As selected by an ensemble of south-west Victoria's most talented musicians, artists, media personalities and other D-list celebrities!
In my previous life as a journalist at a particular newspaper, I would compile an end-of-year list in which I got a bunch of the top musos and musically-connected people from my region to share their favourite albums of the year. Rather than let that tradition die, I've migrated it to my blog and upped the ante by inviting even more of my super-talented friends to take part.
Hopefully you can find some great music to listen to here, including some of the great music created by some of the selectors (links are everywhere, people!).
So behold - talented people sharing their favourite music of 2018.
1. Soccer Mommy - Clean"My love for Soccer Mommy began when I first heard the title track Clean on the radio and immediately Shazamed it. Quickly it grew into an obsession with her clever lyrical jabs and DIY approach to indie rock/pop music. The entire album is a masterpiece, with each song being just as good as the last. Forget top album of 2018, this is THE album I will never stop raving about. Standout tracks: Your Dog & Wildflowers."
Ball Park Music - Good Mood
Eves Karydas - summerskin
Jack River - Sugar Mountain
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Mallrat - In The Sky EP
Middle Kids - Lost Friends
Taylor Swift - Reputation
Tia Gostelow - Thick Skin
Tiny Little Houses - Idiot Proverbs
Liam Barling (Aika)
1. Beach House - 7
"I can't say anything about this LP without sounding like a wanker."
2. Mildlife - Phase
3. Grouper - Grid Of Points
4. Takecha - Deep Soundscapes
5. Brian Eno - Music For Installations
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi
7. Blood Orange - Negro Swan
8. Jon Hopkins - Singularity
9. Masayoshi Fujita - Book of Life
10. Pusha T - Daytona
Brady Jones (Red Eagle, Gutsy As!!)
1. Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death In Meatspace
"This has been the hardest year in sometime to nail down a top 10, let alone trying to rank it in order from 1 to 10. After much consideration however, I feel like it would be a crime to not give the highly coveted number one of Brady Jones’ Top Ten Albums of the Year to Tropical Fuck Storm’s debut. The first track, You Let My Tires Down also happens to be one of the best songs of the year. In summary, this album is dripping in best and you should listen to it. Thank you."
2. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
3. Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens
4. La Luz - Floating Features
5. King Buffalo - Longing To Be The Mountain
6. All Them Witches - ATW
7. Graveyard - Peace
8. Sleep - The Sciences
9. White Denim - Performance
10. Oh Sees - Smote Reverser
Gaz Coombes - World’s Strongest Man
"Great follow up to Here Come The Bombs. Gaz Coombes is one of the few writers who keeps evolving sonically and in the studio while keeping the melodies, hooks and awesome guitar sounds happening. Probably my favourite live show of the year too at The Corner. Gaz get's the nod!"
Laura Jean - Devotion
Johnny Marr - Call The Comet
Midnight Oil - Armistice Day (live)
The Glorious - Kings
White Denim - Performance
Tina Harrod - City Of Longing
The Fearless Flyers – The Fearless Flyers
Gretta Ray - Here And Now
Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You For Today
Joe Gardner (Aika, Mr John McKensie, Red Eagle)
1. Emma Louise - Lilac Everything
"I just like it... 'cause."
2. Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed
3. First Aid Kit - Ruins
4. Israel Nash - Lifted
5. S. Carey - Hundred Acres
6. Jeff Tweedy - Warm
7. Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt
8. Colter Wall - Songs Of The Plains
9. Ólafur Arnalds - re:member
10. Tug - You're Not Exceptional, Man
Jono Colliver (Dr Colossus, Gums, Money On Verema)
1. Gurrumul - Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow)
"I don't think the true nature and legacy of this album will become evident for another 20 years. It's a record that forces you into a different headspace almost immediately. Both driving internally in an introspective reflection but at the same time echoing the earth, the natural and the divine. It's void of English, void of standard structures and is both ethereal while maintaining some deeply rooted human fundamental sounds. Incredible."
