Tag Archives: Starchild & The New Romantic

The Best Albums of 2018: #80 – 61

best of 2018 80-61Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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The Best Albums of Winter 2018

quarterly report

The first three months of the year have already given us an abundance of great records—arguably more than one roundup can possibly include. The 25 albums on this list contain a whole universe of sounds, from pummelling drone to rollicking indie rock, from thought-provoking hip-hop to Spanish synthwave. These are the Best Albums of Winter 2018.

Read last year’s edition of “Best Albums of the Winter”

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Exploring Ghostly International’s Avant-Pop


As they roll closer to two full decades of releasing music, Ghostly International’s momentum and consistency remain something extraordinary. Though the label has expanded massively since it was founded by Sam Valenti IV in 1999, in some ways, very little has changed. Valenti began the label with Matthew Dear after the pair met at a party, shortly after Valenti had moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan. It was initially conceived as a small open-ended project; there was no huge mission statement, just a platform to sell music alongside clothing and a magazine—they’ve since expanded into art prints and rather nice stationery. The label consciously evaded genre, with “avant-pop” the closest Valenti will come to an umbrella term. But from the beginning, there were elements that would recur again and again throughout the catalog: hip-hop rooted in Detroit’s own abstract-meets-street sounds epitomized by J Dilla; timeless electro/techno/disco for the dancefloor; and an indie rock sense of introspection and songcraft. Continue reading