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





29) OKLOU | The Rite of May





28) PYNKIE | neoteny





27) DJRUM | Portrait With Firewood





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





25) BEACH HOUSE | 7





24) NU GUINEA | Nuova Napoli





23) LENA RAINE | Celeste (original soundtrack)





22) SMERZ | Have Fun





21) THE SAMPS | Breakfast





20) PLAYBOI CARTI | Die Lit





19) SUN JUNE | Years





18) TIERRA WHACK | Whack World





17) MR TWIN SISTER | Salt





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





15) CINDY LEE | Model Express





14) CHANNEL TRES | Channel Tres





13) DJ HEALER | Nothing 2 Loose





12) JULIA HOLTER | Aviary





11) TESS ROBY | Beacon





10) CAROLINE SAYS | No Fool Like an Old Fool





09) BELLA BOO | Fire





08) GROUPER | Grid of Points





07) ARIANA GRANDE | Sweetener





06) EARL SWEATSHIRT | 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.