2. Ghost - Prequelle
3. Turbonegro - RockNRoll Machine
4. The Presets - Hi Viz
5. Sleep - The Sciences
6. Father John Misty - God's Favourite Customer
7. Didirri - Measurements EP
8. Sun Kil Moon - This Is My Dinner
8. Dwarves - Take Back The Night
9. Emma Louise - Lilac Everything
10. Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
1. Matt Corby - Rainbow Valley
"This record is delicate, nuanced and addictive. It almost sounds like flowers growing. The melodies are well crafted, and the lyrics are loaded with wisdom and perception."
2. Hozier - Nina Cried Power EP
3. Didirri - Measurements EP
4. Shakey Graves - Can't Wake Up
5. The Kooks - Let's Go Sunshine
Gus Franklin (Southern Ocean Sea Band, Sheahan Drive, Gramps, Architecture In Helsinki)
1. Grand Salvo - Sea Glass
"Paddy Mann’s impressionist lyrics drift over delicately lilting and dreamy nylon string acoustic guitar strums and intimate vocal delivery, while interweaving orchestrations of amazingly recorded kora, qanun (Persian dulcimer), koto, piano and strings. Half-remembered descriptions of childhood trips to the ocean and a life-changing personal experience culminate in an overwhelming listening experience. This album is like reading a great novel, each twist and turn of phrase and melody stringing together the threads of a meta-narrative that is as perspective-shifting as it is enjoyable."
2. Dear Nora - Skulls Example
3. Gurrumul - Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)
4. Tove Styrke - Sway
5. Nu Guinea - Nuova Napoli
6. Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love
7. Robyn - Honey
8. Laura Jean - Devotion
9. Sarah Davachi - Let Night Come On The Bells End The Day
10. Foxwarren - Foxwarren
Cobey Fletcher (The Alamo, Mr John McKensie)
1. Lucero - Among The Ghosts
"Their darkest but most balanced album to date. Still my favourite band."
2. Fraser Gorman - Easy Dazy
3. Mojo Juju - Native Tongue
4. Juanita Stein - Until The Lights Fade
5. Phantastic Ferniture - Phantastic Ferniture
6. Freya Josephine Hollick - Feral Fusion
7. Marlon Williams - Make Way For Love
8. Houndmouth - Golden Age
9. Nathaniel Rateliffe & The Night Sweats - Tearing At The Seams
10. Mr John McKensie - Room No 20
Jordan Lockett (Southern Ocean Sea Band, Silverkane, Gramps)
1. Tove Styke - Sway
"The best pop album since Taylor Swift’s 1989. It’s upbeat happy melodic musings become earworms for days, enticing you back for more. It’s the most I’ve played an album in years. This album has more hooks than a tackle box. It’s empowering and calming... like an abstract painting from Wassaly Kandinsky. It has huge dynamic shifts... My wife described the album as 'shifting from a tropical paradise to a safari stampede'. Highlights: every track except Vibe (ironically it has no vibe)."
2. Janelle Monàe - Dirty Computer
3. Ryan Downey - Running
4. Christine & The Queens - Chris
5. Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
6. Nu Guinea - Nuova Napoli
7. Paul Kelly - Nature
8. Mary Lattimore - Hundreds Of Days
9. Paul McCartney - Egypt Station
10. Confidence Man - Confident Music For Confident People
Jacob Pugh (Runk)
1. Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y & The Alchemist - Fetti
"Freddie Gibbs proves again and again he is one of the most consistent rappers alive. This collaboration with Curren$y was unexpected, but within a few seconds of this record opening, it becomes pretty clear how necessary it was. In the era of autotune-drenched vocals and ratchet trap beats, Fetti is undeniably gritty and authentic. The Alchemist’s atmospheric production marries perfectly with Gibbs' no-nonsense flow and Curren$y’s laidback drawl. ‘Willie Lloyd’ might be song of the year."
