Best Music Videos of 2018

2018 was another great year for music videos. Here are my favourites from the past 12 months (In alphabetical order)

Anderson Paak – Bubblin

A funny, well directed video set to the stand-out track from Anderson’s ‘Oxnard’ album shows what could happen if you find a broken cash machine.

Ariana Grande – God Is A Woman

Ariana’s ‘Sweetener’ was one of the best pop albums of the year, and the video for ‘God Is A Woman’ is one of the most visually stunning of the year.

Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry

The video for ‘No Tears’ encapsulates the carefree message of the song perfectly, and helped to set the mood for Ariana’s comeback.

A$AP Rocky – A$AP Forever

The video for A$AP Forever is full of simple, but effective visual effects that pair with the Moby sampling track perfectly.

Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over

Another example of simple but effective is this video for Billie Eilish’s ‘When the Party’s Over’ – with the black goop providing stunning imagery.

Blossoms – There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)

The Stockport lads bring ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ esque antics to Japan in this video, and crack out some great dance moves along the way.

Charli XCX & Troye Sivan – 1999

Charli and Troye take it back in this funny 90’s homage backed with one of the catchiest pop tracks of the year.

Childish Gambino – This Is America

One of the most instantly iconic videos of the year, ‘This is America’ is Donald Glover at his best.

Christine and The Queens – Girlfriend

Christine is back with this slick, well directed video with an effortless looking dance routine.

Father John Misty – Mr.Tillman

Mr.Tillman himself stars in this surreal, hilarious video for the best track from his latest album.

Gorillaz – Humility

A fun, summery video starring Jack Black perfectly fits the happy, inspirational ‘Humility’.

The Internet – Roll (Burbank Funk)

A simple, but well shot, smooth and groovy video for ‘Roll (Burbank Funk) fits it perfectly.

Janelle Monae – Make Me Feel

One of the best videos by a mile this year, Janelle at her best is bursting with creativity and talent.

Kali Uchis – After The Storm ft. Tyler, The Creator

A brilliantly creative, bizarre video starring Kali and Tyler makes the great ‘After The Storm’ even more memorable.

Kero Kero Bonito – Only Acting

Kero Kero Bonito usually have really creative videos, and this is no different, with its home video quality adding to the concept.

Little Simz – Offence

This snappy, nicely shot video for ‘Offence’ really captures Simz’ personality, and fits the song perfectly.

The Orielles – Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)

Northern Soul dancing aplenty in the video to one of the Grooviest tracks of the year™

Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes

Brendon Urie walks up a Skyscraper.

Troye Sivan – Dance To This ft. Ariana Grande

Troye and Ariana bring great outfits and show off their chemistry to this simple but lovely video.

Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit

A song as dramatic and tense as Jumpsuit already sounded like it was should a movie, and this video brings that level of production to it.

Tyler, The Creator ft. Kali Uchis – See You Again

Tyler and Kali strike again with a visually stunning video for ‘See You Again’.

The 1975- It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)

This is basically Matty starring in a short film, and shows just how creative the 1975 are being at the moment.

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The 25 Best of Albums 2018

25. Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations

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The debut album from Hayley was one of the strongest pop releases of the year – with consistently good tracks and a really coherent, flowing tracklist and clean, shimmery production.

24. Spring King – A Better Life

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Sadly now confirmed to be the last Spring King album, A Better Life is more of what made their first record great but with amped up production and more variety and experience in the songwriting, making for a great indie-rock record.

23. Chvrches – Love Is Dead

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Now on their 3rd album, Chvrches returned with their poppiest album yet, showing they can still knock out some really strong synth-pop bangers with strong melodies and catchy hooks.

22. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really FeelImage result for courtney barnett - tell me how you really feel

Courtney again proves herself to be one of the best singer-songwriters in the world (definitely the best in Australia) with this album, with witty poignant tracks and great guitar hooks abundant.

21. Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked

Image result for panic at the disco - pray for the wicked cover

Brendon Urie and co returned with an album full of massive hits with a big band flavour; brass and strings aplenty make this album feel like the biggest production they have ever had. The album almost sounds like a greatest hits collection with the amount of big singles on show.

