David Bazan is back as Pedro The Lion with a new album titled Phoenix – his first PTL release in nearly 15 years. Bazan’s writing is as personal and introspective as ever as he conjures up memories both old and new thanks to a tour stop in his hometown and a detour past his childhood home.
I’ve been a big fan of Field Music since Sean’s post about them back in 2006, so I was stoked to find out that Peter Brewis had started up another project with Sarah Hayes (Admiral Hallow) called You Tell Me. Their just released (via Memphis Industries) self-titled LP is hard not to compare to Field Music or to say that it doesn’t sound like Field Music, but the addition of Hayes’ vocals and the way they harmonize with each other along with the orchestral-pop music they’ve created around their vocals make this one heck of a collaboration that definitely stands on its own.
Part Time’s new album Spell #6 (out now via Burger Records) is one of the best releases of 2018. It is a pop-rock/new-wave gem soaked in so much 80’s goodness, it’s 11 tracks could soundtrack a John Hughes film. Take “Shattered Love” and “So Far Away” for a spin below for a taste.
It’s time for my annual blog post…
Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2018:
Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
Durand Jones & the Indications self-titled (Dead Oceans)
Bodega Endless Scroll (What’s Your Rupture?)
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Everything’s Fine (Mello Music Group)
Janelle Monae Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)
Altin Gun On (Bongo Joe)
Smokescreens Used to Yesterday (Slumberland)
Idles Joy As an Act of Resistance (Partisan)
Low Double Negative (Sub Pop)
Cut Chemist Die Cut (A Stable Sound)
I encourage you to enjoy these on vinyl (link will go here as soon as I get off my butt and update the online store).
And because 2018 offered so much more music than can fit neatly in a Top 10 list, here are my 23 favorite songs of the past year…
Olden Yolk, I have done you wrong. Your debut, self-titled, album has been my favorite album of 2018 since it landed on my front porch back in February. I started this post (back in February) to tell the world all about your psychedelic, sometimes shoegazey, all the time rock ‘n’ roll goodness, but I could not find the words to describe the greatness of your 10 song masterpiece. I apologize.
Hello World, if you have not acquainted yourself with New York-based Olden Yolk, now is the time to do it. Their debut album is a solid slab of psych-rock/psych-folk/psych-pop, mingled with just enough fuzz and gaze to make it stand out above all the rest. Give “Vital Sign” and “Takes One To Know One” for a spin below to see what I mean. Olden Yolk is available now via Trouble In Mind Records. I highly, highly recommend it.
Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get back into gear and JW Francis’ new EP was that kick in the pants for me – I think – let’s see if I can stay consistent with the posts.
JW’s music came my way via an email submission. His 4 song EP of bedroom-pop goodness, I’ll Love You Forever, Bye, hit me right in the feels. His lo-fi, jangly, pop tunes are sincere and obviously about the people he cares most about and that is what captivated me and motivated me to write this post.
I’ll Love You Forever, Bye is available now via JW Francis’ Bandcamp page you can also stream it below. Enjoy.
RunHideFight is a 4-piece band out of Philadelphia. Their debut single “He’s A Jerk” packs a hefty punch of gunk and grime, highlighted by singer/guitarist Geeta Simons’ snarling vocals.
“He’s A Jerk” is a garage-rock gem that belongs on your turntable. Get it now digitally or on wax via Hidden Volume Records. Enjoy.
Melbourne’s Pinch Points’ new EP Mechanical Injury has sprung me from my summer slackerdom. It’s pounding, choppy, angular, post-punk (mostly punk) goodness is as good as it gets. They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but their execution is spot on.
Mechanical Injury is one of my favorite releases of 2018. It’s so good it has had me looking into starting my own label and begging Pinch Points to let me release it on vinyl, but after learning to read, it appears I am too late. Bummer.
Mechanical Injury is available now digitally via Pinch Points’ Bandcamp page and will be released someday by Six Tonnes De Chair and Custom Made Music. Enjoy.
Boston’s New Aura put their modern spin on 60’s and 70’s era psych on their debut self-titled EP, which is packed full of swirling, reverbed guitars over fried crispy vocals. Check out “Nick Cage” (below) to see what I mean.
You can get New Aura’s S/T EP now on cassette and digitally from their Bandcamp page.
Los Angeles via Austin singer/songwriter Jess Williamson’s new album Cosmic Wink is a spacious, psychedelic-pop record that features Williamson’s strong vocals floating through waves of jangle and haze. Cosmic Wink is out now via Mexican Summer Records.