It's that time of year again folks, where the internet is flooded with "Top 10's of 2018." We are going to join in with this trend and I will be throwing my hat in the ring along with the other contributors on this website! I hope you all check out every album on this list, because 2018 was a great year for music in my opinion.
10. Wave Break - Armory
We start this list with a band I probably just heard everybody just ask "Who?" Hold on with me people, and let me introduce you guys to a band I discovered pretty recently. Wave Break is a band from one of the best music states, New Jersey. Wave Break is an Alt Rock band, that has some pop punk vibes. What blew me away on my first listen through is Kelly Barber's vocals. I can only describe her vocals and pure power on the same level of Lzzy Hale of Halestorm with excellent range and control. Along with the rest of the band playing a high energy style that gives them a great sound that I think will be one of the future up coming acts on the scene in the coming years. With that said Armory, their first EP, blew me away. Songs to look out for on this album is Plaster City and If You Were Awake! Really check this band out, they are a great listen.
9. AJR - The Click (Deluxe Edition)
Yes, half this album was released in 2017, however the half that wasn't and was released in 2018 was probably one of the most listened to things in my playlist. Featuring all the great songs off the first release of The Click like Sober Up with Rovers Cuomo, and Weak are here however the main event to this deluxe album was the song AJR really is known for, and I can't get out of my head. Burn This House Down is the song I turn too from this year when I need a pick me up. Nothing gets me as hyped as this song along with all the great additions to this album. I also really enjoy Role Models which was also apart of the Deluxe Edition. Hopefully you don't find putting the Deluxe Edition on a list is cheating, however its my list so oops.
8. Tom Morello - The Atlas Underground
Is there anything that Tom Morello can't do? Morello this year collaborated on every song on this album with different artists from a wide variety of genres. This album just shows that he literally can do anything. No matter who he works with on this album, you can tell that he can really adjust and play to any genre of music. The song that I like the most of this album is Lucky One starring K.Flay. However this album features EDM, Rappers, and other musicians which almost lets this play out like a compilation of what has been popular in this decade of music. Another great song off this album is Every Step I Take with Portugal. The Man and Whethan. This album is pretty solid, and that coming from a person that really doesn't listen to the majority of the genres featured on this album. This album just feels way different, and its a good different.
7. Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats - Tearing At The Seams
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats bring an entirely different sound to Alt Rock than any band on the scene currently. A very folk rock inspired sound however you can see how he mixes it with the current alt rock sound. This is really emphasized with their song Baby I Lost My Way however if you are looking for a more modern sounding song, checkout You Worry Me. This is an album I put on when I need to relax, its not like many of the high energy albums on this list. So if this is your kind of thing, check it out if you haven't all ready.
6. The Struts - YOUNG&DANGEROUS
I think Vanessa Donadio said it best in her article, "I'll be listening to this album until I'm Old & Harmless." An album so good Ke$ha was like "I want to sing that song." What more can you say about this album that hasn't been said already? The Struts' sophomore album brings even more energy and more great lyrics for your listening pleasure. I've always said, The Struts are what the Rolling Stones would be if they were a new band in 2018. Every song on this album you can dance and sing too. Seeing the Struts right before this album was released I was so fortunate to be able to hear some of the album early. This album with me Dangerous no matter how old it gets. Songs to listen to first would be "Bulletproof Baby," "Primadonna Like Me," and of course the Ke$ha crossover for "Body Talks."
5. Bishop Briggs - Church Of Scars
Bishop Briggs has blown up since bursting onto the scene since her self titled EP and she continued the momentum with her first ever album Church Of Scars. She even made an appearance on American Idol this year. The Album itself is one hell of an experience to listen to all the way through. Briggs' showcases her vocal talents her along with her great lyrics. Songs to listen to on this album would be River, Hi-Lo (Hallow), White Flag and of course my favorite Wild Horses. However I recommend listening to it all the way through top to bottom because it really doesn't do the album to pick and choose different songs.
4. The Academic - Tales From The Backseat
I believe The Academic was one of the first bands I remember seeing, and saying they will become big one day. I saw them open for Judah And The Lion last year and after that I was highly anticpating this album. This album was played so much between my former roommate and I in our dorm once it released because we were both at the show. Of course Bear Claws is going to be a song I sing out loud till the day I die, however songs like Permanent Vacation and Bite My Tongue will always be songs I turn too when I need some up beat cheering up. Bite My Tongue specifically is my favorite along with Bear Claws. I'm hoping to see The Academic make some big moves in the future and I hope to see some of you listening to them in the future too.
3. Songs That Saved My Life
I recently wrote about this album earlier last month, however everything still rings true. I can't believe that a compilation of pop punk bands cover songs is my number 3 album of the year, however, it really is that good. I've listen to this album a lot since its release and I definitely listen to this album because of the passion the artists have for these songs along with the fact this is all music that I grew up with and right away I can sing along with it. This album will stand the test of time and I will always be revisiting it will such great covers as Torn by Neck Deep, Your Graduation by Stand Atlantic, and Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Taking Back Sunday. Its always a treat to hear songs off this album live, which I did when I saw Neck Deep. This album also has a great cause, so go back and checkout my review on it!
2. Trophy Eyes - The American Dream
"It don't make much sense right now, but it will all come together when the lights go out." Lyrics like that is why The American Dream by Trophy Eyes is so high on this list. John Floreani's voice does some magically things in the album from low soothing notes to a trademark powerful pop punk vocals. There is some magic in this album, where it not only does it have songs that really hit you and you connect with but you can see that some of these songs will become anthems in the future for all pop punk fans to enjoy. From "You Can Count On Me" to the song I referenced early with "Something Bigger Than This." This feels more like a story, a bunch of journal entries, rather than an album of just songs and that makes this album so special. Give it a listen, you wont regret it.
1. Stand Atlantic - Skinny Dipping
Stand Atlantic released perfection in their debut album, Skinny Dipping. If I listed all of my reasons for this being my number one album, this blog post would turn into more of an essay of "Why Skinny Dipping Is The Best Album Of All Time" more than a top 10 list of the entire year. Yeah, it is that good folks. Anytime I hear Bonnie Fraser's vocals on any of these tracks, I'm instantly hooked and have to apologize to all my friends for my horrible singing, HOWEVER, I will probably sing the entire thing. Along with David Potter's great bass playing and Jonno Panichi with some great drumming tracks Stand Atlantic has made pop punk perfection. I recommend the ENTIRE album however, Lost My Cool, Bullfrog and Skinny Dipping are all great songs that should give you a great idea of who Stand Atlantic really is. Stand Atlantic will be on tour with One Ok Rock state side this spring starting in February, so go see them!