Oops, I forgot to do this for a few days. Well, I’m back. My schedule’s off so we’ll just finish this up as I go.
11. NIGHT//HVNT – “Smoke and Liars”
This is probably the most fun story on this entire list. At the band’s inception, and through the recording, Joe was the guitarist of this group, so as he shared his excitement with the way the band was developing, I got to hear a lot of this album taking shape. Joe was always sending me riffs and melodies the band was working on, and I got to hear a lot of early versions of these songs as they began to coalesce into the tracks on the album. From riffs recorded on phones to demos to fully developed pieces with depth and complexity, it was a fun train ride to hear the progress. This song stuck with me the most because the intro riff was one of my favorite bits and pieces I had heard. I am really impressed with how the final version came together, and want to give props to the group for creating this EP.
12. Post Malone – “Better Now”
Every year I always have that one radio track that sticks with me, and this is the 2018 version. Post has a unique take on hip-hop (on top 40 radio at least), and he is one of the best in a genre I’d never go out of my way to listen to. He looks like a goddamn clown, but when has that ever stopped anyone from making music?
13. Justin Courtney Pierre – “In the Drink”
The former Motion City Soundtrack dropped a solo album under his full name this year, and I gave it a handful of listens. My main takeaway was that MCS pretty much was just Justin Pierre. The album sounds to me like it could be composed entirely of MCS b-sides and demos. This track in particular sounds to me like old MCS, and that’s why it probably clicked with me more than the rest of the album did. It’s a short album though, inside a half hour, and worth a listen or two for MCS fans. MCS.
14. Brian Fallon – “Forget Me Not”
I first heard this song in the background of a conversation I had with Frank on our way home from a concert one night, and its saccharine melody stuck in the back of my head. I had to find out what it was, and he informed me that it was the newly released Brian Fallon track that dropped ahead of the album. While the rest of the album didn’t hook me the way this track did, I really dug the hell out of this jam from the Gaslight Anthem singer.
Here’s a handful of tracks I also dug but not enough to make their way onto the list proper:
- Big Boi – “All Night”
I know this is a 2017 track, but it hit the radio in the summer, and it was my goddamn jam. As someone who listens to modern radio and misses the hell out of OutKast, getting some Big Boi in my life is the next best thing.
- Moose Blood – “Have I Told You Enough”
They changed this song between releasing the single and the album, and I dislike the album version so I cut it from the playlist.
- H_ngm_n – “Matchsticks”
I think this guy is releasing a full length in 2019? Maybe?
- Charmer – “Topanga Lawrence”
This whole album is pretty good, but whenever it dropped, I didn’t give it the time it deserved.
- The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace is There
2018’s 2014 album of the year.