Staff Albums Of The Year 2018
Emily Isherwood (Rough Trade Bristol)
1. Ian Sweet - Crush Crusher
Jilian Medford returns with a solo release. She recently shared her reason, something many of us female creators know too well - "My drummer was always suggesting that I only sing and that we get another guitar player, and just made misogynistic comments that made me feel inadequate and self-conscious while showing them things that I wrote or playing live, like I’m not capable. I’m not as good as the boys." She's better than the boys.
2. Soccer Mommy - Clean
3. Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Sugary sweet R&B with properly outrageous vocal ability. Great songwriting (by someone), and generally hard to hate. Just. So. Good...
4. Kali Uchis - Isolation
A varied sounding debut full length, still holding comparison to some of the latin greats, particularly the understated vocal work of Astrud Gilberto. Beneath the modern production is the formation of a true old school pop icon - watch her interviews, listen to her GarageBand self-produced mixtape Drunken Babble, and find yourself in her world. Then listen to this.
5. Nothing - Dance On The Blacktop
Good sounds for guitar tone nerds. Just excellent shoegaze/grunge to soundtrack all of our bleak winter, inner city commutes. Vocals both audible and satisfyingly "somewhere over there in that tunnel". Great job on the mix. *awkward double thumbs up with concerning squint*
6. Mac Miller - Swimming
7. Jorja Smith - Lost and Found
A unique voice with completely memorable songwriting. An exciting addition to the UK's R&B scene. Many of the tracks fall more on the pop side of the spectrum, but the effortless, understated vocal sounds so genuine that we forget we're not the first person to ever hear it.
8. Mitski - Be The Cowboy
Heart-wrenching, danceable, powerful, wilting, soft, brash, pretty, grotesque, plunging, soaring - all things this album manages to be in a single instance. Bravo. Like other well known activities, best first enjoyed in the company of others you trust.
9. IDLES - Joy As An Act of Resistance
Bristol boys absolutely smashing their way through 2018. Well deserved. Surely an incomplete list without IDLES?
10. Rhye - Blood
Mike Milosh is forever getting to the core of our very battered and broken being. Even if we needn't be mended, something undetected and lurking will surely be fixed by the end of side b. What is the meaning of life? Who knows, but this album makes asking that very question seem beautifully ludicrous.