Another year, another list. It feels like I’ve been doing this for almost a decade (I have. 9 years to be exact). Everyone and their sister (who happens to be a DJ that is trending at the moment), now have an end of the year list. Some of them are smug, sanctimonious (ok, relax with the big words) and others are pretty basic. Mine covers all of the above.
So yeah, these lists are a dime-a-dozen and starting to lose a bit of their charm. Not to mention all the complaining and criticizing that runs rampant on social media these days (Am I complaining about the complaining? Probably.). However, I continue to get messages from lovely fans asking for this gathering of songs. So I do it for you: The people. The kids of the internet who slide into my DM’s asking for backstage passes, Seth Troxler’s email and fee to book him for their festival (“about how much would you say he charges?” I swear this happened.), and this list.
So here ya have it, my top 70-something songs of 2018. I hope you find at least one that resonates with you and makes you feel warm inside. I’ve added a YouTube playlist to go along with the Spotify one cus I got some complaints last year from people who don’t have a Spotify account.
Love and lit and positive stuff for you and your squad and bae in 2019.
72. EOD - ‘sblood thous stinkard
71. 21 savage - a&t
70. tirzah - do you know
69. rae sremmurd - t’d up
68. idana - waterfront
67. lcd soundsystem - (we don’t need this) fascist groove thang (electric lady sessions)
66. ryuichi sakamoto - disintegration (alva noto remodel)
65. blood orange & yves tumor - smoke (feat ian isiah)
64. future - transformer (feat nicki minaj)
63. eod - wilbur
62. calibre - let it rain
61. earl sweatshirt - nowhere2go
60. µ-ziq - inclement
59. serpentwithfeet - messy (acoustic)
58. xxxtentacion - bad!
57. fleetwood mac - never going back again
56. mike will made-it, rae sremmurd, big sean - aries (YuGo) part 2 ft. quavo, pharrell
55. patrick watson feat safia nolin - mélancolie
54. kodak black - zeze feat. travis scott & offset
53. justin hurwitz - i oughta be getting home / plugs out
52. oneohtrix point never - black snow
51. 21 savage - 1.5
50. nav - know me
49. mica levi & oliver coates - barok main
48. panda bear - dolphin
47. 36 - umbra
46. frank ocean - moon river
45. fluxion - the meeting
44. thom yorke - sabbath incantation
43. j cole - 1985
42. laraaji - hare jay jay rama II
41. herron - touching
40. patrick watson - melody noir
39. slowthai - doorman
38. gravediggaz - 1 cup of blood
37. eod - zadok
36. yves tumor - lifetime
35. meek mill - splash warning (ft. future, roddy ricch, young thug)
34. rival consoles - memory arc
33. burnt friedman - sorcier
32. aphex twin - t69 collapse
31. drake - that’s how you feel?
30. toxe - honey island
29. eli keslzer - measurement doesn’t change the system at all
28. dean blunt - a/x (ft. lady t)
27. kids see ghosts - kids see ghosts
26. thom yorke - open again
25. vince staples - tweakin’
24. ryuichi sakamoto - life, life (andy stott remodel)
23. pascäal - windows, doorways
22. mac miller - self care
21. fluxion - momentum
20. тпсб - catching rare birds
19. serpentwithfeet - messy
18. htrk - summer rain
17. earl sweatshirt - the mint
16. mark pritchard - mên-an-tol
15. mark pritchard - parkstone melody II
14. meek mill - going bad (ft. drake)
13. burnt friedman - the pestle
12. a$ap rocky - praise the lord (da shine)
11. travis scott - sicko mode
10. xxxtentacion - sad
Don’t ask me to pronounce his name cus I can’t do it. I’ve tried once and that was enough. Sad. This young man was killed earlier in the year. Sad. He was also caught up in lots of drama and crime. Sad. He punched his pregnant girlfriend, too. Sad. All that aside, I really like his music. He’s breaking the top 10 this year with his song, “Sad”. (The official video for this is really well done and super eerie.)
9. eod - whippoorwills
I’m really into music arrangement. As someone who’s never produced a single record in his life, I am drawn to the way melodies and sounds are arranged. To be honest, I’m not even sure if that’s the right technical word for it but Mr. EOD is incredible at this. On par w Aphex Twin, in my opinion. This song is a great example of the many beautiful layers of sounds that work meticulously together.
