We're not quite halfway through 2018, but here's our annual recap of the albums + songs of the first half of the year anyway. I’ve excluded any records that we’ve released on our new label Luminelle Recordings; otherwise, the stellar new ones from Helena Deland, Anemone, and Hana Vu would have all figured prominently into both of these lists. Also, I guess a few of these aren’t officially out yet. Sorry!
songs of the year
2018 has been such a bountiful year for incredible new music from favorites new and old that it's been almost impossible to keep up, but I'm doing my best. In addition to all the posts here on the site, I've been consistently updating our running "Best Songs of 2018" Spotify playlist, featuring some of the essential 2018 jams that may or may not be on your radar yet, from the likes of Avalon, Barrie, Sun June, oklou, Helena Deland, MorMor, Peggy Gou, Grouper, Amen Dunes, G Flip + more...
Before we even have time to second guess our albums of the year list, here are our favorite songs of 2017. While plenty of our old favorites are well repped -- including TOPS, Burial, Shabazz Palaces, SZA, Sufjan, Laurel Halo, et al. -- it was an exceptionally great year for exciting new artists, with Men I Trust, Yaeji, Playboi Carti, Kelly Lee Owens, Aldous Harding, Bernache, and so many more dropping some of the most essential songs of the year. Hit play on that 5+ hour Spotify playlist, and follow along with the list below:
Today we follow up our albums of 2016 list with the much more interesting list of our 101 favorite songs of the year. Featuring a couple of inventive flips of Shangaan Electro and Tropicália samples in the top 3, the powerful opening missive from A Tribe Called Quest's first album in nearly 20 years, an old Radiohead love song, multiple jams each from Frank Ocean, Danny Brown, and Carly Rae, undeniable breakthrough singles from Whitney, Mitski, Maggie Rogers, and The Homie, another strong showing from TX's own S U R V I V E boys (whose massive year culminated this morning in 2 Grammy noms in the same category), and many more incredible and essential tracks that helped us all make it through this pathetic excuse for a year. Hit play on that 6 hour spotify playlist + check the full list below:
Following last week's Albums of 2015 list, here are our favorite songs of the year: we went deeper than ever this time out, and while 111 tracks might seem like a lot to love in any given 12 month span, I feel like the list is a pretty accurate representation of just how unreal 2015 has been for new music. Featuring multiple entries from Grimes, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, Chromatics, Erykah Badu, Beach House, TOPS, and Cindy Lee, and spanning from underground Russian dance music and soaring Norwegian pop to incendiary west coast rap and inspired Texas soul, and just about everywhere in between. Check out the full list below, right after you hit play on that nearly 7-hour-long Spotify playlist:
Following last week's definitive albums of the year list, we present our favorite songs of 2014. We went deep this year on this one. Disclaimer: some of these aren't technically 2014 releases (notably, a few of the PC Music-affiliated jams) so I guess we're going with the nebulous "year of impact" concept here. Check the list + follow along with a nearly comprehensive 5-hour spotify playlist after the jump, and as always, we'd love to hear your favorites too.
Here are our favorite records + songs from the first half of 2011. If you're into reading, we've written about most of these here and in some other places. We've also enjoyed checking out all of your picks, as always. Please let us know what we missed:
01 Shabazz Palaces :: Black Up
02 Peaking Lights :: 936
03 Panda Bear :: Tomboy
04 White Denim :: D
05 Grouper :: A I A
06 Puro Instinct :: Headbangers in Ecstasy
07 Washed Out :: Within and Without
08 Julianna Barwick :: The Magic Place
09 Ford & Lopatin :: Channel Pressure
10 Holy Other - With U
NEXT 10 (alphabetical):
Burial - Street Halo
Cults - Cults
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Cass McCombs - Wit's End
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Tennis - Cape Dory
The Sandwitches - Mrs. Jones' Cookies
Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine
Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting
And check our favorite songs of the half-year, in no particular order, after the jump...
35. No Age - Teen Creeps
34. Lykke Li - "Little Bit"
33. Girls - Hellhole Ratrace
32. Bodies of Water - Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey
31. Friendly Fires - Paris (aeroplane remix feat. au revoir simone)
30. Money Addict - Life, Money, & Drugs (Diplo remix)
29. Hercules & Love Affair - "Blind"
28. Cut Copy - "Strangers in the Wind"
27. M83 - "Kim & Jessie"
16. PRGz - "Rollin'"
15. WAVVES - So Bored
14. Lil' Wayne - "Lollipop (chopped & screwed by DJ Young Redd)"
13. Beach House - "D.A.R.L.I.N.G."
12. Harlem - South of France
11. Q-Tip - "Move/Renaissance Rap"
10. Amanaz - Khala My Friend
09. Grouper - Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping
08. The Notwist - "Boneless (Panda Bear remix)"
07. Big Boi - "Royal Flush (feat. Raekwon & Andre 3000)"
06. Portishead - "The Rip"
05. Amadou & Mariam - "Sabali"
04. The Walkmen - "In the New Year"
03. Grizzly Bear - While You Wait for the Others (live on KCRW)
02. White Denim - Sitting
01. Erykah Badu - "The Healer"
Check David's favorite songs of 2008 after the jump...