20. MGMT – Little Dark Age

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The title track was one of the best songs to come out of 2017, and the rest of the album followed suit; quirky synth-pop tunes with lots of character and great melodies make this one of the catchiest albums of the year, and the relatable and relevant lyrics make it a great project, and revitalised MGMT.

19. Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer

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Following on from last year’s Pure Comedy was always going to be difficult, and while GFC doesn’t quite match up to the conceptual heights of the last album, this is still a brilliant collection of moody, witty tracks with the likes of Mr.Tillman showing Josh’s songwriting at its very best.

18. Brockhampton – iridescence 

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One of the strongest rap albums of the year, iridescence shows that Brockhampton are here to stay and really aren’t messing around. A varied but still coherent project that showcases all of the members of the best boyband on the planet.

17. Nick J D Hodgson – Tell Your Friends

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The debut solo project from Ex-Kaiser Chief Nick is a brilliant first effort with a selection of tracks that showcase just how good of a songwriter he is, with tracks like ‘Tomorrow I Love You’ sounding like it could have been a hit in any of the past few decades.

16. Twenty One Pilots – Trench

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Coming through with their strongest album yet both lyrically and sonically, Top have made a really thematically strong, coherent pop/rock/rap album and have perfected the sound that they have carved out for themselves over the past few years.

15. David Byrne – American Utopia

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With American Utopia, David Byrne has proved that he is as on the ball as he ever was, with hard hitting relevant themes matched to catchy, funky tracks full of his trademark wit and charm such as ‘Everybody’s Coming To My House’ and ‘Dog’s Mind’.

14. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears 

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Electro Duo Let’s Eat Grandma have really come through on their second album with a brilliantly produced project full of expansive, erratic but focused electronic pop songs. ‘Falling Into Me’ is an album highlight, it being an amazing progressive banger.

13. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

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A really varied, well produced album with a multitude of influences used to deliver clever and relevant social commentary about the state of the world with references to mental health, immigration and social media is the best project from Matty Healy and co so far by far, and it’s great.

12. Ariana Grande – Sweetener 

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Ariana really showed just how good she can be on Sweetener. The singles dropped from the album were consistently bettering the last, and the album did not dissapoint with amazing production from Pharrell on tracks like ‘R.E.M’ and those singles like ‘God is a Woman’ and ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ showcasing her amazing vocals and just general talent.

11. Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises

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Manchester goth-pop group Pale Waves have had one of the fastest rises in indie in recent years, and their debut album is testament to why they have shot up. Great, catchy songs with hard-hitting honest lyrics and 80’s inspired production and melodies that still manage to sound modern and cutting edge are bound to gain popularity. And it’s well deserved.

10. Gorillaz – The Now Now

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Much more focused than 2017’s ‘Humanz’ album, ‘The Now Now’ is the best Gorillaz project in a long time, with tracks like ‘Tranz’ and ‘Hollywood’ (which has a great feature from Snoop Dogg) showing Damon can still write a great pop banger, and ‘Souk Eye’ being one of the most beautiful songs he has ever written.

9. Anderson. Paak -Oxnard

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A really smooth, catchy funky album from Andy here is a late entry into this list, but with glistening tracks like ‘Tints’ with Kendrick and the amazing flows and production shown on tracks like ‘Who R U?’ means this is Anderson’s finest album so far, and one of the best of the year.

8.Christine & The Queens – Chris

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What difficult second album? Chris levelled up with a collection of sleekly produced groovy pop tunes that built upon the themes of her debut in every way, becoming more confident and explicit while still maintaining that charm that drew everyone to her in the first place.

7. The Orielles – Silver Dollar Moment

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Perhaps the grooviest album of the year, Silver Dollar Moment is full of great, funky tracks with great story-telling lyrics and a real sense of fun throughout. ’48 Percent’ is one of the happiest, catchiest tracks of the year, and ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’ has potentially the best bassline. Nice.

6. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Image result for arctic monkeys tranquility base hotel & casino album cover

I’m so glad they decided to go off on one on their latest album, because it really worked. Alex took the Arctic Monkeys to the moon, with a concept album about a Hotel and Casino that proves that sometimes being as outlandish as possible does work. He did what he wanted, and it showed just how brilliant he can be.

