Happened to be sleeping for all of 2018 due to a 2017-induced coma? Take a sabbatical from modern life due to the avalanche of hellfire raining down upon us on a daily basis? Miss literally all of the music from 2018 that myself and many other like-minded goofball individuals found enjoyable? Feeling left out and would like to catch up on all that? Then oh hell yeah pimp: I’ve got what you need.
Immediately below you’ll find 90 of my favorite songs of 2018, alphabetized. Below that, you’ll find my top 10 songs of the year, RANKED. Each artist is only represented once. My top 5 favorite songs were easy to pull from this group of 100. The second five are just as strong, but had to be put under a bit of deliberation to get there. A nice batch of tunes this year, definitely leaning more indie than electronic, but also sprinkling in some noise, pop and experimental. It was tough whittling this whole thing down to just 100 songs in general, so you can listen to all of these and almost 100 more favorites gathered as the year progressed on my Spotify playlist below. Hope you enjoy + let me know if there’s anything you’re peeved at me for missing!
90 FAVORITE SONGS OF 2018 ::
- ADRIANNE LENKER – “symbol”
- AGAINST ALL LOGIC – “Some Kind Of Game”
- BARRIE – “Canyons”
- BERNICE – “Passenger Plane”
- BOYGENIUS – “Souvenir”
- CAMP COPE – “UFO Lighter”
- CARDI B – “I Do (feat. SZA)”
- CAROLINE ROSE – “Getting To Me”
- CAROLINE SAYS – “Mea Culpa”
- CAT POWER – “Wanderer”
- CHANNEL TRES – “Topdown”
- CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS – “Girlfriend (feat. Dam-Funk)”
- CHROMATICS – “Black Walls”
- CLARENCE CLARITY – “Adam & The Evil*”
- CONNAN MOCKASIN – “Les Be Honest”
- DANIEL BACHMAN – “Sycamore City”
- DEAFHEAVEN – “Canary Yellow”
- DENZEL CURRY – “CLOUT COBAIN”
- DILLY DALLY – “Doom”
- DIRTY PROJECTORS – “That’s A Lifestyle”
- DJ KOZE – “Illumination (feat. Róisín Murphy)”
- EARL SWEATSHIRT – “The Mint (feat. Navy Blue)”
- ELEVENTEEN ESTON – “Where there is rain †”
- EMPRESS OF – “When I’m With Him”
- FLASHER – “Skim Milk”
- FOODMAN – “Clock (feat. Machina)”
- FORTH WANDERERS – “Company”
- FRIENDLY FIRES – “Love Like Waves”
- FUCKED UP – “House Of Keys”
- G FLIP – “About You”
- GANG GANG DANCE – “J-TREE”
- GROUPER – “Driving”
- HALEY HEYNDERICKX – “The Bug Collector”
- HATCHIE – “Try”
- HOLY NOW – “Tainted Heart”
- HOP ALONG – “How Simple”
- IDLES – “Colossus”
- I’M WITH HER – “Pangaea”
- JANELLE MONÁE – “Take A Byte”
- JENNY HVAL – “Spells”
- JERRY PAPER – “Baby”
- JOJI – “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK”
- JULIA HOLTER – “Words I Heard”
- KACEY MUSGRAVES – “Space Cowboy”
- KADHJA BONET – “Mother Maybe”
- KALI UCHIS – “Tyrant (feat. Jorja Smith)”
- KEVIN KRAUTER – “Keep Falling In Love”
- LET’S EAT GRANDMA – “Hot Pink”
- LOMA – “Joy”
- LYKKE LI– “deep end”
- MARIE DAVIDSON – “Work It”
- MGMT – “Me and Michael”
- MITSKI – “Nobody”
- MOUNTAIN MAN – “Slow Wake Up Sunday Morning”
- MR TWIN SISTER – “Echo Arms”
- MT. SI – “911”
- NEGATIVE GEMINI – “Infin Path”
- NO AGE – “Secret Swamp”
- NORTH AMERICANS – “Grayling”
- OCEAN HOPE – “Americana Nights”
- PEGGY GOU – “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)”
- PLAYBOI CARTI – “Shoota (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)”
- PLLUSH – “Big Train”
- ROBYN – “Honey”
- ROSALI – “I Wanna Know”
- ROSS FROM FRIENDS – “Wear Me Down”
- THE SAMPS – “Recovery”
- SAM WILKES – “Hug”
- SERPENTWITHFEET – “mourning song”
- SHAME – “One Rizla”
- SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO – “Caught In A Wave”
- SKEE MASK – “Rev8617”
- SMERZ – “Half Life”
- SNAIL MAIL – “Heat Wave”
- SOPHIE – “Immaterial”
- SUPERORGANISM – “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”
- TIRZAH – “Basic Need”
- TRAVIS SCOTT – “SICKO MODE (feat. Drake)”
- UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA – “Everybody Acts Crazy Nowadays”
- U.S. GIRLS – “Rosebud”
- WISHED BONE – “Hubbub”
- WYE OAK – “Lifer”
- YAEJI – “One More”
- YO LA TENGO – “For You Too”
- YOUNG FATHERS – “In My View”
- YOUNG GALAXY – “Seeing Eye Dog”
- YUNO – “No Going Back”
- YVES TUMOR – “Recognizing The Enemy”
- 1010 BENJA SL – “Tragic X”
- 700 BLISS – “Ring The Alarm”
THE 10 BEST SONGS OF 2018:
10. NATALIE PRASS – “Short Court Style”
Natalie Prass went full city pop on this record and I will forever be in her debt.
