Albums of the Year 2018 - Top 10
A reflection of an album’s year within the Rough Trade community. Informed by what you talk to us about, what’s been in most demand across our shops and what we’ve been lusting, loving and lauding throughout 2018. With the ultimate aim of championing the future as well as celebrating the present, our Albums of the Year list comes complete with some collaborative exclusives, some special events and a whole lot of gratitude to everyone who makes this all possible. So go on, have a little scroll.
1. Shame - Songs of Praise
From Rough Trade Recommends to Rough Trade Album of the Month, through Shoplifting, riotous live in-stores and finally joining us On Tour at End of the Road, Shame have consistently proven to us why they're one of the most exciting bands around. A band that thrives on confrontation, their raw and rollicking debut album and wild accompanying live shows are all fueled by feeling. A Concrete Album of the Year for 2018, not One Rizla short of perfection.
Available on Opaque Beige Vinyl with Bonus All The Hits covers CD.
2. Everything is Recorded - Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell
XL boss Richard Russell's larger than life pan-collaboration effort with his favourite artists worldwide is everything it could and should be. Drawing influences from his fellow contributors, previous encounters and the music scenes he has helped carve out in XL's near 30 year history. The album fulfils it's monstrous potential, effortlessly slaloming between haunting dub, lush neo-Soul and glitchy electronica. Global in sound. London in feel. It's like Russell had one big party last February, invited all his friends and recorded the entire thing. Then again, everything is recorded.
Available on Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl with Bonus 8AM CD EP.
3. IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance
IDLES may just be the most important band to come out of Britain right now. Cutting through the bullshit of our modern dystopia. Tackling every cancer of this sceptered isle whether it's toxic masculinity on 'Samaritans', nationalism on 'Danny Nedelko' and 'Great', the establishment on 'Gram Rock', aggressive culture on 'Never Fight a Man With a Perm' the list goes on. But with earthquake-like subtlety the guitars swirl and scream, the drums explode and the bass throbs, to remind us that the greatest act of resistance is joy.
4. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
It was only a matter of time before the 70s-Thai-funk revivalist movement happened, we all saw this coming a mile off. Wrong. After completely blind siding the entire planet (except for Thailand maybe) in 2015, Khruangbin released their follow-up this year and we can't get enough of this psychedelic trio from, Bangkok *checks notes*, I mean Houston. Utterly atmospheric, furiously funky and an instant "who the hell is that" feeling. Who's looking forward to hearing Justin Bieber's 70s-Thai-funk album due out sometime next year?
5. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs
Soon our to 10 will be purely devoted to cool Aussie bands, but for now we only have 2. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's debut is a laid-back landscape painting of living on the Victoria Coast. We at Rough Trade haven't heard a debut album so assured, level-headed and true in many years. Perceptive and satirical lyrics ride the swell of jangly surf-rock in beautiful harmony.
Available on Rough Trade Exclusive Orange Vinyl with Download. Limited to 500 Copies.
6. Daniel Blumberg - Minus
Stark, fragile and uncompromising in its pursuit of a feeling, Blumberg stares into the darkness of his soul and is unafraid to delve into it. Laying bare his most challenging emotions, creating sonic portraits of his demons whilst finding the space to write achingly beautiful pieces that you can't help but feel a connection to.
Available on Rough Trade Exclusive Clear Vinyl with Bonus Liv CD.
7. Goat Girl - Goat Girl
If you haven't heard, South London is where it's at and Goat Girl are another shining example of that. Psych-garage with caustic but sentimental lyrics and bluesy guitars and climactic crescendos. Their debut album kicks you in the shin, slaps you round the face and then gives you a big hug we're totally into it. Janis Joplin would be proud.
Available on Violet Colored Vinyl with Bonus Udder Sounds CD EP.
8. Mark Peters - Innerland
Rushing, swirling with all the energy of a gale-force wind. Mark Peters' first solo album is a romantic, emotional but real depiction of untamed and natural Britain, like an early Turner piece. This not ambient as you know it, it is tempestuous, rugged and wild.
Available on Rough Trade Exclusive White Vinyl.
9. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
Courtney Barnett is sick of your shit but we ain't sick of hers. Tell Me How You Really Feel is more outward looking than her last record, written by someone who is more confident on her platform, understands her reach and the responsibility to tell the world how she really feels. Fortunately for us all, her music is as punchy and self-assured as her new outlook on life.
10. Oh Sees - Smote Reverser
Embracing and satirizing prog-rock, Oh Sees continue to apply their magic to everything they touch, and this one fits comfortably like a worn-in jean jacket. Unapologetically over-the-top from the 12 minute epic 'Anthemic Aggressor', to the apocalyptic album cover.
Check your local record store for very limited copies of Smote Reverser on Transparent Bronze with Red Splatter (Peacock Blood) Vinyl or Clear with Blue Swirl Haze (Velvet Smoke) Colored Vinyl, both with Bonus Mojo Flexi. Available in-store only.