Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2018

The Best of 2018

Another year is in the books, and I must say, this was one of my favorite years for music in a long while. I felt like I was discovering new music, or a new album to fall in love with, on a regular basis. And then the albums that ended up connecting with me, really hit me. It’s comforting to know that even when the rest of the world can feel like a mess, music still can find a way to cut through and make things feel a little better, if only for the duration of a great song.

After much deliberation, I’ve put together my favorite music, movies, tv shows, books, and apps from the past year. I’ve included playlists where appropriate, and I hope you’ll find something that will connect with you the way it has me.

Favorite Albums of 2018

  1. Now, Now – Saved
  2. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  3. The Night Game – The Night Game
  4. Half Waif – Lavender
  5. Fall Out Boy – MANIA
  6. Hippo Campus – Bambi
  7. Foxing – Nearer My God
  8. Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else
  9. Shad – A Short Story About War
  10. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  11. Pennywise – Never Gonna Die
  12. Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
  13. mewithoutYou – [Untitled]
  14. Greyhaven – Empty Black
  15. Death Cab for Cutie – Thank You For Today
  16. Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart
  17. Thrice – Palms
  18. The Midnight – Kids
  19. Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy
  20. Sick of It All – Wake The Sleeping Dragon!
  21. Natalie Prass – The Future and the Past
  22. Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers
  23. LANY – Malibu Nights
  24. Saba – Care for Me
  25. Andrew McMahon – Upside Down Flowers
  26. Hopesfall – Arbiter
  27. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
  28. Cloquet – Cloquet
  29. The Paper Kites – On the Corner Where We You Live
  30. MxPx – MxPx

I know that end of the year lists are sort of silly on their face, but for me I like to compile them because it allows me to look back at an arbitrary set of time and see the music that impacted me the most during that period. This year, it was Now, Now’s incredible album Saved that stayed with me for the longest time. There’s a chance, maybe even a good chance, that The 1975 would have ended up my album of the year if I’d have had it to listen to for even just a few more months. However, it was the amount of time, the different seasons we passed through, and the continual love for Saved that made it an easy pick for my top spot. The album has songs I listened to when I wanted something fun in the summer, or something somber late at night, and it works just as well now as the winter has sucked the warmth from my fingers. It became the soundtrack to so much of my year.

I’ve said it before, but I loved this year in music. It felt like I was finding something new to dive into almost every single week. I went through kicks of 80’s inspired love (The Night Game, The Midnight, LANY, The Paper Kites), and binges of punk and harder music (Pennywise, Greyhaven, Sick of It All, Hopesfall), and then even found new albums from old favorites that inspired me all over again (Thrice, MxPx, Death Cab for Cutie, Fall Out Boy). And I’ve always been drawn to the new discovery. The band that I hadn’t really heard of before that I all of a sudden become obsessed with and can’t stop playing. And this year had quite a few of those for me as well (Fickle Friends, Hippo Campus, Cloquet, Natalie Prass). I look at my list and I see the last year laid out in musical form. I have precise memories tied to the songs within, and I know so many of these albums will continue to be a part of my life for the foreseeable future.

Thank you to everyone that read this website this year, it’s because of you, and especially those of you that support the website, that we exist.

I put together a playlist containing two songs from each of these albums on Apple Music and Spotify.

Also, there’s a full podcast episode of Encore talking about my list and the contributor list.

Honorable Mentions

  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
  • Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed?
  • Basement – Beside Myself
  • Brockhampton – Iridescence
  • Cary Brothers – Bruises
  • Charlie Pluth – Voice Notes
  • Duo Odeon – Specter
  • Hellogoodbye – S’Only Natural
  • Kelsey Ballerini – Unapologetically
  • Nathan Gray – Feral Hymns
  • Night Verses – From the Gallery of Sleep
  • Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises
  • Panic! at the Disco – Pray for the Wicked
  • Petal – Magic Gone
  • Ruston Kelly – Dying Star
  • Tash Sultana – Flow State
  • The Living End – Wunderbar
  • The Long Shot – Love is For Losers
  • The Neighbourhood – The Neighbourhood
  • The Sonder Bombs – Modern Female Rockstar
  • This Wild Life – Petaluma
  • Tonight Alive – Underworld
  • Troye Sivan – Bloom
  • Underoath – Erase Me
  • Wet – Still Run
  • Years and Years – Palo Santo
  • Young the Giant – Mirror Master

Favorite EPs of 2018

  • Allie X – Super Sunset
  • Anti-Flag – American Reckoning
  • Black Thought – Stream of Thought, Vol 1
  • Boy Genius – Boygenius
  • Dave Hause – September Haze
  • Elizabeth Gunderson – Elephant Heart
  • Ryan Key – Thirteen / Virtue
  • Strung Out – Black Out The Sky

Movies I Enjoyed in 2018

  • A Quiet Place
  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • Christopher Robin
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Eighth Grade
  • First Reformed
  • Game Night
  • Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
  • Incredibles 2
  • Leave No Trace
  • Love, Simon
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  • Paddington 2
  • Ready Player One
  • Searching
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • Upgrade

I watched over 220 movies in 2018. You can find more of my movie watching habits and ratings on Letterboxd.

TV Shows I Enjoyed in 2018

  • American Vandal
  • Billions
  • Cobra Kai
  • It’s Always Sunny…
  • Life in Pieces
  • Nailed It
  • Nathan for You
  • QB1
  • Riverdale
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Supergirl
  • Superstore
  • The Good Place
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • Titans
  • Veep

You can find more of my TV watching habits and ratings on Trakt.

Books I Enjoyed in 2018

  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man (Comic)
  • Amazing Spider-Man (Comic)
  • Spider-Gwen (Comic)
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill
  • The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

You can find more of my book reading habits and rating on Goodreads.

Apps I Discovered and Enjoyed in 2018

  • Carrot Weather
  • Chunky Comics
  • Fiery Feeds
  • iShows TV
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Shortcuts
  • Textastic
  • Things 3
  • Working Copy

And, with that, we can put a nice little bow on 2018. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us; I’ve got a growing list of anticipated albums, and it’s shaping up to be a good one.

If you purchase anything from this list via Amazon, doing so from this link helps support this website.