Summertime in 2018 seemed to go by in a blur for me somehow…I know I was ridiculously busy with the writing of both In My Blue World and the Apartment Complex story, not to mention dealing with consistent Day Job drama. What kept me sane, as always, was the music. It was around this time that I’d decided to change my listening habits (I’d been listening to Indie617 and occasionally SiriusXM up to that point) but found myself drawn to KEXP out of Seattle. That station provided me with a hell of a lot of new bands I’d never heard otherwise, and I’m happier for it.
Erasure, World Be Live, released 6 July. I can only describe this live record as ‘fabulous’, partly because the tunes are fantastic, and Andy Bell’s between-song commentary is absolutely hilarious.
Cowboy Junkies, All That Reckoning, released 13 July. A powerful record about facing that which you fear.
Tanukichan, Sundays, released 13 July. Not quite indie rock, not quite dreampop, but contains the best parts of both. A lovely relaxing album.
Gaika, Basic Volume, released 27 July. Trippy dancehall rap from Brixton with a mood that channels the murkiness of Tricky.
ShadowParty, ShadowParty, released 27 July. A fun, poppy alt-rock album from a sort-of supergroup containing members of New Order’s touring band.
El Ten Eleven, Banker’s Hill, released 10 August. I seem to be drawn to these indietronic-duo-with-a-sampler-footpedal bands, but I’m not complaining. Thanks to KEXP for pointing me in their direction!
Prince, Anthology: 1995-2010, released 17 August. I’d stopped listening to him sometime around Diamonds and Pearls, so I missed out on quite a lot. This collection surprised the hell out of me and made me appreciate his later work.
Mitski, Be the Cowboy, released 17 August. I’m a late follower of her work but this was a great starting off point for me.
Death Cab for Cutie, Thank You for Today, released 17 August. “Gold Rush” is quite the earworm for me.
Nothing, Dance On the Blacktop, released 24 August. Loud and crunchy, but quiet and tender as well. An interesting detour from their last album, but I love it.
Interpol, Marauder, released 24 August. They seem to have returned to the darker, louder post-punk that made Turn On the Bright Lights such a great album.
tunng, Songs You Make at Night, released 24 August. Late follower to this band as well, but I’m glad I found them. Quiet, delicate, and very quirky.
Paul McCartney, Egypt Station, released 7 September. How does this man keep writing such amazing records??
Eric Bachmann, No Recover, released 7 September. A lovely and tender album. This got heavy rotation during my writing sessions.
Chai, Pink, released 7 September. J-Punk with the energy of Shonen Knife and the goofiness of Puffy AmiYumi.
Bob Moses, Battle Lines, released 14 September. “Heaven Only Knows” is definitely in my Top 5 favorite tunes of the year. The whole album is simply amazing.
Failure, The Furthest Thing EP, released 14 September. Third of three EPs released, with the full album dropping a few months later.
Metric, Art of Doubt, released 21 September. A return to their rockier sound, though their synth layers are still front and center.
The Joy Formidable, Aaarth, released 28 September. Noisy, wild, and sultry. Listen to this loud.
Dave Grohl, Play EP, released 28 September. Sure, you could write this off as a twenty-minute long prog rock experiment, but Dave really is an amazing multi-instrumentalist.
Coming Up: Part IV, Q4!