End of Year 2018: Favorite Music

Favorite Music

Some of you might remember our music categories from last year, Favorite Album and Favorite Song. Though it took us some time to realize this, it ended up placing a restriction on the categories that was stronger than we anticipated. Where do mixtapes fall? What about a single released with a B-side? Remixes? DJ live sets? Our goal for the changes to this category is to enable as much of the form to be shared as possible; if it’s music, and it’s 2018, then it belongs in this thread. From film soundtracks to anime soundtracks, re-issues to remasters to remixes, the more the merrier.

You’re welcome to discuss game music as well, but reserve your most passionate of paragraphs for the actual voting thread.

Discussion Thread

This category is not involved in our nomination/voting process and instead is all about discussing your favs!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!


Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: What is eligible to be discussed?

A: Though we’re still largely looking for discussion of things that released in 2018, given that this is a discussion thread separate from the nomination process we’re happy to be a little more lax on items that might fall into a grey area. You’re free to use your own judgement with that, and to reach out to us if there’s anything you’re not sure of.

  • Thank you to @Emily for the banner!
1 Like

My top pick is the album Woman Worldwide by Justice. Any description I give won’t do it justice (:wink:), so I’ll just drop a link to a song from the album, and let you all listen for yourselves.


if i could convince anyone to hear any one thing from 2018, it’s gotta be Whack World

it seriously boggles my mind that Tierra Whack a) got a grammy nom b) for best video and c) it’s not for this 15-minute seamless masterpiece that accompanies the entirety of her debut album


My song of 2018 has got to be the one that single-handedly pushed me into K-pop fandom


I’ve loved Jeff Rosenstock and BtMI for a long time but his more poppy solo work (despite being objectively good and something that I continue to listen to) never completely clicked with me until POST-. I’m not good at music, so I’m not gonna try and explain that even a little bit. It’s just good, ok?

Heads up for some very cartoony gore and cannibalism at the end of the video.


I think most of 2018 I was discovering music from before I was born, but a few songs that ended up being listened to a surprisingly amount would be:

I think this is the most talked about, dissected, and debated music video I’ve ever seen.

What started as a joke appreciation became steadily more earnest as the year went on.

I feel people are obligated in Western Canada to like bands from here that get famous, but that never got me liking Nickelback. Thankfully, The Sheepdogs are just chill af and always a joy to listen to.

Here’s a big list of just some of the music I’ve really liked this year:

  • Julia Holter - Aviary (kind of the perfect combination of her earlier stuff with the polish of her more recent work; it’s a rare 90-minute album that doesn’t feel bloated. I am slightly biased because I think she’s an actual genius)

  • Tierra Whack - Whack World (I honestly just wish it was longer! For all the perfect one-minute vignettes there are a couple where I wish I could just linger for a bit more time)

  • Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs (still need to give more time to this one - the lo-fi hip-hop [as in hip-hop that is actually lo-fi] is something that appeals to me massively, so I’m glad he’s drawing more on the experimental production details I loved about I Don’t Like Shit…)

  • Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy (kind of a mirror image of Some Rap Songs in a way, the production on this album is ABSOLUTE LUSHNESS)

  • Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (only got this yesterday. I wasn’t overly keen on Nikki Nack [I didn’t dislike it, but I remember it being very patchy and a bit of a disappointment after how much _Whokill_ blew my tiny little mind]. In love with ‘Home’, it has that command of melody and chaos and whatnot that I remember particularly loving about ‘Doorstep’ from Whokill)

  • Palm - Rock Island (Deerhoofian mathy eccentricity, centred around MIDI’d up guitars [as in triggering MIDI samples via guitar, I believe, like Disco Inferno did in the '90s]. If it sounds up your street, definitely make a point of seeing them live.)

  • Meitei - Kwaidan / 怪談 (drawing on Japanese folklore, this is [to my ears, anyway] quite similar to Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica - using the sampler / computer as a sort of Ouija board to chop and draw out all kinds of small ghostly elements from the samples he’s using. I think this is the most independent thing I’m mentioning so I’ll bother to chuck the Bandcamp link in there as well – https://meitei.bandcamp.com/album/kwaidan)

  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of (speaking of OPN, this album is kind of a culmination of Lopatin’s whole aesthetic to date, right? The sort of album I think of when I think of that whole “post-Internet” thing of drawing on the entire history of music to create something very distinctively new from the old.)

There’s loads more I could mention, I’m sure, but the syntactic clumsiness at the end of my bit on Age Of probably suggests that I’m running out of things to type about just this minute.

This has been a good way of summing up the year in music though (as someone who tends to forget by the end of a year what actually came out / happened within that year)


Oh wait

  • Beach House - 7 (this was a return to form, even considering I’d loved their last two albums: there was a renewed confidence in this one, maybe?)

  • Grouper - Grid of Points (any year with new Grouper is good. Might listen to this this evening actually. Wish it was a biiiiit longer)

  • Colin Mawson - Miniature Epiphanies (slight bias because I’m involved with this label and releasing something on them next year, but this is one of my favourite releases they’ve put out. Almost entirely made on a Korg Minilogue, it’s definitely something that I think would appeal to a gaming community like Waypoint https://colinmawson.bandcamp.com/album/miniature-epiphanies-2)


Here’s my (all electronic) nominations:

1 Like

I have about 50-60 albums I’m still considering for my top 10. About ten of those are first-listen “whoops I missed this” entries. About 40 are “I listened to this once or twice in full, put my favorite songs on a playlist, and planned to get back to this before I put out my list.” About five are “these are albums I spent the most time with this year,” and another four are “these are my favorite albums of the year.”

