The Best Records of 2018

One of the things that has been interesting, upon surveying other folks’ lists this year, is how little continuity there is. It seems like everybody heard different stuff 1 and everybody liked different stuff, and the world is a vasty panoply of opinions. This is probably the result of there not being a proper new Kendrick record this year.

In any event, the whole thing seemed nicely wide-open, and there was tonnes of new stuff that got in, and tonnes of stuff by people I already liked who really kicked it up a notch, including 2018’s biggest surprise: a Low album that is so good that it was actually shocking. Now, I love Low, as longtime readers will be aware, but this thing is incredible. It gives one hope that anybody can step up, even if they were already great to begin with.

And there’s forty-nine other albums that are nearly as good. Truly, an embarrassment of riches.

    1. Low – Double Negative
    2. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
    3. The Body – I Have Fought AGainst It But I Can’t Any Longer
    4. Busdriver – electricity is on our side
    5. Grouper – Grid of Points
    6. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
    7. Jeff Tweedy – WARM
    8. Jean Grae & Quelle Chris – Everything is Fine
    9. Tim Hecker – Konoyo
    10. Vince Staples – FM!
    11. Sumac – Love in Shadow
    12. Fire – The Hands
    13. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
    14. Nathan Bowles – Plainly Mistaken
    15. Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
    16. Mick Jenkins – Pieces of a Man
    17. Carla Bozulich – Quieter
    18. Sons of Kemet – Your Queen is a Reptile
    19. Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
    20. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
    21. Daniel Bachman – The Morning Star
    22. Meshell Ndegeocello – Ventriloquism
    23. US Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
    24. Trampled by Turtles – Life is Good on the Open Road
    25. Peter Brotzmann/Heather Leigh – Sparrow Nights
    26. Joey Purp – Quarterthing
    27. Sleep – The Sciences
    28. John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness
    29. Milo – budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies
    30. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
    31. Hinds – I Don’t Run
    32. Yob – Our Raw Heart
    33. Chester Watson – Project 0
    34. Yowler – Black Dog in My Path
    35. Petite Noir – La Maison Noir/The Black House


  • Adam Remnant – Sourwood


  1. Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Ghost Forests
  2. McKaya McRaven – Universal Beings
  3. Mezbow – MONOAkuma
  4. The Internet – Hive Mind
  5. PC Worship – Future Phase
  6. Rico Nasty – Nasty
  7. Hypnodrone Ensemble – Plays Orchestral Favorites
  8. Lando Chill – Black Ego
  9. Keiji Haino & Sumac – American Dollar Bill/Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous to Look at Face-On
  10. Noname – Room 25
  11. Oneohtrix Point Never – Age Of
  12. Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses
  13. Ill – Ill Will
  14. Marissa Nadler – For My Crimes

  1. at least, once you got past the Carters and Cardi B and Ariana Grande and all that sort of thing. 

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