9. LONNIE HOLLEY – “I Woke Up In A Fucked Up America”
One of the few overtly political songs I can stomach, especially in these times. The thick horns wield such a heavy brutality and Holley is so vulnerable in his delivery and lyrics. It’s a marvelous, beautiful foil fit for such a heartbreaking song.
8. CHARLI XCX – “Focus”
You can easily swap this out for any one of the standalone songs XCX released this year (“No Angel”, “1999”, “5 In The Morning” & “Girls Night Out”) and it’d make sense. “Focus” is just the one I listened to the most. How she stays so consistent is beyond me.
7. DUSK – “Eyes In Dark Corners”
I put this song on every time I drive. Granted I don’t drive that often since I live in the city, but when I’m back home I roll the windows down and belt this thing. It feels GOOD. The whole album is a blast to sing along to, but the old time piano, the ghostly backing choir, the slick slide guitar and the infectious chorus wins. All I need is a folding chair, a cool beverage and a lawn to look out at. Keep this record around for next summer to best see what I’m talking about.
6. BEACH HOUSE – “Lemon Glow”
Swirling, blinking, cascading, undulating, muted intensity. One of Beach House’s all-time best songs. Too bad the rest of the Beach House album couldn’t keep me this interested!
Yeah. @ me. @WarmVisionsBlog. Go.
5. DAUGHTERS – “Guest House”
Very few songs have the stupefying ability to give me both massive anxiety and euphoric goosebumps after almost every listen. The guitars sound like drills, the drums are sledgehammers, the vocals are buzzsaws, all bent on removing my bones from my flesh. The synthetic(?) strings and horns at the end, however, are the sounds of my sweetest dreams and remind me of one of my favorite video game soundtracks. Seriously: sweeps of GOOSEBUMPS every time. Louder the better. Who would have thought that the most beautiful moment in music of the year would have come during this record? What a perfect closer.
4. ROSALÍA – “Pienso En Tu Mirá (Cap.3: Celos)”
Rosalía fever hit me HARD this year with the arrival of the “Pienso En Tu Mirá” video. Directed by CANADA, my favorite directorial groups, the El Guincho-produced track hooked me instantly with its staccato handclaps, killer bass kicks, ghostly autotuned vocal accompaniments, and Rosalía’s angelic vocals. Seeing all this come to life adorned en oro, sangre y… camioneros is ultra-satisfying and a pleasure to watch up to 10 times in an hour. “Malamente” is getting obvious shine for its incredible video and obvious pop chops, but I connected with “Pienso” just a bit more. Rosalía had better come to NYC in 2019.
3. JESSICA PRATT – “This Time Around”
A smoky, familiar apparition caresses your face in a moment lost to time. I cannot wait for JP’s upcoming album. It’s going to act as a little knitted satchel to keep me warm and hazy as I brave the cold temperatures. As a fellow JP fan friend put it: “I kept getting annoyed with my daily tasks because they were all preventing me from listening to “This Time Around” again. Well said, bud.
2. THE BETHS – “Little Death”
Like Dusk, I try to put this on every time I drive. I also air drum all the badass fills with an alarming intensity. This jam just gets me SO PUMPED. The chord progression, the instrumental build in the chorus, the dissonance when everything is about to explode, the cool down after the climax; it just cannot be beat. I was told that “little death” is what orgasm translates to in French (I did not fact check this) and yeah I can definitely see that in the context of this song. Not to be too hyperbolic, but I’m pretty sure the blooms and bursts of this song is equivalent to an orgasm. Hell yeah.
1. AMEN DUNES – “Believe”
What in the hell can beat orgasms? (please read the paragraph above to understand the context of this intro sentence). Valid question, dear reader. Perhaps the answer is a good friend when you’re in need. Oy, not that kind of good friend, my guy! Rather, someone that you can idly talk with about dreams, problems, health, the weather, love, death, illness, food, music, family, whatever. Someone who you cherish more than anyone else, despite their individual faults. One that can keep you grounded, but also keep your sails full.
Whenever I listen to “Believe” it makes me feel small in the world, but also makes me look deeper at the impact that my actions have on myself and others. Who considers me to be a confidant or close friend? Who do I feel that way towards? What can I do to accurately project these feelings upon someone that means something to me? What are the repercussions of the thoughts I’m having or words I’m writing? What do I really want out of life? What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of people do I want to surround myself with?
It’s these kind of questions that are brought up while listening to “Believe”, which is a lot – I understand. That’s the beauty of it all, right? This song really connected with me, so much so it’s my favorite song of 2018. In reality, the song is about Amen Dunes AKA Damon McMahon’s relationship with his terminally ill mother, but I believe that the lyrics and delivery both address and transcend its original subject matter. The minute I heard it (while I was on the phone with someone, no less) my brain stopped and immediately rewired itself to pick up the song’s delicate folds. Seeing it performed live earlier in June was a treat: definitely teared up a bit while singing along. The more I listen to it the more I like it. Can’t wait to look back on it in a few years to see how it’s blossomed further.