Best of 2018

YEAR IN REVIEW: My favorite songs of 2018

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!

Alternative/rock songs

  1. Cute Thing – Car Seat Headrest
  2. Ullswater – Hookworms
  3. Your Dog – Soccer Mommy
  4. Last Ride – Beach House
  5. Bodys – Car Seat Headrest
  6. Art of Doubt – Metric
  7. We’re Not Done (End Title) – Mogwai
  8. Breadwinner – Everything Everything
  9. Nobody – Mitski
  10. Six Wave Hold-Down – Hot Snakes
  11. Nameless, Faceless – Courtney Barnett
  12. If You Really Love Nothing – Interpol
  13. Fly – Low
  14. Silhouettes – American Football
  15. Noid – Yves Tumor
  16. Suspirium – Thom Yorke
  17. Let Them Win – Jeff Rosenstock
  18. Fast Slow Disco – St. Vincent
  19. Lemon Glow – Beach House
  20. Dark Saturday – Metric
  21. When You Die – MGMT
  22. Sober to Death – Car Seat Headrest
  23. Leave It In My Dreams – The Voids
  24. Now or Never Now – Metric
  25. Dancing and Fire – Low
  26. Need a Little Time – Courtney Barnett
  27. Right Now – Dirty Projectors, Syd
  28. Drunk In LA – Beach House
  29. Tenderness – Parquet Courts
  30. Decompose – Preoccupations
  31. I Need a Doctor – Hot Snakes
  32. Burn – The Soft Moon
  33. Wide Awake – Parquet Courts
  34. Talking Straight – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
  35. Far Away Truths – Albert Hammond, Jr.
  36. Risk – Metric
  37. She Works Out Too Much – MGMT
  38. Pain Killer – Iceage, Sky Ferreira
  39. Mardi Gras Beads – Parquet Courts
  40. Never Fight A Man With A Perm – IDLES
  41. Two Slow Dancers – Mitski
  42. Loading Zones – Kurt Vile
  43. 60 & Punk – Death Cab of Cutie
  44. Danny Nedelko – IDLES
  45. Dissarray – Preoccupations
  46. Funeral Singers – Sylvan Esso, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees
  47. Honeycomb – Deafheaven
  48. Science Fiction – Arctic Monkeys
  49. Pontiac 87 – Preoccupations
  50. Never Ever – Lord Huron

Hip-hop/R&B songs

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YEAR IN REVIEW: My 11 favorite albums of 2018

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

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