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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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