Author Topic: Best New Albums Of 2018  (Read 4915 times)

alan nagsworth

  • humming hell of ditties
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2018, 06:33:05 PM »
You’re not missing anything, it was pedestrian compared to his other stuff, especially Serpent Music. I think pitchfork touted it as an accessible noise record and his best, but it just fell flat for me after some genuinely great records.

Mate I listened to it again this morning. It's crap. Vaguely noisy/ambient with trash beats and some bullshit half-arsed emo singing on top.

Gary War - Gaz Forth
Uniform / The Body - Mental Wounds Not Healing

Fuck, there's a new Gary War album? Good lord, this year just keeps coming. Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in...

As for that Uniform/The Body album, I really didn't think much of it at all. As industrial/noise stuff goes I found it very middle of the road. To be honest, I've never thought Uniform were much cop anyway, but I love The Body. Their new one "I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer" is fantastic. Massive dread atmospherics.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2018, 06:59:22 PM »
the debut by Uniform didn't grab me, and The Body do a lot of stuff and I like some and not others, but the collab record hit the sweet spot of trudging gloom, coldwave, and a bit of aggro for me. It's nothing new under the sun but I got something out of it.

Norton Canes

  • The leper heart will see you for what you are
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2018, 08:31:45 PM »
Downloaded quite a lot this year but haven't had a chance to listen to all of it in depth. Plenty of albums have had a couple of great tracks that have ended up on playlists but the only long-players I've been playing over and over again have been Meat Beat Manifesto's incredible vacuum-black comeback Impossible Star and Gazelle Twin's nightmarish bucolic apparition Pastoral.

 

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2018, 10:38:20 AM »
Most of the best LPs I've heard this year haven't been from this year. Here's the ones that have been though:

Arctic Monkeys “Tranquillity Base Hotel And Casino”
Father John Misty "God's Favourite Customer"
Joe Kane/Radiophonic Tuckshop “Joe Kane/Radiophonic Tuckshop”
Spencer Segelov “Loser Leaves Town”
Whoa Melodic "Whoa Melodic"

And the non-2018 LPs (that I heard for the first time this year): 

Kevin Ayers “Joy Of A Toy” 1969
Car Seat Headrest “Teens Of Denial” 2016
The GTO's "Permanent Damage" 1969
Elton John "Honky Chateau" 1972
The Kinks “Muswell Hillbillies” 1971
Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly” 2015
Chuck Prophet “Temple Beautiful” 2012
Alexandra Savior “Belladonna Of Sadness” 2017

And my favourite songs not on albums or just the only songs I liked from albums (all 2018 unless stated):
 
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard “Double Denim Hop”
Cut Worms “Cash For Gold”
Elton John "Part Time Love" 1978
L.A. Peach "Heartstrings"
Matt Maltese "As The World Caves In"
Paul McCartney “Despite Repeated Warnings”
Buck Owens “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass?” 1969
Joel Sarakula "Coldharbour Man"
Superorganism “Something For Your M.I.N.D.”
Swamp Dogg “I’ll Pretend”
Kanye West “Ghost Town”

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2018, 11:05:45 AM »
I stupidly thought there wasn't much i'd got into this year until i sat down and made a list:

koenjihyakkei - dhorimviskha
The Gasman -  Controlled Hallucination
Julia Holter - Aviary
Anna Von Hausswolf - Dead Magic
Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want
Arabrot - Who Do You Love
Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch
Voivod - The Wake
Uz Jsme Doma - Kry
Zevious - Lowlands
PinioL - Bran Coucou
Imperial Triumphant - Vile Luxury

Couple of things in there I haven't heard, but otherwise your list is near-identical to mine! The Gasman just keeps getting better and better, doesn't he?!?

It's not out until January, but i'm really looking forward to the new stuff from Lost Crowns. More greatness from the Cardiacs gene pond.

Yes, album pre-ordered! I caught only the final few seconds of their final song at last year's Salisbury bash due to boozing in the pub beforehand, but my appetite was suitably whetted. Didn't think it'd take quite so long to hear more from them, but I'm so glad the wait's nearly over.

I'd also add Sorry to Disturb You by Army of Moths to this year's list - and another gem from the Cardiacs fetid pond!

Vitalstatistix

  • Photocopies are not admissable as memories
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2018, 11:58:50 AM »
1 - Amen Dunes - Freedom

Totally absorbing, emotionally wrenching journey through swampy, psychedelic classic rock. And, that voice!

2 - Jean Grae & Quelle Chris - Everything's Fine

A satirical snapshot of 2018 life cooked to perfection. Sardonic, smart, danceable, but not hopeless.

