Here we go, this one’s for all the marbles. My favorite tracks of the year. These top four are all favorites, not necessarily ranked. That would be like choosing a favorite child.
15. The Get Up Kids – “Better This Way”
It probably surprises very few of you that a Get Up Kids track is here in the final stretch. I loved every track on their new EP, and really struggled to decide which one to put on this list. I’m glad these guys are still putting out great music. Each track from this EP loosely vibes with a certain era of The Get Up Kids’ sound, and “Better This Way” could very easily have been a Something to Write Home About-era jam, and that’s my personal favorite album from the band.
16. Basement – “Disconnect”
This was a surprise this year. A band I wasn’t familiar with ended up dropping one of my top tracks, and put out the album I kept telling people to listen to. The song has some Bleed American / Futures era Jimmy Eat World vibes, which I totally dig. It’s a good song overall with a great hook in the chorus. It’s a song about not forgetting who you are, and finding your place in the world, and as a thirtysomething, that’s a message you need to hear every once in a while.
17. Tiny Moving Parts – “Applause”
When I first heard a song from this album, and snuck it on to my 2017 playlist at the last minute, I knew the album was going to be something special. I totally underestimated how much it would dominate my music listening habits of 2018. I’m a sucker for first tracks, and this one is truly special. It’s a song about being positive when everything is trying to push you to be negative, and sometimes, that’s what we need.
18. The Wonder Years – “The Ocean Grew Hands to Hold Me”
I ran in to this same damn problem last year when I couldn’t find a good track of the Wonder Years song I wanted, so this live video will have to do and you’ll get the real experience on the playlists below.
Of course there’s a Wonder Years song on here. Sister Cities was a rich, complex album that once again showed that the band is on the leading edge of pop-punk. You probably thought I was going to put the fast, rocking tracks like “Sister Cities” or “Raining in Kyoto” on this list because, well, that’s my kind of jam. However, this is the song on the album that gives me shivers every time I listen to it. Dan Campbell writes lyrics that speak to me in a way that I sometimes cannot fully grasp, but I do nothing but appreciate. From the opening line – “I stopped making deals with God right around when you left” – he is speaking to everyone who has ever lost someone, but then leads us through a journey of recovery. You find yourself at the bottom, in the worst of times, but the thing that carries you through is not the sadness, it is looking back at everything you had together, and leaning on everyone around you for support. The ocean is just a metaphor for the sea of people, reaching out to him every night on stage, in the same way the people around us reach out to us for support when we need it.
That’s it for this year’s playlist, thanks for reading! Whether you read every single word I wrote, or just skimmed it, thanks for giving me the time. You can check out the full playlists below on your music service of choice:
Come back tomorrow(?) for my top albums of 2018 and then I won’t post again for another 12 months.