It’s that time again! Below is my un-ranked, un-quantified list of music stuff I liked in 2018. As usual, this barely scratches the surface of amazing music released in 2018 — it very well could have also included Alpaca Sports, Spook School, Colour Me Wednesday, The Smittens, Cut Worms, Featherfin, Lilith and a whole lot more. These were just some of the tunes I kept going back to.
» Young Scum – Young Scum (Citrus City/Pretty Olivia): This is probably, unofficially, my favorite release of 2018. I put off listening to them for a little while because of the band name (sorry), but once I finally heard it, I kept going back for more.
» Tracyanne & Danny – Tracyanne & Danny (Merge Records): I am so glad that this band exists. Their voices are the perfect combination.
» Night Flowers – Wild Notion (Dirty Bingo Records): Positive, uplifting and mesmerizing tunes. Check out the interview we did with Sophia in the latest issue of “March, April & May.”
» Simon Love – Sincerely, S. Love x (Tapete Records): Just really, really fun, catchy pop music.
» Mikey Collins – Hoick (Fika Recordings): I feel like this album should have gotten more love than it did. It’s really good and has some great earworms on it. I mean, you’ll be humming “Anchor in the Sea” for days.
» Free Cake for Every Creature – The Bluest Star (Double Double Whammy): I heard FCFEC play at the last NYC Popfest (RIP), but I was at the bar and then at the photo booth in the back of Le Poisson Rouge and I wasn’t really paying attention, and now I feel bad about it because this album is great.
» Soft Science – Maps (Test Pattern Records): Dreamy third full-length from this Sacramento band.
» Snail Mail – Lush (Matador Records): Lindsey Jordan is a boss.
» Say Sue Me – Where We Were Together (Damnably): Wonderful South Korean indiepop.
» Famous Problems – Hey! It’s Raining! (Where It’s At Is Where You Are): Wonderful mini-album released by former members of Butterflies of Love with a veritable who’s-who of indiepop legends as guests. Check out the interview we did with Jeff Greene in the latest issue of “March, April & May.”
» Tallies – Beat the Heart (from forthcoming Tallies on Kanine): Tallies would have been up there in the LPs/EPs list, but their album doesn’t come out until January. I’ve pre-ordered it and you can bet it’ll be on next year’s list.
» Anna Burch – Tea-Soaked Letter (from Quit The Curse on Polyvinyl): The video for this song will make you fall in love with Anna Burch. You’ve been warned.
» Push Flowers – Wish U Would: Really looking forward to this Boston band’s first EP (coming soon!).
» EZTV – Daytime (single on Captured Tracks/Secretly Publishing): I saw EZTV open for Ex Hex earlier this year and I think they stole the show (sorry, Mary Timony).
» Fortuna Pop! All-Stars – You Can Hide Your Love Forever: RIP Fortuna Pop! If you can name a band or artist that was on the Fortuna Pop! roster, they’re probably represented in some way on this farewell track.
» The Beths – Future Me Hates Me (from Future Me Hates Me on Carpark Records): I had a chance to see this band play in Boston this year and for some reason I didn’t go and I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
» The Proctors – Crystaline Part 2: I’m so glad this band is making new music.
» Kevin Hairs – Kevin Wants a Dog (from Freak in the Streets on GP Stripes): Kevin Alvir just makes good music, whether it’s as Lil Hospital, The Hairs or now, as Kevin Hairs (or any of his other projects), it’s all good. This song appeared earlier this year on the mix EP accompanying the latest issue of our “March, April & May” zine.
» The Natvral – Know Me More (from Know Me More on Kanine): I saw Kip play as The Natvral (opening for Tallies) in a mostly empty record store basement in Jamaica Plain. At first, I felt awkward because there were literally 4 people there that weren’t in a band, but it ended up being a really enjoyable, intimate experience. These songs are really great and showcase another side of the artist that fronts POBPAH. This track reminds me a lot of Donovan.
» Jeanines – Hits the Bone: OK, we get it, these demos are amazing. It’s time for a proper release now. Thanks.
» Johnny Marr at Paradise Rock Club
» (Boston, MA) — 21 October
» Ex Hex w/ EZTV at Great Scott
» (Boston, MA) — 8 September
» Tracyanne & Danny at The Sinclair
» (Cambridge, MA) — 21 June
» Lloyd Cole at City Winery
» (Boston, MA) — 18 January
» Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at House of Blues
» (Boston, MA) — 9 March
» Elvis Costello & The Imposters at Boch Center Wang Theater
» (Boston, MA) — 10 November
» Tallies w/ The Natvral at Deep Thoughts JP
» (Boston, MA) — 14 October
» Paul Simon at TD Garden
» (Boston, MA) — 15 June
» Wildhoney w/ Mini Dresses and Strange Passage at Great Scott
» (Boston, MA) — 13 January
» Japanese Breakfast w/ Radiator Hospital at The Sinclair
» (Cambridge, MA) — 2 June