3 - Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of

Thankfully his apparent stab at the mainstream is just as fucked up and mind-altering as before.

4 - The Internet - Hive Mind

The best thing they've done. Smooth, nuanced, subtle and funky. Gets better with each listen.

5 - Daphne & Celeste - Daphne & Celeste Save the World

The return of Max Tundra! It's tempting to dismiss D&C as his puppets but they deliver his hyperactive material perfectly.

6 - Mitski - Be the Cowboy
7 - Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
8 - Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food
9 - Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
10 - Tirzah - Devotion

chveik

  • it's summertime and all is fine!
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2018, 06:28:02 PM »
I'd like to add to my list two great albums from french bands La Tène and France (drone/krautrock/folk):

https://fougeremusique.bandcamp.com/album/la-recherche-de-la-flexitude-du-temps

https://wearethreefour.bandcamp.com/album/abandonn-e-mal-ja

And the best metal album of the year (imo), Love in Shadow by SUMAC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwmeIbwlv9M&list=PLISGyrohN_iwf5ELFZxTFpOojQYavwA5U

alan nagsworth

  • humming hell of ditties
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2018, 06:49:59 PM »
Gary War - Gaz Forth

So I gave this a go and whilst I do enjoy it, I'm somewhat uncertain about it, on the whole. It feels musically like a step back for Gary War and I far prefer his totally out-there weirdo electronic stuff to this, which just feels a bit too derivative of Ariel Pink (although he has always been a bit derivative). It feels like he's lost a lot of that bewildering, bizarre edge here, even if the songs are sufficiently decent and catchy. Given the option of more of this in future or a return to the freakish alien shit like Highspeed Drift, I'd definitely opt for the latter.

1 - Amen Dunes - Freedom

Totally absorbing, emotionally wrenching journey through swampy, psychedelic classic rock. And, that voice!

Glad to see this getting mentioned, it's such a brilliant album. I had the pleasure of seeing him live earlier in the year, (with the wonderful Delicate Steve on guitar duties, no less) and it was magnificent. I would have liked to hear more stuff off "Love", mind, but there was a bunch of stuff from "Through Donkey Jaw" in there and I couldn't complain really as the whole thing was cracking.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2018, 07:05:05 PM »
So I gave this a go and whilst I do enjoy it, I'm somewhat uncertain about it, on the whole. It feels musically like a step back for Gary War and I far prefer his totally out-there weirdo electronic stuff to this, which just feels a bit too derivative of Ariel Pink (although he has always been a bit derivative). It feels like he's lost a lot of that bewildering, bizarre edge here, even if the songs are sufficiently decent and catchy. Given the option of more of this in future or a return to the freakish alien shit like Highspeed Drift, I'd definitely opt for the latter.

see I think the opposite - this is the first record of his that I've been really able to get my teeth into. He's always had great tunes like the one you linked and 'Reality Protest' and the great 'Police Water', but I feel that they're somewhat (too much?) in hoc to the production idiosyncrasies of his peers. for me he sounds better-served and more fully realised when you can hear the odd bar/phrase lengths and musical juxtapositions that underpin his weirdness, rather than having some easy production signifier for 'weird' obscuring this formal intrigue. i admit that the songs here are not as original as previous ones may have been, but this is still too far out there enough for most.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2018, 12:19:27 AM »
I'm sure once I work through some of your lists I'll find gems so I want to make it clear that this isn't just friend promotion but partly my own difficulty in navigating current music scenes... but my favourite album/EP of the year has been my rather Joe's rather silly Horse Bench album because it's one of the only pieces of art released this year which has consistently cheered me up.

https://wendymiasma.bandcamp.com/releases

If you choose to check any of it out, I recommend 'Skeleton Salesperson' most highly.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2018, 08:16:44 PM »
https://wearethreefour.bandcamp.com/album/abandonn-e-mal-ja

This is transfixing, but I find it pretty deeply disturbing. It's like my soul has been put on trial in 1400s France!

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2018, 08:17:27 PM »
Seriously, it's kind of fucking me up!

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2018, 09:51:47 PM »
Yeah, it's mesmerising but I feel a bit sick.

chveik

  • it's summertime and all is fine!
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2018, 10:06:56 PM »
Hehe. I'm glad you're enjoying it !

DukeDeMondo

  • Member
  • **
  • fuck sake
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2018, 06:11:58 PM »
I’m so sorry about this. Am. Jesus sake. Near 5000 fucking words here. Absolutely fucking full of myself. If any record this year was fit to enchant me half as much as the sound of my own voice enchants me then it was some enchanting fucking boy of a record, alright, fuck knows.

