• James Hewlett

2018 Playlist


It's that time of year again, my annual playlist that has been compiling all year long. Some of is new music, some of it is very old music.

This year not everything had a specific reason to make the list but I feel like there are more discoveries on there this year than the last few years. Having an Apple Music subscription will do that.

I was also surprised that this is the longest playlist I've had since 2012. I didn't feel like that for a while in the year, then a few things would all get added in quick succession.

  1. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye. I knew the name before, but I first heard these guys on a boat off the coast of Maui. I listened to a few things since but near the end of 2017 I finally found the song of there’s that first caught my ear. This song has sounds that blow me away and it gives me a lot of Smashing Pumpkins vibes which is a great thing.

  2. Rose Hill Drive - Showdown. I heard this on the podcast Fighting In The War Room and loved it, I had to message Dave Gonzalez, the producer/co-host to find out what it is. Turns out there a local band for him, from Colorado. It’s a little bit Marz Volta, a little bit Black Keys, they’re cool.

  3. Royal Blood - Figure It Out. I can’t remember how this came onto my radar but it started getting a bunch of plays so I had to add it.

  4. Tame Impala - The Less I Know the Better. Normally songs added early in the year start getting dull for me by December, definitely not this one. Mitchell describes Tame Impala as getting really high without smoking anything, it’s a pretty good way of explaining their cool, floaty, weird, wistful style.

  5. Beck - Seventh Heaven. I really connected with the latest Beck album. I didn’t dive in when it first came out, we listened to Wow! a lot on our honeymoon but then I kind of missed the album in 2017. When I signed up for Apple Music I went back and checked it out. It’s easily my favourite album of his since Guero. Seeing how much he and his band had performing a lot of it live this year was great fun too.

  6. FM-84 - Running in the Night. At the end of 2017 I started listening to The Midnight and through them I fell into a synth-wave/vaporware/outrun hole. I fucking love it and these guys are great.

  7. Sleigh Bells - Rainmaker. In January I watched one of the greatest professional wrestling matches ever between Kenny Omega and Kazuchka Okada. The latters nickname is Rainmaker so when I heard this track for the first time that same week I had to add it to the list.

  8. Glassjaw - Radio Cambodia. There were quite a few old rock tracks that just randomly popped into my head throughout the year. This was something I was listening to while trying to remember and find the next one.

  9. Rise Against - Prayer of the Refugee. I wrote a whole post about having the melody of this stuck in my head but being able to remember the song until I visualised where I had it in a CD wallet when I was still gigging.

  10. CFO$ - Rebel Heart. This is a bloody wrestling theme tune, but it is so good and I’m not completely sure but I think the vocals are provided by one of the regular contributors to Rooster Teeth’s animated series’ music. If not they sound very similar. It’s not a long track considering it mostly just repeats a lot of itself, but it’s still great.

  11. Jose Gonzalez - Crosses. There is a few tracks on here from the soundtrack of Life Is Strange. This is the first one to pop up. Jose Gonzalez has such a unique voice, it’s hypnotic.

  12. Pinback - Proceed to Memory. I feel like almost every year I end up adding a Pinback song to my list. I’m sad it’s not likely they’ll be producing any more music together as everything they’ve done is amazing.

  13. Syd Matters - Obstacles. This is, for me, the most quintessential song from Life Is Strange. Especially as Syd Matters produced the entire soundtrack and sourced all the other tracks used throughout.

  14. The Midnight - Crystalline. Having only discovered them late in 2017 I didn’t just into The Midnight’s album from that winter until a little later, this track is long but really awesome.

  15. Alt-J - Something Good. I think this is the last of the Life Is Strange tracks on here, it’s a bit more upbeat too. It has a good ‘road vibe’ to it. I can imagine driving down a long, possibly desertish road with the windows down listening to this.

  16. Deftones - Hole in the Earth. Not sure what bought this one to my mind but it just popped up one day. Weirdly, I was looking back at what was on my playlist this time ten years ago and it was on that one too.

  17. The Streets - Weak Become Heroes. Every time I watch the first couple of episodes of Veronica Mars and this comes on I think, man that song has such a cool beat. I appreciate what The Streets do more than I like it, but this song is really good.

  18. Childish Gambino - This Is America. This is the song of 2018. Not just for me, but for the world. I believe that. The music video will be studied for decades.

