: M.A.H., Rosebud, Time

7. Against All Logic - 2012-2017
One of the greatest deep house records of all time, it evokes nocturnal urban environments like nothing since Burial's peak. The sampling is top notch and it never fully sacrifices melody for groove.

Key tracks: I Never Dream, Cityfade

6. MGMT - Little Dark Age
Their best and first truly great record. They've brought synthpop into their sound a decade after everyone else and still sound fresh. That opening four-track run is a thing of beauty.

Key tracks: Little Dark Age, Me and Michael

5. Beach House - 7
Though it may not contain the band's highest peaks to date (Dive comes close), this is the band's most refined and skillfully-sequenced record, boasting unusually punchy textures, impressive flow and a psychedelic quality unlike their previous albums.

Key tracks: Dive, Black Car

4. Pusha T - Daytona
Gives Kanye the opportunity to reaffirm his immense talent as a producer while bringing Push out of the wilderness. The best producer/rapper collaborative record since Piñata.

Key tracks: If You Know You Know, The Games We Play, Infrared

3. DJ Koze - Knock Knock
The platonic ideal of a producer's record, merging top-shelf features with impressive sonic coherence and consistent quality.

Key tracks: Bonfire, Moving in a Liquid, Pick Up

2. Mid-Air Thief - Crumbling
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year for me, it's a glorious mix of Animal Collective, Sweet Trip, Grizzly Bear and Stereolab that takes the listener on a journey to somewhere beautiful. Perhaps the ultimate example of indietronica and it dropped in 2018.

Key tracks: 쇠사슬 (These Chains), 함께 무너지기 (Crumbling Together)

1. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy (2018)
2018's most sweeping, ambitious and emotive rock listening experience. A record about personal growth and forgiveness that feels essential despite its designation as a re-recording.

Key tracks: Beach Life-in-Death, Bodys, Famous Prophets (Stars)

Just missed the cut:

Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - Sparkle Hard
Mount Eerie - Now Only
Saba - Care For Me
Kali Uchis - Isolation

Best EPs:

5. Jenny Hval - The Long Sleep
An always singular and intriguing artist, this EP pares Hval's best qualities down to half an hour and gives us perhaps the best song of her career.

4. 水曜日のカンパネラ [Suiyoubi no Campanella] - ガラパゴス (Galapagos)
At 36 minutes, this is really more of an album-length release from one of the most consistent J-pop bands going. They're as danceable and sublime as ever, though in a perhaps more contemplative mood here than usual.

3. Hatchie - Sugar & Spice
This perfect marriage of Cocteau Twins-influenced dream pop and vintage jangle pop would be embraced as a classic if it had dropped in 1986.

2. Kero Kero Bonito - TOTEP
The band kicked off their masterful 2018 with a total about face in sound that presented endless possibility and undeniable charm. Not a bad track in the batch.

1. Sufjan Stevens - Mystery of Love
Three absolutely perfect songs from what I consider to be the most fruitful period of Sufjan's career.

Best archival release:

Prince - Piano & a Microphone 1983
One of the most talented men of the 20th and 21st centuries in his heyday, propped up in front of a piano in order to play some great songs. If that isn't enough, you also get a feverish after hours atmosphere, which seems to blend these tracks together into a flavorful soup of jazz and soul.

Best compilation:

Liz Phair - Girly-Sound to Guyville
One of the best records of the 90s packaged alongside three eye-opening independent releases that served as a blueprint for today's indie rock scene. Study and savor every second of this.

I might do a top songs list/playlist, but this is enough for now.