8. thom yorke - suspirium
I refuse to watch this film. I don’t do horror. I’m especially bad with blood and cutting/stabbing. I bought this soundtrack on vinyl and was playing one of the songs called “the hooks”, and in it you can hear a scene from the movie where they are cutting people open with hooks. No maa’m. Get outta here. I had to change it immediately.
This one has none of that nonsense in it. A beautiful piece by Thom (first name basis) that hits you right in the feels. No cutting needed.
7. justin hurwitz - docking waltz
Another entry from a movie score. I haven’t seen this film either. It’s not a horror movie though, despite the title (First Man) and the current backlash against all things male. I’m sure someone somewhere is protesting the title of this movie. Kudos to the producers for sticking to their guns during these turbulent times. But we won’t get into all that…I still have a career hanging on by a thread, so I’ll tread lightly.
6. drake - mob ties
I saw Drake in Los Angeles back in October and it was one of the most impressive concerts I’ve ever been to and I’ve been going to concerts since the 90’s (I’m old). The production (Sila Sveta) and his stage presence was top notch. I know some (a lot) of you can’t stand his music but I also know that I don’t care. No shame, Drake is very cool. (aka “lit”. I swear I had to google that to get the official meaning. I refuse to use that word.)
5. philip glass, third coast percussion - aguas da amazonia: no. 1, madeira river
Yes, we just jumped from Drake to Philip Glass. If that’s not an insight into my musical ADD, I don’t know what is.
I’ve yet to experience Philip Glass in concert but I’m determined to do so before I pass away. He is a true national treasure and someone I’ve been inspired by ever since I first heard “Einstein on the Beach” many moons ago (a piece that still brings me to tears to this day).
4. john maus - dumpster baby
And from the refined, stately sounds of Philip Glass, we move on to the next song on this list, called “Dumpster Baby”. In an infinite universe, Philip Glass has written a piece called Dumpster Baby. But in this universe, it is the ever loveable and weird, John Maus, who has made this fucking gem. “Take that baby to the dump.” is just some of the amazing lyrics that are perfect for singing out loud while walking around town. Try it!
3. metro boomin - dreamcatcher
I was at a flea market with a good friend of mine and his new girlfriend who happened to be a grown adult and not 14 years old. A detail that is important in this story. She was determined to find a dreamcatcher for her bedroom and was dragging us all around the market. I turned to my friend at one point, took him by the hand and told him in a gentle and comforting voice, “Your girlfriend is buying a dreamcatcher. You need to break up with her ASAP.”
I mean, what are we doing here? A dreamcatcher? Really? Are you gonna put that next to your N’Sync poster? Maybe you can burn some Nagchampa incense to ward off the evil spirits too. Awful. They eventually broke up, thank god.
2. travis scott - butterfly effect
I am pretty certain this would be my album of the year as I never got tired of listening to it and I’m still playing it today. Like so many people (riding the very warranted hype train), I wasn’t really familiar with Travis Scott before this album. And like Drake, I’m certain many of you can’t stand him or his music. Again, that’s not my problem. You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong it may be. I know it’s the auto-tuned voice and lyrics that many of you can’t get past. But if you listen to the production and beats, you’ll see that it’s incredibly infectious and finna lit squad bae goals. Wait, what….?
1. the jaffa kid - place (la beauté du négatif 009)
I bought this record at a shop in Berlin over the summer but wasn’t sure how I could fit it into a set, as it’s 180 bpm and I tend to play just a tad slower than that. The fastest I’ve ever played was around 132 and people were genuinely scared. I’m sure if I was a talented enough DJ like Objekt or someone of that ilk, I could pull it off. But I’m not. Actually, I am. I just don’t play for the right people. (Yeah, there ya go, blame your fans. That’s a good career move, idiot.). Anyway, way to make this all about myself.
This song is quite simply, beautiful. It’s not on Spotify, so it won’t be on the playlist below. You’ll have to listen to it on YouTube. I hope that’s not too much of a problem for you. It’ll be worth it.
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST YOUTUBE PLAYLIST