My favorite albums of the year
in no particular orderOn Apple Music
Dilly DallyHeaven: 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:ReEx: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 McClellanYes 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 MargaretThere’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 BethsFuture Hates Me: This albumrips! 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 InternetHive 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.
TirzahDevotion: 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.
SvalbardIt’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 SportsSlow 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 CopeHow 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 RenbergNight 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 AlongBark 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 WaifLavender: 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 isonly her second albumand there’s already so much depth.
Soccer MommyClean: Another really, really pretty and sad album. The vibe of this album is so perfect for Fall.
Let’s Eat GrandmaI’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.
TancredNightstand: 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.
A note on listening this year
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.