Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Albums of the Year, 2018

I paid more attention this year, which is why I probably think it's been a 'good' year for new music, and why I'm bothering with a list for the first time since 2012. With the usual disclaimer that even if I'd listened to every record released in 2018 at least 15 times over, this list of favourites (as opposed to 'the best') would still be random and entirely subjective, and would read differently tomorrow compared with how I've aligned the albums today. Did I really like Halo Maud's record marginally less than Marisa Anderson's? Should you rank Oneohtrix Point Never's music side by side with Fatoumata Diawara's? Probably not. But here we go anyway: 

40. Vera Sola- Shades (Spectraphonic)
39. Rosanne Cash- She Remembers Everything (Blue Note)
38. Karine Polwart- Laws of Motion (Hudson)
37. Selling, Gold Panda & jas Shaw- On Reflection (City Slang)
36. Bombino- Deran (Partisan)
35. Liela Moss- My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth (Bella Union)
34. The Field- Infinite Moment (Kompakt)
33. Robyn- Honey (Embassy One)
32. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood- With Animals (Heavenly)
31. Lubomyr Melnyk- Fallen Trees (Erased Tapes)
30. Natalie Prass- The Future and the Past (ATO)
29. Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert- Here Lies the Body (Rock Action Records)
28. Vanessa Peters- Foxhole Prayers (Idol Records)
27. Halo Maud- Je suis une île (Heavenly)
26. Marisa Anderson- Cloud Corner (Thrill Jockey)
25. Kurt Vile- Bottle It In (Matador)
24. Rae Morris- Someone Out There (Atlantic)
23. Fatoumata Diawara- Fenfo (Shanachie Records)
22. Oneohtrix Point Never- Age Of (Warp)
21. Baba Sissoko & Djana Sissoko- Fasiya (Blind Faith)
20. Gruff Rhys- Babelsberg (Rough Trade)
19. Dawn Landes- Take Me To The River (Yep Roc)
18. Calexico- The Thread That Keeps Us (Anti)
17. Low- Double Negative (Sub Pop)
16. POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e- Music For The Long Emergency (Totally Gross National Product)

15. Jenny Wilson- Exorcism (Gold Medal Recordings)
Makes me feel: that her ex is listening to this, feeling either guilty or aggrieved, but loving its hegemonic hooks

14. Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids- An Angel Fell (Strut)
Makes me feel: some records will keep revealing themselves for years to come.

13. Beach House- 7 (Sub Pop)
Makes me feel: suffused in a sweet heat

12. Black Roots- Take It (Khanti)
Makes me feel: that it's the summer of 1979 and I've nothing better to do than listen to this record on loop.

11. Courtney Barnett- Tell Me How You Really Feel (Milk!)
Makes me (really) feel: like guitar music for slackers has not yet had its day.

10. Samba Touré- Wande (Glitterbeat)
Makes me feel: I've been living the wrong life in the wrong country for at least half a century.

9. Tracey Thorn - Record (Merge)
Makes me feel: that, unlikely as it seems, enduring pop genius comes from Brookmans Park via Hull.

8. Shannon Shaw - Shannon in Nashville (Easy Eye Sound)
Makes me feel: that every foot-stomping style in musical history has been packed into this (to use a trans-European summation) tour de force Meisterwerk.

7. Damien Jurado- The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian)
Makes me feel: privileged to be alive at the same time as one of the most prolific and under-valued songwriters of the 21st century.

6. Ólafur Arnalds- re:member (Erased Tapes)
Makes me feel: that I want to live in Icelandic isolation with nothing but an Arnalds box set. And a bong.

5. Paul Weller- True Meanings (Parlophone)
Makes me feel: That 'English Rose' wasn't a one-off, and he should have been writing acoustic songs for the past 25 years. 

4. Nils Frahm- All Melody (Erased Tapes)
Makes me feel: like trancing.

3. Laura Gibson - Goners (Barsuk)
Makes me feel: touched by every note, and in awe of her consistency after 2016's magnificent 'Empire Builder'.

2. Janelle Monáe- Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)
Makes me feel: that a well-designed album cover can convey precious genius.

1. Alela Diane- Cusp (Alela Diane)
Makes me feel: like I'm flying, while crying. The most stunning, devastatingly emotional collection of songs of this year, of this millennium. 

From a previous life:


Martin Buchan said...

Album of the year - welcome back. I missed you.

Ian Plenderleith said...

Thank you, Martin. The Manchester United and Scotland back four both miss you too right now.