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Gorilla vs. Bear’s ALBUMS of 2018

gvsb_albums_2018-1

Presenting the list of our favorite releases from an overwhelming year, posted up way too soon like we always do:




30) GIA MARGARET | There’s Always Glimmer

GIA MARGARET THERES ALWAYS GLIMMER







29) OKLOU | The Rite of May

THE RITE OF MAY OKLOU







28) PYNKIE | neoteny

PYNKIE NEOTENY







27) DJRUM | Portrait With Firewood

DJRUM PORTRAIT WITH FIREWOOD







26) U.S. GIRLS | in a Poem Unlimited

IN A POEM UNLIMITED







25) BEACH HOUSE | 7

BEACH HOUSE 7







24) NU GUINEA | Nuova Napoli

NU GUINEA NUOVA NAPOLI







23) LENA RAINE | Celeste (original soundtrack)

LENA RAINE CELESTE OST







22) SMERZ | Have Fun

SMERZ HAVE FUN







21) THE SAMPS | Breakfast

SAMPS BREAKFAST







20) PLAYBOI CARTI | Die Lit

CARTI DIE LIT







19) SUN JUNE | Years

SUN JUNE YEARS







18) TIERRA WHACK | Whack World

TIERRA WHACK WHACK WORLD







17) MR TWIN SISTER | Salt

MR TWIN SIS SALT







16) SOPHIE | OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES

SOPHIE OIL







15) CINDY LEE | Model Express

CINDY LEE MODEL EXPRESS







14) CHANNEL TRES | Channel Tres

CHANNEL TRES







13) DJ HEALER | Nothing 2 Loose

DJ HEALER NOTHING 2 LOOSE







12) JULIA HOLTER | Aviary

AVIARY







11) TESS ROBY | Beacon

Tess Roby Beacon







10) CAROLINE SAYS | No Fool Like an Old Fool

NoFoolLikeAnOldFool_CoverArt







09) BELLA BOO | Fire

BELLA BOO FIRE







08) GROUPER | Grid of Points

GROUPER-GRID-OF-POINTS1







07) ARIANA GRANDE | Sweetener

SWEETENER







06) EARL SWEATSHIRT | Some Rap Songs

SOME RAP SONGS

I was unreasonably psyched to find out that Earl’s a big fan of Tirzah’s Devotion, and it makes sense, as both of their incredible 2018 releases are built on flickering, soulful loops that create emotional, woozily immersive spaces that you want to inhabit forever. Like Donuts or Madlib’s dopest mixtapes, the brevity and fleeting nature of these tracks are part of their vibey appeal: to quote Earl’s Shabazz Palaces shout on opener “Shattered Dreams“, it’s a feeling more than anything else. And, of course, it helps that Earl is probably the best rapper of his generation.







05) ROBYN | Honey

ROBYN HONEY

If there’s a loose common thread among my favorite records of this year, it’s that they distilled the most beloved parts of my formative years — i.e., all of the ’90s — into something that tugs at the nostalgia heartstrings while also feeling unmistakably current. In Robyn’s case, she graced us with a luminous, elegantly grown-up update on twinkling tears-on-the-dancefloor pop-house that sounds as cathartic on headphones as it does in the club.







04) AMEN DUNES | Freedom

Freedom

Amen Dunes’ sweeping, transcendent fourth full-length record floored us at some much-needed times this year, usually in those solitary, introspective moments on late-night drives or long walks through the woods. I mentioned last winter how charmed I was by Damon McMahon’s “vivid recurring themes and characters, timeless songwriting, and undeniable swagger”, but it was the uncomfortably relatable, soul-baring emotion on the record’s devastating and chill-inducing back half that made us keep coming back to Freedom, making it by far my most listened to stretch of music this year.







03) ROSALÍA | El Mal Querer

ROSALIA EL MAL QUERER

The most massive sounding record of the year, as Rosalía’s dazzling voice elevates these brilliant, adventurous, conceptual Flamenco-inspired bangers that exist at our dream intersection of mainstream and experimental pop (shoutout to the o.g. El Guincho).







02) HELENA DELAND | From the Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol. I-IV

HELENA DELAND ALTOGETHER UNACCOMPANIED

As a general rule I avoided including records that I released on my label Luminelle on this list. But Helena Deland’s exquisite and diverse series of songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” gets a pass, mainly because I fell in love with it before the label ever officially existed, and because it was the spark and ultimately a beacon and inspiration for what I wanted Luminelle to be about. Vividly evocative, timeless, genre-defying songs that span from shimmering, danceable synth-pop and gorgeous hushed folk, to brooding trip-hop and majestic, Radiohead-esque indie-rock, heralding the arrival of a singularly versatile songwriter with an undeniable voice.







01) TIRZAH | Devotion

TIRZAH DEVOTION

The love is palpable on Tirzah’s glowing, tender collection of self-described “straight-up love songs”, created with her best friend and producer, the inimitable Mica Levi. I mentioned last summer that Devotion feels to me like a “romantic and distinctly modern take” on some of the ’90s R&B I worshipped growing up. It’s hard for me to articulate just how much I adore this record, other than to say it’s the sweetest, most beautifully understated and endlessly replayable album I heard this year.







GORILLA vs. BEAR’s ALBUMS OF 2018

01 TIRZAH | Devotion
02 HELENA DELANDFrom the Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied”  Vol. I – IV 
03 ROSALÍAEl Mal Querer
04 AMEN DUNESFreedom
05 ROBYNHoney
06 EARL SWEATSHIRT | Some Rap Songs
07 ARIANA GRANDESweetener
08 GROUPERGrid of Points
09 BELLA BOOFire
10 CAROLINE SAYSNo Fool Like an Old Fool
11 TESS ROBYBeacon
12 JULIA HOLTERAviary
13 DJ HEALER | Nothing 2 Loose
14 CHANNEL TRESChannel Tres
15 CINDY LEEModel Express
16 SOPHIEOIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES
17 MR TWIN SISTER | Salt
18 TIERRA WHACK | Whack World
19 SUN JUNEYears
20 PLAYBOI CARTIDie Lit
21 THE SAMPS | Breakfast
22 SMERZ | Have fun
23 LENA RAINE | Celeste (original soundtrack)
24 NU GUINEA | Nuova Napoli
25 BEACH HOUSE | 7
26 U.S. GIRLS | In a Poem Unlimited
27 DJRUM | Portrait with Firewood
28 PYNKIE | Neoteny
29 OKLOU | The Rite of May
30 GIA MARGARET | There’s Always Glimmer

gvsb_albums_2018-5

Thanks for hanging around for another year. Let us know your favorites from 2018 in the comments, and support us by buying some sweet merch here.

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