in no particular order On Apple Music
Dilly Dally Heaven: I listened to this amazing band’s first album so much in the three years since it came out, and the vocal delivery is raw and beautiful. A true jam.
Ex:Re Ex:Re: A delightfully sad and smart album about lost love, and healing. This was a late-arrival this year, and has already been a constant repeat.
Anna McClellan Yes and No: A similarly raw singing style to Dilly Dally, this is a bummer jam. The juxtaposition between her low, gritty voice, and when she moves into a higher register is fantastic.
Gia Margaret There’s Always a Glimmer: Continuing down the bummer album trail, Gia Margaret created a gorgeous album that combines piano, light percussion, and a hint of electronics to create an album that perfectly compliments how I feel when I’m lost in thought.
The Beths Future Hates Me: This album rips! Like, wow. What a fantastic, tightly instrumented, and infectious pop-punk album. This is a band to watch. It’s almost impossible not to sing along to this.
The Internet Hive Mind: This is a blessed year—right after getting a new Syd album, 2018 brings a new album from The Internet. Every track is a bop, and is a good way to come back up from some of the bummer tunes listed above.
Tirzah Devotion: This album feels stripped down to the core of Tirzah’s voice. There’s light instrumentation, and just hypnotic melodies and just enough percussion to get you going.
Svalbard It’s Hard to Have Hope: This album encapsulates so much of the pain and anger of being a woman in the 2010s. Tracks cover abortion, feminism, and a lot more. Crank this up when you’re lifting weights, or just need to feel seen for a bit.
Remember Sports Slow Buzz: More amazing pop punk from a band I’ve been repeatedly listening to from before they had to change their name to “Remember Sports”. Their lyrics crack me up sometimes, and I feel real joy listening to these tracks.
Camp Cope How to Socialise and Make Friends: This is just solid indie rock. I love the lead woman’s voice, and the songs have a punk ethos and feeling, even as they’re a bit slower paced.
Sara Renberg Night Sands: “I googled elderly lesbians to cheer myself, but the results were all porn”. The grim humor and fantastic delivery of the vocals on this album made me repeat it often. Another great “yea that’s how I’m feeling exactly!” jam.
Hop Along Bark Your Head Off, Dog: This was definitely a year for listening to gritty female vocals. I have no clue how she sings this way on tour without just shredding her throat, but also it’s so, so fucking good. Every Hop Along album has ruled, and this might be my favorite.
Half Waif Lavender: I cried to this album on planes a lot this year. Half Waif rules, and if my other picks were kinda rough, her voice might be a salve. This is only her second album and there’s already so much depth.
Soccer Mommy Clean: Another really, really pretty and sad album. The vibe of this album is so perfect for Fall.
Let’s Eat Grandma I’m All Ears: This music makes me dance. I got to see them perform earlier this year, and even in Portland, people were getting down. It’s also super clear the women in this band are just stoked to be making these jams.
Tancred Nightstand: One of the gayer albums I loved this year. At times she reminds me of PJ Harvey, or Fiona Apple. The phrasing and style of her delivery is pitch-perfect.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of what I listened to by any means, and by switching to Apple Music partway through the year, my listening is fractured in a way that’s hard to glue together. Music at home often happens on my Sonos, and still gets sent to Last.fm, I think, but anything on mobile (most of my time) is mostly locally stored as history.