47 Favorite Albums Of 2018
In keeping with a years-old tradition of picking an arbitrary number of albums based on how long a year has felt and how much music has come out, I’m going with 47 albums this year. Approaching ten more than last year, if that tells you anything about how exhausting (and enjoyable) the consumption of music is getting for me. Here is last year’s, for the curious. I found myself really challenged this year, simply because this year really made a mess of my relationship with linear time. It felt longer, and slower. Because of that, my memory around albums and releases got really messy and cluttered. Still, I did my best to honor the albums I remembered cutting small slivers of excitement as a soundtrack to this timeless hellscape. As always, if there is good writing on the album from my peers, I will share that. Like every year, big part of me loves reading about musicians and albums as much as I love listening to the albums themselves.
47. JPEGMAFIA — Veteran
This LA Times piece is very solid.
46. Young Fathers — Cocoa Sugar
This Guardian profile was striking and intensely honest.
45. Low — Double Negative
44. City Girls — Girl Code
Read: “City Girls Are More Like You Than You Think” by Naomi Zeichner
43. Deafheaven — Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
42. Kacey Musgraves — Golden Hour
(There was a lot of Kacey Musgraves writing this year but I was kind of bummed that so much of it revolved around reinforcing the country music binary. Too much wheel spinning in the mud of what is/isn’t country, or if an album “this creative” could be country or etc.)
41. 03 Greedo — The Wolf Of Grape Street
This Rolling Stone profile of Greedo on his last days before turning himself in to start his prison sentence is fascinating/heartbreaking.
40. Jean Grae & Quelle Chris— Everything’s Fine
39. Christine and the Queens — Chris
Read this Rolling Stone profile especially for the quote “being confused is my eroticism.”
38. Florence and the Machine— High As Hope
There were some good things written about Florence Welch this year, but also this performance of “Sky Full Of Song” on Jools Holland is one of the most captivating live performances I watched all year.
37. Sudan Archives — Sink
Read: Here is an excellent interview with Sudan Archives.
36. Joyce Manor— Million Dollars To Kill Me
Read: “Joyce Manor Is Excited to Be Bored” by Brad Nelson
35. boygenius — boygenius
As fun as the album was, equally fun was reading these three in conversation during interviews for the album. (also — just as a general point — I think the idea that this album was an album of good sad songs felt a bit shortsighted to me. For anyone who has ever worked collaboratively with someone they like and care a great deal about, I think the joy in this project really shines through.)
34. Ariana Grande— Sweetener
This piece by Natalie Weiner really encapsulates the Year In Grande.
33. Hermit & The Recluse — Orpheus vs. The Sirens
32. Kids See Ghosts — Kids See Ghosts
Sorry to put my own thing here, but I spent some time with Kid Cudi this summer.
31. Hot Snakes — Jericho Sirens
Read: “Hot Snakes Will Make Your Life More Terrifying, and More Bearable” by Rob Harvilla
30. Loretta Lynn—Wouldn’t It Be Great
Maybe it’s because this isn’t her first late-career masterpiece, but I was really hoping for more chatter around this brilliant album, and it never arrived.
29. Rico Nasty — Nasty
This Fader Cover story by Tasbeeh Herwes is an excellent point of entry.
28. La Luz — Floating Features
Read: “La Luz Want Us To Embrace The Weirdness Of Our Dreams” by Luke Ottenhof
27. Shawn Mendes — Shawn Mendes
(the whole album slapped)
26. Gazelle Twin— Pastoral
This is a really great interview.
25. The Wonder Years — Sister Cities
24. Drakeo — Cold Devil
23. Mac Miller— Swimming
Obviously there were several things written about Mac this year, but the piece that has endured the most for me is this profile by Craig Jenkins, released shortly before we lost Mac.
22. Robyn— Honey
Jessica Hopper profiled Robyn in November.
21. Daughters— You Won’t Get What You Want
20. U.S. Girls — In A Poem Unlimited
This Interview Magazine thing was real cool.
19. The Xcerts— Hold On To Your Heart
18. Armand Hammer — Paraffin
DJBooth had a good interview with them when the album dropped.
17. Janelle Monáe — Dirty Computer
Read: “Janelle Monáe Is The 21st Century’s Time Traveler” by Sydnee Monday
16. Tribulation — Down Below
Here’s a good profile from early this year.
15. Saba — Care For Me
14. Exes — Before You Go
(Nothing singularly great to read on this one except me saying that I really, really loved this record and pushed it on almost everyone around me all year.)
13. Vince Staples — FM
Loved reading Rodney Carmichael on Vince.
12. SOPHIE — OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES
It’s from late last year, but this interview is good.
11. serpentwithfeet — soil
Another great Fader cover story.
10. Lucy Dacus — Historian
Read: “How An Indie Rock Star Is Made In 2018” by Joe Coscarelli
9. Mitski— Be The Cowboy
8. Noname — Room 25
This review by Doreen St. Felix is so much more than a review (like all things Doreen writes, there are many layers to behold.)
7. Sons of Kemet — Your Queen Is A Reptile
6. Manic Street Preachers — Resistance Is Futile
Some fine writing on the band this year, but also maybe the best thing on them ever is this NME interview/profile from 1992.
5. IDLES — Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Read: “How IDLES Used Punk Rock To Fight Through Grief” by Bonnie Stiernberg.
4. The Internet —Hive Mind
Read: “The Internet Win Alone, Together” by Rawiya Kameir
3. Buddy — Harlan & Alondra
2. Tierra Whack — Whack World
- MNEK — Language