Our writer’s picks on the records that soundtracked their 2018.
The weird, the wonderful, the pop, the not. Here are our writer’s choices of what stood out throughout the year. Some effortlessly dominated the mainstream, others bubbled viciously within the underbelly of new music. Here are 10 records we won’t forget.
Her’s – Invitation To Her’s
From the slick danceability of Love On The Line (Call Me Up) to the gorgeously crooning Blue Lips, the release of Her’s highly anticipated debut saw them dominating my listening for a good couple of months. – Melissa Svensen
MGMT – Little Dark Age
It took me a while to warm to Little Dark Age, but sometimes those are the albums you end up falling hardest for. It’s a shift for MGMT – decidedly more poppy and with curveballs like Me and Michael makes for an unexpected, but undoubtedly brilliant, offering. – Melissa Svensen
Exploded View – Obey
After last winter’s excellent Summer Came Early EP, Exploded View returned with their most nuanced and textural record yet, adopting a sparse and more orchestrated post-punk sound. From the discordant drones of Lullaby to the motorik rhythms of Dark Stains, it is clear that Annika and company set out to produce a record that rewards listeners who persevere. – Sam Nicholas
Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth
The Norwich duo’s self-titled debut record binds tightly-wound, anxious electronic textures with driving, groove-addled basslines. The record has more than enough experimental fizz, raw beats, intriguing songcraft and electro-pop nuggets within it to stand up to any other electronic/ dance-inspired records this year. – Karl Johnson
Matt Maltese – Bad Contestant
Matt Maltese delivered a debut record that, whilst being conventionally pop, is made up of great songs that will surely appeal to the masses. Armed with a voice of liquid gold, this album seems to be but the tip of the iceberg of what this man has to offer. – Alex Griffiths
Otzeki – Binary Childhood
It would have been forgivable for London-based cousins Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts to create a ‘best of’ record from their back catalogue of singles, but they didn’t. Amidst the warm and pulsating electronic textures and minimal guitar, the lyrical underbelly deals with the superficial nature of life and it is at this point Otzeki are at their most exposed, and as a consequence, their most breathtaking. – Karl Johnson
Just Mustard – Wednesday
The debut record from Dundalk band Just Mustard screeches through the eery corners of industrial post-punk and noise rock, whilst still portraying a sense of beauty at every turn. Picking up the baton from Girl Band and reprogramming their approach with spells of shoegaze and heavier washed-out alternative rock urges, make no mistake, this is a serious record. – Karl Johnson.
Gorgeous Bully – Closure
The new record from Manchester’s Gorgeous Bully is a real underground gem. Released this year on Bristol label Breakfast Records, Closure is a lo-fi, bedroom-pop beauty. Drenched in emotion and packed full of hazy guitar tunes which explore separation, despair and relationship bliss, indie music hasn’t sounded this earnest in ages. Dig into I’ll Be True and Happening. – Karl Johnson.
Goat Girl – Goat Girl
From the delicate build and crushing harmonies of Lay Down, to the stone cold hit of The Man, Goat Girl‘s self-titled debut record has a lot to offer over it’s 19 tracks. It’s a raw yet carefully cut country-tinged post-punk record, and everything we needed in a slick and pop obsessed 2018. – Karl Johnson.
Peel Dream Magazine – Modern Meta Physic
The psych-tinged dream-pop of Modern Meta Physic is quite the trip from start to finish. The project of New York City-based songwriter Joe Steven stood out as an uncompromising personal journey through time and space. His voice drifts through a ghostly soundscape, hypnotic and mesmerising. The record brings with it a fresh take on dream-pop. See Qi Velocity and Art Today. – Sam Nicholas
By Karl Johnson