Hello one and all! So marks the time of the year when I post a list of the new albums that meant the most to me this calendar year. It’s been a good year here in the KidAJoe camp. My girls are growing, getting so so much bigger and smarter all the time! They are NG to the age where they are developing musical opinions ands tastes, which is so cool to witness!
I, myself, am getting ever so close to completing my second go at “higher education”, I might have to start thinking about what I’m going to do with these big brains I’m building. I’m going to have to adult again aren’t I? Oh well, at least I should be able to do something I enjoy now…
Anyway, the ladies once again ruled another year for me this year. It seems that the females of the world have something to say, something to be angry about and something to prove! I think it really showed. For me these ladies demonstrate the real passion and urgency in the music that I personally crave. They are proving that you don’t have to be male to really rock.
I also showed my roots this year. Most everything us very guitar heavy, and strongly rooted in indie rock and alternative music. I’m OK with that. It’s my bread and butter. Well, here it is, my favorite albums for the year 2018. (I actually listened to each album as I wrote the following)
Weakened Friends – Common Blah
Easily my favorite album this year came from a local act. I’m guessing many of you have not heard this trio yet. Stop reading and put this album on! What I love about Weakened Friends is their style is in the vein of the alternative music I grew up loving and listening to, and they bring great energy, passion and even a little bit of pop hook sensibility. I was lucky enough to see them three times this year, first back last January, then again twice (once acoustic!) at the time of the record release.
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
The build up of the first track Hopefulessnes is still almost to much for me. It starts out such a slow burn, and almost takes off, until it doesn’t! It so makes crave more of it! That really how I felt about this entire record, making me eager for more music from my indie dear from Melbourne, Australia. I finally got to see Miss Barnett this year, and oh what a performance it was. I actually at one point forgot there were even people around me I was so immersed. Definitely one I recommend give a few spins if you get a chance.
Hinds – I Don’t Run
Hinds is a funny band for me. When I first heard about them, they were creating quite a bit of buzz in the indie scene, so of coarse I had to check them out. Upon my first listen I was entirely confused. I couldn’t understand how anybody could enjoy there mediocre vocals and harmonies. I just felt they had very little talent. Somehow I kept going back to them, and they eventually grew on me in a big way. With this release I think these lovely ladies pruned the rough edges, and honed in the style that makes them Hinds.
First Aid Kit – Ruins
I fell in-love with First Aid Kit the instant I heard them sing the Fleet Foxes Tiger Mountain Peasant Song. Johanna’s powerful leads and sister Klara’s beautiful harmonies have long made me happy. For some reason when Ruins was first released I was not all that excited about it. Now I think it might quite possibly be the best album they have released to date. I missed them this past September when they visited the State Theatre. Damn those evening classes!! I wonder how Lobster Pete is doing…?
Screaming Females – All at Once
This was my most anticipated album at the beginning of 2018. Marissa Paternoster’s vocals are so powerful, and when she wants to she can really rip on that ole guitar too! This album continues my guitar heavy love of rock n roll released this year. (Slash, rock n roll is alive and well!) I missed these guys this year, again thanks to my evening class load. Next time I hope!
The Breeders – All Nerve
LONG LIVE 90’s ALTERNATIVE!!! When I heard The Breeder were recording a new album if brought me some of the same excitement I had when Sleater Kinney went back into the studio. (Of coarse, I have to admit, I didn’t really grow to correctly appreciate either of there bands until after there respective breaks-ups). The Breeders picked up EXACTLY where they left off. I finally picked this up on wax this week actually, along side Last Splash. I’m not sure which I’ll listen to more since!
Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
I am a late bloomer when it comes to Kurt Vile. He is a name I heard thrown around the indie scene for years. I don’t know why I didn’t ever check him out. Courtney Barnett was my gateway. Last years collaboration Lotta Sea Lice was (and still is) high on my list. It also opened the gate to the kingdom of Kurt! Kurt definitely has his own style, a little toned down, a little turned up, and a little tongue in cheek. For a short time after this release it was ALL I listened to. My boss at one point even asked “what the hell is this shit?” *insert laughing emoji* I guess he didn’t appreciate it like I did.
Sleep – The Sciences
The Sciences was easily my top metal album this year. Its so sludgy and guitar heavy and melodic, I fucking love it! So these guys are apparently old like me, having released three albums back during the 90’s. I am going to have to check those out for sure! If anything, at least check out the track The Botanist, I could play it on repeat for an eternity!
Anna von Hausswolff – Dead Magic
I stumbled upon Anna this year though my daily trip through the news feeds of several music websites. What caught me was the stunningly haunting album cover. I was very interested to see who might pick a cover image like this. I assumed it was going to be a metal band to be honest. I soon found out that the artist behind this cover was equally haunting in her own way. I actually need to spend more time with this album than I actually did.
Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog
I actually had written these guys off with out giving them a chance. I don’t really don’t know why. I’m glad I broke down and gave this a listen. It was the album that surprised me the most this year, which is funny because it really isn’t anything any different then anything else Alice in Chains has ever put out. It’s weird how my brain works.
I really could go on forever I think. There was some much good stuff out this year! I do have to mention a whole bunch more albums I enjoyed this year, even if I can’t dedicate entire paragraphs to them all.
My wife turned me onto I’m With Her’s See You Around. If you like Americana/Bluegrass and harmonies you should check it out. All three of these ladies are solid solo artist on their own, together they are pretty amazing! Eleanor Friedberger released Rebound this year and it didn’t fail. I think Eleanor has started to distance her own style from her work in The Fiery Furnaces, while still keeping a foot firmly planted in that door. The amazing Florence Welsh released the new Florence + The Machine album, High As Hope. As always Florence’s strong vocals and incredible energy carried this one. Of the honorable mentions, I listened to this the most.
I thoroughly enjoyed First Aid Kit’s other release, and EP titled Tender Offering. It contains a handful of unused songs recorded during the Ruins sessions. Another surprise for me this year came from Mr. Lenny Kravitz. Raise Vibrations for me went back to Lenny’s roots a bit, which is the Kravitz I loved.
I didn’t partake in much, but two metal albums I did listen to a lot were were Amorphis Queen of Time and Voivod The Wake. I was supposed to see Amorphis with my good friend Andy, but my damn girls had a cheer leading thing, so…I do know Queen of Time was Andy’s favorite album of the year.
Danielson’s Snap Outtavit, Cat Power’s Wanderer, St. Vincent’s MassEducation and Greta Van Fleet’s Anthem Of The Peaceful Army were all on my radar also, are all worth listens. Although Billie Eilish did not release an album this year (or even yet), I have to mention her. I don’t recall how I got turned onto her, but she has hundreds of millions of streams for the songs she has released, and despite that mainstream attention was amazingly good.
Well, that’s my two cents. If you like this read, check back for a post about the albums I discover this year that weren’t released in the year 2018, or my incredible rant about the Vinyl resurgence. As I get closer to graduation I hope to resurrect this blog, hoping this is a start!