Here are my favorite songs that came out in 2018, separated into lists for the 50 best Alternative, Hip-hop, and Pop song. Full playlists can be found on Spotify, are updated frequently and include additional songs. As always, thanks for listening!
- Cute Thing – Car Seat Headrest
- Ullswater – Hookworms
- Your Dog – Soccer Mommy
- Last Ride – Beach House
- Bodys – Car Seat Headrest
- Art of Doubt – Metric
- We’re Not Done (End Title) – Mogwai
- Breadwinner – Everything Everything
- Nobody – Mitski
- Six Wave Hold-Down – Hot Snakes
- Nameless, Faceless – Courtney Barnett
- If You Really Love Nothing – Interpol
- Fly – Low
- Silhouettes – American Football
- Noid – Yves Tumor
- Suspirium – Thom Yorke
- Let Them Win – Jeff Rosenstock
- Fast Slow Disco – St. Vincent
- Lemon Glow – Beach House
- Dark Saturday – Metric
- When You Die – MGMT
- Sober to Death – Car Seat Headrest
- Leave It In My Dreams – The Voids
- Now or Never Now – Metric
- Dancing and Fire – Low
- Need a Little Time – Courtney Barnett
- Right Now – Dirty Projectors, Syd
- Drunk In LA – Beach House
- Tenderness – Parquet Courts
- Decompose – Preoccupations
- I Need a Doctor – Hot Snakes
- Burn – The Soft Moon
- Wide Awake – Parquet Courts
- Talking Straight – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
- Far Away Truths – Albert Hammond, Jr.
- Risk – Metric
- She Works Out Too Much – MGMT
- Pain Killer – Iceage, Sky Ferreira
- Mardi Gras Beads – Parquet Courts
- Never Fight A Man With A Perm – IDLES
- Two Slow Dancers – Mitski
- Loading Zones – Kurt Vile
- 60 & Punk – Death Cab of Cutie
- Danny Nedelko – IDLES
- Dissarray – Preoccupations
- Funeral Singers – Sylvan Esso, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees
- Honeycomb – Deafheaven
- Science Fiction – Arctic Monkeys
- Pontiac 87 – Preoccupations
- Never Ever – Lord Huron
I don’t think 2018 produced nearly as many great albums as the previous 3 years had, making it an average or somewhat below average year. It felt like there was an endless supply of albums that I felt were fine but didn’t fully capture my attention. That said, there were 11 that stood out to me over the crowd. For a Spotify playlist of highlights from each album, scroll to the end of the article.
Double Negative, Low
It’s rare, but ever once in a while you find an album that for whatever reason hits on everything you’re looking for in music, even if you can’t explain why. Double Negative did that for me, and reminded me a lot of how I felt the first time I listened to Radiohead’s Kid A in high school. The sparse and vast soundscapes Low is able to create are powerful and awe-inspiring. I don’t think any of the individual songs are classics on their own, but as a collection the record really works on a level that’s different than any album in a long time. Double Negative is not an album I would ever call fun or uplifting, but its one I’ve loved listening to and appreciating, and are a cut above the rest of the 2018 pack in my book.
Cocoa Sugar, Young Fathers
Young Fathers is a group that really can’t be defined by a standard genre—they loosely make songs that mix hip-hop and R&B over alternative and electronic beats—so it’s hard to describe their appeal to someone who’s never listened to them. I hate using the words “unique” or “experimental” when talking about music, but there really isn’t much out there like them. On Cocoa Sugar pianos, organs, MIDI horns, and vocal harmonies and rounds create the melodies, while drum machines and samples drive the music. Frantic songs like “Wow,” “Wire,” and “Toy” are panicked-sounding dance tracks with fantastic beats and telling lyrics. “In My View” and “Lord” are tortured-sounding gospel songs, with grand instrumentals and subdued, reflective vocals. Cocoa Sugar also made me appreciate how creative the trio has been since day one. I love when an album forces me to go back and listen to an artist’s older works I hadn’t really given much of a chance. Ever since hearing “LOW” on Minnesota Public Radio back in 2014 I’ve liked most of the Young Fathers songs I had heard but never bothered with their albums. That was a mistake I rectified in 2018.
7, Beach House
With the conclusion of the Winter Meetings Dec. 15, here’s a rundown of all the notable free agent signings in the MLB offseason so far. I’m going to try to update this list once a week as the offseason goes on, and will be adding in notable trades at as well.
At the moment, most of the players who have signed have been relief pitchers, which doesn’t make for the most fun transaction log but could really alter a team’s outlook and can point to future moves to come.
Carlos Santana -3 years, $60 million to the Phillies
Santana has been one of the most reliable batters in the business since his first full season in 2011. He might not be as exciting a player to watch or as young as Eric Hosmer, but I’m a sucker for guys who can draw walks and would prefer Santana right now if choosing a first baseman or DH for the next few seasons.
He’s an asset that any team would be lucky to have, except the fit here with the Phillies doesn’t seem exactly logical for the club. Rhys Hoskins, the team’s most exciting player last season, already mans first base, and without a DH in the NL, it looks like he’ll have to learn the outfield or be dealt, neither of which should make fans too happy.
Zack Cozart – 3 years, $38 million to the Angels