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Old 12-30-2018, 11:38 AM   #11
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My top ten list:

1. Armand Hammer: Paraffin
This one came out of nowhere for me toward the end of the year - hazy, semi-industrial, super-literate hip-hop from the duo of Billy Woods and Elucid.
Best track: Rehearse with Ornette

2. Beach House: 7
A mood piece even by Beach House standards, and an album that rewards multiple listens. Feels more nocturnal than any other album in their discography.
Best track: Black Car

3. Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs
I love Earl's lo-fi production style, which balances warmth and menace skillfully. Though concise, with several tracks under two minutes, the story-telling creates a gripping atmosphere.
Best track: Red Water

4. Low: Double Negative
Ominous is the best descriptive word, like an approaching storm. Guitars and vocals cut through the haze in just the right arrangements and timings to prevent anything from becoming monotonous.
Best track: Dancing & Blood

5. Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Easily their most consistent album. The chamber pop embellishments over traditional rock structures work better than they should on almost every track.
Best track: Four out of Five

6. Rhye: Blood
Silky, subtly groovy alt R&B.
Best track: Taste

7. Skee Mask: Compro
German electro that feels exactly like its album cover: icy, distant, but alluring.
Best track: Rev8617

8. Mitksi: Be the Cowboy
A bold experiment that doesn't quite hit the highs of Puberty 2 but nonetheless pulls you into its world of punchy vignettes.
Best track: Nobody

9. Tanukichan: Sundays
Another one deserving of more attention: My Bloody Valentine meets Beach House for a different kind of take on dream pop.
Best track: Like the Sun

10. Thom Yorke: Suspiria
Amazing in how a compendium of sketches and mood pieces can hang together so well. Suspirium is the best song of the year, with Unmade not far behind.
Best track: Suspirium
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
I culled the following list/write-ups from a RYM list that I compiled, which can be read in full here:

I just read through this and had a laugh at how we described the Skee Mask album in nearly identical terms.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:00 PM   #13
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Best Music of 2018

I listened to a lot of music this year but I don’t know if a ton of it was necessarily new music. My album of the year didn’t get many plays on Spotify and I think it’s a crying shame.

My list shamelessly contains stuff that I’m sure people think is crap and/or derivative. But whatever. I don’t really care.

1. Author: “Is It Far Or Is It Close?”

This record deserves all of the love in the world. Fantastic instrumentation and a really good vocalist. This is the type of music I’d be making if I played with a bunch of like-minded, talented musicians.

2. Lord Huron: “Vide Noir”
3. Arctic Monkeys: “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino”
4. The Moondoggies: “A Love Sleeps Deep”
5. Wild Nothing: “Indigo”
6. lovelytheband: “Finding It Hard To Smile”
7. Sports: “Everyone’s Invited”
8. Fine China: “Not Thrilled”
9. Børns: “Blue Madonna”
10. Greta Van Fleet: “Anthem Of The Peaceful Army” (yeah, yeah, I know)

One artist I discovered this year that didn’t release anything this year is Noah Gundersen. The album I listened to the most was The Head On The Door by The Cure.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:49 PM   #14
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My top 15:

01 :: Metric - Art of Doubt
02 :: Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
03 :: Wild Nothing - Indigo
04 :: CHVRCHES - Love is Dead
05 :: Steve Perry - Traces
06 :: twenty one pilots - TRENCH
07 :: Young the Giant - Mirror Master
08 :: Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You for Today
09 :: MGMT - Little Dark Age
10 :: Dave Matthews Band - Come Tomorrow
11 :: Paul McCartney - Egypt Station
12 :: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Upside Down Flowers
13 :: Snow Patrol - Wildness
14 :: Florence + The Machine - High as Hope
15 :: Mumford & Sons - Delta

Songs (by artist alphabetical order)
Dave Matthews Band - Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)
Death Cab for Cutie - Near/Far
Florence + The Machine - Sky Full of Song
James Bay - Pink Lemonade
Janelle Monáe - Crazy, Classic, Life
Lykke Li - Deep End
Metric - No Lights on the Horizon
MGMT - Me and Michael
Preoccupations - Disarray
Snow Patrol - A Youth Written in Fire
Steve Perry - Most of All
Wild Nothing - Letting Go
Young the Giant - Superposition
The 1975 - It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by prbiker15 View Post
Songs (by artist alphabetical order)
Metric - No Lights on the Horizon
Pretty cool that Metric decided to pay homage not only to Shuttlecock’s 2009 album, but also track 2 on SOE.

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