Features

What’s The Sound Of…2018 So Far?!

This year has been fantastic for music so far. There was a lot great stuff that came out of nowhere and good band turned into fantastic bands. Let’s start right away with all the music our team enjoyed the most over the last six months!

Weedpecker – III

January 5 // Krauted Mind Records

 

 

 

The soundtrack to your next trip. A dense atmosphere, majestic riffs, and incredibly thoughtful compositions, while always keeping a down-to-earth jam vibe.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Author – IIFOIIC

January 1 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Critically overlooked, intriguing songwriting and an overall fantastic vibe. No idea why nearly no one picked this up. A more post rocky version of Radiohead.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Locktender – Friedrich

January 15 // I.Corrupt.Records

 

 

 

You may have never heard of this band, but you need this in your life. A concept record about Caspar David Friedrich, delivered as rough post hardcore with post rock and screamo!

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Zoology – Bloom

January 19 // Majestic Casual Records

 

 

 

Smoothness was bottled up and fed to this duo when they were kids. There is no other explanation for the warmth, the flow, and the creativity. Short but intense.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo

January 26 // Late Night Tales

 

 

 

I’ve mentioned it several times in posts and articles: This is a Tarantino soundtrack which came to live as a cool-as fuck band. So good.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Vexes – Ancient Geometry

February 23 // Unsigned

 

 

 

I can imagine that this band is tired of hearing this, but damn, they sound a lot like Deftones. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s great.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Conjurer – Mire

March 9 // Holy Roar Records

 

 

 

You can simply line-up all Holy Roar releases and praise them because they are all great. Mire is part of that. One of the most emotional, yet heaviest albums of the year

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

VLMV – Stranded, Not Lost

February 17 // Fierce Panda

 

 

 

Thoughtful and intimate ambient pop with really big melodies. Seeing them live a few months ago was an intense experience which elevated this album even more for me.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Son Lux – Brighter Wounds

February 9 // City Slang

 

 

 

It’s basically impossible to describe this band with words. They have their own sound on an impalpable level. Absolutely stunning and intriguing.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Triathalon – Online

February 16 // Broken Circles Records

 

 

 

Vapory r’n’b with a big soul vibe. Great to put this on a lazy, warm sunday afternoon, relaxing in the sun and just smoothing your way through the day.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Shy Kids – In A State

February 23 // Culvert Music

 

 

 

This album has such ease, while delivering depth, meaning, and narrative. A hidden gem. A great symbiosis of pop, jazz, and indie.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Mint Field – Pascar de las Luces

February 23 // Innovative Leisure

 

 

 

From the happy sunny day in the town to a night alone in your room. Maybe you’ll go out later, just to rush restless in the streets. Mint Field will be your soundtrack.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Charlotte Day Wilson – Stone Woman

February 23 // Unsigned

 

 

 

We kinda have a soft spot for ambient pop/r’n’b/soul, and Charlotte Day Wilson‘s beautiful release, Stone Woman, is so incredibly captivating.

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It

March 2 // Holy Roar Records

 

 

 

Who saw that coming? Well, everyone who followed the band, experiencing how they were getting better and better. This is a masterpiece, and everyone should listen to it.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Them Moose Rush – Don’t Pick Your Noise

March 9 // TMR Records

 

 

 

One of the best prog rock records you’ll hear this year; No need for big names. This bursts of creativity, joy, and excitement. Really fantastic.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Henry Green – Shift

March 30 // Akira Records

 

 

 

Contains some of the best songs I’ve heard all year. Fragile, yet powerful and dense. Catchy, clever, and with so much warmth and light you could fill a stadium – or just make you smile.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Mile Marker Zero – The Fifth Row

March 2 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Another critically overlooked prog rock effort. While others were busy with praising some okay-ish high profile prog records, we focused on MMZ for a reason.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name

March 16 // Metal Blade Records

 

 

 

Highly praised by the metal world, and this time we participate. Basically the epitome of what’s good about modern metal. Extraordinary songwriting and packed with creativity.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Scraps Of Tape – The Will To Burn

March 2 // Denovali

 

 

 

Noisey, post rock-ish indie, with a dark vibe and a pumping flow. No idea why nobody talked about this album. Some post punk reminiscence round the album to greatness.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Greyhaven – Empty Black

March 16 // Equal Vision Records

 

 

 

Can’t get those songs out of my head. Mix today’s Norma Jean Every Time I Die with some extra catchiness and you’ve got Greyhaven!

