Spectral Nights’ Top 5 Albums of 2018

2018 has been another fine year in the world of music and we’ve devoured so many new records over the course of the past 12 months.

Which albums have you had on repeat?

Idles‘Joy as an Act of Resistance

https://youtu.be/fMg9kvWYHfU

Where better to start than with the Bristolian punks’ second effort? Timely, witty, clever and important, this record captured the mood of the compassionate side of the nation and rallied against divisiveness while celebrating unity. And their performance of ‘Danny Nedelko’ on Jools Holland will be one of the year’s defining moments.

Haley Heynderickx – ‘I Need to Start a Garden’

https://youtu.be/ZyvYIYwLzTw

We were lucky enough to see Haley Heynderickx live in an arts centre in Reading earlier this year and the whole audience (we all sat on the floor throughout) were left charmed by her subtly arranged and finger-styled folk songs that reference topics ranging from Studio Ghibli to the surprising habits of insects. The Portland native’s debut record ‘I Need to Start a Garden’ is equally delightful from start to finish.

Foxing – ‘Nearer My God

https://youtu.be/AopbOIH37gs

The St. Louis twinkly emo heroes gave everyone fair warning that their third album would head into vastly different territory. It’s fair to say they smashed it. ‘Nearer My God’ veers from math rock to power pop and complex prog to stadium anthems – often during the course of one song. The accompanying videos were also excellent.

Hop Along – ‘Bark Your Head Off, Dog

https://youtu.be/QOZx5T1zDf0

The Philadelphia band’s self-produced third album proved what a special band they are. From intelligent indie songs packed with instantly memorable pop hooks to eerie and atmospheric pieces and danceable floor-fillers, Frances Quinlan and co made a record that gets better with every play.

Black Foxxes – ‘Reiði

https://youtu.be/lfT6NOadjN0

There was a more expansive sound on the South West trio’s second album (the title means rage in Icelandic). Frontman Mark Holley opens up about his health issues amidst powerful riffs and reveals how he found comfort in the beauty of nature during tough times. This is an album that demanded your attention and left its mark. We are all wilderpeople.

Other albums released in 2018 that are well worth your time (and there are SO many more out there to discover and enjoy):

itoldyouiwouldeatyou – ‘Oh Dearism

Black Peaks – ‘All That Divides

Let’s Eat Grandma – ‘I’m All Ears

Active Bird Community – ‘Amends

Tomberlin – ‘At Weddings

Cloud Nothings – ‘Last Building Burning’

Fatherson – ‘Sum of All Your Parts

Art Brut – ‘Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out

Anna Burch – ‘Quit the Curse

Villagers – ‘The Art of Pretending to Swim

The Xcerts – ‘Hold on to your Heart

Weller – ‘Weller

Martha Ffion – ‘Sunday Best

Happy Accidents – ‘Everything but the Here and Now

The Spook School – ‘Could it be Different?

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