It’s this time a year again! December is closing in which also means that 2019 is just around the corner. This also means that I’m back with another top-list.
This time I’ve expanded the list with 5 spots, but it’s not the only news. I have now officially switched to Spotify as my main music streaming service. This means that it will be much easier to follow my playlists in the future (and you should do that if you want to keep up with the best music releases). I will leave some links to different playlists, so feel free to follow me there.
And now… I present the music year of 2018 in a compressed 25 songs-list:
25. Valee – Womp Womp (feat. Jeremih)
This song is guaranteed to make your shoulders move – in fact, it’s something that happens subconsciously at this point, so you won’t even notice it. Both Valee and Jeremih are on point with their flows, so just sit back and let this banger take over your body.
24. ROSALÍA – PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ – Cap.3: Celos
ROSALÍA came out with an album and somehow I heard of it. I’m really glad I did because it’s one of this years best. This song is the perfect representation of why it’s so good and you don’t even have to know Spanish to enjoy it.
23. Flatbush Zombies – Headstone
The ultimate hiphop song in 2018! If you catch all the references, you are officially, not only a part of the culture, but probably THE CULTURE ITSELF. The way they all smoothly incorporate all the references without making it corny deserves an award – well done!
22. Mitski – Nobody
Hey Mitski, I sincerely hope you found your honest kiss this year – and if it didn’t happen, I will gladly help you find it in 2019. Because NOBODY and I mean NOBODY should have NOBODY around. A simple song that goes deep into loneliness is very hard to pull off, but Mitski does it to perfection.
21. Ryan Hemsworth – Special Girl (feat. SK & Tomggg)
This song has grown so much on me and I’m not sure why. I was actually starting to get annoyed by all the afro-beat and Caribbean-vibe songs, but this has something special to it (probably because Ryan Hemsworth can’t do wrong with his producing). This is the first song I’m putting on when summer comes again – HELLO SUN, HELLO DRINKS, HELLO SPECIAL GIRL!
20. JMSN – Mind Playin’ Tricks
JMSN keeps evolving his sound with innovate new elements that he adds to his core sound and he just keeps getting better. Why he isn’t more popular is an enigma to me – but everything good doesn’t have to be popular, I guess? I’m really just glad he keeps delivering good music though.
19. Travis Scott – HOUSTONFORNICATION
Astroworld was one of the biggest releases this year and I must say Travis Scott delivered! So many good songs on that project, but ultimately I think HOUSTONFORNICATION is Travis Scott at his best. The rapping slowly increases in intensity as the song goes along and he just keeps going in. I guess he isn’t kidding when he says “I might need me some ventilation” in the chorus cause this is straight fire.
18. Anderson .Paak – Trippy (feat. J. Cole)
Everyone wants love. I just want Anderson .Paak to make a 15 minute version of this song where he keeps going in with that smooth talk. Even though this isn’t my favorite J. Cole feature this year (how can one man have so many good features in a year?), the song has some of the best production I’ve heard in a while and made it one of those songs that you enjoy having on repeat.
17. Chrome Sparks – All or Nothing (feat. Angelica Bess)
When I first heard this song, I instantly liked. But that was it. I liked it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t expect to love it. But when it got to 3:20, I knew this was something special. The melody with the horn in the background elevated the whole song and I couldn’t help myself listen to it again straight away, now being this much wiser about what this song is going to become.
16. Tash Sultana – Pink Moon
Tash came in on this song. The raw emotion in her voice coupled with the guitar makes it impossible not to sit back and take it all in. The guitar solo that comes in the end finishes off the song in the perfect way – add a little more power to this slower song and you got yourself one of the best songs of 2018.
15. Ravyn Lenae – Computer Luv (feat. Steve Lacy)
I’m a sucker for duets – especially when they are weird and quirky which this one definitely is. The song title describes perfectly what the song feels like while you are listening to it the first couple of time – is it real love for the song or is it just Computer Luv? For me the answer became obvious with time and there is a reason why it’s included in this list.
14. George The Poet – Follow the Leader (feat. Maverick Sabre & Jorja Smith)
This song sounds like it’s three parts put together – the beat, the verses and the chorus. Even though it doesn’t sound smoothly put together, there is still something that makes me want to come back and listen to the song. Many times. On max volume. Singing my lungs out. All while I’m enjoying the message of the song. That’s a good recipe for a great song.
13. Mick Jenkins – Understood
I’m having a hard time understanding why Mick Jenkins isn’t considered one of the best rappers alive. The writing, the wordplay, the flow – everything’s there to create the perfect song you can vibe to. Give this man his credits!
12. Lupe Fiasco – Stack That Cheese (feat. Nikki Jean)
Go get that cheese, and not cheese like the mouse cheese or that getting embarrassed saying stuff at the house cheese, rather that cheese as in the green cheese, hopefully not that never-to-be-seen cheese. Okay – if you got that reference, you’ve probably already heard this song and Lupe’s new album. If not then you don’t prioritize right in life – it’s as simple as that!
And from here on, we enter the realms of the top ten! It will be a dangerous journey so invite your friends to join you by sharing the post and read it out loud with each other or something(?)
10. KIDS SEE GHOSTS – Cudi Montage
Ghosts are only visible to children according to Kid Cudi and Kanye West. This is quite the statement, but despite the name which sounds like a 2000’s alternative rock group that you only ever saw play at your local bar (I’m kidding, I like the name), this song has everything to offer. Cudi and Kanye give you their best performances in a while, and Kanye’s verse is the best he has delivered in a while. If you want to read an even further description of why I love this song check it out here.