Anyway

This has been the best year for new music in junkyard dung knows even how long. If you want my opinion. Every other week, it seemed, something else was kicking the fucking doors down all over again, upending the whole shebang another time, pulling the yin through the yang to the devil.

The result is that I’ve found it very, very difficult to whittle my list down to anything approaching anything halfways manageable at all.

Here anyway are my Top Picks. The title of each album links to my current favourite track from each, or the one that I think’s maybe most representative, or the one that makes most sense to start with if you’re hearing it for the first time. The exception is the Tierra Whack one. That links to the whole 15 minute long “visual album.” Also, The Number One Of All aside, they’re not in any particular order.

The Number One Of All


Pusha T: DAYTONA / Kanye West: ye / Kids See Ghosts: KIDS SEE GHOSTS

This summer was fucking magical for me, the best in many, many years, and a good chunk of that magic had all to do with Kanye West and this ridiculous five albums in five weeks stunt that he decided to pull. Waiting for those records to drop every Friday, waiting for them to be fixed sometimes maybe on the Saturday or Sunday, comparing what you thought about them on Monday to what you thought about them three days prior when they first knocked your knees out from under you in whatever state they were in at that time, Jesus it was a rush and a half, but. DAYTONA is probably the most consistently great of the lot, but I found ye the most arresting by far, and the most moving, and the most relatable, and the most surprising. For some reason I had expected a far less adventurous sort of a set from our man this time around. I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. Couple minutes into “I Thought About Killing You” and any notions along those lines had been dashed to kingdom come. I remember I listened to it in two-track chunks for the whole of that first day, for I wanted the thing to last forever. By the time I got to “Ghost Town” it was late in the evening and I was walking along the banks of the Bann on my own and my body just fucking went to fucking pot, like. Jesus I was for nothing. Just stood there with my mouth open and my fists clenched, playing it over and over. Geese just pure gawking at me. I was walking on the opposite side of the same river a week later when I first heard “Feel The Love” off KIDS SEE GHOSTS, then called “4th Dimension” owing to whatever sort of a titling / sequencing cock-up it was that went on, and it was so fucking good that I thought that my head was for cracking open under the weight of it. For cracking open and falling about me in bits. Just a singed tongue hanging out the top of my neck licking limply at nothing every so often. BRAKK-A-KA-RAKK. Sake, but. Blew me to pieces. 

In the end, although I had some issues with the odd track here or there, and although my opinion of some of those records has shifted a bit in the weeks and months since -  I rate the Teyana Taylor one a good bit higher now than I did at the time, for example, and the Nas one a wee bit lower – every one of them was fucking phenomenal, really. I can’t decide which of those three up there is my Favourite Of Them All, so I’m putting them all at #1. That’s all there is to it. No telling which one’s better. No separating them. They’re all pouring out of other and over the top of the other all bloody roads and directions.


The Rest In No Particular Order 
 


Low: Double Negative

I haven’t listened to Low very much at all these past few years, I don’t know for how long they’ve been edging towards this fucking colossal, dizzying eruption of distortion and crackling and sweeping and panning, but I know it’s nothing I was expecting to hear from them, or from anyone else really. It bears a surface similarity to Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, I suppose, an observation that I’m sure has already been wrung dry and shook done by absolutely everyone else on Earth that has ever had reason to hear both albums, and like that record it has rendered completely, gloriously “other” an act that I thought I knew pretty solidly inside out, and had grown a bit bored of, to be honest. But it’s not as fractured and skittish as 22, A Million. The melodies for the most part aren’t anywhere near as difficult to grab hold of. Not difficult at all, really, a lot of the time. And yet they still feel alien as glass eyes blinking from the back of a donkey’s throat. Times, like in “Fly,” for example, it feels like I’m trying to listen to a Bronski Beat song that's only ever partially downloaded, played at three quarter speed through a speaker on a fucking soldering iron.

Mount Eerie: (after)

