A year in review: Albums of 2018 

Maya Cassady ‘19

This month, I’m reflecting on albums that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this past year. Oftentimes, I’m not able to include all of the work that deserves to be recognized. To combat this, I’m writing a year in review of many albums that were overlooked this past year (by genre). Of course, I still can’t acknowledge everyone, but this is a good start.


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King Princess

Make My Bed

Released: June 2018

Favourite Song: “Upper West Side”

King Princess’s debut EP featured five tracks of heartbreak, isolation, and love. Her breakout single “1950” is a homage to the unrequited love so often felt in the LGBTQ community. She has become a queer icon to many since her EP’s June release.

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Tove Styrke


Released: May 2018

Favourite Song: “Say My Name”

Tove Styrke’s music is characterized by her strange, whispery voice and swedish synth-pop style. Yet, all of it pulls together, producing a solid album that adds a new style to our very American pop genre. I’d highly recommend if you enjoyed early Lorde.

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Ariana Grande


Released: August 2018

Favourite Song: “God is a Woman”

Everyone knows her, but this album was too good to leave off of the list. She presents a much more mature sound than previously possessed, and I can’t wait to hear what else she’s going to produce in the future.

Hip hop/ r&B

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Released: August 2018

Favourite Song: “Chingy”

After Good For You, I was a little bit worried that he had created too high of a bar for his music. Having listened to his newest album, I’m pleasantly surprised. This album rises above his last and is playfully poetic in the best way.

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Janelle Monae

Dirty Computer

Released: April 2018

Favourite Song: “Americans”

Monae’s soul-funk vibes with her political lyrics and layered instrumentals incredibly well. She samples speeches, collaborates with big name artists (Brian Wilson, Zoe Kravitz) and lets none of these additions overshadow her musicality.

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Ivy Sole


Released: September 2018

Favourite Song: “Still Wasted”

This album is the beginning of a new chapter in Ivy Sole’s music. It’s the tender ravings of a hurt girl, trying to recompose herself through religion and love in the aftermath of tremendous trauma. I’d highly suggest just sitting down, doing nothing, fully taking in her artistry.


Before I get started on my top three, I want to mention a few names that didn’t make it onto the list but I love just as much. While the albums don’t develop as complexly as the other albums listed here. Bad Bad Hats have a fun, lighthearted sounds that makes me smile, and I frequently listen to Wet when I need to have some positive background music amidst studying.

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Bad Bad Hats

Lightning Round

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Still Run

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Lucy Dacus


Released: March 2018

Favourite Song: “The Shell”

Historian features an incredibly diverse range of indie-rock music. She plays acoustic guitar with a quiet drum track in one song followed by a full band and impactful lyrics in the next one. I’d highly suggest this album to any indie-rock lovers.

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Soccer Mommy


Released: March 2018

Favourite Song: “Your Dog”

I only recently began listening to Soccer Mommy, but her humble, relatable lyrics are what immediately captured me. Her music is deceptively light and carefree while her lyrics encompass the feelings of being trapped between who you are and who you want to be. Her music is strikingly straight-forward and I continually love to listen.

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Your Smith

Bad Habit

Released: August 2018

Favourite Song: “Bad Habit”

I was introduced to Your Smith by Ms. Graff, and I have listened to her at least once a week since. She’s got a funk-indy vibe and a high, whispy voice that perfectly fits into the mix. Her four-track EP is composed of bop after bop.

Movie Soundtracks (No, They aren’t Albums, but they’re great nonetheless)

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Love, Simon

Released: March 2018

This soundtracks got Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” as well as Troye Sivan’s “Strawberries & Cigarettes”. What’s not to love? The soundtrack embodies the LGBTQ rom-com beautifully. Shoutout to them.

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Black Panther

Released: February 2018

This soundtrack was iconic, and it felt like a slap to the soundtrack genre to keep it off of my 2018 Wrapped list. If you haven’t listened to this soundtrack already then you are sorely missing out on the awe-inspiring collaborative effort that is this soundtrack.

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Lady Bird

Released: January 2018

This soundtrack takes small snippets of dialogue from the movie, intermingles them with indie, rock, and country artists while still layering in choral secular pieces. I love listening to this soundtrack just as much as I loved watching the movie. There’s that same emotional charge as the songs progress, and the artistry of it all is inescapable.

Musicals (Because They’re underappreciated)

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Mean Girls

Official Opening: April 2018

So I may only love this musical as much as I do because Barrett Wilbert Weed is in it or because I made Mia listen to it our entire time in Ohio or because I’m as big of a fan of the movie as Wendy Gray is. But, I thoroughly enjoy the weird, hodge-podge music that this Hollywood classic turned Broadway show encompasses.

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Once on This Island

Official Opening: February 2018

The music and storyline is thoroughly compelling, and the vibrancy visualized on Broadway is carried through to the cast recording. The lead singer, Hailey Kilgore, was nominated for the best actress in a musical Tony at only nineteen for her role, and her voice makes the soundtrack worth a thorough listen.