9. Etherwood – You’re Missing Life
It’s been a while since I listened to Drum ‘n’ Bass on the regular. When I saw Etherwood released a new album, I had to check it out though – and there it was; I instantly fell in love with this song. It just touches on something basic in me. I know it sounds cheesy (all about stacking that cheese though), but don’t ever miss out on life – something I feel like Etherwood perfectly captured in this song. Obviously, the title helped me reach that conclusion, but there is something magical this song has going for itself. Something that keeps me listening and reflecting about my life – something deeper. I like that.
8. SAINt JHN – God Bless the Internet
I have been following SAINt JHN for at while now and was really excited about the release of his album Collection One. It didn’t disappoint – in fact, it became one of my favorite releases with a lot of good as well as different songs on it. His sense of melody is close to that of Drake’s (I know, that’s quite the statement) and his cadence just makes his voice stand out compared to a lot of similar artists. The song is the perfect night vibe song – sit back, relax and most importantly, enjoy!
7. Jenny Wilson – IT HURTS
Jenny Wilson is an artist from Sweden that made my favorite alternative pop song this year. The thematic approach in the song (and album) isn’t the typical pop stuff though. She deals with her experience of being raped. It’s crazy to go through the experience with her when you know what happened and I applaud her courage of doing it in a way where she shares the whole experience with the world – not a pleasant listen, but an important one!
6. Mac Miller – 2009
To be honest, I can’t add a lot to the conversation about the death of Mac Miller. I already made a post on this song here. Now – more than 3 months after the fact I still feel sad thinking about it. So young, so much more to give. This song is on it’s way to become my favorite song of his with so many lines that stands out as something I can truly resonate with. May he forever rest in peace.
5. Leon Bridges – Shy
If you need something to touch your soul, you listen to Leon Bridges. It’s that simple. This man has all of the gifts when it comes to that – and Shy is a no exception to that. The chorus is my favorite this year and I can’t help but sing along whenever I listen to it. The song is just so damn enjoyable that I have really been listening to it a lot which is the reason it sneaks in my top five this year.
4. DROELOE – Many Words
This is a song that really surprised me (DROELOE again – looking at you TOP 2017 list). The melody and voices during the ‘chorus’ is definitely the best part of the song and it never fails to put a huge smile on my face every time I hear it. The song kicks up a notch towards the end as well and it just makes a great song that 100 % will get stuck in your mind for the longest time. I find myself humming it even when I haven’t listened to it in a while, only because the melody is something that’s a part of the fundamental human experience (maybe that’s a small exaggeration, but it’s definitely feels like it).
3. Saba – BUSY / SIRENS
This is a song that does everything an introspective song should do. After listening to it, I can feel Saba’s struggles within myself – because a part of me can relate to having a ‘busy’ day. I think every person has days where they feel off and don’t feel like interacting with the world. This can be triggered by certain people or big life events, but what if you get this every day and it doesn’t get triggered by anything cause it’s just always there? Depression is a tough thing to describe to others that hasn’t experienced it first hand, but I think Saba gets his point across fairly well. His life and the context in which he experiences all this stuff is something far away from my reality, but there’s a touching point still. We are capable of feeling the same – and this song gave me chills the first time I listened to it. Damn Saba, what a story!
2. Sabrina Claudio – Messages From Her
I don’t even know what to say about this song. Perhaps I should start by saying that it’s the most beautiful song of 2018 without a doubt. Sabrina touches upon the (in my opinion) most important thing in the world – listening to the core of yourself. If you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing, or you feel like you have let yourself down, find that inner voice. It will always guide you in the right direction – if you just take the time to listen. The message along with what can only be described as an angelic voice as well as the guitar that lays the fundamental for it all, this song is something very special. And you don’t have to listen to the song for more than the first 20 seconds to know that – this will automatically become one of your favorite songs as well.
1. 6lack – Pretty Little Fears (feat. J. Cole)
My favorite song of the year couldn’t have been anything other than this godly combo of 6lack and J. Cole. The minimalist beat fits both of their styles really well and 6lack’s song-writing is well-thought out and his voice gives it the edge it needs. WITH THAT BEING SAID THOUGH, the actual reason why this song tops the list is J. Cole’s verse. What a verse. Wow. I’m stunned every time I hear it. The flow is anything I’ve heard from Cole before and the song-writing takes it to another level. A beautiful message to this one person that’s his wife, his lover as well as his best friends all at the same time – A life partner. How can he even do that? I would have payed a lot of money to have been there whenever he wrote that verse:
“Before I had you this shit was fantasy
You plant a seed to grow some roots, a branch and leaves
Becomes a tree of life until our nights are filled”
The way he delivers these lines is exactly why this song had to be my number 1 this year. So if you haven’t listened to the song yet, I honestly don’t know what you are waiting for. CHECK IT OUT NOW!
And this concludes it – my top 25 list of 2018.
As always, I feel like this year has been exceptional when it comes to music (despite some tragic deaths – RIP) and we should be thankful to be in a position where it’s this easy to listen to all this great music.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have switched to Spotify which makes it a lot easier for you to follow when I add new music (if you have Spotify of course). I encourage you to follow me as I will add music to my playlists far more often than I post here. I have made the top 25 list as a playlist on Spotify – so you can easily click that play button!
If you want the compact nominees list as well as the full 2018 list, I will add the Spotify links to those AND most importantly the new, upcoming 2019 playlist:
I wish everyone a great holiday as well as the best in the new year!