Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 | Favorite Albums

Photo by Jean on Unsplash


In stark contrast to last year, where I spend hours upon hours in my car listening to full albums, the majority of the times that I popped earbuds in and pulled up Spotify were twenty minute snatches between metro stations in and out of downtown every day. Nevertheless, there were a handful of releases that I made a point to listen to in their entireties, all of which were recent releases from old favorite artists.

High As Hope by Florence + the Machine
Favorite songs // June, Big God, The End of Love
There's yet to be a Florence album that I don't immediately fall head over heels in love with. High As Hope shows a more mature side of Florence than we've seen in the past, and as such it's a little less dramatic and a little more contemplative but no less good than previous releases.


Blue Madonna by BORNS
Favorite songs // Iceberg, Second Night of Summer, I Don't Want U Back
High As Hope may be my favorite release of the year, but Blue Madonna is by far my most played. This smooth electropop wonder of a dream was released a couple weeks after I moved to D.C., and I played it endlessly as I navigated my new home. Not only a good album, but an auditory comfort as well.

Vida Noir by Lord Huron
Favorite songs //Ancient Names (I & II), When the Night is Over, Vida Noir
SPIN describes Lord Huron's musical style as "eerie modern folk-pop with morbid fairytale flair," and it's not wrong. Vida Noir was inspired by solo nighttime drives through Los Angeles and marks a step away from their more acoustic back catalogue but a step forward towards a continuation of the same dramatic themes present on prior albums. The album, unsurprisingly, pairs best with nighttime drives, and sometimes nothing more profound from an album is needed.

Light Myself on Fire by Mating Ritual
Favorite songs // Light Myself on Fire, Splitting in Two
I've mentioned enjoying Mating Ritual's music here before, but this is their peak so far. Light Myself on Fire, their sophomore release, is less of a cohesive narrative album and more of a collection of thoughts and feelings about growing up. The album focuses more on amplifying the feelings than on the exploration of these feelings; one song is purely instrumental and another bemoans overthinking inconsequential things.

Hyperion by St. Lucia
Favorite songs // A Brighter Love, Gun
St. Lucia is another band whose every album release I've eagerly anticipated, and their third album is no different. Hyperion differs from their previous two releases in that it features a greater diversification of instruments and steps away from their indietronica with the addition of jazz notes, reminiscent 80s pop (definitely some Toto vibes), and the broader pop genre. 

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