Gangin plays like a cartoon fight cloud set to music: At any given moment, you can snap your fingers or a neck. Sleep are still dedicated freaks and effortless doom metal masters who use their skill to write praise songs to the sweet leaf. Pusha-T’s long-awaited third solo album also happens to be the most accomplished release of Kanye West’s high-concept 2018 albums series produced in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Lists & Guides. The production straddles genre lines as well, with producer and multi-instrumentalist Phoelix providing sonic backdrops replete with live instrumentation that are part jazz, part neo-soul, and all grounded in hip-hop. All albums awarded with Pitchfork: Best New Music to download and stream in high quality. At her most low-voiced and vulnerable on “Total,” CupcakKe starts examining mediocre relationships via their opportunity cost. –Jazz Monroe, Chan Marshall pulled off one of the year’s great conjuring tricks on Wanderer, her first album in six years. Victoria Legrand’s wispy-but-menacing vocals express some vague melancholy, but they’re filled with hope, too—nobody knows, after all, what might happen next, and in those dusky moments, anything is still possible. The 10 Best Albums of 2018 video In 2018, it felt hard to reach consensus on anything—including song. Negro Swan is indulgent in the best way, like a loner showing you around their obsessively decorated bedroom: It has glimmers of angsty Prince, petty Marvin Gaye, desolate psychedelia, bluesy mysticism. It’s not so much a question anymore whether you like Cardi or not: it’s which Cardi you like most. That sense of range also transfers to her exploration of genre, as she expertly flips between boogaloo-inspired Latin trap, Southern hip-hop twerk anthems, tender R&B jams, and neck-snapping freestyles. Camp Cope singer-guitarist Georgia Maq’s voice is a beacon of resilience. If her 2016 mixtape Telefone was the introduction to Noname’s talent, Room 25 is the proof that she’s arrived. Eartheater. The Best Experimental Albums of 2018 Pitchfork Preview Editors’ Notes Including records by Jenny Hval, Amnesia Scanner, Kelly Moran, and more. The sharp, steely drum pads—which cut through “Soundboy Ext.” and “Dial 274” like wires passing through clay—are rough enough to keep you dancing in some cement basement all night, but Compro could also soundtrack an evening spent on an abandoned train platform, staring up at the sky. Sleep started when its members were teenagers; back then, their now-legendary guitarist Matt Pike had white dreads that flopped around as his guitar solos ascended to heaven. Aggressively layered synthesizers and guitars build a wall of sound that’s both forceful and enveloping. Within the 35 minutes of her second record as Noname, she gives us the full range of who she has become: a confident rapper, a passionate lover, a survivor of heartbreak, and a reluctant public figure. Pitchfork. I literally recognize just 2 names: Beach House and Arctic Monkeys. What is it about the soaring quality of Grande’s voice that sounds so much like eyes-closed, fists-clenched freedom? All of Muldrow’s powers as singer, songwriter, and producer are on display here. –Philip Sherburne, Listen: Adrianne Lenker, “What Can You Say”, As two of R&B’s most generous collaborators, Ty Dolla $ign and Jeremih are so consistently the best part of any song they’re featured on that a shared project from the two was bound to be an exercise in decadence. © 2018 Condé Nast. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21). What was your favorite album this year? After breaking out last year with “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B had a lot to live up to. How does a person keep on, knowing that the present path could very well end in ruin? In 2018, it felt hard to reach consensus on anything—including music. A list of Pitchfork's best music of 2018. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. On her third album, Ephorize, her prickles have sharpened and her introspection has gotten more vivid: It’s like watching a flowering cactus grow tall and bloom. What’s This Playlist All About? On Devotion, Tirzah’s debut full-length and latest team-up with Levi, she again pursues a sparse, sketch-like approach that is beautifully made, though not for the dancefloor. The evolution of Noname’s skills matches the evolution of her music itself. Rarely has music this well constructed sounded so utterly effortless, as if blown along by the wind rather than stitched together in the studio. Kelsey Lu at Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2018 (Kimberley Ross) Kelsey Lu and ... Find out where Heaven to a Tortured Mind landed on Pitchfork’s “The 50 Best Albums of 2020. Here are the best albums of the year. Verses are packed toe-to-toe, the ideas firing too quickly to pause. Within each song—and the album as a whole—Hopkins paints enormous sonic cliffs and valleys worthy of the psychedelic California desert adventures that inspired the record. All rights reserved. But even as his songs adopt the ebullient rhythms of ’80s Paul Simon and liberally quote Phil Collins hits, McMahon is still chasing transcendence through hypnotic, shape-shifting arrangements and wandering melodies that gradually become unglued from their established structures. Blood Orange’s Negro Swan opens the door to a more appealing universe—somewhere without requirement to shrink yourself in order “to quote-unquote belong,” as the transgender writer/activist Janet Mock puts it in an interlude here. If Sweetener was not quite enough to lift all of pop in 2018, it was—for those of us who seek our own salvation within the genre—a much-needed sugar rush. Ad Choices. 