5. Kero Kero Bonito – Time n Place

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Changing your sound after a breakout album will always be risky, but KKB made the right choice here on ‘Time n Place’, building on their original sound added even more layers to their personality, and matching the clever, upbeat tracks that tell great little stories with the more complicated production really makes this album stand out from their previous.

 

4. Teleman – Family Of Aliens

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At this point I just expect Teleman to be great, and thankfully they were. Bettering themselves yet again with their best album so far, ‘Family of Aliens’ is an album full of grooves and great melodies with really thoughtful lyrics full of heart that really get better with each listen. ‘Cactus’ is an absolute banger too.

3. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

Image result for Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer

As soon as I heard ‘Make Me Feel’ from this album, I knew that Janelle was going to release one of the best projects of the year, and I was right, with ‘Dirty Computer’ being her strongest to date. The run of tracks from ‘Django Jane’ to ‘I Like That’ is incredible.

2. Kali Uchis – Isolation

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‘Isolation’ is Kali’s debut full studio album and in my opinion no other debut has shown as much promise. A cohesive, flowing album full of varied, lively tracks with great vocal performances and featured producers make ‘Isolation’ one of the strongest albums of the year.

1. The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land 

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‘Merrie Land’ was the album that hit closest to home for me this year with its messages and themes; pairing that with the consistently brilliant songwriting from Damon Albarn and the great musicianship from the likes of Paul Simonon and Tony Allen, this album couldn’t have come at a better time.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming! The rest of 2018: A preview.

According to my calendar, it is the end of July. This means that somehow we are over halfway through 2018 already. However! The year is far from over, with many top musical artists set to release an LP before ’18 is up. Let’s have a look at a few, shall we?

August

Ariana Grande – Sweetener (17th)

The follow-up to Ariana’s 2016 banger filled ‘Dangerous Woman’ album is set to release mid-August. With production from Pharrell, features from Missy Elliott and three already released, very good singles, this could be the best pop album of the year.

Spring King – A Better Life (17th)

Following on from their blistering 2016 debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’, Spring King will release ‘A Better Life’ in August. Expect the same level of energy as their previous effort but with higher production levels and even more bangers, as shown with lead single ‘Animal’

Animal Collective – Tangerine Reef (17th)

Experimental Americans Animal Collective are releasing an audiovisual album in celebration of the International Year of the Reef on the 17th August. Should be interesting.

Interpol – Marauder (24th)

Returning for their first album in 4 years, New York indie legends Interpol will release Marauder on the 24th August. Lead single ‘The Rover’ is pretty damn good so i’m hopeful that the rest will follow suit.

The Lemon Twigs – Go To School (24th)

The New York Duo are set to release their second album, Go To School in August. They’ve released 2 singles from it so far, with ‘Small Victories’ being a peppy little number, and ‘If You Give Enough’ being a slower, piano based ballad.

Emma Blackery – Villains (31st)

Releasing her debut album in August, Emma Blackery has slowly built up her sound over the years to the refined pop it is today. Recent singles ‘Agenda’ and ‘Icarus’ should be good tasters for what is shaping up to be a very nice 1st effort.

Troye Sivan – Bloom (31st)

Kiwi pop prodigy Troye is set to follow up 2015’s Blue Neighbourhood this August. Lead single ‘My My My!’ was an absolute banger, and recent Ariana Grande collab ‘Dance To This’ was also rather good. Good.

September

Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (7th)

Sir Macca is releasing his first album since 2013’s ‘New’, and the first two singles from it have been very pleasant. You’d think he would have got the hang of this sort of thing by now anyway.

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt (7th)

Spiritualized return for their first album in around 6 years, with ‘And Nothing Hurt’ coming out early September. They’ve released a double single to kick this album campaign off, and ‘I’m Your Man’ is very nice indeed.

Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises (14th)

Very fast-rising stars of indie-pop Pale Waves are set to release their debut in September. Featuring a few of their recent singles, but mostly new material, this could be one of the buzziest, and best albums of the year.

