Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Best Songs of 2018


While not noticeably above average in terms of album releases, 2018 was totally overwhelming when it came time to rank and present a list of songs; this is as huge a list as the longest of the archival ones I've made for "classic" years. There is so much infectious and exciting material -- emotional popcraft and probing experimentation alike -- here to choose from, it was hard to know where to even cut off my annual playlist since I felt like I was overdoing it last year at a mere fifty. I even considered expanding to two playlists, a part one and a part two in the style of those great James Brown singles too locked in a groove not to bleed onto the other side. In the end I kept it to fifty -- the top 40 plus ten from further down that I thought fit very well -- but it actually hurt... which is very unusual for a project like this! Anyway, you can listen to the results here and I hope you enjoy.

1. Janelle Monae "Make Me Feel" [Dirty Computer]
2. N.E.R.D. ft. Rihanna "Lemon" [No One Ever Really Dies]
3. Camp Cope "I've Got You" [How to Socialise & Make Friends]
4. Shannon and the Clams "The Boy" [Onion]
5. Tierra Whack "Cable Guy" [Whack World]
6. DJ Koze "Pick Up" [Knock Knock]
7. Ezra Furman "Love You So Bad" [Transangelic Exodus]
8. Charli XCX feat. MØ "Porsche" [Pop 2]
9. SOPHIE "Immaterial" [Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides]
10. Yoko Ono "Imagine" {John Lennon cover} [Warzone]
11. Courtney Barnett "Sunday Roast" [Tell Me How You Really Feel]
12. Joey Purp ft. Queen Key "Fessional/Diamonds Dancing" [QUARTERTHING]
13. The Wave Pictures "Hazey Moon" [Look Inside Your Heart]
14. Robyn "Between the Lines" [Honey]
15. Angelique Kidjo "Crosseyed and Painless" {Talking Heads cover} [Remain in Light]
16. Titus Andronicus "Crass Tattoo" [A Productive Cough]
17. Lykke Li "Deep End" [so sad so sexy]
18. The Last Poets "Rain of Terror" [Understand What Black Is]
19. Courtney Barnett "Houses" {Elyse Weinberg cover} [Spotify Singles series]
20. Czarface/MF Doom "Bomb Thrown" [Czarface Meets Metal Face]
21. Let's Eat Grandma "Hot Pink" [I'm All Ears]
22. Jon Hopkins "Emerald Rush" [Singularity]
23. Novelist "Better Way" [Novelist Guy]
24. Soccer Mommy "Your Dog" [Clean]
25. Tirzah "Holding On" [Devotion]
26. Buddy "Real Life Shit" [Harlan & Alondra]
27. Maylee Todd "From This Moment" [Acts of Love]
28. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj "The Light Is Coming" [Sweetener]
29. Odetta Hartman "You You" [Old Rockhounds Never Die]
30. Miguel "Pineapple Skies" [War & Leisure]
31. U.S. Girls "Pearly Gates" [In a Poem Unlimited]
32. Jean Grae x Quelle Chris ft. Your Old Droog "Scoop of Dirt" [Everything's Fine]
33. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever "Talking Straight" [Hope Downs]
34. Wye Oak "It Was Not Natural" [The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs]
35. Princess Nokia ft. Wiki "Saggy Denim" [1992 Deluxe]
36. Jamie Isaac "Maybe" [(4:30) Idler]
37. Jorja Smith "Blue Lights" [Lost & Found]
38. Meshell Ndegeocello "Waterfalls" {TLC cover} [Ventriloquism]
39. Beach House "Black Car" [7]
40. Yo La Tengo "For You Too" [There's a Riot Going On]
41. Miss Red "Dagga" [K.O.]
42. Tracey Thorn ft. Corinne Bailey Rae "Sister" [Record]
43. Kali Uchis "Killer" [Isolation]
