These are our favourite records released since January 1 – voted for by our contributors
40. Half Waif
Nandi Rose Plunkett’s second album of skilled synth work about isolation in America.
Read Mike Vinti’s full review.
38. La Luz
The LA group’s third album of blackened surf rock.
Take a look at Susan Darlington’s album review.
37. The Voidz
Julian Casablancas’ best, maddest work this side of ‘First Impressions of Earth’.
It kinda blew Edgar Smith’s mind at the time it came out – see the review.
36. Marie Davidson
Working Class Woman
Canadian techno about the stresses and strains of working Berlin’s clubland.
Check out Oli Rankine’s interview with Marie.
35. Mount Eerie
(P.W. Elverum & Sun)
Phil Elverum’s sequel to last year’s devastating album about the death of his wife.
Stephen Butchard wrote about the album when it was released.
34. The Goon Sax
We’re Not Talking
The Australian band’s second album of bittersweet indie pop.
Read Hayley Scott’s album review in full.
33. Daniel Avery
Song For Alpha
A second album of artful techno for early hours on the road rather than late ones on the dance floor.
Check out Reef Younis’ words about the album.
32. Lonnie Holley
The debut album of improvised soul collages from the 68-year-old American sculptor.
Joe Goggins reviewed ‘Mith’ at the time of its release.
31. Nils Frahm
The neo-classical master’s ninth album of hypnotic synth cycles.
Take a look back at Reef Younis’ review.
30. Caroline Rose
Sarcastic pop tunes about gender and anxiety from an ex-blues player who only wears red.
Check out Susan Darlington’s review, and Tristan Gatward’s interview with Caroline.
29. Szun Waves
New Hymn to Freedom
A jazz record made by underground experimentalists Luke Abbott, Portico Quartet’s Jack Wyllie and PVT’s Laurence Pike.
Stephen Butchard’s full review of the album.
28. Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever
Unmistakably Australian indie rock for running around in the sunshine.
The full review of ‘Hope Downs’ by Liam Konemann.
27. Haley Heynderickx
I Need to Start a Garden
An 8-track debut of delicate, finger-picked folk from Portland.
Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
An aggressive debut that pushes pop music’s shiny beats to their metal-buckling end.
Stephen Butchard wrote about this one back in June.
Songs of Praise
A debut punk album that also includes nods to The Cribs, Happy Mondays and Oasis.
Austin Laike’s verdict on ‘Songs of Praise’ back in January.
Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament
The grime MC’s re-evaluation of how hip-hop treats woman.
Check out Mike Vinti’s recent interview with the reluctant grime pioneer.
23. Ed Schrader’s Music Beat
The Baltimore duo’s first album to add Dan Deacon to their drums and bass setup.
Ian Roebuck in conversation with ESMB earlier this year.
22. Lily Allen
A collection of down-tempo nearly-ballads and comeback tunes.
Sarah Lay’s full album review.
21. Gazelle Twin
(Anti-Ghost Moon Ray)
Elizabeth Bernholtz’s malfunctioning and fittingly horrible ode to Brexit.
Take a look at Mike Vinti’s LP review, and Ben Hewitt’s cover feature interview with Gazelle Twin.
20. Beak >
The Bristol trio’s third and best album of fuzz guitar, paired-back drums and analogue electronica.
Here’s Sam Walton’s review of the album.
The London rapper released his second album on International Weed Day. Lol.
18. Yves Tumor
Safe in the Hands of Love
Funk. Soul. Ambient. Industrial. Weird electronica. The illusive musician’s third album is, obviously, a slippery bastard.
Read Daffyd Jenkins’ assessment of the album.
17. Anna Von Hausswolff
The most radio-unfriendly five tracks of the year composed on an organ in a marble church in Denmark.
Tristan Gatward wrote about the release.
16. Sons of Kemet
Your Queen is a Reptile
The album that should have won the Mercury Prize. The jazz nominee.
The Welsh artist’s second album of cosmiche pop – her first sung predominantly in Cornish.
Read Tom Walters’ review of the album.
14. Viagra Boys
Self-referential debut of Swedish garage rock that critiques the machismo and cliché of punk.
Have a look at Fergal Kinney’s review of the album, and Liam Konemann’s interview with the band.
13. Let’s Eat Grandma
I’m All Ears
A second album of cute/scary pop aided here and there by SOPHIE.
Look back at Stephen Butchard’s piece about the album.
12. Space Afrika
Somewhere Decent to Live
The Manchester duo’s second album of urban ambience and dub techno.
Luke Cartledge spoke to Space Afrika earlier this year.
11. Sink Ya Teeth
Sink Ya Teeth
The DIY debut from a Norwich-based duo inspired by Chicago house and early British rave culture.
Revisit Sam Walton’s album review, and Max Pilley’s feature interview.
10. Oliver Coates
Shelly’s on Zenn-La
The cellist and producer’s second album inspired by pirate radio jungle, now with added deep space electronics.
Eugenie Johnson wrote about the album.
Joy as an Act of Resistance
Everything you hate the Tories for, in one punk album from Bristol.
Tristan Gatward’s piece about the album, and Greg Cochrane’s cover feature interview.
8. Gabe Guernsey
The Factory Floor member’s debut solo album that simulates a night spent clubbing.
A review of the album by Reef Younis, and Stuart Stubbs’ interview feature.
Now! (in a minute)
Synth-pop songs and spoken word odysseys about creepy people and sharing a bubble bath… as mates.
Look back on Stuart Stubbs’ LP review, and Ian Roebuck’s feature.
The New York rapper’s strange-beats debut, inspired by conceptual artists like Marcel Duchamp.
Read Katie Beswick’s interview with Shirt, and Mike Vinti’s album review.
The first and probably last collaboration between Laura Marling and Tunng’s Mike Lindsay.
Derek Robertson wrote about ‘Lump’ when it was released.
A moody collection of melancholy love songs that sound distinctly at home in South London.
Check out Joe Goggins’ full album review, and this chat with Tirzah by Katie Beswick.
The twelfth and most violent album of in-the-red slowcore from a Minnesota band 25 years in.
Here’s Susan Darlington’s full review of the album.
2. Pusha T
The rest of Kanye’s 7-track ‘Wyoming Sessions’ albums can go to hell.
1. Virginia Wing
The Manchester duo’s third album of deadpan dream-pop that dares to speak of optimism in 2018.
Check out Tristan Gatward’s album review from back in June.
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