I’m, like, 31 days late with this so I’ll cut to the chase: 2018 has been a very good year for music, particularly LPs — even as records like Kanye West’s Wyoming series and #3 on the following list redefine what a full-length is (or, rather, what an an EP isn’t). Here are my 11 favorite albums so far this year. The ranking is pretty fluid. I’m sure it would be different if I posted this another time — you know, like the actual mid-way point of 2018. C’est la vie.
You Could Not Have Given the Slightest of Fucks
by Johnny Shitbag & The Smokes
Hidden Bay Records
The first record on this list has a special place in my heart: Jonny Shitbag & The Smokes’ debut is the first album to premiere on SOMETHINGGOOD. But this isn’t a complete homer pick. The brashly-titled LP, released by French indie label Hidden Bay Records, is every bit as weird and wonderful as the story behind it.
Where We Were Together
by Say Sue Me
The South Korean jangle pop quartet caught my attention with a series of singles released last year. On their new LP, released April, the band’s taken it to another level. Where We Were Together is an intricate, confident record with a breathtaking finale.
Plays With Fire
One of the most captivating albums I’ve heard this year, the debut from Long Island-based Cloud (aka Tyler Taormina and friends) delivers dynamic, gorgeous bedroom pop that compares favorably to Jay Som and Los Angeles Police Department. I’m recycling that line because it’s true (and good for SEO).
by Lucy Dacus
I saw Big Thief last year and was blown away by the opening act, fellow Virginia native Lucy Dacus. Her record Historian is every bit as engrossing as the performance. Her songwriting style reminds me of Joni Mitchell (the GOAT), wise beyond her years but still confounded by this thing called love.
by Jeff Rosenstock
Quote Unquote Records
Jeff Rosenstock’s boundless energy is infectious as hell on his latest, released on New Year’s Day.
Uncle, Duke & The Chief
by Born Ruffians
Paper Bag Records
Before making their latest, I feel like Born Ruffians said “let’s just have fun” (the album ends with a “Hey Jude”-like singalong for goodness’ sake). Whatever happened, it worked — every track could be a single.
by Forth Wanderers
Shout-out to Forth Wanderers’ Ava Trilling, who was brave enough to cancel the band’s summer tour in order to address a diagnosed mental health issue. The pressure to just forge ahead must have been enormous (particularly because the record is near-perfect), but it is 100-percent the right move. Fans will be ready when she is.
by Car Seat Headrest
There’s a difference between an album full of amazing songs and an amazing album. The Will Toledo-led band’s breakthrough “Teens of Denial” (2016) is the former; their latest — a cohesive and explosive re-imagining of a CSH record originally put out in 2011 — is the latter.
by Des Millions
The stunning debut from New York duo Des Millions is certainly my most-played album of the year. It’s a shotgun blast of an introduction to messieurs Jimmy Montague and Red Johansen, about 20 minutes long and filled to the brim with a mixture of intensity, elation and swagger.
by Caroline Rose
New West Records
Caroline Rose is one of the breakout stars of 2018 and on LONER, the Brooklyn artist’s second record, she’s found her sound. Not only did she find it, she named it: Schizodrift.
by Remember Sports
My favorite record of 2017 was Waxahatchee’s Out in the Storm, so there’s a bit of symmetry in selecting Remember Sports’ incredible new LP for the top spot on this list: both albums are fixated on former flames, neither are taking shit from anybody and the drumming is great.
You made it all the way down here?
A little bit of housekeeping for the dedicated: SOMETHINGGOOD isn’t dead. I’ve had to focus on other areas of life the past few weeks, but have always planned to pick things back up. Moving forward, I’m consolidating my Songs of the Day into an expanded weekly post highlighting my favorite new tracks, bands/artists and other stuff. Once that is up and running, I’ll get back to our popular GOODQUESTIONS Q&As and other new features.
I have been neglect in responding to e-mails, so if you’ve reached out, I’ll get back to you soon! And please keep submitting your bands, albums and songs. I promise I’m catching up.