The 50 Best Albums of 2018

For me, 2018 was a blur, and seemed to pass faster than any other year before. Was it the politics? Was it work? Friends and Family? No idea. In all honesty, I had a hard time keeping up with all the new releases. Seemed like the kings and queens released the major stuff in 2017, which left a void for the up-and-comers to fill. This was refreshing, but took some effort to seek out the new jams. It’s a pretty eclectic list below, and I hope you’ll find some new favorites.

In terms of the music culture, I saw more acts coming to Colorado than ever before. It may be the city, the legalizations, or the fact that bands need to tour now more than ever. This list is important to me for two reasons: sharing “new” music with others and sharing the band’s website. Sure, you can stream with the best of them, but pay the dues and purchase a physical item directly from the band. Here’s an interesting fact: To date, Peter Frampton received a whopping $1,700 for 55 million streams of “Baby I Love Your Way”!

There is some phenomenal talent out there and in today’s time of instant-gratification, we seem to take the talent for granted. 2019 Resolution: consciously support the music you like.

Music is pretty special and we all need it, especially the musicians for their livelihood! Enjoy my list below, and feel free to post any artists that didn’t make the 2018 list.

In no particular order—and note that each artist name links to their website, and each album cover links to their music somewhere:

Kamasi Washington

Heaven and Earth
Young Turks
Jazz

The Babe Rainbow

Double Rainbow
Flightless Records
Freak Folk

Young Fathers

Cocoa Sugar
Ninja Tune
Art Rap

Earl Sweatshirt

Some Rap Songs
Columbia
Jazz Rap

MGMT

Little Dark Age
Columbia
Synth Pop

Janelle Monáe

Dirty Computer
Atlantic
Pop

Snail Mail

Lush
Matador
Indie Folk

Beach House

7
Sub Pop
Synth Pop

Father John Misty

God’s Favorite Customer
Sub Pop
Indie Folk

Jeff Tweedy

WARM
dBpm Records
Indie Folk

Damien Jurado

The Horizon Just Laughed
Secretly Canadian
Indie Folk

Richard Swift

The Hex
Secretly Canadian
Indie Folk

Travis Scott

Astroworld
Cactus Jack
Rap

Ambrose Akinmusire

Origami Harvest
Blue Note
Jazz

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

Sparkle Hard
Matador
Alt Rock

The Internet

Hive Mind
Columbia
R&B/Soul

Drake

Scorpion
Young Money Entertainment
Hip-Hop

Oh Sees

Smote Reverser
Castle Face Records
Garage Rock

Khruangbin

Con Todo El Mundo
Night Time Stories
Jazz

Tropical F### Storm

A Laughing Death In Meatspace
Mistletone
Alternative Rock

Waajeed

From The Dirt
Dirt Tech Reck
Dance/Electronic

Metro Boomin

Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Republic Records
Hip-Hop

Death Cab for Cutie

Thank You for Today
Atlantic
Alternative Rock

Ty Segall

Fudge Sandwich
In The Red Records
Garage Rock

Kurt Vile

Bottle It In
Matador
Indie Folk

David Byrne

American Utopia
Nonesuch Records
Alternative

Courtney Barnett

Tell Me How You Really Feel
Milk Records
Indie Folk

Nine Inch Nails

Bad Witch
The Null Corporation
Industrial Rock

Iron and Wine

Weed Garden
Sub Pop
Indie Folk

Will Oldham

Songs of Love and Horror
Drag City
Indie Folk

Anderson .Paak

Oxnard
Aftermath Records
Hip-Hop

Yo La Tengo

There’s a Riot Going On
Matador
Alternative

The Voidz

Virtue
Cult Records
Industrial Punk

Gorillaz

The Now Now
Parlophone
Alternative

Guided By Voices

Space Gun
GBV Inc.
Indie Rock

Parquet Courts

Wide Awake!
Rough Trade
Indie Rock

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Tearing at the Seams
Stax
Rock

Parcels

Parcels
Kitsune Musique
Alternative Pop

The Lemon Twigs

Go To School
4AD
Alternative Pop

Chris Dave

Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
Blue Note
Jazz

Ezra Furman

Transangelic Exodus
Bella Union
Alternative

Thom Yorke

Suspiria
XL Recordings
Dance/Alternative

Aphex Twin

Collapse
Warp
Electronic

Jungle

For Ever
XL Recordings
Dance/Electronic

Baked Beans

Babble
Flightless Records
Garage Rock

Shakey Graves

Can’t Wake Up
Dualtone Music Group, Inc.
Indie Country/Folk

Leon Bridges

Good Thing
Columbia
R&B/Soul

El Canijo de Jerez

Manual de Jaleo
El Volcán Música
Flamenco

Sleep

The Sciences
Third Man Records
Sludge Rock

Mount Eerie

Now Only
P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd.
Indie Folk