44. Joan as Police Woman "Warning Bell" [Damned Devotion]
45. Haiku Salut "Occupy" [There Is No Elsewhere]
46. Cardi B "I Like It" [Invasion of Privacy]
47. Jenny Hval "Spells" [The Long Sleep EP]
48. Young Fathers "Border Girl" [Cocoa Sugar]
49. The Wave Pictures "The Little Window" [Brushes with Happiness]
50. Black Thought "9th vs. Thought" [Streams of Thought Vol. 1 EP]
51. Rhye "Please" [Blood]
52. Stef Chura "You" [Messes]
53. Sunflower Bean "Memoria" [Twentytwo in Blue]
54. Ben Howard "Towing the Line" [Noonday Dream]
55. First Aid Kit "Postcard" [Ruins]
56. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats "Tearing at the Seams" [Tearing at the Seams]
57. Mr. Twin Sister "Power of Two" [non-LP single]
58. Kids See Ghosts "4th Dimension" [s/t]
59. Sons of Kemet "My Queen Is Angela Davis" [Your Queen Is a Reptile]
60. Parquet Courts "Tenderness" [Wide Awake!]
61. Sidney Gish "Not But for You, Bunny" [No Dogs Allowed]
62. Nas ft. Kanye West "White Label" [Nasir]
63. Lucy Dacus "Timefighter" [Historian]
64. Marlon Williams "Beautiful Dress" [Make Way for Love]
65. Richard Thompson "The Storm Won't Come" [13 Rivers]
66. Dream Wife "Kids" [s/t]
67. Charles Watson "You've Got Your Way of Leaving" [Now That I'm a River]
68. Pinkshinyultrablast "Dance AM" [Miserable Miracles]
69. Neko Case "Bad Luck" [Hell-On]
70. Cut Worms "Coward's Confidence" [Hollow Ground]
71. Troye Sivan "Lucky Strike" [Bloom]
72. Phonte "Euphorium (Back to the Light)" [No News Is Good News]
73. Virginia Wing "Relativity" [Ecstatic Arrow]
74. Mouse on Mars ft. Amanda Blank & Zach Condon "Foul Mouth" [Dimensional People]
75. Daniel Bachman "Sycamore City" [The Morning Star]
76. Colter Wall "Calgary Round-Up" [Songs of the Plains]
77. Teyana Taylor "Gonna Love Me" [KTSE]
78. MGMT "Me and Michael" [Little Dark Age]
79. Maribou State ft. Holly Walker "Nervous Tics" [Kingdoms in Color]
80. Pusha T "The Games We Play" [DAYTONA]
81. Lankum "What Will We Do When We Have No Money?" [Between the Earth & the Sky]
82. CupcakKe "Spoiled Milk Titties" [Ephorize]
83. Simian Mobile Disco ft. the Deep Throat Choir "Hey Sister" [Murmurations]
84. Kanye West "Ghost Town" [ye] ALSO: "No Mistakes"
85. Natalie Prass "Short Court Style" [The Future and the Past]
86. Shame "Angie" [Songs of Praise]
87. Matthew Dear ft. Tegan & Sara "Bad Ones" [Bunny]
88. Beyonce & Jay-Z "Summer" [Everything Is Love]
89. Hinds "Soberland" [I Don't Run]
90. Swearin' "Dogpile" [Fall into the Sun]
91. The Goon Sax "Sleep EZ" [We're Not Talking]
92. Black Milk "True Lies" [Fever]
93. Adult. "Violent Shakes" [This Behavior]
94. Cindy Wilson "Things I'd Like to Say" [Change]
95. Georgia Ann Muldrow "Play It Up" [Overload]
96. Andrew Bird "Distant Stations" {Mountain Goats cover} [I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats]
97. Noname ft. Smino & Saba "Ace" [Room 25]
98. Tracyanne & Danny "Alabama" [Tracyanne & Danny]
99. Frankie Cosmos "Duet" [Vessel]
100. G-Eazy ft. Madison Lowe "Love Is Gone" [The Beautiful & Damned]
101. The Mountain Goats "Song for Ted Sallis" [Hex of Infinite Binding EP]
102. Shannon Shaw "Goodbye Summer" [Shannon in Nashville]
103. J Balvin "Mi Gente" [Vibras]
104. Modern Studies "Mud and Flame" [Welcome Strangers]
105. Earl Sweatshirt "Veins" [Some Rap Songs]
106. Advance Base "Dolores & Kimberly" [Animal Companionship]
107. The Midnight Hour ft. Cee-Lo "Questions" [s/t]
