2018 has been a heck of a year for new music- In fact, the majority of releases this year have become some of my all-time favourites. The resurgence in punk and a desire to push average indie landfill out has provided a platform for some of the industry’s most talented musicians to really start to get the recognition they deserve.
Have a lovely Christmas and hope you enjoy the read L.x
Songs of Praise // Shame
This album has been the soundtrack of my entire year. Released just 12 days into January, Shame instantly set the tone for the remaining year of punk resurgence and reeling live performances. Shame have exploded in true attitudinal fashion, playing sold-out venues all across the UK and being crowned Rough Trade’s #1 Record of the Year.
From the moment Steen’s ominous sermon began in ‘Dust on Trial’, I already knew it would be my album of the year- 3 Shame gigs later and my dad purchasing a Shame t-shirt along with 2 pairs of Doc Martens, I think it’s safe to say this has been the defining album of the year for myself.
Highlights: Gold Hole, Dust on Trial & Tasteless
Joy as an Act of Resistance // IDLES
As a very (VERY) marginal runner-up, IDLES shook the entire industry this year with their roaring critic favourite Joy as an Act of Resistance– hey, the critics got it right for once! Peaking at no. in the UK album charts, IDLES have tirelessly proved themselves to be the most formidable force in the game. Their effortless but colossal live presence has made them without a doubt my favourite live act of the year.
Joy is a compelling, vivid and tenacious record that leaves you questioning your own morals. If this album doesn’t motivate you to have a little self-contemplation- I wonder if anything else will.
Highlights: Colossus, Samaritans & Never Fight A Man with A Perm
Course of the Satellite // The Vryll Society
Debut album, Course of the Satellite is a transient, spiritual and intergalactic voyage + more. Each track runs seamlessly into the next making for a divine, polished holistic piece. Having heard singles such as Andrei Rublev and Sacred Flight before the album was released, I had no doubt this would quickly become one of my favourite releases of the year.
I can wholeheartedly say, there has been no other band this year that has made a bigger improvement than the Vryll Society. After seeing their slightly underwhelming performance at Neighbourhood Festival in 2017, I ventured down to Soup Kitchen to hear Course of the Satellite and have a chat with the lads. I was utterly blown away, the new visuals were astounding, the band were far tighter and confident. This made for not only one of my favourite live performances of the year but also one of my favourite albums.
Highlights: Andrei Rublev, Glows and Spheres & Shadow of a Wave
Lush // Snail Mail
Admittedly, I haven’t been listening to Snail Mail for very long at all but after discovering their debut on Spotify, I am hooked. Minimalism and honesty underpin this Maryland quartet. 19-year old vocalist Lindsay Jordan wears her heart on a sleeve with a witty edge and accompanied by her musical counterparts, Snail Mail offer the currently stagnant indie scene a cool breath of fresh air.
Lush is an angsty and raw 10-track record saturated in irony and frustration. Lindsay’s youthful charm makes her lyricism incredibly heartfelt and sadly tragic. Themes of love, desire and anger are woven intrinsically throughout, presenting what someone may dismiss as generic, but Snail Mail’s sound is far more intricate and gripping.
Highlights: Full Control, Pristine & Let’s Find an Out
- Murder // The Howl & The Hum
- Moon Undah Water // Puma Blue
- Proxy Love // HMLTD
- Restless // Heir
- Illusions // Sundara Karma
- Love It If We Made It // The 1975
- Berlin Wall // Hotel Lux
Nina Cried Power // Hozier
Who to look out for in 2019? Hotel Lux, Fontaines D.C. and The Howl & The Hum
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