The second truly brilliant Mount Eerie album of 2018, far as I’m concerned, presumably completing the trilogy that started with 2017’s utterly harrowing A Crow Looked At Me (a string of songs about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife written in the days and weeks that followed), continued with this year’s Now Only (also about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife but then also about the writing and recording and performing of a bunch of obsessively detailed songs about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife), and then concluding with this, in which a selection of those songs about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife and those songs about the songs about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife are performed live in an ancient old church located somewhere in the Netherlands. The performances are quiet and aching and the songs are desperately sad, full of tiny, wounded observations and asides and also some overwritten lyrics and some meandering hardly-melodies (Phil Elverum has called this stuff “barely music”) that just make the whole thing that much more affecting. It’s not some humourless fucking slog through the muck, though. Not at all. Funny, even, sometimes, you would say. “Now Only,” for example, makes me laugh plenty, albeit in a sort of a snorting through my snotters, tears still blinding me kind of way. Self-deprecating. Confused and bemused, half time. Kind of “what the fuck even is this that’s going on” feel to it all. The bits about somehow finding himself sharing a bill with Skrillex “singing these death songs to a bunch of young people on drugs.” The nonchalant contextualisation (“the person I love got killed by a bad disease out of nowhere / and for no reason / and me living in the blast zone with our daughter and etc…”). The absolute certainty in the “my devastation is unique” followed by an almost audible shrug and a cheerful singalong affirmation that, actually, really, it’s not. Not at all. “People get cancer and die / And people get hit by trucks and die…” It’s just extraordinary. It’s an extraordinary, haunted, humble, beautiful album and it’s absolutely captivating. If you’re in the mood. If you’re not, well, I dunno, chances are it isn’t.

Georgia Anne Muldrow: Overload

I could pretend like I knew all the fuck there was to know about Georgia Anne Muldrow long before this record ever appeared, that I knew all about how woke she was, that I knew everything knowable about the colossal number of albums she apparently puts out in the course of a year, that I’d heard all of them a hundred and twenty times and was frankly a bit fucking sick of the woman by now, to tell you nothing but the truth. The reality is that I hadn’t a wizened engine’s notion about who the hell she was or why she was it when I first put this album on whenever it was that I did. I still don’t know very much, but I know that this is fucking stunning stuff. To my ignorant ears it sounds a bit like ArchAndroid-era Janelle Monáe shot through the Björk of a few albums ago. She has some sort of connection to the Sun Ra Arkestra, I think, but it’s almost a decade since I was pretending to listen to far more Sun Ra than I was listening to, so I don’t know. You’ll know more than me. But this is something special. Unless it isn’t. Unless she’s throwing things like this out of her every other fucking week.   

Denzel Curry: Ta13oo

Another artist I knew nothing about, and who totally stamped my ribs in by way of introduction. For a while this was my second favourite album of the year. Banger after banger after banger. It’s got some sort of loose concept going on, it’s divided into three separate acts that supposedly take us to ever darker and grimmer places as we proceed. I don’t know how well that works out, but it does get increasingly wilder about the eyes as it rattles by. I’ve since heard a fair bit of his earlier stuff – primarily thanks to our chveik – and to be honest a fair bit of that sounds a fair bit like a fair bit of this. To me, anyway. To me it seems like he’s been throwing some of these same sorts of shapes for a while. But it does have new-fangled thoughts in its head, it does push things forward, and even if it didn’t, fuck it, like, virtually every track on this thing is immense. The hooks are huge, the pace is relentless… My favourite 2018 record by an artist I hadn’t previously heard tell of that had already put out records.

Soccer Mommy: Clean

This is actually the third album by Swiss-born, Nashville-raised singer-songwriter Sophie Allison but the first “proper” one, by the talk. She’s been described as a sort of grungier, scrungier, more belligerent Taylor Swift, and there’s something in that, I’ve described her that way myself to folk at times, but it’s also pretty reductive. There’s far more going on in her humours. Anyway I really liked this album when I first heard it, then it fell away down the stairs for a while and I largely forgot all about it until I saw her and her band supporting Kacey Musgraves about a month ago, and then here it was again back up on top of my shoulders, this Clean, pulling away at my hair and flicking fuck out my earlobes all sore. What drew me back in was a cover of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” – one of dozens that seem to be in circulation at the minute, whatever the hell’s the meaning – that she performed that night all on her own having sent her band away out the road and brought the red lights down around her, just her and her guitar and the waves of reverb billowing outwards and, aw man, swear, properly took the breath from me. I found out later that she’d recorded that song a wee while ago, and when I’d sickened myself listening to that over and over the next few days and nights I went back to Clean, and it was better than ever, and it’s been throwing the knives and the forks about my kitchen ever since.

