Top 50 Albums of 2018

Julia Holter's Aviary was released in October of this year. 50. Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983 Although it was recorded over thirty-five years ago, this deep cut deserves special mention. Genre: Singer/Songwriter Best Tracks: “A Case of You,” “Mary Don’t You Weep” 49. Tierra Whack - Whack World The only thing keeping this album from the top twenty is the fact that it is exactly fifteen minutes long. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Bugs Life,” “Hungry Hippo” 48. George Clanton - Slide Formerly known for his vaporwave music, George Clanton is back with music that sounds fresh and lush from front to back. Genre: Trip Hop Best Tracks: “Make It Forever,” “Dumb” 47. Haley Heynderickx - I Need to Start a Garden Heynderickx seems to have better control over her voice, her guitar, and her music than most people have over a BIC pen. Genre: Singer/Songwriter Best Tracks: “The Bug Collector,” “Oom Sha La La” 46. The Voidz - Virtue Julian Casablancas is back, for better or for worse! Fortunately, Virtue is both very good and not a regurgitation of the Strokes. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “Permanent High School,” “Lazy Boy” 45. Maxo Kream - Punken Although Punken does not differentiate itself much from any of Maxo’s previous work, it still showcases his exceptional flow and ability to construct couplets. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Grannies,” “Pop Another” 44. Jon Hopkins - Singularity The first half of this album is pretty much perfect. Genre: House Best Tracks: “Singularity,” “Everything Connected” 43. Harunemuri - Harutosyura This album is in the same vein as the eclectic and distorted rock music from Japanese acts like Shinsei Kamattechan. It is definitely not for everyone, but it is a great gateway into the exciting music being made at the other end of the world. Genre: Noise Pop Best Tracks: “Narashite,” “Sekaiwotorikaeshiteokure” 42. The Garden - Mirror Might Steal Your Charm One word for this album: ridiculous. This group blends punk, rap, and musique concrete without changing the ironic grins on their faces. Genre: Experimental Rock Best Tracks: “Call the Dogs Out,” “No Destination” 41. Flasher - Constant Image All of the members of this band used to work at Comet Ping Pong, which is interesting in its own way. This has no bearing on their music, though, which is also interesting in its own way. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “Pressure,” “Sun Come and Golden” 40. Kali Uchis - Isolation WARNING: Every melody on this album will dig its way into your brain for four to six weeks. Genre: Neo-Soul Best Tracks: “Just a Stranger,” “Your Teeth In My Neck” 39. Preoccupations - New Material This album is cold and industrial but in a really cool way: not in a “Lau” kind of way. Genre: Post-Punk Best Tracks: “Decompose,” “Disarray” 38. Avantdale Bowling Club - Avantdale Bowling Club New Zealand rapper Tom Scott enlisted some of his country’s most talented classical and jazz musicians to compose this album. This is easily one of the smoothest listens of the year. Genre: Jazz Rap Best Tracks: “Pocket Lint,” “F(r)iends” 37. KEN Mode - Loved Really interesting melting pot of all different forms of punk and metal. Genre: Post-Hardcore Best Tracks: “Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should,” “This is a Love Test” 36. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel Courtney Barnett has become a bit of an icon among indie rock fans. The songwriting and badass aura that got her to this point are well-showcased on this album. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “City Looks Pretty,” “Nameless Faceless” 35. Jeff Rosenstock - POST- This album was released almost immediately after 2017’s New Year’s Eve, and while it has had to survive an entire year of aging and criticism, it still deserves mention on any end-of-the-year list. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “USA,” “9/10” 34. Melody’s Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage The production on this is incredibly lush, and the composition is very creative. Moreover, “Desert Horse” is one of the craziest pop songs of this decade. Genre: Progressive Pop Best Tracks: “Cross My Heart,” “Desert Horse” 33. Portal - Ion This album features mind-numbing drumming virtuosity. Each instrument is impossibly tight, and altogether they create organized chaos. Genre: Death Metal Best Tracks: “ESP ION AGE,” “Phreqs” 32. Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want The Internet went crazy over this spooky album. Admittedly, it is impressively produced and energetically eerie. Genre: Noise Rock Best Tracks: “Satan in the Wait,” “The Lords Song” 31. MGMT - Little Dark Age MGMT’s decision to work with Ariel Pink and make nostalgic pop music was definitely a surprising artistic turn: surprising, but nonetheless great. Genre: Hypnagogic Pop Best Tracks: “She Works Out Too Much,” “Me and Michael” 30. Mid-Air Thief - Crumbling A beautiful melding of folk, pop, and electronic from all different places and ages. Genre: Folktronica Best Tracks: “Why?” “Crumbling Together” 29. Death Grips - Year of the Snitch Even after six years of listeners setting the expectation at insanity, Death Grips has still managed to stay exciting and unpredictable with this album. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Black Paint,” “Streaky” 28. Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer Dirty Computer is all-over the place in terms of style: featured artists include Grimes, Pharrell Williams, and Brian Wilson. Janelle Monae takes full ownership over her work and somehow manages to weave all of these disparate soundbites together in beautiful harmony. Genre: Art Pop Best Tracks: “Make Me Feel,” “Don’t Judge Me” 27. Vein - Errorzone Formed in Boston, Vein is one of the most exciting hardcore bands currently making music. Genre: Hardcore Punk Best Tracks: “Broken Glass Complexion,” “Doomtech” 26. Mount Eerie - Now Only Mount Eerie frontman, Phil Elverum, is both intensely intimate and intensely reclusive. This album, paired with his release from last year, displays a wholly transparent songwriting style and calls into question the very process of recording and releasing music. Genre: Indie Folk Best Tracks: “Distortion,” “Now Only” 25. JPEGMAFIA - Veteran JPEGMAFIA’s explosion onto the landscape of popular music was a reminder of how much power a bald man with glasses on YouTube can wield. It is both very strange and very exciting that this album, in its idiosyncratic glory, became as big as it did. