Another year. Of me losing touch with popular music as I gently nestle into my fifth decade of life.
Some themes a note this year:
1. Headline of the year: The girls of Nashville are killing it. Shannon Shaw, Soccer Mommy and America’s next megastar, Kasey Musgraves.
2. Perennial performers took the year off. It used to be easy to make these lists. Pearl Jam, Radiohead, R.E.M., Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Spice Girls (ha ha). Now I find the best music by conducting exhaustive research - listening to Sirius XMU, reading blogs and tabbing through whatever Todd tells me to. I do this for 12 months to the point where I’m perfectly capable of writing a dissertation on the topic.
3. Retro indie rock will always be much appreciated by me. Stephen Malkmus has his perpetual 90s vibe. MGMT wrote an 80s-ish song that could easily have made a John Hughes soundtrack. Shannon Shaw sounds so 60s. Sorry 70s. You’re the forgotten decade. Even in 2018.
4. This year’s list is basically a ‘best new artist’ breakdown. At the start of the year, I hadn’t heard of 13 of these artists. I counted. Which means, there will probably be a bunch of one-hit wonders. Who will be this year’s Chumbawamba? Time will tell. The thing is, many of these songs weren’t even hits. They’re just good, fun, catchy songs. Isn’t that what matters most after this insane year?
Of course, I sprinkled in some humor, Trump jabs (Space Force!) and a token kids movie song. Move over Trolls, Smallfoot rules the Terchila household now.
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25. Space force - The Gregory Brothers
24. Goodbye Summer - Shannon Shaw
23. Your Dog - Soccer Mommy
22. Wonder Life - Zendaya (Smallfoot soundtrack)
21. Loading Zone - Kurt Vile
20. Just a Fool - Jim James
19. Bike Lane - Stephen Malkmus
18. Me and Michael - MGMT
17. Phone Wallet Keys - Adam Sandler
16. Shallow - Lady Gaga / Bradley Cooper
15. Whatever It Takes - Imagine Dragons
14. Look At Your Hands - Tune-Yards
13. How did this happen? - Bodega
12. Tints - Anderson Paak
11. Everybody Wants to be Famous - Superorganism
10. Wide Awake (others) - Parquet courts
09. Boys - Lizzo
08. Tinsletown Swimming in Blood - Destroyer
07. Father and Me - Flight of the Conchords
06. Charcoal Baby - Blood Orange
05. Race You To The Light - Mason Jennings
04. Make Me Feel - Janelle Monae
03. Paper Man - Ray Lamontagne
02. This Is America - Childish Gambino
01. Oh, What a World - Kacey Musgraves