2019-01-14

Best Albums of 2018

This year’s list is a little more timely, brought to you by the Great American Shutdown of 2019. And boy, I have some thoughts. But that’s not for this post. All I’ll say is: elect incompetent people, get stupid results.

Every year is a good year for music if you cast the net wide enough. I always feel like I don’t after I read Aquarium Drunkard’s annual review (it’s amazing how broad they get), but I always feel a little validated if a couple of my picks end up on theirs (Amen Dunes, Damien Jurado, Ryley Walker, Parquet Courts, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Wye Oak, John Prine). They always have a few that I need to go back and reconsider a little more (Richard Swift, Khruangbin, Mountain Man, The Advisory Circle, Michael Nau and the Mighty Thread, Bonny Doon, Nap Eyes), some I should have known about but missed (Kurt Vile, Yo La Tengo, Big Red Machine), and a whole bunch of other stuff I would have never otherwise known about. What a treasure of a website.

Other good top lists were ones from American Songwriter, The Bitter Southerner, Paste, and The Alternative. For stuff you really won’t hear of anywhere else, check out The Quietus and GoldFlakePaint.

As always, every album has a Spotify link in the title. I picked 4 songs off each album to have an even 100-song playlist for you to shuffle through. Key tracks are all gathered in a playlist, here. Hit shuffle and enjoy the year that was.

Amen Dunes // Freedom

Key tracks: Blue Rose,” Miki Dora,” Believe,” L.A.”

Andrew Bryant // Ain’t It Like the Cosmos

Key tracks: Robert Downey Jr.’s Scars,” I Am Not My Father’s Son,” The Price Was Right,” Bittersweet”

Phil Cook // People Are My Drug

Key Tracks: Steampowered Blues,” Miles Away,” Another Mother’s Son,” Life”

The Dead Tongues // Unsung Passage

Key Tracks: Won’t Be Long,” Ebb and Flow,” Pale November Dew,” Thunder and Crash”

Father John Misty // God’s Favorite Customer

Key Tracks: Hangout at the Gallows,” Mr. Tillman,” Date Night,” Please Don’t Die”

Foxing // Nearer My God

Key Tracks: Slapstick,” Lich Prince,” Gameshark,” Bastardizer”

Foxwarren // Foxwarren

Key Tracks: To Be,” Lost in a Dream,” Everthing Apart,” Sunset Canyon”

Scott Hirsch // Lost Time Behind the Moon

Key Tracks: When You Were Old (El Dorado),” Rose’s Song,” No No,” Evening’s Wooden Drum”

Hop Along // Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Key tracks: How Simple,” Somewhere a Judge,” One That Suits Me,” Prior Things”

Damien Jurado // The Horizon Just Laughed

Key tracks: Allocate,” Percy Faith,” The Last Great Washington State,” Florence-Jean”

Lord Huron // Vide Noir

Key tracks: Ancient Names (Part I),” The Balancer’s Eye,” Moonbeam,” Vide Noir”

Loma // Loma

Key tracks: Dark Oscillations,” Joy,” I Don’t Want Children,” Black Willow”

Marie/Lepanto // Tenkiller

Key tracks: High Desert,” Inverness,” Simple Scenes,” The Rail”

Kacey Musgraves // Golden Hour

Key tracks: Slow Burn,” Oh, What a World,” Space Cowboy,” High Horse”

The Nude Party // The Nude Party

Key tracks: Water On Mars,” Chevrolet Van,” Records,” Wild Coyote”

Parquet Courts // Wide Awake!

Key tracks: Violence,” Before the Water Gets Too High,” Wide Awake,” Tenderness”

John Prine // The Tree of Forgiveness

Key tracks: Knockin’ on Your Screen Door,” Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone),” Lonesome Friends of Science,” When I Get to Heaven”

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever // Hope Downs

Key tracks: An Air Conditioned Man,” Talking Straight,” Bellarine,” Exclusive Grave”

St. Paul & The Broken Bones // Young Sick Camellia

Key tracks: Convex,” Apollo,” Mr. Invisible,” LivWithoutU”

Snail Mail // Lush

Key tracks: Pristine,” Heat Wave,” Full Control,” Anytime”

Sun June // Years

Key tracks: Discotheque,” Young,” Johnson City,” I’ve Been”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra // Sex & Food

Key tracks: Ministry of Alienation,” Hunnybee,” American Guilt,” Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays”

Ryley Walker // Deafman Glance

Key tracks: 22 Days,” Can’t Ask Why,” Telluride Speed,” Spoil with the Rest”

Wild Pink // Yolk in the Fur

Key tracks: Lake Erie,” Yolk in the Fur,” There is a Ledger,” John Mosby Hollow Drive”

Wye Oak // The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs

Key tracks: The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs,” It Was Not Natural,” Symmetry,” You of All People”


mixtape best of


Previous post
Best Albums of 2017 I’ve let this one sit a little long, I know. The good thing is, these have had time to marinate and age. Just kidding, I’ve had writer’s block and