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Baby I’m Bleeding,” “I Cannot F*****g Wait Til Morrissey Dies” 24. Iceage - Beyondless Consistently loud music from consistently re-innovative Danish punk rockers. Genre: Post-Punk Best Tracks: “Hurrah,” “Showtime” 23. Yves Tumor - Safe in the Hands of Love This is some of the most ear-spinning, attention-grabbing music released this year. Genre: Trip Hop Best Tracks: “Licking an Orchid,” “Lifetime” 22. KIDS SEE GHOSTS - KIDS SEE GHOSTS This famed Cudi x Kanye collab really could have gone either way: thankfully, it is pretty great, if not a little too eccentric at times. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2),” “Reborn” 21. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake! This album is as hilarious as it is infectious. Genre: Post-Punk Best Tracks: “Total Football,” “Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience” 20. Against All Logic - 2012 - 2017 Well-paced and dynamic house music like this is a rarity nowadays. Also, this project is just another moniker for Nicolas Jaar, which is pretty cool. Genre: House Best Tracks: “This Old House Is All I Have,” “Hopeless” 19. Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog This is, hands down, the most creative album of the year. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “One That Suits Me,” “Prior Things” 18. Low - Double Negative Double Negative can be a confusing listen for those who have enjoyed Low’s earlier and very different music: it is especially confusing since this album is just as great as their work from twenty-five years ago. Genre: Glitch Pop Best Tracks: “Dancing and Blood,” “Disarray” 17. Tim Hecker - Konoyo Great music for stepping over cracks on the sidewalk. Genre: Ambient Best Tracks: “In Death Valley,” “In Mother Earth Phase” 16. Mitski - Be the Cowboy With fourteen tracks spread across just over thirty minutes, this album has absolutely no fat on it. There is hardly a moment here where Mitski doesn’t impress you with something new. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “Pearl,” “Two Slow Dancers” 15. SOPHIE - OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES SOPHIE is one of the most innovative and sought-after producers of the decade. This inspired and brave solo album will be remembered for many years to come. Genre: Bubblegum Bass Best Tracks: “Faceshopping,” “Immaterial” 14. Ichiko Aoba - qp Ichiko Aoba’s music is absolutely breathtaking: classically folk, intimately disembodied. Genre: Singer/Songwriter Best Tracks: “The Rain from Light and Shadow,” “Fairy of the Shoreline” 13. Denzel Curry - TA1300 Denzel Curry’s rapping abilities and ear for production have already been proven in his past albums. TA13OO fuses all of that with a newfound aesthetic of psychedelic horror. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “SIRENS,” “PERCS” 12. Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace Look here! A band from Melbourne that isn’t involved with Kevin Parker! Genre: Art Punk Best Tracks: “You Let My Tyres Down,” “Soft Power” 11. Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs It is a shame that every form of music media compares Earl to Madvillain. This is the most uniquely abstracted musical project of the year. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Shattered Dreams,” “Playing Possum” 10. Cloud Nothings - Last Building Burning They’re back and they’re faster than ever! Genre: Post-Hardcore Best Tracks: “On an Edge,” “Leave Him Now” 9. Pusha T - DAYTONA There isn’t a single dull moment on this album; relentless bars accompanied by vintage Kanye beats. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “If You Know You Know,” “Santeria” 8. Koenji Hyakkei - Dhorimviskha Like Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats, but somehow much stranger. Genre: Jazz Fusion Best Tracks: “Vreztemtraiv,” “Phlessttighas” 7. Saba - CARE FOR ME A beautiful expression of sorrow and coping. You can also read The Indy’s in-depth review! Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “LIFE,” “PROM / KING” 6. Beach House - 7 In the midst of gossip that they were past their prime, Beach House came back this year with some of their best music ever. Genre: Dream Pop Best Tracks: “Lemon Glow,” “Drunk In LA” 5. Anna von Hausswolf - Dead Magic Instrumentals and vocals that are as beautiful as they are terrifying. Genre: Darkwave Best Tracks: “The Truth, The Glow, The Fall,” “Ugly and Vengeful” 4. IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance It is incredibly refreshing to hear a group that could so easily be a ‘lad band’ scream the words, “I kissed a boy and I liked it.” Genre: Art Punk Best Tracks: “Colossus,” “Danny Nedelko” 3. Julia Holter - Aviary There is as much Joni Mitchell influence on this album as there is Steve Reich influence and it is wholly fascinating. Genre: Classical Crossover Best Tracks: “Turn The Light On,” “I Shall Love 2” 2. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy Twin Fantasy was masterfully crafted by a nineteen-year-old. Seven years later, it has been fully realized with a new perspective. Genre: Indie Rock Best Tracks: “Beach Life-In-Death,” “Famous Prophets (Stars)” 1. Noname - Room 25 Hot take: saying Noname is 2018’s most talented rapper shouldn’t have to be a hot take. If you are looking to consume one piece of music from 2018, The Indy strongly urges to you pick this important work of art. Genre: Hip Hop Best Tracks: “Regal,” “Ace” PC: Dicky Bahto


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