Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Pop Candy Arcade: The Songs of 2018, Pt. 1 (1-25)

The 2017 song list was longer than ever, clocking in with a monstrous 150 tracks and a surplus of genres. I've been creating this list in one form or another for over a decade now, and it seems as though each year I dig further and further and become all the more excited about sharing the artists and albums I've wound up loving. Some of the songs are obvious: the heavy hitters and radio royalty you expect to find on every annual round-up. Others - many - are artists you're likely not to recognize now, but who I hope you'll listen to, seek out, and support. 

As always, this isn't a collection of the songs most immediately representative of 2018, but an attempt to build a capsule of the sounds I *personally* listened to the most and which, I think, may speak to larger sonic trends. They are presented in no particular order and will be listed first on Twitter and then added in 25 song chunks. A Spotify playlist will be posted at the conclusion of the list.

So, how long do you think this year's list will be? Will your favorites make the cut? 

Let's find out...



1. "Make Me Feel" / / Janelle Monae : Was there a song easier to listen to in 2018? Was there a video you watched more? Was there a show more fun to attend than this full-tilt celebration? Nope. This one is an essential

2: "Pick Up" / / DJ Koze : A truly hypnotic, feel-good disco anthem with bittersweet touches. The kind of song you find yourself happily stuck in.


3: "Dancing and Blood" / / Low : Let's add a touch of warped darkness to the list, with providing 2018's slow, doom-pulse


4: "After the Storm" / / Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator + Bootsy Collins : The whole Isolation album was my summer go-to, but this track is a cure-all for what ails you.

5: "mourning song" / / serpentwithfeet: I heard the lyric "I want to make a pageant of my grief" and died.


6: "Talking Straight" / / Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Because I'm always on the hunt for an infectious rock song, because I heard this once and bought Hope Downs on vinyl.

7: "All My Dreams" / / Roisin Murphy: The first of the 12" series, which everyone should have been paying close, close attention to.

8: "Some Kind of Game" / / A.A.L. (Against All Logic): I'm not sure there's an album I listened to more in 2018 than Nicolas Jaar's side project. Choosing a single song is tough, so...I probably won't, but this one is just propulsive.


9: "Falling Into Me" / / Let's Eat Grandma: It's rare that when a song tells you "we got this" you think, yeah, you do

10: "Red Cotton" / / Shelley Parker: Featuring “skeletal breakbeats and looming sub bass," this track is a dark, industrial banger.

11: "At Least the Sky is Blue" / / SSION ft. Ariel Pink: Sweeping narrative pop from an underrated album with, it's worth noting, one of the best music videos of the year.

12: "Honey" / / Robyn: Instant pop essential.


13: "Nobody" / / Mitski: I've heard this called a disco track, but it's almost a pop showtune; a big, bold leap into a Technicolor loneliness


14: "Face the Fire" / / Boy Harsher: Cold wave that's hotter than hell. What could be better?

15: "If You Know You Know" / / Pusha T: All of DAYTONA serves as a reminder Push can hit harder in 7 songs than most artists can manage in double albums, and this one is a condensed epic.


16: "Fall Asleep" / / Big Joanie: A catchy, rough-around-the-edges feminist punk jam from a trio you should be watching.


17: "High Horse" / / Kacey Musgraves: A pop-country fusion and a song to sing to yourself before every party.

18: "I Shall Love 2" / / Julia Holter: A track that actually sounds like it's evolving as you listen to it, from an artist who is a mainstay on my writing playlists.


19: "Time" / / Amen Dunes: A historical walkabout, a meditation on pain, also just a gem.


20: "Stock Image" / / Miya Folick: I can see this song quietly growing into something massive, and I really hope it does.

21: "Movements (Chapter III)" / / Leon Vynehall: Rich, ambient electronic music that's narrative in its scope.


22: "Peacock" / / Jean Grae x Quelle Chris: Just one of many standout tracks from an album that burns the way the most vicious satires tend to.


23: "Fast Slow Disco" / / St. Vincent: We dance, we cry, we dance again. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to this perfect reimagining.

24: "Comeback Kid" / / Sharon Van Etten: She has, with a new, bigger, bolder, hook-filled sound.

25: "Dins El Llit - Superpitcher Remix" / / Talaboman: Dance? Or, pose in a state of suspended animation?

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