We asked our writers to tell us about their favorite albums and EPs of 2018. Below is a collection of some, but not all of our favorite albums by some of our favorite artists and why we loved these albums so much.
Claire Davis – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships by The 1975
A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 was my favorite album released this year, it broke the boundaries of pop music in a magical way that brought tears to the fanbase. Not only was each song diverse, but certain songs were so different that you would never imagine them to be on the same record, let alone a song by The 1975. Listening to this album from start to finish is a wonderful journey of dancing, tears, amazement, and life reflection. To me, there is a whole storyline of the album that I can apply it to different parts of my life, as the album focuses on the reliance of technology in this generation. After waiting over two years for the release of the band’s third studio album, I was left in shock once again. I am so happy to have another set of music by my favorite band in their fantastic discography. Can’t wait to see what they release in the future!
Hanna Borges – hoodratscumbags by Beach Goons
Beach Goons’ hoodratscumbags is one of the best albums of 2018. For the members only being 19 and 21 years old, the band has created an original and diverse album. I love this album because it is both upbeat and melodic. And they’re amazing live!
Marisol Contreras – Be The Cowboy by Mitski
Each of the songs on Be The Cowboy is catchy and relatable, and the stories that they tell are beautifully crafted. Mitski has proven through this release (and all her others) that she really knows how to speak to my early adolescent soul. On Be The Cowboy, she perfectly captures the emotions one feels venturing into the world of romance. The songs on this album made their way onto most of my playlists, fitting perfectly into the ambiance of my “sadsongs” playlist, my “HYPE” playlist, my “h e a v y r o t a t i o n” playlist, and even my monthly playlists. An album with songs this multifaceted is very deserving of a “favorite album of the year” title. Who else other than Mitski Miyawaki could get me to feel so emotional and introspective by repeating the word “nobody” in different intonations?
Raven Yamamoto – Palo Santo by Years & Years
Palo Santo redefined an album and what it has the potential to be. Palo Santo was not just a collection of songs, it was a chronology. The album represented a place, one we’ve all been to before, that has built us into what we are today. It is a high concept, one that bridges the mediums of audio and visual, and a world with a soundtrack that is easy to get lost in. Truly an album of the year that has shown us that nothing has a fixed definition, only loose parameters that allow us the freedom to truly create something new.
Emily Sierra – Malibu Nights by LANY
Although there were so many great albums that came out this year, the crown goes to Malibu Nights by LANY. This highly anticipated album is a breakup album full of sad songs, my favorite type of music. This album conveys pure emotion. This heart-wrenching album allows the listener to truly relate to the lyrics and feel the same emotions Paul Jason Klein felt when he wrote these songs. LANY takes lots of musical risks throughout the album, which complements their melodic, dreamy sound.
Kenna Miller – Origins by Imagine Dragons
I loved this album because it seemed very personal and very emotional. The tracks are very well-done and they stay true to the band’s style. I really enjoyed the storytelling in Origins as well, especially after the band’s release of Evolve in 2017. It’s amazing that the band has released so much content in the past few years, and in my opinion, all of it is noteworthy. Good content, and a lot of it, means happy fans, including me.
Donna Borges – Mirror Might Steal Your Charm by The Garden
Mirror Might Steal Your Charm changed my perspective on what I considered “good music” and opened me up to a whole different kind of creativity both musically and aesthetically. The album as well as the rest of the Shears twins’ discography is what led me to discovering a whole new world of music I wouldn’t normally expose myself to, and this music is what I most identify with today. I wouldn’t say the album is solely responsible for this revelation, but it was definitely a turning point musically for me.
Tori O’Campo- Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino by Arctic Monkeys
Fans and critics alike were waiting to see how Arctic Monkeys would follow up their iconic AM album when Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino was released in May, and the responses it received seemed to be quite polarized. However, I consider this album to be one of the best albums released in 2018 due to its suave lyrics and unique usage of instrumentals. The hyperrealism found within the lyrics is uncanny, and the combination of futuristic synth with classic vintage keyboard becomes mesmerizing. This album is a mystery, and maybe that is part of why I keep coming back to listen. Hauntingly cryptic lyrics and delirious satirical themes is not what I had originally expected from the release, yet it is expressed so naturally from the band members that I have no complaints. They were able to curate a nostalgia while looking towards the future, which is why the record continues to stand out for me.
Aidan Bodner – In The Sky by Mallrat
Mallrat poses a deeper and more exciting look at the mundane nature of day to day life with In the Sky. This release presented a fun and bright listen, fueled with energetic hooks, as well as more measured, dreamier verses. Some of the notable tracks on the EP include “Texas” and “Groceries.”
Natalie Spina – Mt. Eddy by Mt. Eddy
Mt. Eddy kicked things off this year with the release of a self-titled EP containing three downright bangers. Themes of Doo-Wop and 80s New Wave are present in the EP, one of which, “I Luv Robert Smith,” pays tribute to the alternative 80s king himself. For a band that had only been around for about a year, it’s impressive that this EP successfully emulated the signature sound already established on their debut album while still feeling like they were keeping things fresh and reaching outside of the box. Mt. Eddy fans may never know the true lyrics to “Menial,” but each song is still easy to connect to – making you want to scream the words and slam your body into an unfortunate stranger during every chorus. Here’s to the last of Mt. Eddy . . . for now!