It’s that time of the year for my list of favorite songs. I’m doing things a little differently this year. First, I have 25 songs to recognize this year (plus one honorable mention). Second, I’m ranking them. Third, I’ll be publishing the list over three posts today. I’ve limited the list to one song per artist, lest I just list the entirety of Dirty Computer.
Let’s get started!
Honorable Mention: “BAMM” :: Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Kylee Russell (from Zombies)
25. “Hollywood (feat. Snoop Dogg & Jamie Principle)” :: Gorillaz
24. “Baby Luv” :: Nilüfer Yanya
23. “Tear Me to Pieces” :: Meg Myers
22. “Loneliest Girl” :: Princess Chelsea
21. “May Your Kindness Remain” :: Courtney Marie Andrews
20. “Semicircle Song” :: The Go! Team
19. “Future Me Hates Me” :: The Beths
18. “Under the Wheels” :: Calexico
17. “In Your Beat” :: Django Django
16. “Before the Waters Get too High” :: Parquet Courts
Stay tuned for part two!
Favorite Songs by Year
Some new albums that don’t exactly contain new content, so I’m reviewing them in bulk.
Artist: St. Vincent
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “Slow Disco,” “Los Ageless,”
Thoughts: A release of Masseduction with everything stripped away except Annie Clarke’s voice and a piano, making her sound more like a chanteuse. I think I like this version better, although I didn’t really like the original much at all.
Album: My Way
Artist: Willie Nelson
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “Summer Wind,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “One for My Baby (And One More For the Road,” “What is This Thing Called Love?,” and “My Way”
Thoughts: Willie Nelson sings swinging standards in the style of Frank Sinatra. What’s not to like?
Album: Piano and a Microphone 1983
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “17 Days,” “Cold Coffee & Cocaine,” and “Why the Butterflies”
Thoughts: The first posthumous release from Prince’s music vaults is a glimpse of an artist at work. Just Prince tooling around on a piano, working on several songs, and being amazingly talented.
Got a backlog of albums from recent months, so here’s a collection of quick reviews.
Artist: Ólafur Arnalds
Release Date: 24 August 2018
Favorite Tracks: “re:member,” “undir,” and “ekki hugsa”
Thoughts: Piano-based ambient music, reminiscent of Sigur Ros. Very soothing.
Release Date: 24 August 2018
Favorite Tracks: “If You Really Love Nothing” and “The Rover”
Thoughts: I’ve liked Interpol’s previous recordings, and this is an acceptable addition to their oeuvre. But it feels a bit redundant and uninspired
Album: Negro Swan
Artist: Blood Orange
Release Date: August 24, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “Charcoal Baby,” “Holy Will,” “Daenham Dream,” and “Out of Your League”
Thoughts: Dev Hynes fourth album recording as Blood Orange is smooooooooooth. The music is chill, but the lyrics examine depression and anxiety through an intersectional lens of political consciousness.
Album: The Now Now
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “Humility (feat. George Benson),” “Hollywood,”
Thoughts: Damon Albarn’s second band – a “virtual band” at that – is now a veteran band of 20 years. It features a stripped-down sound with fewer guest artists and I think it benefits from that even as it falls a bit short of Gorillaz best work.