Christine and The Queens – Chris (21st)

Following up her massive breakthrough debut is a big ask, but the first two singles from ‘Chris’ – ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Doesn’t Matter’ have been her best work yet, so this could be very special.

Suede – The Blue Hour (21st)

Indie legends Suede follow up their brilliant ‘Night Thoughts’ album with a new LP in September. Latest single ‘Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You’ was a continuation of their good form, so i’m hopeful for the full project.

Black Honey – Black Honey (21st)

The debut album by Black Honey comes out in September. With big tracks like ‘Hello Today’ under their belt, the indie rockers should easily pull a belter of a debut off.

Amber Arcades – European Heartbreak (28th)

Consistently good since her debut in 2016, Amber Arcades has released a scattering of singles and an EP since then, and is building up to release her 2nd project proper in late September.

Doe – Grow Into It (28th)

London indie rock trio Doe will be following up their brilliant debut ‘Some Things Last Longer Than You’ in September. Lead single ‘Heated’ is a punky banger.

October

Twenty One Pilots – Trench (5th)

The emo rock/rap duo return after 2015’s massive ‘Blurryface’ album, which catapulted them into the mainstream. Lead double singles ‘Jumpsuit’ and ‘Nico and the Niners’ were both quality tunes from the lads.

Estrons – You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough (5th)

The welsh rockers are winding up to release their debut album on in October, with lead single ‘Cameras’ giving a good taste of what to expect.

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

Matty and co. have been working on two new albums since 2016’s ‘I Like It When You Sleep..’ and the first of those is slated for release some time in October. The 2 singles released so far have been good pop bangers so we shall see.

Some time this year (hopefully)

Charli XCX

She’s been working on her third ‘proper’ album for quite some time now, releasing a slew of mixtapes and singles since 2015’s ‘Sucker’. It will probably be worth the wait though.

Childish Gambino

Donald has been rather busy lately, and rumour is the singles he has been dropping so far this year are part of a full project slated for Autumn. Very good.

Vampire Weekend

Please hurry up you’ve had since 2013.

Brockhampton

We know they have an album out, just not when. Good singles so far this year though, especially ‘1997 Wildfire’.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen

One of Damon Albarn’s 100 bands has their second album ‘finished’ and will be released sometime in 2018. Their last one way back in 2007 was some of Damo’s finest work to date, so this should be very good.

Anderson Paak.

Following on from the excellent ‘Malibu’ album, Anderson is meant to have 2 albums coming out in 2018. He’s leaving it late if that’s the case but still, something to look forward to.


Of course, there will be a few surprise releases, and there’s always a few date changes but that’s all part of the fun really.

New Release Roundup 20/4/18

Singles

Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry: A great track from Ariana here. As soon as the really infectious beat kicks in after the intro i could tell it was going to be a bop. Ariana’s voice sounds great too here, with the spoken ‘shut your mouth’ refrains adding a real level of personality to the track, and the stronger vocal refrains are also excellent. The instrumental too grows on me with each listen, it’s really well layered with little details that creep in now and again. If the rest of her upcoming album is this good, we’re in for a treat. 96%

Father John Misty

Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest of Them All: Another great track from Mr.Misty’s just announced album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ out on the 1st of June. The usual FJM combination of witty lyrics and intricate melodies is here, and following on from ‘Mr.Tillman’ this is another track that indicates this album will not be as downbeat as Pure Comedy. 80%

Just Dumb Enough To Try: The most stripped back of the tracks we have heard from this new project so far, this song has a beautiful acoustic guitar backing and it really shows off Josh’s voice. 83%

Teleman – Submarine Life: A really groovy, chill instrumental on this new track from Teleman here, again the band have managed to change their sound without losing the charm that they bring into all of their tracks. Great production here from Boxed In too, he seems to work really well with Teleman. 80%

Blossoms – There’s a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls): This is one of the best tracks Blossoms have released so far. A really catchy hook, chorus and great production make this a great pop track and Tom’s vocals sare very well suited to this production style. Very nice. 85%

Jorja Smith – Blue Lights: Jorja really is one of the best new vocalists in the UK right now, and this track really highlights just how good she is. Nice Dizzee samples near the end too. 80%