Tierra Whack: Whack World

15 songs in 15 minutes isn’t maybe all that big of a deal if your favourite bands are all a bunch of screaming, clattering, shouting angry bastards writing songs that would never lower themselves to darken the 61st second of anything, but I think this is a big deal, this album, these 15 wonderful songs in 15 minutes. Every one of them is a small marvel: witty, catchy as fuck, full of ideas and invention. I fell in love with it instantly. It was a while before I saw the accompanying video – it’s a “visual album,” know, is, although thankfully the visual element is far more fun and far less full of its own arse than that appellation often indicates – and I was maybe slightly less impressed by that than others have been, but still, the music’s blinding. It’s undoubtably frustrating too, at times. Stoking frustration is definitely a big part of what it’s up to. Your man Fantano said it was a bit like listening to the 30 second previews of a bunch of really brilliant songs and then not being allowed to hear the rest of them, and it is like that here and there, but it’s still a full and exhilarating experience overall. Radical sort of a thing, really, I suppose, at a time when everyone feels entitled to listen to whatever the fuck they want to listen to for as long as they want to listen to it as soon as they want to listen to it. Frustration in this key isn’t something we’re used to dealing with any more, really. But, you feel it here. You do want tracks like “Hookers” and “Pet Cemetery” to last four times as long as they do. Pleading with them to come in and take their coats off, but they won’t. Other tracks, stuff like “Silly Sam” and “Fuck Off,” the latter among my favourites, they might start casting the shadows of gimmicky novelty songs if there was much more flesh on their bones, they might start to annoy you a bit, maybe, but at 60 seconds they’re around just long enough for that never to have to happen, and the record couldn’t do without them.

Death Grips: Year Of The Snitch
 
This is undoubtedly my favourite Death Grips album since The Money Store. Just fucking frothing and seething and bouncing from one end to the other. The opening track is one of my favourite tracks of the year, but the whole thing left me delirious. Complicated and intricate and synapse-sozzling as ever but it’s just fun as fuck, like. Fun as fuck. No end of peaks. “Shitshow” speeding face-first into the wall over and over till its teeth are fucked halfway up into its eyeballs and it’s grinning at you out of the side of its skull. “The Fear” tinkling about the lampshades and across the ceilings all spindly and arachnid like. “Streaky” strutting about with its shirt ripped open and its tits all glitching and wonky. Sure for Christ sake. It’s not mayhem, but there’s a lot of fucking mayhem in its bones. I adored it, and I still do.

Colter Wall: Songs Of The Plains

Another I went backwards and forwards with. On the one hand it’s a stellar collection of stark, atmospheric Dave Cobb-produced railyards and ranches, beans and sawdust, old school country songs after the fashion of a less metaphysically-minded Sturgill Simpson or someone like this, and I’ve listened to it loads since it came out and I really enjoy every track that’s on it. On the other hand there’s something a bit… I dunno, a bit plastic about the whole construction. A bit dress-up. I don’t know if that’s fair or it isn’t. I don’t know if the notions I have in my head about these kinds of songs and this genre in particular are causing me to misread “really fucking young” as “really fucking inauthentic,” to misread “character-led” as “phoney,” and I don’t know if “inauthentic” or “phoney” even mean anything or they don’t any more. Storytelling’s storytelling, innit. He hasn’t written a song called “Saskatchewan in 1881” because he’s trying to hoodwink you into thinking he was there at the time. But with this sort of thing, you need to believe that he could have been, I think. When he insists that you “better fly ‘fore I produce my .44,” you really need to believe that he might. It’s not always the case that I do. Believe him. Regardless of the texture and the timbre and the album cover and the hat and the boots and all of that. Just, I dunno, something. Something a bit Grindhouse (2007), would you say? But. The quality of the songs and of the performances is undeniable. And his voice is phenomenal. He’s only about three farts old but he sounds like Methuselah. If this album was recorded in 1968 by some absolute waste of gums and marrow, some utterly useless burden of a being that choked to death on his first boak of the morning ten minutes after stepping outside the studio it’d be one of my favourite albums ever made. It’s not really Colter Wall’s fault that he’s a young, good looking, talented, and successful singer-songwriter releasing albums in 2018. But to fuck with it all. It’s good, anyway. And it’s not like he doesn’t know all this. “I know I’m young,” he sings. “I know I’m young / I’ve seen too few / A setting sun.” His debut EP wasn’t called Imaginary Appalachia for nothing. It was called that because he knows all this.

