2018 was quite a year where I personally took on many challenges and was able to experience some very exciting things. I travelled to the west coast, landed my first internship, and above all listened to some killer new music. Indie artists didn’t come to play in 2018 and many bands stepped out of their usual format and began experimenting with their sound.
The most notable changes in sound come from Sports and Triathalon. I delve more into this subject on KTSW’s blog. Triathalon came out with a bang and complete change in sound with the release of their third EP, Online in February. They moved away from their easy going dreamy surf rock sound featured on Nothing Bothers Me and Lo-Tide to a chilled out r&b bedroom pop inspired sound. I had the privilege of interviewing the New York based group that you can check out here.
I would argue March brought some of the most stand-out releases of the year including Paul Cherry’s Flavour, Michael Seyer’s Bad Bonez, The Voidz Virtue, and Club Kuru’s Ribbons to name a few. The genre of the year was definitely bedroom pop. Artists like Temporex, Vansire, Hot Flash Heat Wave, and Ruru all experimented with creating an intimate raw sound and all executed the dreamy DIY feel in different and surprising ways.
Although Virtue received mixed reviews, it was widely rated as mediocre, which I can’t disagree with. The album provided a few stand out tracks, but overall was a bit all of over the place and muddy. However, as a long time Strokes fan, it did satisfy my ache for Casablanca’s signature voice– for now. Word around the block is 2019 is supposedly the year the Strokes will finally emerge from their six year hiatus. All I can say is that I’ll believe it when I see it. Although many Strokes fans are aching for some new material, at least many of the members are still creating music including Albert Hammond, Jr. His solo project Francis Trouble dropped last year and was a solid effort.
My top three albums for 2018 include SALES’ Forever & Ever EP, Michael Seyer’s Bad Bonez and BOYO’s Programming. BOYO really knocked it out of the park with this one. The album is polished and cohesive and BOYO culminated the perfect blend of lazy guitar interlaced with entracing synthesizers throughout the record. It has a certain focus and precision that some of his past albums just didn’t meet.
I made a Spotify playlist highlighting my 2018 favorites you can stream here.