Yes, for the past couple of weeks I’m sure you’ve seen the end of the year lists with albums, songs, and pretty much everything. As I was looking up some others I noticed that they are all the same with varying positions. In an attempt to create a more personal list I’m including some new albums released in 2018 but also some older ones that I discovered that really shaped by music world in the past year.
They aren’t listed in any particular order but they are all still so heavy on my rotation.
Dramarama- Cinéma Vérité (1985)
It’s been about a full year since I first heard of Dramarama. Late night watching the 120 Minutes video show on the MTV classic channel to be exact. “Anything, Anything” is the lead single from their debut album released in ’85. It’s an infectious power-pop anthem with a tinge of the early alternative college rock genre that was to come in the next decade. This album has been a mainstay for me when diving back into the archives of the college rock genre.
Mt. Eddy- Chroma (2017)
This one I may have snuck in because I’ve been listening to the debut album from Mt. Eddy for the better part of a year and a half. Fronted by Jakob Armstrong who previously had a solo EP put together a band for a full length. “Metaphor” is probably one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in a while. Literally on repeat. They are on hiatus now but I’m hoping they will return soon with their dose of surf punk laced rock.
Mammút- Kinder Versions (2017)
In 2010 when I made my second trip to Iceland I was there for the annual concert festival, Iceland Airwaves. In a pub I caught this band, Mammút which is like a more scratch punk version of The Sugarcubes. One of my favorite places in the world consistently churns out some of the most magical musical acts. Their full length Kinder Versions is another example of sweeping rock with catchy hooks and different visions.
Sitcom- Be the One You Love (2018)
Earlier this year I interviewed Jake Lazovick, the man behind the Sitcom project. I don’t remember the last time I spent this much time with an album. I listened to it before I spoke with him and then after getting clarity on the mindset of his process it quickly became one of my favorites and still favorite of the year.
Love Battery- Dayglo (1992)
Through the haze of guitar fuzz and noise rock that exists beyond the commercial side of grunge is the Seattle based band Love Battery. There really are so many underground bands that never quite got the commercial success that definitely deserve a listen. I’ve made it my duty to search the back catalogs of sub-pop and other associated acts to get a better grip on the sub-genres of grunge itself. A psychedelic journey into the 90s.
Arctic Monkeys-Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2018)
I know this album was met with much speculation in May when it was released. It’s been about five years since we’ve seen a new studio album from the Arctic Monkeys. Part David Bowie and part Vegas lounge act it’s definitely a departure from the sound we’re used to. I happened to see them live on this tour in the summer and it completely brought this album to life. If I hadn’t seen their spectacular live show I don’t know that I would have had the same response to it. Although I’m glad I did because Alex Turner and Co. really know how to change perspective and excel at an exploration that will remain relevant in years to come.
Michael Cera Palin- I Don’t Know How to Explain It (2018)
Fantastic band name aside, this group from Atlanta really awakened by emo phase again. Granted this is just an EP and unfortunately they have since broken up, this one of the best dare I say emo revival selection of the year. Can perfectly fit in with the early 00s emo I grew up on.
Bakar- Badkid (2018)
I’m so glad that Spotify lead me to this artist in 2018. I’ve always thought it best when you can’t describe a particular sound. This genre crossing debut mixtape has all the elements of hip-hop, garage, indie, and punk. Bakar is based in London and reminds me of one of my favorite acts, The Streets. I’m so jazzed to hear more from him.
Den-Mate- Loceke (2018)
Yes, the new Den-mate record is finally here. Over the past four years Jules Hale, the artist behind the band has been pouring everything into it. I’ve personally been hearing versions of these songs for years since I know Jules so it’s great to finally have it out for everyone to hear. From personal stories and connections to emotions it feels like it completes the journey into Jules’ psyche.
Pool Kids- Music to Practice Safe Sex to (2018)
Another release I’m so happy to have found this past year. This Tallahassee, FL based band is like a sweet indie pop dream. ‘Borderline’ is the standout track of the record. It’s my mission to catch them live in 2019.
Dikembe- Hail Something (2016)
Another lost emo classic that I found on Bandcamp this year. There are endless amounts of pop punk and emo from the early 00s that I can still sing completely but there is always something about finding a new take on the genre that’s exciting. I got into their demos a bit in 2017 but this album from start to finish really got me this year.