Sam’s Faves of 2018

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

Olden Yolk | Olden Yolk | 3hive.com

Olden Yolk | Olden Yolk | 3hive.com

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.

JW Francis

JW Francis | I'll Love You Forever, Bye | 3hive.com

JW Francis | I'll Love You Forever, Bye | 3hive.com

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.

Jess Williamson

Jess Williamson | Cosmic Wink | 3hive.com

Jess Williamson | Cosmic Wink | 3hive.com

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.

En Attendant Ana

En Attendant Ana | Lost And Found | 3hive.com

En Attendant Ana | Lost And Found | 3hive.com

Parisian 5 piece En Attendant Ana bring it strong on their debut album Lost And Found. Chock full of killer hooks, tasty vocal harmonies and just enough trumpet to make any fan of properly placed trumpet take notice – Lost And Found is indie rock gold.

Take a listen to standout track “This Could Be” below for a sample. Lost And Found is out now and available via Trouble In Mind Records. Enjoy.

The Love-Birds

The Love-Birds | In The Lover's Corner | 3hive.com

San Francisco’s The Love-Birds play an infectious brand of melodic power-pop on their debut long player In The Lover’s Corner. It’s full of jangly guitars, killer vocal harmonies and everything else you’ve come to expect from a solid pop record. Listen to the pogo-inducing standout “Angela” below for a taste.

In The Lover’s Corner is out now via Trouble In Mind Records – it belongs in your collection.

Billy & Dolly

Billy & Dolly | Five Suns | 3hive.com

Billy & Dolly | Five Suns | 3hive.com

Billy & Dolly’s new album Five Suns arrived in my inbox some time ago. I hadn’t heard of them and almost passed the release up, but their label name, Shit Krystal, peaked my interest enough to give it a spin and I am so glad that I did. Turns out these two are THE Bill and Dahlia from the early to mid 00’s band The Monolith, who I love!

Five Suns, their third release under the Billy & Dolly moniker is a solid slab of 12 distorted, grimy, indie-pop nuggets with just enough heavy (like Black Sabbath heavy) guitar parts to keep things interesting. Check out “Setting Sun” and “Marooned” below for a sampling. Five Suns is available digitally and on vinyl or cassette via Billy & Dolly’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.

Benedek

Benedek | Kushel | 3hive.com

L.A. producer/beat-maker Benedek’s new EP, Kushel, caught my attention right off the bat as it’s opening track “Geo-Soul Anthem” sounds like it could have come from my all-time favorite skateboarding video The Search For Animal Chin. My good friend Viet and I watched that video almost every day for an entire summer before carving up the local curbs and speed bumps.

Kushel is one of my favorite EPs of the year. It has just enough chilled-out groove to go along with its head-nodding beats – a perfect soundtrack to your next get together or grinding up some curbs 80’s style. You can get Kushel now on cassette or digitally from Leaving Records. Enjoy.

Lithics

Lithics | Mating Surfaces | 3hive.com

Lithics | Mating Surfaces | 3hive.com

Portland OR quartet, Lithics, bring the heat and melt faces on their new album Mating Surfaces. Their razor-sharp, tinnitus-causing, post-punk hooks you right at the needle drop of opening track “Excuse Generator” (below) and doesn’t let go for 29 minutes, leaving you exhausted – yet begging for more.

Mating Surfaces is out now via Kill Rock Stars. Enjoy.

Corey Flood

Corey Flood | Wish You Hadn't | 3hive.com

Corey Flood’s debut EP, Wish You Hadn’t is a dark, brooding and quite addicting indie-pop meets post-punk effort. Clocking in at just under 12 minutes Wish You Hadn’t ends way too soon – there should be like 8 more songs – I want more Corey Flood! Hopefully there will be more to come.

I couldn’t choose a song to highlight because they are all so good. Please enjoy the entire EP stream below.

Wish You Hadn’t is available digitally and on cassette via Fire Talk records.