Thursday 27 December 2018

My albums of the year!

I'm already looking ahead to albums from the likes of Maggie Rogers, Indoor Pets and Busted next year, but first, it's time to reflect on some of the wonderful music that I've been enjoying this year with a round-up of my favourite albums to be released in 2018. It's taken a lot of thinking (you hardly need me to tell you it's been a brilliant year for new music!) but I've whittled it down to a top five, which I'll follow up with some more albums I've really been loving this year. 

1. Rae Morris - Someone Out There

If you've seen my posts during the year, it's probably not all that surprising that Rae has secured the top spot and deservedly so. I've pretty much spent the entire year telling anyone who will listen that I completely adore this record, and seeing Rae perform twice towards the end of the year cemented my love for these tracks. At the time of release, lyrics on many of the tracks were incredibly relatable, meaning that I connected with the album in a way I'd never really experienced before. This is a very special album for me. Picking a favourite track is almost impossible as I genuinely love every second, but if I had to choose, it'd be Dip My Toe

2. Novo Amor - Birthplace

Until this year (to my shame) I hadn't even heard of Novo Amor before, but instantly fell for his beautiful falsetto vocals when I saw the Birthplace video over Summer. The video is a cinematic masterpiece in its own right, highlighting the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans. Finding that he had a page on his website detailing ways in which his album campaign and upcoming tour were going to be sustainable, I knew I'd stumbled across an artist I'd likely fall in love with, and I was right. The album may only be 33 minutes long, but those are 33 of the most stunning minutes of music I've heard this year and I absolutely can not wait to catch him headlining my favourite festival Bushstock next year! Favourite track: Repeat Until Death.

3. Mumford & Sons - Delta

Probably my most highly anticipated album of the year, my favourite chaps Mumford & Sons did not disappoint with Delta, their fourth studio album, though they did make us wait until November, and snuck into the top five at the last minute! The album has had a mixed reception from critics and fans alike, but I find that part of the joy of music is that it's totally subjective, and I personally love the record. The band themselves have expressed the belief that it's their best record yet, and I'm inclined to agree with them (but don't tell Sigh No More that... it'll always be a classic album for me!) Favourite track: Wild Heart.

4. Cosmo Sheldrake - The Much Much How How & I

I started listening to Cosmo at the end of last year, just in time for his debut record in April this year and he is absolutely one of my favourite recent musical discoveries. Cosmo is one of the most intelligent and fiercely creative people to grace my earphones this year, and his album is a collection of tracks that are bonkers and magical in equal measure. I love it. Birthday Suit sounds as if it has been taken directly from the soundtrack of an old Disney film, Wriggle provided one of my favourite remixes of the year from Mr. Jukes (listen to that here) and Come Along is one of my favourite standalone tracks of the year. But my absolute favourite on the record (currently) has to be the last tune, Hocking, it's five minutes of instrumental bliss (and simultaneous craziness.)

5. Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance

I'd challenge anyone who has listened to the Idles album this year to claim that it isn't one of their albums of the year. And to anyone that hasn't: listen to it, pronto, and add it to your list. I'm guilty of at first labelling the band and album as angry rock music, but delving deeper (and reading interviews such as this one with the BBC) has shown me that there is a lot more to this Bristol band than I initially realised. It's an incredibly socially conscious record, exploring issues such as Brexit and toxic masculinity, as well as real losses that singer Joe has endured in recent years. The album takes these negative subjects and turns them on their head, providing songs that celebrate difference and are full of hope and unity. Idles are the band I didn't know I needed in 2018. Favourite track: Danny Nedelko.

So that's my top five albums this year! There have been so many more that I have absolutely loved in 2018, so here's a list of some more (in release order) that I wholeheartedly recommend you checking out.

Django Django - Marble Skies
The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life
MGMT - Little Dark Age
Superorganism - Superorganism
Gengahr - Where Wildness Grows
Ady Suleiman - Memories
The Magic Gang - The Magic Gang
The Vaccines - Combat Sports
Christof van der Ven Empty Handed
Peace Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll
Ben Howard - Noonday Dream
Ghost - Prequelle
Boy Azooga - 1, 2, Kung Fu!
Dawes - Passwords
Panic! At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked
Florence & The Machine - High As Hope
Evergreen - Overseas
Dizzy - Baby Teeth
Jungle - For Ever
Low Island - Low Island & Friends 17-18

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