My 51 Favorite Songs of 2018

It’s such a process to pull my list of favorite songs together. I had a ton of albums that I was super into (I’ll give you my favorite albums on a later post) so I thought my list would suffered or have a limited scope.  But luckily–it was nothing to worry about!—I had MORE than enough songs up for consideration. My list could’ve been over a 100 deep this year—but who wants to listen to all that!—so I knew I had to trim it down. So I did–to a reasonable 51–and I think my list is banging! (51 because drake. i wasn’t going to–but then i had to.)

To weed out songs and make the list slightly more manageable to put together—I put a hard stop on when a song had to be out to be considered for the list—no song out after October 31 was eligible. And I tried to only include songs that came out after November 1, 2017. (i did make one small exception for a song i LOVED but came out october 17, 2017. but it’s from a pretty unknown band so it’s getting some love.)

My rules mean that some songs that show up on lots of year end lists like “thank u, next” and “Love it if we made it”—Pitchfork’s top song of the year–came out a couple weeks ago so you won’t find them below.

And quite honestly—there’s so much music out—it’s already hard to get to everything anyway. I legit didn’t listen to any of the songs that came out after my deadline—I sequester all new music which is hard but necessary—so I can really sort through the over 300 songs that were in my playlist for consideration. These songs are great—I’ve since listened to them a ton!—but I had to draw the line somewhere. So I will put some links below to other year end song lists that may be more comprehensive and give you more songs to check out.

For this year’s list—I will give you the song, artist and my favorite line along with a link to the video—if available–AND will link the genius.com lyrics. The newish Genius feature on Spotify is one of my favorite recent music developments. I get way too happy when a Genius is linked to a song I’m playing on Spotify. Plus some of these songs have interesting stories that are included on Genius with artist videos, so they are worth checking out. And if there’s a Song Exploder episode about a song–I’ll link that, too.

So without further ado—my favorite songs of the year—starting with my favorite song and then sequenced with your listening enjoyment in mind. (therefore—don’t shuffle!—at least not for the first listen.)

1. Missing U, Robyn: “all the love you gave, it still defines me.”

2. Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Mitski: “I know that I ended it, but why won’t you chase after me?”

3. High Horse, Kacey Musgraves:  “I bet you think you’re first place, yeah, someone should give you a ribbon and put you in the hall of fame for all the games you think that you’re winning”

4. Doesn’t matter, Christine and the Queens (Song Exploder): “And of lately the only people I can stare are the unraveled ones with their hands laying bare” 

5. Grooves on the Vinyl, Gorgon City: “we’re switching it up and making it right”

6. All Nerve, The Breeders: “you don’t know how much I miss you

7. Please Don’t Die, Father John Misty: “Oh god, you must have woken up to me saying that it’s all too much”

8. Thanks 4 Nothing, Nilüfer Yanya: “Will you and I waste this? I won’t even try in case it don’t work

9. Bite the Hand, boygenius: “Your hands are gravity while my hands are tied”

10. lovely, Billie Eilish, Khalid: “Need a place to hide, but I can’t find one near”

11. breathin, Ariana Grande: “All I need is to see your face

12. Pristine, Snail Mail: “I’ll still love you the same

13. Lemon Glow, Beach House: “This game I play, I do it every day, Then promise I’ll be fine, bear it every time”

14. Mariners Apartment Complex, Lana Del Rey: “And who I’ve been is with you on these beaches, Your Venice bitch, your die-hard, your weakness”

15. C’est La Vie No. 2, Phosphorescent: “I don’t stand out all night in empty fields and call your name no more”

16. How Deep is Your Love, PJ Morton featuring YEBBA: “We belong to you and me

17. Long As I Live, Toni Braxton: “I’ll never get over (you getting over me)

18. Only Love, Mary J. Blige: “I was so over love till you came right in and you brought me home”

19. I Do, Cardi B featuring SZA: “Pussy so good, I say my own name during sex

20. Remind Me to Forget, Kygo, Miguel: “You left your mark, reminding me to forget

21. Dissolve, Kllo: “Should we dissolve this?

22. Loose, Daniel Caesar: “See you walking out the door, Wonder why it took you so long”

23. Consequence, Camilla Cabello: “Loving you was sunshine, safe and sound, a steady place to let down my defenses, but loving you had consequences”

24. The End of Love, Florence + the Machine: “I’ve always been in love with you, could you tell it from the moment that I met you?”

25. Vincent, James Blake: “But I could have told you, Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”

26. Back to You, Selena Gomez: “You could break my heart in two but when it heals, it beats for you

27. Song for You, Rhye: “I saw that fear when you showed me that kiss, We fell in love”

28. ‘Til It’s Over, Anderson. Paak: “I really thought that I can handle it but the funny thing is, I was holding back tears”

29. Woman, Cat Power featuring Lana Del Rey (Song Exploder): “Doctor said I was not my past, He said I was finally free

30. Nameless, Faceless, Courtney Barnett: I wanna walk through the park in the dark, Men are scared that women will laugh at them ,I wanna walk through the park in the dark, Women are scared that men will kill them”

31. Chun-Li, Nicki Minaj: “He keep on dialin’ Nicki like the Prince song

32. One Kiss, Calvin Harris with Dua Lipa: “I just wanna feel your skin on mine, Feel your eyes do the exploring

33. Dancefloor, Tracey Thorn: “Someone singing and I realise it’s me”

34. Accelerate, Christina Aguilera featuring Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz: “I’ll be with my ladies you can find me there, try to play us, we gon’ start a riot up in here”

35. My My My!, Troye Sivan: “Let’s stop running from us

36. 4Ever, Clairo: “Are you gonna be around for me to count on?

 

37. In My Feelings, Drake: “Kiki, do you love me? Are you riding?

38. Dancing, Kylie Minogue: “When I go out, I wanna go out dancing

39. Can’t Run But, Paul Simon: “I had a dream about us after that long goodnight”

40. Make Me Feel, Janelle Monae: “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender

41. When We, Tank: “Who came to make sweet love? Not me.”

42. International Lover, Prince: “Am I qualified?”

43. I Know You, Craig David and Bastille: “Falling together, arms round each other, I know you, know me too”

44. No Place, RÜFÜS DU SOL: “You run your fingers through the palm of my hand, pulling me closer, drawn by your command”

45. Made for Now, Janet Jackson featuring Daddy Yankee: “We’re made for now, not tomorrow”

46. Bodys, Car Seat Headrest: “Those are you got some nice shoulders, I’d like to put my hands around them”

47. San Luis, Gregory Alan Isakov: “Cutting through the avenues, I’d always find my way to you”

48. Addictions, Lucy Dacus: “Was I a risk without reward or did I make you proud?

49. Naked, Ella Mai: “But what if I told you there’s nothing I want more in this world than somebody who loves me naked”

50. symbol, Adrianne Lenker: “Do you not, do you not tell? That smile always makes me well”

51. Shallow, Lady Gaga and Bradley: “We’re far from the shallow now

There you have it! What a year it was!! Here’s a link to the playlist on Spotify:

 

And YouTube:

And here are some other lists worth checking out from Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, NPR, The Fader and Gorilla vs. Bear.

But most important–what’s on your list? I always create a new list of songs to check out based on other year-end lists, so add your submissions below!

Here’s to a heck of a year for music!!

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