Top 10 songs of 2018, bonus tracks, and playlist





To listen to the music, I created Spotify and YouTube playlists. I reserve the right to alter the list if I change my mind or stumble upon new stuff that impresses! Below is my top 10:




Keep Reachin sung by Chaka Khan 
(Nice and funky. A great find from end credits of new Quincy Jones documentary. If the song had been cut down to 3 minutes it would have been stronger. But still pretty awesome)







The Crossing by Alejandro Escovedo
(From his concept album on immigration, the affecting title track which also has a brilliant melody attached. I’d go so far and say it’s a modern classic already)









Slow Burn by Kacey Musgraves 
(A couple of other bloggers gushed over this and I have to admit they’re right! Doesn’t get stale and what a voice! )









Crazy, Classic, Life by Janelle Monáe
(Empowering lyrics and maybe the best pop chorus of the year)







Shallow by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
(From A Star Is Born soundtrack. Not many Oscar songs gave me chills in recent years but Shallow did ! Hope it wins Best Song. Haven’t seen the film)








Kindness of Strangers by Courtney Marie Andrews
(She is wise beyond her years and the lyrics are sporadically great. Her vocal has intensity and reminds me a bit of Crystal Gayle. Her writing is improving though the album is less melodic compared to 2016’s Honest Life)









Suspirium by Thom Yorke 
(A simple piano ballad that may not have the experimentation of other tracks on the Suspiria soundtrack, yet is easily the most moving and memorable from the film)








Les Jeux to You by Julie Holter
(Strange lyrics sung with a joyful, child-like enthusiasm)







The Silence by Joan As Police Woman
(Doesn’t limit itself to the #MeToo movement, as anyone could identify with honesty. I love the instrumentation. The track samples chants from a women’s march on Washington in 2017)









South London Forever by Florence + The Machine 
(The vocal hits me emotionally. Great lyrics)







Just missed the top 10:
Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter by Elvis Costello & The Imposters
Connected by Love by Jack White
Tenderness by Parquet Courts
One Thing Left to Try by MGMT
New Birth in New England by Phosphorescent
Ugly And Vengeful by Anna von Hausswolff
Partners In Motion by Wild Nothing
It’s Okay to Cry by Sophie
Pay No Mind by Beach House
Sunday Never Comes sung by Ethan Hawke (Juliet, Naked soundtrack)
Everybody’s Coming To My House (live on Stephen Colbert) by David Byrne
Love Is Magic by John Grant
Who Do You Love by All Saints
Mariners Apartment Complex by Lana Del Rey
Black Lagoon by Still Corners
Beach 2K20 by Robyn
Portrait by Mariah Carey
Dancing and Fire by Low
Face by Tracey Thorn
Black Walls by Chromatics
Girlfriend (feat. Dâm-Funk) by Christine and The Queens





Other songs I liked by artists I didn’t blog about:




Savior (2018 version) by St. Vincent
(Feels more raw and heartfelt than the 2017 pop edit. Her vocal performance is remarkable. The album consists of stripped down acoustic versions)









Version of Me by Kimbra
(An up-and-coming artist from New Zealand. I struggled to get into the album (Primal Heart) but this single struck a chord. Quietly powerful with a lovely use of piano. The video is stunning in its simplicity)






Leads Me Back by Sarah Blasko
(Again, like Kimbra above, I wasn’t wowed by the album Depth Of Field. The haunting closing track by the Australian singer-songwriter has been on repeat)








Ugly by First Aid Kit
(I tend to gravitate towards specific songs by the Swedish duo. Emmylou is a great tribute to country legend Emmylou Harris on their 2012 debut LP. Ugly with its timeless lyrics about appearance and expectations is among their best as well)








Destroying Angels by Garbage (feat. John Doe and Exene Cervenka)
(Has been described as a murder ballad. If the listener has lost a close one the lyrics could be poignant. There’s a sense of heartbreak: “Some things they are so painful. No words for them exist. And everyone was solemn. As they laid her in the dirt“)








Despite Repeated Warnings by Paul McCartney
(From his new album Egypt Station. He’s on record saying it’s an anti-Trump protest song about climate change and he read the title in a newspaper. I like how changes pace at 2.27 and again at 4.28)







No Tears Left To Cry by Ariana Grande
(I was able to overcome my dislike of autotune. A good pop song with an ambitious Inception-like music video)




Late discoveries from Said the Gramophone’s top 100 songs:





In Another Life by Sandro Perri 
(Reminds me at times of Prince’s Little Red Corvette and the synths from Wait and See by Holy Ghost! Yet Perri manages to make something new and beautiful with this single (listened to the 6 min edit)









Cut Me Off by Madeline Kenney 
(The music video in an office workplace sets the scene and definitely helps the song come to life. A simple guitar riff and simple lyrics work well together. Pretty catchy)









Lifer by Wye Oak 
(I love the heartfelt lyrics. The song is spoiled (or some might say elevated) by the harsh guitar solo at the 2 min mark)










Pick Up by DJ Koze 
Pick Up (6 min version) casts a spell over the listener with an infectious house beat and Gladys Knight’s vocal performance can almost make you cry. Sampling Gladys Knight & the Pips’s “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)”.