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

In Tall Buildings – Akinetic

March 2 // Western Vinyl

 

 

 

Delightful tunes with a powerful sound. Akinetic is indie pop, aware of the past but nurtured from the present. And just some great songs too.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Haley Heynderickx – I Need To Start A Garden

March 2 // Mama Bird Recording Co.

 

 

 

We’ve seen some amazing indie folk records so far in 2018, and I Need To Start A Garden is one of the finest. It really delivers a huge amount of intimacy and inspirations to those who want to listen.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Coast – Coast

March 20 // Art As Catharsis

 

 

 

One of the most energetic jazz albums I’ve heard all year. Leaning more towards modern jazz, the Australian band Coast shows the journey of a vibrant and vivid genre.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW

 

 

 

Altars Of Grief – Iris

March 21 // Hypnotic Dirge Records

 

 

 

In a year of fantastic doom (again), Altars Of Grief still manage to shine through with comprehensive darkness. Heavy, crushing, and epic.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Prune Deer – Chemistry

March 10 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Asian math rock is the shit, we all know that at this point. Still, Prune Deer are something special with their subtle, delicate melodies and asian folk influences!

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – Dirt

March 23 // Paper Bag Records

 

 

 

Eccentric, excessive, and energetic. A Canadian powerhouse, with a very distinctive artistic richness. Drawing from a wide variety of influences, Dirt is definitely one of a kind!

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Therapy Phase 01

March 23 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Finally rid of his label deal, songwriter Tim Bettinson has reached new heights with his material. A soundtrack of solitude, closure, and hope.

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

March 23 // Impulse!

 

 

If you’re slightly interested in jazz, it’s your duty to check out this record. Mastermind Shabaka Hutchings uses his creative outlet as a voice of reason, art, and relevance.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Kawri’s Whisper – Belle Epoque

March 20 // Abandoned Zone

 

 

 

The year has been packed with fantastic math rock records, and the compelling and fresh nature of the genre is showcased in a fascinating way with this Russian band.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Prag 83 – Fragments Of Silence

March 9 // Nordvis

 

 

 

Frenetically prasied within our team, Fragments Of Silence is a real gem of dark ambient, folk, and prog. Incredibly dense and compelling.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Distances – Diableries

March 23 // Unsigned

 

 

 

While waiting for a new Amia Venera Landscape record, this was a very welcomed substitute, while being completely unique. Another of of those overlooked jewels.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology

March 2 // Willowtip Records

 

 

 

Progressive death metal about slugs may come off as a gimmicky joke, but those guys deliver some of most meaty and compelling riffs you’ll hear all year!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

PinioL – Bran Coucou

April 27 // Dur Et Doux

 

 

 

France was always a great place for prog music, and they prove that again in 2018. PinioL is the most forward-thinking, creatively brimming band every prog fan should love.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Messa – Feast For Water

April 6 // Aural Music

 

 

 

Sure, you could try to resist the hypnotic atmosphere this Italian band surrounds their music with, but why? Close your eyes and enjoy the deep and mysterious vibe of Messa.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Heads. – Collider

April 6 // This Charming Man Records

 

 

 

Noisy, grungy, and doomy indie/art rock power trio and a fantastic album. With amazing songs, great lyrics, and a distinctive sound under their belt, you should keep an eye out!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Scientist – Barbelith

April 13 // Sludgelord Records

 

 

 

Take all your spotlights and put them right on this band! Scientist released one of the most intriguing metal records of the year, and be sure you don’t miss them!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Rafiq Bhatia – Breaking English

April 6 // ANTI-Records

 

 

 

I already praised Son Lux earlier in this feature, and now this album shows why you should always keep an eye out for the band members. Freaking good neo soul/fusion record!

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Say Sue Me – Where We Were Together

April 6 // Damnably

 

 

 

Incredibly warm and smooth dream pop/indie from South Korea. Perfect for hot summer days, chillaxed and a bit trippy. The surf rock influences are suprisingly refreshing!

BANDCAMP  // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Tom Misch – Geography

April 6 // Beyond The Groove

 

 

 

I first got into Tom Misch because of his work with Jordan Rakei, and fell in love with his neo soul/disco pop vibes. After some great tapes and features, it’s great to experience his debut!

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Saba – Care For Me

April 5 // Saba Pivot

 

 

 

A great example for multilayered storytelling in hip hop. Saba tells you about grief, lost hope, and pain, with dark beats, crispy production, and even sharper the lyrical relevance.