Travis Scott - Astroworld
Flatbush Zombies - Vacation In Hell
Metro Boomin - Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Freddie Gibbs - Freddie
Young Thug - On The Rvn EP
21 Savage - I Am > I Was
Lil Baby - Street Gossip mixtape
Shotta Spence - 1012 EP mixtape
MF DOOM & Czarface - Czarface Meets Metal Face
Adam B Metal (The Departed)
1. The Midnight - Kids
"I have found myself gravitating to synthwave more and more the past few years. I was initially drawn in by the novelty of its sound, how each song triggered nostalgic feelings of old movies and popular songs from the era. However Kids is the first album of the genre that takes the idea of nostalgia and makes it about more than just old movies and neon lights. It tells stories of a time when life was simpler, like heading out on your bike all day to meet with friends to have adventures and play video games together. It may not be the most banger-filled album they’ve made (and it's a tad short if I’m honest) but the journey Kids takes you on is a memorable one."
Thrice - Palms
GosT - Possessor
The Ascended - Awaken Within
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Fox Capture Plan - Capturism
At The Gates - To Drink From The Night Itself
Perfume - Future Pop
Kalax - Kalax (2017)
The Haunted - Strength In Numbers (2017)
1. Nils Frahm - All Melody
"It’s a perfect bed of sonic sound to lay on."
2. Tommy Guerrero - Road To Knowhere
3. Mansur Brown - Shiroi
4. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
5. José González - & The Brite Lites At Svenska Grammofonstudion
6. Bill Frisell - Music IS
7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - IC-01 Hanoi
8. Beach House - 7
9. Brian Eno - Music For Installations
10. Cat Power - Wanderer
Daniel Miles (ABC)
1. Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
"I agonised over my top selection a bit, but there’s something about the melancholic vulnerability of this record that sucks me in. There’s a bit of Dylan, a bit of Lennon and a lot of Tillman in this that tickles the fancy and keeps you humming his hook-filled ditties. There's also a weird sense of empathy and privacy in some of his lyrics that doesn't hit voyeuristic. Me like."
Mitski – Be The Cowboy
Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
Moses Sumney – Black in Deep Red, 2014
Screaming Females – All At Once
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
Matt Corby – Rainbow Valley
Didirri – Measurements EP
Jack & Michael Fitzgerald (Capricorn Records)
1. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Tearing At The Seams
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino
Willie Nelson - Last Man Standing
Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now
Amen Dunes - Freedom
Leon Bridges - Good Thing
No Mono - Islands Part 1
Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 14: More Blood, More Tracks
Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
1. Architects - Holy Hell
"Since losing their lead guitarist Tom Searle to a lengthy skin cancer battle the band have been working to honour his memory through songs that he never had the chance to finish. Tom features posthumously on the album and the single Doomsday which directly deals with his battle. A beautiful, loud, touching sendoff and a confident continuation of form for Architects."
Bring Me The Horizon - Amo
Mac Miller - Swimming
Aurora - Infections Of A Different Kind
Token - Between Somewhere
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
Xxxtentacion - ?
Travis Scott - Astroworld
Death Grips - Year Of The Snitch
Cardi B - Invasion Of Privacy
Matt Neal (Doctor & The Apologies, Gutsy As!!, The 80 Aces)
1. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
"I only just discovered this is a complete re-recording/reworking of Car Seat Headrest's (AKA Will Toledo) 2011 album of the same name, which is a messy lo-fi affair. This new attempt is huge and epic and gives the songs the grandeur they deserve. It's still noisy and maintains the charm and whimsy of what is an incredibly coherent and excellent collection of songs. And while pretty much any album in my top five could have been #1, no other record gave me as much joy as this one. It's filled with every great pop guitar chord change you can think of, performed with the greatest amount of release and euphoria. An album so good they made it twice."
2. Screaming Females - All At Once
3. Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death In Meatspace
4. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
5. IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance
6. The Breeders - All Nerve
7. Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens
8. White Denim - Performance
9. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
10. Middle Kids - Lost Friends