Thursday, February 7, 2019

2018 Top 50 Recap

Here's a nice and easy linkable list in case you missed any of the Top 50 for 2018. There's a Spotify playlist at the bottom of the post with my favorite song from each album. Hope you enjoyed the list. Let me know your favorites for the year in the comments below. Follow the playlist, follow the blog. See you in November.



1. Phosphorescent - C'est La Vie
2. Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed
3. Middle Kids - Lost Friends
4. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
5. Mt. Joy - Mt. Joy
7. Ben Howard - Noonday Dream
8. Acid Dad - Acid Dad
9. Lo Moon - Lo Moon
Bahamas - Earthtones
11. Juliana Hatfield - Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John
12. Soccer Mommy - Clean
13. Horse Feathers - Appreciation
14. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar
15. Francis And The Lights - Just For Us
16. Glen Hansard - Between Two Shores
17. Rascal Martinez - Far From Home
18. Wild Child - Expectations
19. Prince - Piano And A Microphone 1983
20. Laura Veirs - The Lookout
21. Hookworms - Microshift
22. The Dead Tongues - Unsung Passage
23. Remember Sports - Slow Buzz
24. Leon Bridges - Good Thing
25. Superorganism - Superorganism
26. King Tuff - The Other
27. John Prine - The Tree Of Forgiveness
28. Roo Panes - Quiet Man
29. Neko Case - Hell-On
30. Shopping - The Official Body
31. ISLAND - Feels Like Air
32. Agar Agar - The Dog And The Future
33. Frankie Cosmos - Vessel
34. Lucy Dacus - Historian
35. Dead Horses - My Mother The Moon
36. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Hotel Base And Casino
37. Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog
38. Typhoon - Offerings
39. Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus
40. Ought - Room Inside The World
41. tUnE-yArDs - I can feel you creep into my private life
42. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
43. The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life
44. Now, Now - Saved
45. Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
46. Eddie Berman - Surrounded By The Sound: Ten Covers By Eddie Berman
48. Cat Power - Wanderer
49. Fantastic Negrito - Please Don't Be Dead
50. Sure Sure - Sure Sure



Sunday, January 27, 2019

1. Phosphorescent

1. Phosphorescent - C'est La Vie

This is Simon Houck's first album in five years. His last album, Muchacho, garnered him a spot here. He took a break to move out of Brooklyn and have a child with his wife in Nashville. While his voice and sound are certainly distinguishable, this particular album is easily his the best out of his vast catalog. There's a maturity and resonance with his work this go around and I still can't put this album down.




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2. Damien Jurado

2. Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed

Damien Jurado is one of my favorite artists. He hit #1 in 2014 here and #3 in 2016 on this blog. Having finished up his triology in 2016, we find Jurado in new territory, leaving behind his work with producer, Richard Swift. This album is self-produced, and could easily be his best work to date. Maybe with experience and trust in oneself, he is able to ascend to the greatness we all believe him to be.



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3. Middle Kids

3. Middle Kids - Lost Friends

I think I have finally hit the age where my memory cannot keep up with the sheer number of bands I've seen live. At least that's what my daughter thinks, when, after seeing them live in Chicago this last year, she promptly reminded me we had seen Middle Kids the year prior at SXSW. It's ok though because this band has quickly become one of my favorites, and apparently many others as well. Many in the crowd were shouting out the lyrics to every song. They came out with an EP last year that would have put them close to #1, so, they may be getting some residual love, but they certainly own the #3 spot. The band is from Sydney, Australia and singer Hannah Joy is joined by husband, Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day. Hannah's voice and lyrics are piercing and intimate and coupled with a wall of sound and musical precision, this band is poised to do great things. I look forward to their future.



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4. Car Seat Headrest

4. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy

This is actually a re-recorded version of his 2011 classic. Will Toledo likes to tinker with his stuff and has a vast array of songs laying around since inception. I liken this to what Paul Simon did earlier this year, by rearranging his catalog and 'fixing' songs he never felt complete. Will wanted this to deliver more of an impact, or whatever he felt was wrong with the previous arrangements. Regardless, this is a punchy foray into stripped-down guitar rock and it's an enjoyable ride.