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer

April 27 // Wondaland Art Society/Bad Boy Records

 

 

 

Probably one of the most important records of the year. A great record from a great person, and an emulsion what’s good about modern pop music.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Royal Coda – Royal Coda

April 27 // Blue Swan Records

 

 

 

Never expected this to be that good. A step away from your typical swancore formula in favor of distinctive songwriting and great melodies.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

Mild Orange – Foreplay

April 22 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Soulful and languorous indie rock, with sugary melodies and super smooth vocals. After listening to the first minute of ‘Some Feeling’, I knew that it’s going to be something special!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy

May 18 // Season Of Mist

 

 

 

A bit strange. Our writer Jud gave the album a less favorable review, while other in out team loved it and praised it as one of the best metal albums of the year.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Abraham – Look, Here Comes The Dark!

May 11 // Pelagic Records

 

 

 

This isn’t on your AOTY list? What’s wrong with you? An incredibly rich and compelling experience. It might be long, but it’s worth every second.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Leon Bridges – Good Thing

May 4 // Columbia Records

 

 

 

The perfect feel-good album; vibrant, vivid and with a lot of soul. Leon Bridges delivers a great authenticity and energy with this amazing record.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Old Man Wizard – Blame It All On Sorcery

May 11 // Old Man Wizard

 

 

 

Led Zeppelin meets stoner/doom meets prog meets….black metal? An exciting record from start to finish. Fresh, powerful, and intense.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope

May 25 // Translation Loss Recorsds/Holy Roar Records

 

 

 

Hardcore is dead? No fucking way. With bands like the UK-based Svalbard, hardcore is alive, relevant, and still exciting. Fantastic energy!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Mouse On The Keys – tres

May 23 // Topshelf Records

 

 

 

Their best album to date. Still full of math rock and jazz, but they also made room for catchy hooks, vocal features, and post rocky moments. Brilliant.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Beach House – 7

May 11 // Subpop/Bella Union

 

 

 

The critics are praising them, and for good reason. This sensitive and tingling masterpiece should be on your list, even if you’ve never heard of them.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Natalie Evans – Better At Night

May 25 // Small Pond

 

 

 

Highly anticipated, and yet this album managed to overcome all expectations. Natalie Evans math-rocky indie folk warms your soul with phenomenal sweetness.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

TWRP – Together Through Time

May 18 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Together Through Time is the perfect title. This is more than a seat on the synthwave hypetrain. Disco and funk are prominent here, and it’s hard not to groove with the flow!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Ben Howard – Noonday Dream

June 1 // Island Records

 

 

 

With the possiblity to make just a poppy folk record, Ben Howard decided otherwise and flabbergasted us with a introspective, intimate, and experimental album.

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Mountaineer – Passages

June 29 // Lifeforce Records

 

 

 

This album mesmerized our team, and we are still in awe facing it’s greatness. Epicness matched with beautiful melodies and complex soundscapes.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit

June 8 // Radicalis/MVKA/Rough Trade

 

 

 

The first album was great, but their was the doubt of just being a gimmick. The ambitious project hushed all the septics with an intense, creative, and powerful album. Chapeau!

REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Yob – Our Raw Heart

June 8 // Relapse Records

 

 

 

Not a surprise at all. An inspiring backstory, and a phenomenal album. Yob proved long ago that they are one of the major players of the new doom wave, and with this they’ve reached new heights.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Night Verses – From The Gallery Of Sleep

June 29 // Equal Vision Records

 

 

 

I was always a fan of this band, but I’ve never expected them to become this great. This is easily the best instrumental prog albums in years, and it will be the quality standard for years to come.

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Isla Craig – The Becoming

June 22 // Unsigned

 

 

 

Don’t overlook this gem. There is a certain Kate Bush vibe within this record, while being extraordinarily distinctive. Absolutely magnificent.

BANDCAMP // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Khemmis  – Desolation

June 22 // Nuclear Blast/20 Buck Spin

 

 

 

I was sceptical at first, but this album finally won me over. Heavy/doom metal par excellence. Great fucking band, getting better and better!

BANDCAMP // REVIEW // YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions

Hamferð – Támsins likam
Cyclamen – Amida
Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded By Richard Russell
Harakiri For The Sky – Arson
Eryn Non Dae. – Abandon Of The Self
Poly-Math – House of Wisdom | We Are The Devil
LLNN – Deads
Portico Quartet – Untitled (AITAOA #2)

Great year so far, but I’m exhausted. Thanks for scrolling

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