Girls on the TV by Laura Jean 
(Skilled synthpop production and the chorus “Girls on the TV” stays with you)










Charlotte’s Thong by Connan Mockasin 
(There’s something Kurt Vile-esque about the laid-back atmosphere. Connan Mockasin can play the guitar and the central riff is one of 2018’s best)










Controller by Channel Tres 
(I don’t usually go for Hip House, a mix of Hip Hop and House, so the unfamiliarity is maybe part of the fascination. What a great, hypnotic beat. I could imagine this single getting played by DJs as makes you want to move)









Long As I Live by Toni Braxton 
(A hummable chorus which gets lodged in your brain. For fans of 90s R&B)








I Thought That I Could Get Away with It by Joseph Shabason
(The saxophone player from Destroyer’s Kaputt (still my favorite album of the decade) has been busy, including DIANA and as a solo artist. This is from his second solo album Anne, in which he blends jazz, ambient, electronic sounds and samples from interviews with his mum)









Spa by Nicholas Krgovich
(Another album in which Joseph Shabason is saxophonist)






What do you think? As always, comments are welcome

30 thoughts on “Top 10 songs of 2018, bonus tracks, and playlist

  1. I like that Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga song and that song by Thom Yorke (that whole soundtrack album is incredible). I would add a couple of songs by Ariana Grande like “God is a Woman” and “No Tears Left to Cry” as I like those songs. It’s rare for me these days to find a good pop song now and then as she is one of the few that I like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @thevoid99: Glad we have a little overlap in songs this year. I’m impressed by Ariana Grande’s ambitious music videos which I’m just discovering now. No Tears Left to Cry is good pop with a very Inception-like video.


    1. @Aphoristical: Kacey Musgraves blew me away with Slow Burn though I wasn’t as sold on the other singles I heard from her album. I remember reading your review of Monáe’s album

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I did go and see A Star Is Born but wasn’t blown away by Shallow in the film after the first hearing. It has subsequently grown on me however so although when I wrote about the film I said there were no stand out songs, I admit to having been wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Alyson: I know the feeling, sometimes music takes time to really sink in! I’m curious to see A Star is Born although I admit musicals are not my favorite genre


  3. Just another great song by Alajandro from a bag of great songs. He put out a similar album a few years ago ‘By the Hand of the Father’. You might dig it. Very film like. He doesn’t take a wrong turn. A fave of mine. (I’m going to read a few of your new posts and get back to the film list later)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @CBH: Happy you agree The Crossing is a great song. Other accessible tracks on the new album include: Footsteps in the Shadows, Something Blue, Sonica USA, & MC Overload

      I don’t know Alejandro Escovedo’s earlier work. There’s an extensive back catalogue as the guy is 67 years old now! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve heard the 1992 debut LP is special and he’s been in various bands going back to the late 1970s.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I don’t know if our tastes are different or if we’re just exposed to different artists, but I’ve only heard two of these songs before (“Shallow” and “New Birth in New England”). I love how different your list is from mine, though!

    “Slow Burn” and “Crazy, Classic Love” are probably my favorites, since I think I prefer Florence’s “A Sky Full of Song” to “South London Forever.” Great picks, though, and I’m sure I’ll be drawing from this playlist.

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @sgliput: Glad you liked “Slow Burn” and “Crazy, Classic Love” “A Sky Full of Song” is a really good song too. Florence’s album is in my top 5 of the year

      Thanks and hope you had a good Christmas! Enjoy the playlist – that’s what it’s there for 🙂


    1. @Alyson: Thank you! Hope you had a nice festive season. Enjoyed a couple of Pink Panther films around Christmas, good to watch if you just want to relax, Didn’t listen to much music except what the family put on.


  5. Man I haven’t heard of any of these….. again!! Cept for one – “Suspirium by Thom Yorke “. That whole soundtrack is GOLD

    I’ll have to try out some of these as I’m always up for something new

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Jordan: I’ve enjoyed chunks of the Suspira soundtrack. Very atmospheric. Other faves for me are “Has Ended” and “Unmade”

      I hope you like what you find! This week, I’ve been pretty obsessed with the single Girls on the TV by Laura Jean (she’s from your country Australia) .


    2. @Jordan: Nice! I can’t vouch for Anna von Hausswolff’s older stuff which I’m unfamiliar. Dead Magic (2018) I loved, the album was inspired by neoclassical darkwave-try and google that subgenre if you want more

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will do that just. I downloaded all her albums and EPs…. the early stuff is different but still very cool. I never use youtube but it can be cool… that video auto played into this atmospheric electronic song… but it was also classical!! Bizarre but the sound worked. What would really make my day now is if I could find anything like this music with the Thom Yorke type vocals. yknow he has quite a few albums I didn’t get them all cos that’s just too much to listen to but I’ve got three from the 2000’s. I dunno if its his album plain or if they are his albums that are soundtracks

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list. I can already give you some thanks for sharing Florence and The Machine’s South London Forever. It has perhaps my favorite first minute of music in 2018.
    I like that you mentioned Beach House, but I’d highlight Last Ride as the most beautiful in their latest album. Perhaps my favorite song of 2018.
    I couldn’t get into Robyn’s latest album, but I do find the title track compelling and inviting repeated listens.
    I like Suspirium though I didn’t connect to it as much as you did. As a avid fan of Radiohead and Thom Yorke, I think it falls just above their average.

    Thanks for sharing these, many I haven’t listened to. I’m gonna catch up and perhaps come back to this post with some more impressions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Blog of Big Ideas Thank you! Glad you loved South London Forever. The Beach House album was good. Last Ride is a great find which I will go listen to some more.

      It’s hard to separate Thom Yorke from Radiohead’s work as the vocal is pretty similar in both. The Suspiria soundtrack could have been released under their name though of course Jonny Greenwood is off doing his own film scores these days!

      To be honest my top 10 might look different if I was publishing the list now. The songs by Joseph Shabason and Sandro Perri have grown on me.


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