Below is a link to the complete playlist for 2018Q2.
2018 in music part 2
Here it is! I stuck to it! My adventure back into loving music again has lasted two whole years. Not that I ever stopped loving music – I just stopped actively seeking out music that is new to me. Not necessarily new to the world. I went through a phase of only listening to the bands I know and love, ignoring the vast world of wonderful tuneage that was going on whilst I was in my bubble.
Anyway, yet again, I couldn’t do 10 – it’s just too damn hard. There are 98 songs on the Spotify playlist for April the 1st – June 30th, which apparently will take you 6.5 hours to listen to in entirety. Haha! 2018 is going to be a very long playlist overall! There are multiple tracks from some artists, particularly the Tallest Man on Earth – purely because he hasn’t released the damn album yet. Therefore, he hasn’t made my top songs list this month, because the album will definitely be on the top albums of part 3 – I can guarantee it.
As always, I can’t define my criteria other than a song that stirs the soul in some way and makes me want to listen to it again and again. I don’t just limit it to new tracks from the Release Radar playlist, I search for tunes, (thank you Over the Counter and Discover Weekly playlists!) I use the other Spotify curated playlists to find older music, BBC 6 music recommends, and anyone who shares anything on Instagram… the list goes on!
However, the lists below are all new music. This is to stop anyone from saying “how have you not heard this already?!”
Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
I realised as I was about to start outlining my FJM rant that I had already had that rant last year when he released Pure Comedy. He’s prolific, isn’t he? And it’s all good stuff too! Goddamnit! The video for Mr. Tillman is brilliant too. It still hasn’t warmed me to him as a person though.
Florence & the Machine – High as Hope
Florence scraped onto this list by the skin of her teeth, releasing her album on the 29th of June. In all honesty, I haven’t listened to it all the way through yet, but I’ve read a lot of reviews and interviews with her regarding the theme of the album, and I’m all for it. It’s a very honest, personal album. I already prefer it to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
Middle Kids – Lost Friends
Like a million other people (literally) I religiously follow Busy Phillips on Instagram. Like Dawn O’Porter their stories and posts remind me that they are humans and have the same issues as the little folk. Busy Phillips is also my spirit music guide. She has the same track for her alarm (No, No, No by Beirut) and she is posting songs she loves – which I either love already, or love when I listen to. Middle Kids were no exception. Their album is great.
The Saxophones – Songs of the Saxophones
I’m not sure where The Saxophones emerged from, but Picture appeared on a playlist and struck me with its originality and unusualness. The rest of the album is just as interesting. I highly recommend you go listen.
Sweet Baboo – The Vending Machine Project
Also just scraping into this list is Sweet Baboo. I’ve loved him from the minute I heard Let’s Go Swimming Wild and saw them perform at Latitude. This album is a slight change in direction and pace to previous songs, but it’s still a perfect example of beautiful storytelling through song.
Get Well Soon – The Horror
I have a musical muse who was a couple of years above me at school that I am still in touch with. Everything he’s ever recommended to me I’ve loved, and I am very grateful. It’s his fault I’m obsessed with The National! Alongside Basia Bulat and Moulettes over the years I’ve grown an appreciation for Get Well Soon. This is quite the concept album I would say, and definitely requires listening to all at once, however, Martyrs does work nicely as a single.
Lord Huron – Vide Noir
I would say this album is one of their weaker ones. It took me several listens to get into but Wait by the River and When the Night is Over are fantastic.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs
Still love them. I would say they are a teensy bit samey, probably from a tempo perspective, but I’ve always enjoyed what they put out.
Slow Readers Club – Build a Tower
These take me right back to Tokyo in Huddersfield for NME Tuesdays. A whole album of modern Editors/Killers tracks. Brilliant.
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino
I love the new direction. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Arctic Monkeys. Being from Sheffield it was automatically assumed that I would love them and being a snobby Indie kid, I decided to go against the grain. It took me several years to let that go and now I love them. Particularly that first album. I would mark this down as a concept album though (and not just because of the title) as I think it should always be listened to as a whole piece of work, rather than individual tracks.
- The Rover – Interpol
THEY ARE BACK. And this is a tune!
- I Don’t Know – Paul McCartney
I don’t care what anyone thinks, I love McCartney and he will always be my favourite Beatle. But that is not something to go into here! Out of his two new releases, this slower one is my favourite. It’s beautifully written.
- This is America – Childish Gambino
Yep. I’m on the bandwagon. The hype was well deserved in my opinion. Such a brave track and video to release at such a poignant time. Well done Mr Glover.
- Magazin – White Denim
A slight return to form for WD. Although it was the super catchy tunes of Stiff that finally got me listening to them (I should have listened to them when I was first informed about them) this is more like their first two albums, can’t wait to hear the rest.
- A Boat to an Island on the Wall – Ben Howard
I do worry about Ben Howard. Since his first album he hasn’t seemed like a happy bunny. That hasn’t stopped him writing great songs though, even if they are a bit bleak. I do enjoy a bit of bleakness now and again though.
- Damn, dis-moi – Christine & the Queens
We heart Christine!
- Break-Thru – Dirty Projectors
I was late to the Dirty Projectors party; however, I am well in the group now. I’ve read a lot of people aren’t too happy with their new stuff (similar to when the Avalanches came back – I loved it, but it seemed poorly received) and I love this.
- Oom Sha La La – Hayley Heyndrickx
This appeared on a playlist and it is GREAT. Instant sing-a-long. Always a bonus.
- In Holland – LANZ
I think I wrote about Ben Lanz before. He’s the trombonist for The National & Beirut. And part of LNZNDRF, a collab with Scott and Bryan Devendorff from The National. It’s all very incestuous and I love it. Although it is getting hard to keep up with who is where now that Justin Vernon from Bon Iver has got involved. Must make it to one of their many festivals they keep curating! Anyway, back to LANZ. The album as a whole is great, but was released in the first quarter of the year, so only a track makes the list.
- Count Your Blessings – Mattiel
I thought she was French. She’s from Atlanta. This sounds like a perfect 60’s French pop song. I love it.
- Kids TV – Soundroll
YES. Just listen to it.
- Real Ones – Fall Back on Me
I thought this was Aberfeldy briefly! Turns out they have been around since 1994 and are from Norway. The album is lovely, but I only discovered them in June. This single is great. I have an internal unexplainable thing for Scandinavian bands, so it’s natural that I like these guys.
- Heart is a Weapon – We Are Scientists
I’ve never been a fan of their albums, but they seem to drop good singles and this is no exception. Plus, there is nudity in the video. Haha. And they make me feel warm and fuzzy with memories of dancing with Lisa to Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt.
- How did this Happen!? – BODEGA
These are a little bit LCD Soundsystem, (nowhere near as good though!) but I do have to check every time this song comes on! Surprisingly I like these guys, Jack in Titanic is another great tune. Simple, yet effective.
- Dreaming Another Life – Alexis Taylor
I loved Hot Chip when they first came out, then I saw a video of them playing live and they were terrible, which has put me off since. However, Alexis Taylor’s solo stuff is excellent. His first album of piano tunes was melancholy and beautiful, and the follow up is also going to be great. I can tell.
So there it is! Q2 2018 in songs for me. I’m actually thoroughly enjoying this, and although my reasons and words might not be on point or overly explanatory, it’s nice to catalogue music again. On to the summer months!