108. Vince Staples "Get the Fuck Off My Dick" [non-LP single]
109. Wussy "Nomenclature" [Getting Better EP]
110. Khruangbin "Evan Finds the Third Room" [Con Todo El Mundo]
111. Fatoumata Diawara "Negue Negue" [Fenfo]
112. Lotic "Nerve" [Power]
113. Gabe Gurnsey "Heavy Rubber" [Physical]
114. SOB X RBE "Anti-Social" [Gangin]
115. Nao ft. Kwabs "Saturn" [Saturn]
116. Jeff Tweedy "How Will I Find You" [Warm]
117. Helena Hauff "It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was a Kid" [Qualm]
118. Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA "All the Stars" [Black Panther OST]
119. Nabihah Iqbal "Zone 1 to 6000" [Weighing of the Heart]
120. Screaming Females "Glass House" [All at Once]
121. Hookworms "Each Time We Pass" [Microshift]
122. Denzel Curry ft. JID "SIRENS | Z1RENZ" [TA13OO]
123. The Low Anthem "Give My Body Back" [The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea]
124. PRhyme ft. Dave East "Era" [2]
125. Thom Yorke "Unmade" [Suspiria OST]
126. Anthony Joseph "He Was Trying" [People of the Sun]
127. Curtis Harding "Till the End" [Face Your Fear]
128. Our Girl "I Wish It Was Sunday" [Stranger Today]
129. Yo La Tengo "Time Fades Away" {Neil Young cover} [Spotify Singles series]
130. Skee Mask "Rev8617" [Compro]
131. Vince Staples "Run the Bands" [FM!]
132. Kandace Springs ft. Roy Hargrove "Piece of Me" [Indigo]
133. Cat Power "In Your Face" [Wanderer]
134. Rhye "Summer Days" [b-side]
135. R+R=NOW ft. Omari Hardwick "Needed You Still" [Collagically Speaking]
136. Ibibio Sound Machine "A Forest" [Eyio EP]
137. LUMP "Curse of the Contemporary" [s/t]
138. Luluc "Spring" [Sculptor]
139. Cities Aviv "Age" [Raised for a Better View]
140. RP Boo "Back from the Future" [I'll Tell You What!]
141. The Essex Green "Waikiki" [Hardly Electronic]
142. Dedekind Cut "MMXIX" [Tahoe]
143. Mitski "Old Friend" [Be the Cowboy]
144. The Mountain Goats "Song for Sasha Banks" [non-LP single]
145. Chvrches "Get Out" [Love Is Dead]
146. James Holden & the Animal Spirits "Each Moment Like the First" [The Animal Spirits]
147. Empress Of "Love for Me" [Us]
148. Fucked Up ft. Alice Hansen "How to Die Happy" [Dose Your Dreams]
149. Field Music "Share a Pillow" [Open Here]
150. The Decemberists "Cutting Stone" [I'll Be Your Girl]
Tune-Yards "Who Are You" [I Can Feel You Creep into My Private Life]
White Denim "It Might Get Dark" [Performance]
Cut Copy "Ocean Blue" [non-LP single]
Daniel Avery "Sensation" [Song for Alpha]
Ciara ft. Tekno "Freak Me" [non-LP single]
Graham Parker "Girl in Need" [Cloud Symbols]
Israel Nash "Rolling On" [Lifted]
The Mountain Goats "Blood Bank" {Bon Iver cover} [Aquarium Drunkard's Lagniappe session]
Blood Orange ft. A$AP Rocky & Project Pat "Chewing Gum" [Negro Swan]
Paul McCartney "Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link" [Egypt Station]
Alexis Taylor "Oh Baby" [Beautiful Thing]
Pram "Shadow in Twilight" [Across the Meridian]
Ty Segall "Every 1's a Winner" {Hot Chocolate cover} [Freedom's Goblin]
Azealia Banks "Treasure Island" [non-LP single]
Oneohtrix Point Never "Toys 2" [Age Of]
No Age "Squashed" [Snares Like a Haircut]
Phosphorescent "New Birth in New England" [C'est la vie]
Low "Disarray" [Double Negative]

***

Albums list will follow as soon as possible, probably sometime in the middle of the week!

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