Then there’s #1. And nothing comes close.
Dirty Computer - Janelle Monae


Julia Holter made the best album of the year, Aviary. It’s got it all basically. Tim Hecker also made a very good album, Konoyo, it too has it all. Autechre released 8 hours of music, NTS Sessions, and as usual they always have it all. There were plenty of other wonderful things but I feel comfortable making this my top three.


holy crap this new Spanish Love Songs album is really good https://spanishlovesongs.bandcamp.com/album/schmaltz

Forgot about Konoyo. Man, thinking about it, it’s been a very good year

1 Like

I ended up getting way into a bunch of artists I’d never been into before this year but most of that was via releases from previous years. HOWEVER. here’s my Top 3.

  1. Lucy Dacus - Historian
    I’d never heard of Lucy Dacus before and then this album came out and gosh I love all her music so much now.
  1. Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
    Not gonna lie, if you told me last year that Janelle Monae’s new album would only be my second favourite album I would have called you a crazy person. This album is some of the best work Monae has ever made and there’s not a single dud on the album. My favourite song from it is still definitely Django Jane.
  1. Kendrick Llamar (and a LOT of other artists) - Black Panther
    So, this one caught me off guard because on the face of it it shouldn’t really be my kinda thing. A big hip-hop collab album that’s connected to a fucking Marvel movie? No thanks. I’m sure people will like it but that’s extremely not my thing.
    Oh wait, it is my thing you say? It’s amazing you say? I’ll listen to it all year you say? Well whatever, I guess it’s number one then.

Bonus mentions: That Muse album that came out this year was great, so was the Robyn album. uhhh Chlidish Gambino’s releases were all great too.

Oh and I’ve been listening to this all week because Sorry To Bother You only just came out here this month and I finally saw it and I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack:

I didn’t see any “hey don’t post more the X number of links” warnings so sorry this post is big.


Some real good stuff from Childish Gambino this year, the Black Panther OST I second.

My stand out has to be Kaytranada’s newest EP. Him and Shay Lia are a no fail collab


Surprised iridescence hasn’t been mentioned yet in this thread, BROCKHAMPTON is fucking great

I’ve never really been someone who keeps up with modern music, so my modern music range is usually really disparate. The albums I got into and enjoyed this year were:

MGMT - Little Dark Age: not a return to form per se, as its pretty different from their other work, but a return to confidence and style that was pretty mesmerizing

Superorganism - Self-titled: a lil weird synth pop, very laid back but still with energy

Noname - Room 25: I feel this was more my style than Telefone, production was more acoustic.

Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want: Bleak and dark drone beats, because, despite being a big soft girl, love angry hell music

Miya Folick - Premonitions: Rlly good!!! dunno what else to say!!! more synthy then her previous stuff??? very good !!!

I also was really into the singles Roisin Murphy was putting out like All My Dreams, and the fact that TMBG started putting out Microtonal Musikkkkkkkkkkk??? i melted

sorry for being a pretentious nerddddddd i might think of other stuff later

i might think of other stuff!?!?!?

I’ve listened to a lot of music this year, but little of it was actually released in 2018. Last year was a dry year for me. Apart from Julien Baker’s Turn Out the Lights, which I listened to front-to-back at least once a week, I didn’t spend much time keeping up with new releases. This year was mostly spent catching up with everything I missed. Over the past few weeks, though, I’ve been burning through albums released this year and found some of my favorites:

Joy As An Act of Resistance by IDLES — This is the album that has been on rotation the most throughout the year since it released in August. It’s loud, angry, vulnerable, and about as loving and tender as a punk rock record can get. The opener, Colossus, is one of my top tracks this year.

boygenius by boygenius — Julien Baker is my favorite living musician, I think. Seeing her join forces with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus was like a dream come true. This EP didn’t move me quite as much as Turn Out the Lights did, but it’s still such a heartbreaking joy. Me & My Dog and Stay Down are my favorite tracks here.

Make My Bed by King Princess — I was lukewarm towards King Princess when I first heard Holy and 1950, but after a few listens to their whole EP, something clicked and it might be my favorite pop release this year (sorry Robyn; sorry Carly). Talia is without a doubt one of my most played songs of the past few months.

I tend not to listen to songs outside their albums—I’m an all or nothing type—but there are a few that I’ve loved so much I’ve kept them on repeat: Comeback Kid by Sharon Van Etten (I’ve been a sucker for Sharon ever since Love More); I Hate Chicago by Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers (I have a long-standing love for Laura and the whole of Bought to Rot is fantastic); Better by Kahlid (Kahlid is an artist I haven’t paid much attention since American Teen, but I love this song); and Do it Over by Antarcticgo Vespucci (Bang! was also one of my most-listened-to songs in 2018, but I’m trying to keep it current here).

Honorable mentions to all the great music I didn’t listen to enough, like: Colors by Anjimile, Clean by Soccer Mommy, Dose Your Dreams by Fucked Up, Transgender Street Legend Vol. 1 by Left at London, Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt, Honey by Robyn, MassEducation by St. Vincent, Sister Cities by The Wonder Years, and CARE FOR ME by Saba.

1 Like

I keep catching this thread out of the corner of my eye and thinking, man, everything I can think of that I really liked this year actually came out in 2017.
Then I remembered that, no, all those new Grammar Club tracks may have started coming out winter 2017, but Live Slow, Die Whenever properly dropped in ding-dang August.
This album is such a fun time, and does a great job of showcasing the talents of all the different members of the group. The first track, Waiting to Die, is just… it’s all time. I love it.

Also does Coltrane’s Both Directions at Once count even though it was recorded some decades ago?

1 Like