Mitski: Be The Cowboy

More folk being cowboys on the batter, and another number that shot up through the roof and blasted the heavens to bejeesus first time I heard it and then disappeared only to come sneaking back again a while later. Couple nights ago, in fact, is when it reappeared. I’d been talking about it with a dear friend of mine after perusing the Pitchfork Top 50 – within which, if you don’t already know, it ranks pretty fucking highly – and I realised that whilst two of its tracks – “Why Didn’t You Stop Me” and “Old Friend” – have gone on to become two of my very favourite tracks of this or any other year, I’d kind of forgotten about a lot of the rest of it. Last time I listened to it I got a bit exhausted or a bit tired of it or something half way through. Seemed much more front-loaded than it had before. Dazzles and suckerpunches at the outset and it sustains that astonishment for the next few tracks but then settles into a comfortable groove for a pretty long time with nothing particularly outstanding going on. Yesterday I put it on again, except this time I started at track 6, and what I discovered is that actually the second half is brilliant too, just maybe not as immediate as the first. “I gave too much of my heart tonight,” she sings on the first track I clicked on this time round, and I think that was partly the issue. There was just too much of the same really fucking good thing for me to deal with all at once. I got bliss-fatigue or something, shit knows. Never noticed “Nobody” before, really, even though it’s really reminiscent of Music Go Music and I loved Music Go Music like, aw, fuck, man, loved them. Never noticed the next track, really, either. “Pink In The Night.” Never noticed how lovely a thing it was. It is. Lovely. Times it sounds like a cover of something off Viva Hate. “I could stare at your back all day,” she says.

Troye Sivan: Bloom

As good and solid a pop album as any released this year, I reckon. A bunch of huge sounding, vibrant, hook-heavy songs about bottoming-anxiety and nervous exploration and using Grindr before you were old enough to be using it and then, conversely, navigating “The Scene” when you’re staring so far down the barrel of your mid-20s that you might as well be fucking invisible, and all this kind of thing. Inviting Ariana Grande up onto the table one minute, huddling away in the corner quoting “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” the next. It’s fantastic, if not entirely flawless. There’s not a huge amount of variation, really, and as he says himself, “even the sweetest plum has only got so long.” Also, the production sometimes seems to be working against the songs rather than with them. Something a bit stifling about it sometimes. But, whatever, they are mostly tremendous songs – “I want to skip stones on your skin, boy,” for Christ sake – so it matters little in the end.   

SOPHIE: Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
 
If it wasn’t for all the Kanyee this might have been my #1 best of the year. After hearing Kanye’s contributions to that prodigiously rotten 6ix9ine album that came out the other day it actually was #1 for a bit. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the interbelching complexities of the myriad of maddening hisses and thuds and grunts and grinds and screeches among its components, but I know that this Oil… is as sublime and terrifying and awesome a record as any I’ve heard this year. A lot of the time, this year, for different reasons, I’ve been craving more visceral sorts of things, pulverising sort of stuff, and although this is plenty cerebral, and although there are delicate, fragile moments too, it’s also fit to pound you into fucking puddles, and that’s what I wanted and needed. See also:

Abigor: Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition)

Around the start of the autumn I found myself listening to a lot of Emperor again. Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk in particular. Listened to it most nights for a while. Och. Never done with this bloody Welkin. Walking through the town in the wee hours with all these various Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk in my ears, in and out of the churchyards and down along deserted alleyways and up over the fences and the gates, ducking and darting hither and thon. Anyway a day came when there was a storm in the post, terrible brutes of winds were predicted, and I wanted something akin to those Anthems to listen to while I was out and about in them. I didn’t know much about what was going on in black metal in 2018, but I have a good friend who knows all about it, so I asked him to recommend something in that fashion and this Höllenzwang, these Chronicles of Perdition, these are what he pointed me towards. I first listened to it whilst walking an unlit country road at one in the morning with the winds thrashing me left and right and with jagged and ancient things all directions. It overwhelmed me and I felt a euphoria hard to credit, besieged and consumed by darknesses beyond number. Listening to it again the following day, sat on the toilet in my parents’ bathroom with my both legs dead and my guts knotted with shits in all different states of becoming, it sounded every bit as impressive as it did the night before. I don’t really know how it ranks among other albums of similar stock released in 2018, I haven’t heard a whole lot, but it’s the only man for me of what I have heard.

Things I Also Really Loved, Just Not As Much As The Others, Or Not As Much Right Now

Ian Isiah: Shugga Sextape (Vol. 1) (The only reason this isn't in the list proper is that I've only had a chance to listen to it a couple times and that's not enough to know for sure that it's truly as brilliant as I think it is right now. But I think that it's fucking brilliant. Packed with shimmering, wild, unhinged and unruly majestic autotuned whirls that I doubt I could ever tire of.)

Christina Aguilera: Liberation (I’m a fan of Xtina, always have been, and I’d say that this is easily her best album since Stripped. Not as good as Stripped, like, but it’s not a million miles away either. The tracks that Kanye was involved with are my favourites, but the rest is often excellent too.)

Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour (I loved the two albums before this, and I loved this one too when I first heard it, but despite all the acclaim it has received, and despite how awesome these songs sounded live, there’s just… I dunno. There’s something missing in the middle. There’s no bite to any of it. Lacks personality a bit, I think, compared to, say, Pageant Material. Bangers for days, though.)

