The Top 101 Songs of 2018

10 Jan

101. Death Cab for Cutie, “60 & Punk”

100. Lily Allen, “Three”

99. Jon Bellion, “Conversations with my Wife”

98. Laura Marling & Mike Lindsay (LUMP), “Curse of the Contemporary”

97. Courtney Barnett, “Charity”

96. Noname feat. Smino & Saba, “Ace”

95. Lake Street Dive, “Good Kisser”

94. Waxahatchee, “Takes So Much”

93. Let’s Eat Grandma, “It’s Not Just Me”

92. Christine and the Queens, “Doesn’t Matter”

91. Half Waif, “Lavender Burning”

90. Wye Oak, “It Was Not Natural”

89. Cat Power feat. Lana del Rey, “Woman”

88. Mimicking Birds, “Belongings”

87. Amen Dunes, “Believe”

86. Skee Mask, “Flyby Vfr”

85. Phantastic Ferniture, “Gap Year”

84. Gorillaz, “Lake Zurich”

83. Childish Gambino, “This Is America”

82. Pusha T, “If You Know You Know”

81. Caroline Rose, “Jeannie Becomes A Mom”

80. Vince Staples, “Outside!”

79. Lykke Li, “so sad so sexy”

78. Soccer Mommy, “Your Dog”

77. Thom Yorke, “Suspirium”

76. serpentwithfeet, “cherubim”

75. Adrianne Lenker, “cradle”

74. Belle & Sebastian, “I’ll Be Your Pilot”

73. Jeff Rosenstock, “9/10”

72. CHVRCHES, “Graffiti”

71. Foxing, “Grand Paradise”

70. Say Sue Me, “Let It Begin”

69. Jean Grae & Quelle Chris, “Gold Purple Orange”

68. Low, “Disarray”

67. Robyn, “Missing U”

66. The 1975, “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”

65. Anna von Hausswolff, “The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra”

64. Jorja Smith, “Goodbyes”

63. Sons of Kemet, “My Queen is Harriet Tubman”

62. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Party For One”

61. Kanye West feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR, “Ghost Town”

60. Leon Bridges, “Beyond”

59. Death Grips, “Streaky”

58. Parquet Courts, “Wide Awake”

57. Superorganism, “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”

56. Earl Sweatshirt, “Riot!”

55. Snail Mail, “Stick”


53. Neko Case feat. Eric Bachmann, “Sleep All Summer”

52. Hatchie, “Sure”

51. Pinegrove, “Rings”

50. George Ezra, “Hold My Girl”

49. Miya Folick, “Stock Image”

48. Against All Logic, “Now U Got Me Hooked”


46. MorMor, “Waiting on the Warmth”

45. Manchester Orchestra feat. Julien Baker, “Bad Things To Such Good People”

44. Young Fathers, “In My View”

43. Blood Orange, “Charcoal Baby”

42. Ariana Grande, “no tears left to cry”

41. Big Red Machine, “I Won’t Run From It”

40. The Voidz, “ALieNNatioN”

39. JPEGMAFIA, “Baby I’m Bleeding”

38. Sidney Gish, “Persephone”

37. Hop Along, “Somewhere a Judge”

36. Haley Heynderickx, “Oom Sha La La”

35. Jon Hopkins, “First Feel Life”

34. Mitski, “Lonesome Love”

33. Kali Uchis feat. Steve Lacy, “Just A Stranger”

32. Troye Sivan, “Plum”

31. Liza Anne, “Paranoia”

30. Camila Cabello, “Never Be the Same”

29. Khruangbin, “Evan Finds the Third Room”

28. Justin Hurwitz, “The Landing”

27. Empress Of, “When I’m With Him”

26. Kamasi Washington, “Fists of Fury”

25. Tracyanne & Danny, “Jacqueline”

24. U.S. Girls, “MAH”

23. Natalie Prass, “Shot Court Style”

22. Julia Holter, “I Shall Love 2”

21. Anderson .Paak, “Bubblin”

20. Brandi Carlile, “Whatever You Do”: Last minute of this is among the best musical moments of the year.

19. Mid-Air Thief, “감은 듯 (Gameun Deut)”

18. Tomberlin, “I’m Not Scared”

17. Hozier feat. Mavis Staples, “Nina Cried Power”

16. Lana Del Rey, “Venice Bitch”: I was only really going to write about the Top 15 but I’m here to say that yes, Lana did release a 10 minute song that by all accounts ends 3 minutes in yet keeps going and going and ends up being goddamn epic.

15. Mount Eerie, “Now Only”: Feels like a flood of emotions in the most subdued of ways, and it’s a song about death and moving on that is every bit as impactful as anything on A Crow Looked At Me. 

14. Saba, “PROM/KING”: Quite possibly the best storytelling lyrically this year. It’s a deeply personal, heart-wrenching eulogy for his murdered cousin Walter, told through anecdotes with incredible flow and a wonderful beat change.

13. Father John Misty, “Please Don’t Die”: The emotional centerpiece of the album, layered with a sincerity and a sadness that makes this one of Tillman’s best songs.

12. SOPHIE, “Immaterial”: One could call this a “bop.” That wouldn’t even be giving it enough credit.

11. Beach House, “Drunk In LA”: A dark, captivating, and sonically massive piece of music.

10. Typhoon, “Empiricist”: Like with many of their songs, this feels orchestral by design, but it also meets perfectly in the middle with their indie rock underpinnings. The build in the middle is thrilling yet not overpowering, and the last few minutes make beautiful use of Shannon’s vocals.

9. Nicholas Britell, “Eden (Harlem)”: Nicholas Britell invented the cello.

8. Florence + The Machine, “Hunger”: One of the great pop songs in recent memory, with Welch’s rich, emotive voice accompanying a driving beat and catchy hook.

7. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”: Lady Gaga belts like no one else. A perfect balance of the low key and the anthemic, and an already iconic chorus to boot.

6. Denzel Curry feat. JPEGMAFIA & ZillaKami, “VENGEANCE | VENGEANCE”: A blistering, high octane attack of a song that holds absolutely nothing back. This and BLACK METAL TERRORIST close out the album harder than anything else this year.

5. Phoebe Bridgers, “Christmas Song”: Quite the about face from VENGEANCE, but this is a stunning track in its own right from arguably my favorite artist alive right now. The song, like “Scott Street,” makes perfect use of bells throughout, and the chorus at 3:00 is simply heavenly.

4. Lucy Dacus, “Night Shift”: Shades of Mitski and Car Seat Headrest collide into something wholly unique here. The guitar in this tears the world to pieces, and the second half of the song in particular is a wild ride that instantly catapults Lucy Dacus into the indie rock conversation.

3. Kacey Musgraves, “Rainbow”: This is a breathtakingly gorgeous song, both somber and encouraging in the best ways. Kacey’s voice and the lyrics are so genuine and refreshingly simple, and I can’t think of a better way to close the album.

2. Boygenius, “Ketchum, ID”: Even with my one track per album rule, it’s not surprising to me that boygenius is basically comprising 3 of the top 5. There’s an echo in the recording of this that only accentuates each artist’s voice, allowing them to flow together and burst through with harmonies as haunting and comforting as any other.

1. Janelle Monae, “Americans”: Sorry Childish Gambino, Janelle’s got this. This is an anthem bursting with energy, with funk and hip hop and pop exploding like color bombs as she paints a picture of America now and America as she envisions. It’s a celebration, a protest, and an adamant expression of love, and it’s the best song of 2018.

Cover of the Year: Boygenius, “Read My Mind” (The Killers)

I still think of it as 2017: Any of Jonny Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” songs

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