NME’s Albums Of The Year 2018

Well, hasn’t it been a bloody big year for music? From Kanye’s most ambitious project yet, the Wyoming Sessions, to a Bey ‘n’ Jay joint record, a selection of corking debuts and almighty returns from Arctic Monkeys and The 1975, our ears have been honey-dripped in 2018. So after immense discussion, plenty of arguments and a handful of temper tantrums, we here at NME have whittled down 2018’s best releases into a list of 100 essential records. Here, definitively, are NME‘s 100 best albums of 2018.

Words by Tom Connick, Rhian Daly, Jordan Bassett, Andrew Trendell, Sophie Charara, Elizabeth Aubrey, El Hunt, Gary Ryan, Sam Moore, Mark Beaumont, Hannah Mylrea, Thomas Smith, Charlotte Gunn and Dan Stubbs.

100. Interpol – ‘Marauder’


The early sessions for the ‘Pol’s sixth album ‘Marauder’ grew so rowdy that the police kicked them out of the rehearsal space they were borrowing from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As you’d imagine, the result was raucous affair – adding some menace and muscle to their sound while remaining so typically stately. AT

99. Natalie Prass – ‘The Future and The Past’

Virginia’s Natalie Prass aimed to make an indie record that sounded like a lush, big budget pop blockbuster, a goal best realised on mini masterpiece single ‘Short Court Style’, its handclaps and taut production an indication of the musician’s technical wizardry and full-hearted songwriting. JB

98. Rae Morris – ‘Someone Out There’

The second album from Blackpool’s finest marked a huge step up. Safe ballads were out, and fidgety art-pop and daring songwriting hinted that Rae Morris’ future is looking remarkably rosy. TS

97. Peace – ‘Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll’


Standout ‘You Don’t Walk Away From Love’ sounds like an overly enamoured Status Quo – a good thing – and the title track boasts a gospel choir belting out its titular refrain. The Brummie lads’ goal was noble: to change the world with optimism and catchy indie songs. Every little helps. RD

96. Genghar – ‘Where Wildness Grows’

Gengahr proved themselves masters of beautiful, swooning indie on their 2015 debut album. Three years later, their prowess has only grown, ‘Where Wildness Grows’ travelling through cuts that are breezy, urgent, or yearning, but always gorgeous enough to make you a little weak at the knees. RDg

95. Hovvdy – ‘Cranberry’

Austin duo Hovvdy stepped up their ambition on February’s ‘Cranberry’, building on lo-fi foundations to create an emotionally fraught but languidly poetic next step that pulls you in through its disarming minimalism. RD

94. Rosalía – ‘El Mal Querer’

The late breakout star of 2018, flamenco-pop singer Rosalía brought the syncopated, stomping drama of her native Spain out of the margins and into the spotlight in a burst of smart and imaginative experimentation. RD

93. Vinyl Williams – ‘Opal’

There were few albums released this year as colourful and dreamy as Vinyl Williams’ fourth effort, a psychedelic fantasy of a record that weaved its way through a kaleidoscope of lush melodies, plush synth textures, and hazy sighs. RD

92. Kamasi Washington – ‘Heaven & Earth’

Kendrick’s go-to saxophonist dropped his second studio album this year, the two-and-a-half hour long ‘Heaven and Earth’. A brilliant, expansive offering of contemporary jazz, it’s a compositional masterclass by the musical virtuoso. HM

91. The Carters – ‘Everything Is Love’

Beyoncé raps! Extremely well! Jay-Z is really, really sorry for his bad behaviour! And this celebration of their marriage, the third part in the trilogy comprised of her album ‘Lemonade’ and his ‘4:44’, is both personal and political; boasts of their wealth are combined with observations on racial inequality, an implicit comment on their triumph against the odds. JB

90. Anderson .Paak – ‘Oxnard’

Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, Q-Tip, J Cole and more assist Cali smooth dude Anderson .Paak on this sun-kissed celebration of newfound fame and life in the fast lane. The final piece in a trilogy that consists of 2014’s ‘Venice’ and 2016’s ‘Malibu’, the album confirmed that .Paak, formerly a cult figure, has entered the pantheon of modern hip-hop greats. JB