03 Greedo: God Level (I was shouting about how this was my favourite hip-hop album of the year before ever the first couple of tracks had ever finished, then maybe ten or twenty minutes later it was my favourite album of the year full stop and that was that. Now it’s neither of those things, but, well, I’m prone to it, this sort of hyperbole and huff and puff. It is excellent, though, even if it does go on a bit, and even if it does become a bit repetitive after a while, and even if the ceaseless anxiety does start to wear you down long before the end. Man’s just been sentenced to 20 years for next to nothing, like. You can give him 90 minutes of your time.)

Daphne And Celeste: Daphne And Celeste Save The World (Some days this is in my top 10 and then some days, other days, it isn’t. Today it isn’t, but tomorrow, I dunno. Very little on this that doesn’t make me giddy and light headed. Maybe it is in my top 10. Damnation only knows.)

JPEGMAFIA: Veteran (This too was in my Top 10 for a long time, but, I don’t know. “Real Nega” and one or two other tracks are unbelievably fucking good, amazing, but if they're lifted out of the picture the album as a whole isn’t maybe as impressive as it seems to be with the shock of those tracks reverberating through it. That’s a bit of a useless observation, really. “It’s great, but if you took out some of the stuff that made it great would it still be great?” Shut up.)

Kali Uchis: Isolation (I’m glad this has received so much in the way of the adulation and the plaudits and all the rest, it’s largely fantastic. Both “Your Teeth In My Neck” and “In My Dreams” are high up my Best Tracks Of 2018 list. I was less taken with some of the rest of the songs on here but so what.)

Right.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 08:04:12 PM by DukeDeMondo »

alan nagsworth

  • humming hell of ditties
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2018, 07:15:34 PM »
Great work, Duke. I'll give that a proper read in a bit. Looking forward to your insights as always.

This year seriously has been unreal for new music. I have now set myself the task of listening to, rating and ranking 100 albums (and a few EPs) from 2018. So far, I've done 85, and 67 of those are 7/10 or higher for me. I've got a bunch lined up which are already looking super tasty as well.

The Beach House is the shittest thing I've had the displeasure of sitting most of the way through so far. I wanted to be fair and cop the whole thing for a proper rating but it was unbearable.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2018, 07:36:41 PM »
This is transfixing, but I find it pretty deeply disturbing. It's like my soul has been put on trial in 1400s France!
Yes, utterly brilliant and harrowing at the same time. The last track on there is monstrous! Might have to grab one of these.

rue the polywhirl

  • eight lives left
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2018, 10:26:35 PM »
Don’t think there have been any good albums in 2018. None that could be deemed essential or returnable after one or two listens. Everything put out by anybody has seemed immensely average, pro forma and inconsequential. As a default option for best album of 2018 I’m going to have to nominate Bohemian Rhapsody: The Official Soundtrack.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2018, 03:40:13 PM »
Joe Armon-Jones Starting Today - excellent slice of the young London jazz scene. A bit spiritual, a bit dubby, a bit jazz-funky, some very laid-back mc-ing. Features Moses Boyd, Oscar Jerome, Nubya Garcia etc.

Makaya McCraven Universal Beings - excellent slice of the young Chicago jazz scene, etc etc. 22 tracks, but remarkably consistent. Imagine Ill Communication as a jazz album.

DangledTeeth

  • When you're ugly...
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2018, 06:04:39 PM »
1. Apathy - The Widow's Son
2. Hermit & The Recluse - Orpheus vs. The Sirens
3. Louis Cole - Time
4. Ghost - Prequelle
5. Lake Street Dive - Free Yourself Up
6. Jericho Jackson - Self-titled
7. Kimbra - Primal Heart
8. Murs - A Strange Journey Into the Unimaginable
9. Masta Ace & Marco Polo - A Breukelen Story
10. Confidence Man - Confidence Music for Confident People

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2018, 06:24:33 PM »
Second dud year in a row for albums for me tbh.

I mean, if you remove Daytona and Kids See Ghosts (and that one Nicolas Jaar album that was fantastic summer music) there's fucking nothing at all. 2017 looks a good deal better in retrospect though so maybe I missed something.

Albums I haven't heard yet which have potential:
- the one by Low seems like something that could really surprise me
- Idles seem to have gotten a lot of hype that totally passed me by
- Robyn has always underwhelmed me as far as albums go but who knows
- Tierra Whack's is 15 minutes long so that sounds good!
- Travis Scott, his previous album is kinda great so maybe?

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #51 on: December 14, 2018, 07:27:50 PM »
One thing I've learned from this thread so far is how bizarrely out of touch I am these days. Although I've listened to at least 50 new albums this year, I've only heard of nine mentioned so far in this thread, and only actually listened to three of those.

