It has been another year. With mountains of things to say about a year like the one that is, or has been, 2018, the only thing that I can even begin to be called an "expert" on is the incredibly narrow corner of music I have resigned my interest to, therefore I will limit my editorializing to that. Here is a list of the records I listened to the most this year.
Some brief notes on the list you may read in a moment if you decide to keep reading after this.
1. This list is by no means the "best" music released this year, and I will never say that it is. It is simply the music that I listened to the most, or stuck with me the longest, or i simply thought about the most for any reason.
2. This list is presented in a chronological order rather than any other possible way of sorting a list of this type.
3. My "career" as a music selector is completely associated with a "genre" that when I wear a t-shirt I have owned since my teens claiming that music "is awesome" I am called a loser, I am by no means saying these records, bands or songs are part of the scene. I like that music, that music means a lot to me. I like these records, they means a lot to me. That is probably where that ends, please don't @ me.
Closer, All This Will Be
Closer has a pedigree, if you want you can find the members other bands, but that should not make this music seem less than what it is because it is not music under a different name. This record is the kind of thing I want all the time. It is cathartic and challenging and if you are the kind of person who wants that from your music will leave you torn apart on your bus ride to work.
I spent a lot of these year thinking about nothing,nowhere. You can look at my last.fm and see how much time I spent listening to him. It was not a great year, and this record deals with having a bad time and how to weigh that with not completely giving into it. Lines about not wanting to do any of this anymore are snuck in between lines about missing someone or trying to get by doing the things you love. If you want to talk about this I have a lot to say.
Now, Now, Saved
From the friends I have talked to about these records so far, this seems like the more controversial. Now, Now is not the same band they were before, while still being something they always were. I also really like the new Tancred record, "Nightstand," it just didn't stick in my head the way this did. There is a lot on this record to wrap around your mind. The songs spoke to where I have spent a lot of time emotionally for a long time. It also rides that line of being pop accessible while still being in a "scene" that is not mainstream music.
Pool Kids, Music To Practice Safe Sex To
This came out the weekend after my birthday. That was a bad week, and this record spent a lot of time with me that weekend. The technicality of the musicianship perfectly balances the depth of it's verse. When someone asks me what twinkle bands I like, for the foreseeable future I will say "all I really want is Pool Kids."
Daughters, You Won't Get What You Want
I only really read music journalism to find new music I might like, and their aren't very many big places that say things I don't already know from something smaller or just spending a lot of time on Instagram or Tumblr. I know a lot of people have said good things about this record just from watching their stories on Instagram. I don't know what those people said other than I feel a little silly being "I ALSO like Daughters." Daughters is a band that has never been the same band twice. The title speaks to that. Every new version is the best version of Daughters. I had been waiting for this for most of a decade and I devoured every nigh unlistenable moment of it.