0:47 "It's outrageous. Their extended odes boast very sick solos and repetitious bass that burrows deep into your skull. CN Entertainment. She makes Afrofuturism resound right here, in the present moment. Flows are passed along and riffed. Tirzah’s debut EP, 2013’s I’m Not Dancing, turns out to have been prophetically titled. SOB X RBE formed in Vallejo, California, around shared commitments to Call of Duty, basketball, and rap—and on their debut album, Gangin, you can feel both the looseness of those links and their intensity. The beats are smooth but fleet, complementing and contrasting the group's harried delivery. –Michelle Kim, Graduating from the glossy, cyborg music crafted with her PC Music collaborators to a dynamic world of lurching machinery, heavily distorted pop, and uncanny beauty, SOPHIE came into her own on her auspicious debut album. Including records by YOB, Deafheaven, Skeletonwitch, and more. We have time to treat each other well, Ephorize tells us, and still make it to all our dick appointments. How to Socialise & Make Friends spins a bracing narrative of feminist solidarity and self-sufficiency in the face of toxic men, and it offers empathy in response to the havoc they wreak. –Evan Rytlewski, Listen: Ty Dolla $ign / Jeremih, “Ride It”. A sea change was underway, the borders eroded—and music… Collaborating with her longtime friend Mica Levi—the visionary, Oscar-nominated film score composer and Micachu and the Shapes mastermind—the London singer-songwriter offered a rough-hewn take on dance-pop that the pair would sharpen on 2014’s No Romance EP. It began as a blog that developed during Schreiber's teenage years working at a record store. 403 votes, 242 comments. If not, go listen to their first two albums now :p The tastemaking site compiles its annual collection of bests, prefaced with this rather orotund description: “More than ever, music felt like a playing field where new, exciting artists were sharing the discussion with the veterans, if not taking it over outright. The album is bookended by death: Its specter ripples through both the opening and closing songs, though the softness of Lenker’s voice belies the starkness and even severity of her imagery—an earthy menagerie shot through with wild animals, forests, and other kaleidoscopic fragments of the sublime. 25. A daily roundup of the most important stories in music. The most exciting and important new albums being released today Get Hot Links. They continually introduce sly, contemporary twists on these classic sounds, especially lead architect Hitmaka, whose plush, pillowy inversions of trap provide the singers a backdrop every bit as sumptuous as their voices. This double album is a conceptual trip through outer and inner space, stacked with an ace ensemble cast of players. As Skee Mask, Munich producer Bryan Müller uses his mix of analog and digital equipment to conjure a boggy landscape out of which all kinds of sumptuous notes emerge. For years, Georgia Anne Muldrow was underground R&B’s greatest utility player. At least Earl and Low are in the top 10. behOemoth. Entropy is enabling until it isn’t. It is a triumph of quiet introspection and musical restraint, a spellbinding record that works its magic by sleight of hand. Parquet Courts continue to get straight robbed after putting out their best album yet. –Noah Yoo. –Jason King. Across Daytona’s lean 21 minutes, Pusha’s elocution-deliberate, quasi-malevolent midtempo flow jumps out of the speakers, offering up snarling lyrics about street life and clapbacks to Lil Wayne, Birdman, Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, and his nemesis, Drake. –Stephen Kearse. Room 25 is the soundtrack to Fatimah Warner coming into her own—not just as an artist, but as an adult and self-actualized black woman. Beach House have characterized the vibe of 7, the band’s seventh record, as “pre-apocalyptic,” which also feels like a fitting way to describe the various devastations and dark omens of 2018. Playboi Carti has released his long-awaited new album Whole Lotta Red. More than ever, music felt like a playing field where new, exciting artists were sharing the discussion with the veterans, if not taking it over outright. First published on Tue 4 Dec 2018 01.00 EST. The full complexity of her Cardi-ness is on display here. The understated textures on songs like “Nothing Really Matters” and the Rihanna cover “Stay” feel like a whisper in the ear or a nap under a tree, deliciously simple pleasures that linger. Maq’s biting delivery here carries throughout all of How to Socialise: She turns single syllables into triumphs. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. 3:22 PREVIEW Peripheral. Check out Pitchfork’s “The 50 Best Albums of 2018,” featuring Die Lit at No. If you like Punk you should at the very least be acquainted with Iceage. Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and Apple Music playlist. Between a terrorist bombing and breakups, here is a woman who has had a trying and, at times, terrifying few years; she puts it all in her music. Lul G, Yhung T.O., DaBoii, and Slimmy B make ruffian rap that bruises and bounces in equal measure; their record is a marvel of perpetual motion and brotherhood. Tracks like “Emerald Rush” and “Everything Connected” are designed to translate in peak hours at the club and in meditative headphone sessions alike; songs like “Echo Dissolve” and “Recovery” display Hopkins’ penchant for raw piano, blending his performances with field recordings and digital noise. Member. The Sciences, the band’s first album in more than a decade, dropped by surprise on the international marijuana holiday, April 20, and while that’s cute and all, it’s a good listen all year round. Mitski photo by Savanna Ruedy, Earl Sweatshirt photo by Steven Taylor, Snail Mail photo by Sisilia Piring, Playboi Carti photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images, Ariana Grande photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Robyn photo by Heji Shin, SOPHIE photo by Charlotte Wales, Matty Healy photo by Magdalena Wosinska, CupcakKe photo by J. Kempin/Getty Images, Rosalía photo by Berta Pfirsich. –Jenn Pelly, As Juuling has taken over high schools around the country, it’s only appropriate that some lifelong stoners in their 40s would come back to remind us that the only acceptable way to inhale vapor is through a bong. Pitchfork 50 Best Albums of 2018. — SAM SMITH. “Post Pic” praises the timesaving joys of a sexting-only arrangement, with fun, gear-shifting swerves. Rap dominated the charts, and young guns like Troye Sivan, Billie Eilish, and Normani didn’t cross the “household name” threshold; many of the heavyweights, the Katys and Rihannas and Biebers, didn’t do much. All rights reserved. ... Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime ... (2018), the iconic compilation album from Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label which united the big names on the contemporary scene. 1 Christine and the Queens – Chris. I only have three of those: Kamasi Washington, Jon Hopkins, and A.A.L (Against All Logic). Music reviews, ratings, news and more. It proves to be an unsubtle advertisement for the music contained within, as the Brooklyn singer-songwriter emerges from the psych-folk sprawl of 2014’s Love with a newfound clarity and concision; where he once let his voice drone and decay into the haze, McMahon delivers Freedom’s meditations on survival and faith with a confession-booth candor. Dev Hynes’ inquiry into black depression exhumes his trauma and insecurities, school bullying encounters, and early thoughts of death, delivering diary entries in a yearning tone sometimes reminiscent of Elliott Smith—too tired to shout, too exhausted to keep quiet. The quiet miracle of friendship is that it is almost always accidental. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. –Andy Beta, Pity the jazz artist whose work garners major acclaim across genre lines—usually, whether they asked for it or not, a responsibility for the entire art form will be hefted onto his or her shoulders. A hundred years of the African-American pop vernacular are, too: Astral jazz wafts through pop confections, boom-bap turns into soul-quaking confessionals, and Muldrow daydreams Stevie Wonder doing a second-line strut. Freedom presents no less profound a spiritual journey than McMahon’s previous work; he’s just guiding us down a better lit, more smoothly paved path into the unknown. Pitchfork.tv is dedicated to documenting independent music as it happens. She relishes in piercing hypocrisies, often to establish her standards. It’s some of the most astonishing and alive electronic music of the year; it thrashes, it seethes, it wails, it breathes. To write praise songs to the sweet leaf of friendship is that it is a offering! Tender, melancholy encouragement to take up space in the trash, call your dealer, producer! Singer-Guitarist Georgia Maq ’ s forward-looking producers ensure this isn ’ t just meet expectations: she turns syllables... Guitars build a wall of sound that ’ s powers as singer, songwriter, and A.A.L ( all... Person keep on, knowing that the present path could very well end in ruin pitchfork best albums 2018 strength in.... Technician, a hushed but intense affair for acoustic guitar and voice their best album.! 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