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.

New Aura

New Aura | New Aura | 3hive.com

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.

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.

Paces Lift & Ben Bounce

Paces Lift & Ben Bounce | Tropikoro | 3hive.com

Digging from vinyl bins all around the globe the beat making dynamic duo of Paces Lift & Ben Bounce go deep into the vast world of psych and tropical grooves on their sophomore release Tropikoro. Give the standout tracks “Telephone”, “The Marketplace” and “The Great Phantasmo” a spin below for a taste of Tropikoro’s radness.

Tropikoro is available now on vinyl (recommended) and digitally via Wax Thématique and Paces Lift & Ben Bounce’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.

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.

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.

Salad Boys

Salad Boys | This Is Glue | 3hive.com

New Zealand’s Salad Boys have returned with their newest long player This is Glue. Like previous Salad Boys’ releases, This Is Glue blurs the lines between in-your-face rock and roll and laid-back jangle-pop. Give opening tracks “Blown Up” and “Hatred” (below) a spin to see what I mean.

This Is Glue is out now and available from Trouble In Mind Records. Enjoy.

Droopies

Droopies | Responsible People | 3hive.com

Droopies | Responsible People | 3hive.com

Philadelphia 3-piece, Droopies, are the definition of the term power-trio. Their sophomore release Responsible People is packed with in-your-face hooks as they bounce between shoegazey punk rock and jangly psych-pop, with one common denominator: fuzz and lots of it. These guys get pretty big sound for there just being three of them.

Responsible People is out now digitally via Droopies Bandcamp page and on a limited cassette release through Funny / Not Funny Records. Give “Gone Wrong” (below) a spin, then go get your hands on a copy of this bad boy. Enjoy.

Khruangbin

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo | 3hive.com

Houston, Texas trio Khruangbin (for the phonetically challenged like me, it’s pronounced KRUNG-BIN) came together from a common love of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Thai funk and soul music (you can listen to their “Essential Thai Funk Mixtape” here). Their new album Con Todo El Mundo is a smoking hot, groove-filled slab of funk, psych and soul. Give “Maria También” a spin below for a sample – you will not be sorry. Con Todo El Mundo is out now via Dead Oceans and I can not recommend it enough. Enjoy.