89. Vein – ‘Errorzone’

Vein | albums of 2018

Vein’s debut album might hold some nostalgia for ’90s hardcore and nu-metal but it also tried to bring innovation to heavy music, adding breakbeats to the crushing mix of ear-battering riffs and rhythms and Anthony Didio’s throat-tearing growls. RD

88. Lykke Li – ‘So Sad, So Sexy’

Lykke Li | NME albums of the year

Soaking up the sounds of Calfifornia, the OG sad-pop millennial’s fourth album sees her distance herself from any previous ‘indie’ inhibitions and usher in collaborations with hotshot producers Skrillex, Rostam, T-Minus and DJ Dahi. The result is added colour and definition to Lykke Li’s widescreen melancholia. This is how you really do summertime sadness. AT

87. Blossoms – ‘Cool Like You’

Blossoms | Albums of the year

Stockport pop-rockers and all-round cool dudes Blossoms proved they mean business, taking their bid for world domination to the next level, here combining washes of synth with ear candy choruses and sharp lyrics – see ‘There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)” – ready made for the terraces. JB

86. Eminem – ‘Kamikaze’

Eminem | Albums of the year

Eminem returned to the headlines with surprise album ‘Kamikaze’, on which he took aim at seemingly everyone he’s ever encountered. A throwing-down-of-the gauntlet of a record, it was a reminder of his greatness – an honest, pissed-off return to form. RD

85. Leon Vynehall – ‘Nothing Is Still’

Leon Vynehall - NME albums of the year 2018

Inspired by his grandparents’ journey to the US decades ago, Vynehall’s debut album is a work of symphonic genius that isn’t afraid to get a bit heavy when it needs to. TS

84. Florence + the Machine – ‘High As Hope’

Florence | NME Albums 2018

Not an artist known for her subtlety, the millennial Kate Bush stripped back the wall of sound with wistful collection, looking back at lost youth with fondness, pushing forward in the process. JB

83. Nakhane – ‘You Will Not Die’

Nakhane | NME albums of 2018

On his second album, South African musician Nakhane explored his sexual identity through the lens of religion – or rather, his renunciation of it. ‘You Will Never Die’ presented a queering of Christianity that was theatrical, soulful, intense, and very, very danceable. RD

82. Goat Girl – ‘Goat Girl’

Goat Girl | Best albums of 2018

A murky, sometimes surreal meander through post-punk, roughed-up country twangs, doomy, dark miserabilia, Goat Girl’s debut album pegged them as far more than one-trick ponies, heralding the arrival of a truly unique and whip-smart new bunch. RD

81. Jay Rock – ‘Redemption’

Jay Rock | Albums of 2018

Jay Rock’s suffered a lot of setbacks in his career and none of them have stopped him so far. The same goes for his latest – a near-fatal motorcycle crash in 2016 – with him making even more progress on the creative, reflective, and fun ‘Redemption’, which mixes radio-friendly jams and crunk-tinged bounces. RD

80. Noname – ‘Room 25’

Noname | Best albums 2018

And y’all still thought a bitch couldn’t rap huh?” runs Chicago’s Noname over slinky piano chords on the opening track of her debut album ‘Room 25’. If anybody doubted her vocal prowess, the volcanic 35 minutes of soul-laced rap that follows more than proves them wrong. Stuffed full of brilliantly clever lyrics and sparkling production, ‘Room 25’ is a treat. HM

79. Octavian – ‘Spaceman’

Octavian | Best albums 2018

The London rapper’s 2018 mixtape heralded the arrival of perhaps the most intriguing artist in the game right now, with elements of house, hip-hop, grime, drill and beyond getting an airing on this tight release. TS

78. Ghetts – ‘Ghetto Gospel (The New Testament)’

Ghetts | Best albums 2018

The undersung grime hero returned with an un-showy album that, in tackling racial discrimination and paying tribute to London, his hometown, assured fans of his staying power. JB