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Saturday, January 26, 2019

5. Mt. Joy

5. Mt. Joy - Mt. Joy

Matt Quinn is the heart of the Philly based band. This is their debut album and what an album it is. I know I keep saying this, but this is basically why the Top 10 is the Top 10. The second I put this album on, it grabbed me and didn't let go. The soaring folk rock anthems, the intricate lyrics and the rambling southern style rock made this album one of my favorites. They will be playing live March 9 at Tower Theatre, but don't buy all the tickets yet, I still have to get mine.



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Friday, January 25, 2019

6. Gregory Alan Isakov

6. Gregory Alan Isakov - Evening Machines

On his first album in five years, Gregory Alan Isakov returns with a powerful group of songs that was so compelling I had to buy the vinyl immediately. Gregory lives on a farm in Boulder, Colorado (because, of course he does) and this album was produced by him in a barn on his property. There's a natural quality to this album, and I hope I get to see some portion of it performed live. The video below highlights easily the best song on the album.



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Thursday, January 24, 2019

7. Ben Howard

7. Ben Howard - Noonday Dream

This is Ben Howard's third album. I have loved his other two, but this album grabbed a hold of me in a way that hasn't happened in a while. His previous two albums were gorgeous, but the work he did on this album, the experimentation, the electric/acoustic contrast, the lyrics. It's just beautiful. Definitely check it out.



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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

8. Acid Dad

8. Acid Dad - Acid Dad

Definitely one of my favorite new bands of the year. Acid Dad is based out of Brooklyn and the roster consists of, Sean Fahey, vocals/guitar; Kevin Walker, drums; JP Basileo, Bass; and Vaughn Hunt, vocals/guitar. This is their debut album, although they've been playing a few years. Psych punk, but with enough variety to keep the album extremely interesting.



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Monday, January 14, 2019

9. Lo Moon

9. Lo Moon - Lo Moon

This is Lo Moon's debut album. The album is very interesting, because it's one of those albums where the band is trying to find their sound. It consists of Matt Lowell, Crisanta Baker, Samuel Stewart, and Sterling Laws and they reside in Los Angeles. They signed to Colombia, so, I think they're shooting for the moon (get it). They have a sound like Temper Trap or Future Islands, but heavily influenced by New Wave, I'm sure their sound will do them well. I know I certainly enjoyed this album a lot, it was very addictive.



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Sunday, January 13, 2019

10. Bahamas

10. Bahamas - Earthtones

I have been in love with this guy since his last album way back in 2014. He made the Top 50 here. Appropriately he is in the Top 10 with this fantastic piece of work. Also, quick plug, you can hear the song below on the debut of my new radio show, B Sides on thespyfm.com and kosu.org tonight starting at 10pm CST. 91.7FM OKC, 88.3 Stillwater and 107.5 Tulsa.



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11. Juliana Hatfield

11. Juliana Hatfield - Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John

You may know Juliana Hatfield from such bands as The Lemonheads, Minor Alps or Some Girls. She is an accomplished solo musician and her new tribute to 80's pop sensation, Olivia Newton-John is magnificent. Even though the news falsely reported that Olivia is hanging on by a thread (which prompted said musician to post a video of her alive and well), this is meant to be a living tribute to pay homage to her muse. A portion of the record's sales will be donated to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.



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12. Soccer Mommy

12. Soccer Mommy - Clean

Sophie Alleson is Soccer Mommy. She was born in Sweden but raised in Nashville. She's held a guitar since she was six and produces intensely lyric driven soft punk style music. This is her official studio debut and at 20 years old, what a debut it is.



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13. Horse Feathers

13. Horse Feathers - Appreciation

This is the sixth album from Justin Ringle and band. Based out of Portland, Oregon, they produce incredibly dense folk music with a little electronic thrown in for good measure. Their Appalachian vibe never fails to make me happy, but the additonal string arrangements and backing band on this album have pushed them into one of my more listened to records of the year. They made the blog way back in 2012, here.



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14. Young Fathers

14. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar

Young Fathers is a three piece out of Edinburgh, Scotland. The band consists of ‘G’ Hastings, from Drylaw, Edinburgh, Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia via Ghana and Kayus Bankole, born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents. They have had much acclaim in the UK and opened for Massive Attack. While they eschew genre, they are often classed as experimental hip-hop. Their name derives from the fact that each of the band members is named after their father.



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