Three years have passed since Where the Music Meets was born. 2018 was the first of those years that we found ourselves surrounded by great long plays of artists we have been featuring the entire year. This was not an easy selection to make and we still feel some great albums were left out in this mission to choose just the 10 best. So, with that in mind, here they
10. Tuvaband – Soft Drop
We have described Tuvaband as a band that “captures our hearts on every single” with “spot-on vocals that are spot-on-emotional and deeply-sensible” and
Most shining tracks: Horses, Wolfpack, Puppetshow, Mother, Soft Drop
9. Xul Zolar – Fear Talk
One of this year discoveries Xul Zolar debut album is a very solid merge of dream pop, electronics, and melancholic melodies. With the deep vocals always sounding like something that comes out of our conscience and with bits of that sort of Morrisey tone and Bryan Ferry 80’s electronics. The tracks always manage to sound as melodic as it gets and surprisingly catchy. Xul Zolar is a melancholic magician and Fear Talk is his enchanting repertoire. Play it from start to end without interruptions and you will get why.
Most shining tracks: Two Months, Vacuum, Fear Talk, Pursuit, Cloth, Japanese Money
8. Kraków Loves Adana – Songs After the Blue
If Xul Zolar and Tuvaband build up this list concerning melancholic compositions and 80s like electronics, Kraków Loves Adana is the perfect combination of both. Probably the album we listened more times during 2018, Songs After the Blue is a melancholic masterpiece with no downsides. We know that is easy for melancholic to get us into a sad state-of-mind but that’s the thing about Krákow Loves Adana: they feel like a melancholic addiction that is never quite sad but always feels on the verge of making us immeasurably happy.
Most shining tracks: Rapture, American Boy, Heather, The Day the Internet Died
7. Equals – 1997
1997 must have been a great year. We can’t quite remember it properly but Equals seem to play to it a proper rendition. Full of soul power, vocal layers over vocal layers, jazzy elements, heavy-beautiful synths and typically gaining cadence as every song proceeds. 1997 is one of the easiest choices for album of the year because we can’t help to dance to it. And it does not take long for that to happen either. This debut album also focuses itself on inspiring lyrics and heartfelt melodies and its charged with past influences that spam from Motown to Kwabs, Chet Faker or Jungle. And if this last sentence did not make you hit the play button, we give you one last chance: now.
Most shining tracks: Triumph, Husk, Letter to Leave – What Can I Say, No Right, Ivory Coast
6. Hugo Monster – Carry On
If you feel you are not the kind of person that digs hip-hop or rap push play on Hugo Monster second album Carry On. If you feel you are the kind of person that digs hip-hop, well we sincerely hope you are already on top of this. With a crazy-contagious rap cadence, smart but not too complex lyrics but instantly inspire us and make us head-bouncing, and short but efficient songs, this is an album that if the world was fair would turn Hugo Monster into a symbol.
Most shining tracks: Carry On, Can’t Believe in Miracles, TV Is Dead, Respect
5. ISLAND – Feels Like Air
After three flawless EPs, ISLAND (finally) released their debut album, and what an album It is. Dark rock vibes with deep bass and acoustic elements, everything about Feels Like Air is right, gorgeous and overwhelming. One of the best things about ISLAND is the way they can make slow songs that always sound paced, other is the way everything seems so well thigh together and so loud but never disrupting or less than heartfelt. That’s what you can count when listening to Feels Like Air, there is clearly a lot of work put into this album, and everything pays off big. No wrong ways to listen to this. Any order will do. Everything sounds like one, and that’s what great albums are all about.
Most shining tracks: (All of them).
4. Cosmo Sheldrake – The Much Much How How and I
We’ve said it before and we can easily say it again. “Cosmo Sheldrake debut album is a long-awaited work of art (at least from our part), and one that does not disappoints. Ever. But surprises in every bit, every song, every sound. The Much Much How How and I, incorporates Japanese koto drums, a marching band percussion, a nightingale from Kent and a host of woodwind instruments like a contrabassoon, just to name a few (by the way we couldn’t name any of these by ourselves). Just to tell it right away, for us this is an album that can be seen as a trip, a voyage, something unique and rare in today’s indie music world.”
Most shining tracks: (All of them)
3. Lac Belot – ABRACADABRA
Out of this world. Almost indescribable. That’s what Lac Belot sounded like from the first time we listened to him. Soon after we learned he was releasing his debut album. And puff… ABRACADABRA was out. In a very small amount of time, Lac Belot was capable of making us fall in love for him. Sensible vocals, almost whispered at times, supported by almost any instrument but favoring the orchestral ones and the piano, his songs sound like story-tales. Each and every one of them: surprising, evolving, warm, challenging… indescribably beautiful.
2. Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main
We might not post as many piano-based acts as we probably should. This is evidence we feel every time we are faced with a project such as Jean-Michel Blais. Dans ma main is his second long play and an album that everyone on the planet should listen to. Telling inspiring songs just with his piano might be one of the most difficult things to achieve. To be able to stop everything around us to focus our attention on one melody performed by just one instrument, it might take a whole lot of work and inspiration. Doing it for 10 straight times in an album should be just for an enlightened individual. Jean- Michel Blais is that individual. Dans ma main is perfection.
1. Sam Vance-Law – Homotopia
Sam Vance-Law is the best thing we heard in 2018. In terms of male vocals at least. But not only. The amount of irony (comedy even), clever songwriting and gorgeous production put into Homotopia is heart-breaking and truly inspiring. It sounds like nothing else we listened before (maybe some bits of Father John Misty, Patrick Wolf or Perfume Genius ) and convinced us since the first time we listened to it. And more, as we listened to it more and more it became part of us. Which is such a nice thing for an album like this to achieve. Finding yourself in the shower singing “will you be my gayby?” or “all the straight boys want him and all the pretty boys want to be just like him because he is fine” and finding nothing wrong with that is an enlightening experience even if you are not homosexual or bisexual. One nobody should be afraid of because as far as we can say we feel happy and inspired doing it. Maybe because of that, or just because these songs are the best-sounding we heard all year, we can say Sam Vance-Law is a genius.
Most shining tracks: (All of them)