77. Iceage – ‘Beyondless’

Iceage | NME Albums of the year

The Scandi-punks finally made good on years of hype. A dark, twisted take on goth-rock bleakness, the youthful punk of their past was here shelved in favour of an altogether more intoxicating sound. Tracks like ‘Catch It’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nick Cave record, while the Sky Ferreira-featuring ‘Pain Killer’ shows hidden depths. TC

76. Greta Van Fleet – ‘Anthem Of The Peaceful Army’

Greta Van Fleet | NME Albums of the year

The Michigan rockers may well be America’s biggest new rock band, and their hair-raising debut album has done the impossible: pleasing the old Led Zep fans while gaining a new wave of young fans. TS

75. U.S. Girls – ‘In A Poem Unlimited’

U.S. Girls | NME Albums of the year

Toronto alt-pop outlier Meg Remy made a decidedly 2018 protest album with this woozy, jazzy assault on male dominance. JB

74. Nine Inch Nails – ‘Bad Witch’

Nine Inch Nails | Best albums 2018

With shades of Trent Reznor’s late friend and mentor David Bowie, this conclusion of a trilogy of EPs spans all of NIN’s many sides. From clattering industrial sonics, to expansive, soaring soundscapes, via free jazz and mutating electronica, it’s the sound of a band in constant revolution. AT

73. The Good The Bad The Queen – ‘Merrie Land’

The Good The Bad & The Queen | NME Albums of the year 2018

Damon Albarn gets the band back together a decade after their debut, this time turning their attention to national identity and, by extension, Brexit, obviously. Their return – and thoughtful ruminations – couldn’t be any better timed. TS

72. The Garden – ‘Mirror Might Steal Your Charm’

The Shears twins have become cult favourites through their boundary-less punk experiments and ‘Mirror Might Steal Your Charm’ continued their run of freewheeling invention in keeping with their philosophy. From rap-rock to power pop and a whole load in between, the duo moved in all directions but always disrupted the norm. RD

71. Superorganism – ‘Superorganism’

The international troupe’s debut album – recorded in the seven-piece’s house in East London – is a smorgasbord of cartoon noises, wobbly pop melodies and youthful vibrancy. The new Gorillaz? TS

70. Muse – ‘Simulation Theory’

Muse | NME Albums of the year 2018

From space-age rockabilly to EDM machine gun beats, this is Muse retreating from the real world and into a Tron-style pop pastiche of their own adolescence. It’s worth a listen to hear Muse taking the piss to nth degree on ‘Propaganda’ alone. You’ll be ashamed to tell anyone how much you love it. AT

69. Manic Street Preachers – ‘Resistance Is Futile’

Driven by romance, pomp-pop abandon and an old-school fighting spirit against the digital age’s hiss of zeros and ones, the Manics’ thirteenth album couldn’t be more perfectly married to the Franz Von Stillfried-Ratenicz photograph of a last Samurai; like him, the Manics are survivors. AT

68. Jpegmafia – ‘Veteran’

Jpegmafia | NME Albums of the year

Named in reference to his four years served in the US air force, Jpegmafia’s fourth solo record found the 28-year-old Baltimore rapper reflecting the state of his country in needle-sharp social commentary, from the creeping shadow of gentrification (‘Williamsburg’) to problematic liberalism (‘Libtard Anthem’). RD

67. Let’s Eat Grandma – ‘I’m All Ears’

Lets-Eat-Grandma | NME Albums of the Year

With album two, the Norwich duo brought their unique brand of space-pop into even sharper focus than before, leaping from dance to prog to electronica – often in the same song. JB

66. The Breeders – ‘All Nerve’

Some 25 years after the release of the seminal ‘Last Splash’, the line-up that made it reunited for The Breeders’ best album in years; a demonstration of terse, taut, and thrilling songwriting that hasn’t lost any power over the years. RD

65. Kacey Musgraves – ‘Golden Hour’

Making ridiculously fun country music incorporating disco beats, octave-hopping vocal manipulation, and plain-talking snapshots of the world around her, Kacey Musgraves is rightly basking in her very own ‘Golden Hour’ thanks to her most recent album. With stone cold bangers like ‘High Horse’ and ‘Butterflies’ who can resist?

