Helen Lister (Bristol)
1. The Beths - Future Me Hates Me
New Zealand outfit The Beths produce an infinitely listenable, charming and witty debut album that almost makes me want to get my heart broken.
2. Objekt - Cocoon Crush
Objekt turns sound into a physical landscape of textures, colours and movement and then invites listeners to get lost in it. Pure magic.
3. Kali Uchis - Isolation
An iconic debut album from the young Colombian-American singer who’s already an icon herself (imo). Uchis both affirms and demonstrates the power of doing it alone.
4. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
Courtney Barnett tells me how I really feel and in fewer and better words than I ever could.
5. Noname - Room 25
Another smashing debut album, this time from fiercely intelligent and talented young rapper Noname featuring some of my favourite lyrics of the year: “My pussy teachin’ ninth-grade English/My pussy just wrote a thesis on colonialism.”
6. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs
Rolling Blackouts C.F’s debut album turned out to be everything their previous releases had promised it would be - infectious guitar riffs and characterful vocals that can only be listened to on repeat.
7. Blood Orange - Negro Swan
A beautiful and surprising collage of sampled street sounds, spoken word and Devonté Hynes’ delicate vocals which results in an album that is both deeply personal and political - Negro Swan emotively explores how people of colour and queers navigate the trauma inherent in heteronormative spaces and culture.
8. Ron Gallo - Stardust Birthday Party
Ron Gallo’s relentless sense of humour in the face of adversity and garage rock guitar noise offers real comfort to anyone else struggling to make sense of the world or their place in it in 2018.
9. Rosalia - El Mal Querer
I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say I had no idea that Millennial Flamenco Pop (yep, you read that correctly) was what was missing from my life - but thank goodness young Catalonian artist Rosalía came along to point it out.
10. Nils Frahm - All Melody
Goosebump raising harmonies that appeal to the ex-choirgirl in me, layered with otherworldly sounds hailing from Frahm’s dream Berlin studio, situated in a former GDR radio broadcasting centre that overlooks the river Spree.