It wasn't hard to find good music in 2018 as there were many artists pushing the boundaries in pop, hip-hop and rock. In a year of the "algorithm" artists, many artists sought inspiration from both the classics and the traditional approach to songwriting, to the modern use of technology for collaboration and taking advantage of the advances in technology to create sounds that were never-before heard. New artists made strong debuts in 2018, some of which made our year-end list, demonstrating that once again showed that the full-length format is not only just as strong as it was in the
Given the amount of critical acclaim, and hype that has surrounded Courtney Barnett, it can be a little startling to realize her newest release "Tell Me How You Really Feel" is only her sophomore solo album. Her breakthrough 2015 debut album "Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit," dazzled fans and critics alike with her profound penchant for wordy, verbose lyricism, compared to none other than the king lyricist himself Bob Dylan. She followed it up in 2017 with a joint album alongside Kurt Vile, but her newest release see's her back in the driver seat, alone.
Since their last release almost five years ago, Franz Ferdinand return with a slightly altered lineup on Always Ascending, released February 9th.<!—more—> Not quite fifteen years since Franz Ferdinand made their international breakthrough with the catchy single “Take Me Out”, the band finds themselves in a much different musical atmosphere trying to catch the attention their debut attracted. The danceable pop rock of the early 2000s, with its clean and crisp guitars and nerdy aesthetics, has certainly evolved into a more electronic territory as many bands from that era spent the last decade meticulously blending the genres with few enjoyable results.
London based rock band Wolf Alice released their romantic and noisy second album Visions of a Life September 29th, displaying growth as a band and a step in the right direction from their 2015 debut, My Love is Cool. <!—more—> My Love is Cool debuted the quartet’s distinct sound as a mixture of pop rock and melodic folk style songwriting, but the band has fine tuned the sound and added a deeper contrast of many styles. The two years between releases were used wisely by the band, intensive touring, organizing charity gigs for refugees, and also performing at a concert protesting the
I love good, midwestern rock n roll. Like really love it, almost as much as I love Iron Maiden, Snoop Dogg, or The Sex Pistols. There is just something inherently good about a John Mellencamp song, Ryan Adams lullaby, or Tom Petty (sob) cut. I also found that same Midwestern charm in bands like Husker Du and The Replacements. Just all around great songwriting with no pretensions. 15629
The Killers burst onto the scene in the early 00s with a fresh sound and approach with a hint to the past. Hot Fuss was a magical ride of 80s inspired pop riffs with a swanky songwriting ability that caused earworms in the brain. Sam’s Town went a little darker, a little deeper, but still with songs that cut to the core. Day and Age and Battle Born came and went, and now here we are still looking, I think, for that next Hot Fuss, which is most likely never going to happen. With a debut album as big as
Lord knows that I am a sucker for sappy, heartfelt, acoustic, Americana. There is something about riding down a two-lane, winding, highway somewhere in bum-fuck Ohio that intersects small towns, villages, and lands with single stop lights for miles. Where there are still hardware stores not called Lowe’s or Home Depot, corner stores that sell bins of tootsie rolls and lollipops, and an actual church at the center of the main street. These towns are few and far between anymore, but there are still many that offer that longing of nostalgia that we all feel from time to time. People
Finding really truly unique pop music is becoming increasingly hard to do with many just taking a shock value angle rather than a musical one. Many are going back in time to the 50s and 60s for musical inspiration, but while unique to this time and place, is really just paying homage to things that have already been done. However, even with that slant on earlier forms of rock n roll, there are still bands that can put their spin on things. One such group is Lunar Hand, a trio of Southern California garage rockers that make moving, jumpy, and
Five years since their last release, Grizzly Bear return with Painted Ruins, released August 18, 2017. More tightly woven musically than any previous release, the band retains their distinct sound while knitting together everything you love about them while improving upon all the things you didn't. 15524
As a human of the world, I really love music. All music… it doesn’t matter. If it has a pulse, and breathes life into something, I am hooked. Unfortunately, this has proved harder and harder to accomplish the older I get. Maybe I am turning curmudgeon, but much of the newer music I listened to lately lacks true soul, sounds tinny and limp, and doesn’t kick you in the balls the way I remember. There is nothing like Axl Rose’s growl, Ice Cube’s snarl, or just anything Lemmy or George Clinton related. For me anyway, music in 2017 is full
Since 2001, Arcade Fire has risen from little known indie band to an arena filling household name. All along this ascension the band has transformed musically in a dramatic fashion, adding noisy complexity and ambitiously fusing genres. Everything Now, released July 28, is a continuation and exploration of this same process. 15480