  19. Deep Purple - Highway Star. The Expanse season three features an episode where a character was listening to a ‘Belter’ version of this. It was altered slightly, as if it was a cover from a few hundred years in the future in the patois of the people living in the asteroid belt.

  20. Ramin Djawadi - CREAM. The covers in Westworld are always fun and interesting but this one, set to the visuals of an amazing samurai scene was so perfect. Plus, ya know, Wu Tang rule.

  21. CHVRCHES - Get Out. Their new album is so good. This was a standout for me.

  22. Van Halen - Panama. Everyone was going mental over the soccer this summer and there was one night I remember I think England were playing Panama, so I was of course rooting on Panama and because of that got this bit of hair metal goodness stuck in my head.

  23. Tycho - Awake. A discovery while looking at more synthy stuff. It’s not really that, more just a super mellow album with this as the lead track. It’s one of my favourite things to listen to while writing.

Coldfront - Everything You Want Me to Be. I started listening to the ’New Music’ curated playlist that is updated for me every Friday on Apple Music over the summer and this is a new song but feels like a mid two thousands pop punk track.

  1. BROCKHAMPTON - 1999 WILDFIRE. Apparently these guys are quite a big deal but I’d never heard of them. I love this song though, it’s got such an Outkast sound to it with really good rhymes even when they’re about weird and nerdy shit like D&D.

  2. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising. We had a weird blood red super moon over the summer, I instantly had this in my head all night then. Then I had to watch American Werewolf in London.

  3. Four Tet - Lush. Another mellow electronica discovery that I enjoy writing to.

  4. Bedouin Soundclash - Mountain Top. I had really enjoyed these guys first two albums but then not kept up with them. This came out in 2010, it’s really cool.

  5. HAIM - Want You Back. I discovered this though its music video which is a really well made and choreographed one shot tracking the three sisters in the band. It might be a bit poppy, but I still really like it, it reminds me of Alanis Morisette.

  6. Dirty Heads - Vacation. This one feels a little try-hard and comes of as a bit cheesy, but it’s still a fun boppy summery track. It’s a bit like Twenty-One Pilots. The lyrics are hopeful for some and ironic for others.

  7. The Old Pink House - Jaded. This was another Apple Music recommendation, I like it, don’t really have much to say about it though.

APRE - Without Your Love. I used to be great at predicting the next break out artist. I’ve not tried in a long time but of anything on this list, I’d put my money on these guys. This song just feels like given the right plays or appearance on a soundtrack it would be huge. Like when I first heard Bloc Party a year before they blew up.

  1. Phoenix - Lisztomania. I think I had a song from this album on last years list too but this one popped up in Life Is Strange 2 and I really really like it. Great beat.

  2. Less Than Jake - Escape From The A-Bomb House. Anthem is one of my favourite albums of all time, I’ve come to this conclusion years later, much like I did with Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American. They played a bunch of these fifteen year old songs when we saw them a few months ago. It was amazing.

  3. Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard. Heard this in a shop randomly, hadn’t heard it in years. I used to play the punk rock cover quite often but the original in brilliant and whimsical sounding, like a lot of Paul Simon’s stuff. He managed to bring his hippieish origins forward out of that era better than most.

  4. Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue. We missed most of their set when they opened for LTJ and RBF but we caught this song. They still sound the same all these years later.

  5. AFI - Trash Bat. I used to really like AFI but I fell off when they went really emo and leant into that because it was successful. I was really pleasantly surprised that this new song from them felt like it was a bit closer to their punk rock origins. They’ve still got a bit of what they were doing in the two thousands in there, a bit of the theatric sounds, but its faster and more raw.

  6. Authority Zero - Atom Bomb. If you told me this was from 1998 and was on the original Tony Hawk’s soundtrack I would believe you. It sounds like Goldfinger and The Offspring from that era but it’s a new song from this year.

  7. Jimmy Eat World - Pain. Shit started going very wrong for my life at the end of the year, you may have noticed. This is one I’ve been belting out singing along to in the car a lot.

  8. Barenaked Ladies - Blame It On Me. Greatest band on earth. A song from 1992 can still sound brand new to be even after thousands of plays.

#music #playlists #endofyear #bestof #annual

©2017 by James Hewlett.