It's also probably worth nothing this if you think there was nothing good this year. Sometimes you have to dig deep / away from the obvious, because there's so, so much music out there you're unaware of.

alan nagsworth

  • humming hell of ditties
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #52 on: December 14, 2018, 08:13:44 PM »
saying there's been no good new music this year is the equivalent of one of those dads who's like "there's no bloody good rock bands these days, you know REAL music" on youtube videos of some dogshit quality Queen upload with misspelled lyrics

fuck off

Ornlu

  • Nikki Lane's Neo-Nashville AirBnB
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #53 on: December 14, 2018, 11:19:23 PM »
Mamaleek - Out Of Time
Kraus - Path
Iceage - Beyondless
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Dirt
The Soft Moon - Criminal
U.S. Girls - In A Poem Unlimited
Rope - Come Closer Now
Super Unison - Stella
Exploded View - Obey
Evil Blizzard - The Worst Show On Earth

also shout outs to the new Lovely Eggs, The Body, Gang Gang Dance, OPN, Parquet Courts, Daughters & Hot Snakes

easytarget

  • five gas lighters for a pound
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #54 on: December 15, 2018, 05:32:02 AM »
Daughters
late appearance given your avatar :)
most of 2018 was spent listening to bands I already like so :
Therapy? Cleave - fuck yeah Chris Sheldon producing again. Brilliant.
Half Man Half Biscuit No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin' Hedge Cut  - Urge for Offal was fine, this is much better.
Clutch Book of Bad Decisions - took a minute to get into this one, Clutch went through a bit of a 'rubbish' phase a while back and this is the first album I've bothered with in a while. Weaponized funk!
At The Gates To Drink From the Night Itself - HM2 Swedish death metal - grand, as good as Slaughter of the Soul (fight me).

Then, because all music is free and if you put the effort into listening to new music it can be really rewarding:
Deafheaven Ordinary Corrupt Human Love - "ooh, listening to that hipster metal there easytarget, ooh, would you like some bespoke wax for your stupid mustache?" whatever. wha'ver. whev-skis. This is fucking amazing and you should listen to it all the time. I didn't love the first two records but this is just right.
Then as the year closed in I just started listening to a ton of heavy stuff that came out this year, of note:
Skeleton Witch Devouring Radiant Light
Bloodbath The Arrow of Satan is Drawn
The Crown Cobra Speed Venom
and
NAG Nagged To Death
big dumb riffy metal. really fun

Baptists Beacon of Faith
Craft White Noise and Black Metal
heavy. deep.

I also quite liked the latest Judas Priest, Sleep and (what I heard of) Behemoth.
\m/

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #55 on: December 15, 2018, 09:29:07 AM »
saying there's been no good new music this year is the equivalent of one of those dads who's like "there's no bloody good rock bands these days, you know REAL music" on youtube videos of some dogshit quality Queen upload with misspelled lyrics

fuck off
Plenty of good music, fuck all good albums.

Do albums even make sense anymore? I've no clue how a 20 year old who has never bought an album in their life approaches new music beyond automatically generated playlists.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #56 on: December 15, 2018, 10:29:11 AM »
best new albums of 2018: MV's personal list

1) Bryan Ferry Bitter-Sweet
2)
3)
4)
5)

Ornlu

  • Nikki Lane's Neo-Nashville AirBnB
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #57 on: December 15, 2018, 02:07:40 PM »
late appearance given your avatar :)

Yeah - the art just struck me on a personal level. YWGWYW is recognisably great, but I still need more time with it.

Good shout on the new Clutch/Bloodbath/Craft too. Can't say I was as enamoured with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love though, I think I turned it off when the banjo came in. Fair craic, but not for me.

Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2018, 04:19:47 PM »
Clutch- Book of Bad Decisions (Not buying into the Clutch rubbish phase as mentioned above, the 2 previous albums to this are excellent too)
Yob- Our Raw Heart
Sleep- The Sciences
Suede- The Blue Hour
Deafheaven- Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Ghost- Prequelle
Amorphis-Queen of Time

easytarget

  • five gas lighters for a pound
Re: Best New Albums Of 2018
« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2018, 03:31:42 AM »
Clutch- Book of Bad Decisions (Not buying into the Clutch rubbish phase as mentioned above, the 2 previous albums to this are excellent too)
Lemme be clear :
Transnational -> Blast Tyrant are gold
Robot Hive -> Strange Cousins : What I consider to be Clutch being rubbish
Earth Rocker -> BoBD : Hey, look who's back, it's FUCKING CLUTCH SON!