64. Connan Mockasin – ‘Jassbusters’

The Aussie dance pranksters turned in a ‘90s-influenced big beat bonanza with this perfectly crafted collection of bubblegum bangers. JB

63. Courtney Barnett – ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’

Courtney Barnett | NME Albums of the year

Although her music is commonly referred to as ‘slacker rock’, there’s little chill to the Australian singer-songwriter’s lyrics, which revel in neuroses and anxiety, the juxtaposition forever compelling. JB

62. Lil Peep – ‘Come Over When You’re Sober Pt II’

This posthumous release from the late rapper proved a fitting epitaph to his far-ranging approach to music – a trap beat here, a grunge guitar riff there – threaded through with vulnerable, honest lyrics. JB

61. Agar Agar – ‘The Dog & The Future’

The French duo’s debut album is a surreal synth-pop voyage that’ll give your head a little wobble in all the right ways. Check out ‘Sorry About The Carpet’ and you’ll see what we’re getting at. TS

60. Architects – ‘Holy Hell’

Although framed in the tragedy of the death of primary songwriter and guitarist Tom Searle, the devastatingly raw ‘Holy Hell’ stood up as Architects’ best work yet, flirting with distress and defiance, and sounding more powerful than ever. RD

59. Earl Sweatshirt – ‘SRS’

Three years after his last album, the enigmatic rapper returned with a brisk collection of thoughtful and sample-heavy creations.The sweetest moments are when he pays tribute to his mother Cheryl Harris and late father, the poet Keorapetse Kgositsile. TS

58. Kurt Vile – ‘Bottle It In’

The mellow master roamed free with this long, languid album of slacker rock tunes audibly inspired by carefree family road trips. JB

57. Viagra Boys – ‘Street Worms’

A Google-unfriendly name, for sure, but this Swedish lot are no joke – they make post-punk that tackles men’s role in upholding the patriarchy, masculinity and more. JB

56. Fucked Up – ‘Dose Your Dreams’


The Canadian hardcore band ceded creative control to guitarist Mike Haliechuk, who turned in a deeply eccentric album that veered from jazz to baggy and back to hardcore. Bold and brilliant. JB

55. Mastersystem – ‘Dance Music’

The final album by the late, great Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, this side-project with members of Editors, Minor Victories and his brother/F’Rabbit drummer Grant took his brutal and introspective poetry into gnarlier terrain to create something much like its Sega console namesake: simple, free of frills, nostalgic, and yet weirdly futuristic at the same time. AT

54. Confidence Man – ‘Confident Music For Confident People’

The Aussie dance pranksters turned in a ‘90s-influenced big beat bonanza with this perfectly crafted collection of bubblegum bangers. JB

53. Pale Waves – ‘My Mind Makes Noises’

Goth-poppers Pale Waves turned in a debut album that was honest, exciting and packed to the brim with shimmering indie-disco classics. TS

52. Maribou State – ‘Kingdoms In Colour’

After years of touring, the British dance duo used field recordings from their travels on a soothing record that ought to make you feel more at one with the world. TS

51. Ross From Friends – ‘Family Portrait’

No, not that one. Or the burglar one. This is British producer Felix Weatherall, who paints a mind-melting picture that takes in house, techno, jazz and ambient music, and ties it together to make something distinctly unique. TS

50. Jack White – ‘Boarding House Reach’

If, in the past, it had been possible to say that Jack White’s solo albums were a little too close to White Stripes albums for comfort, the opinion-splitting ‘Boarding House Reach’ was the one that disproved that theory for good. Here was White at his most experimental, embracing space-rock, wonky-ass funk (‘Ice Station Zebra), Velvet Underground-style tone poems (‘Abulia And Akrasia’) and gigantic, Queen-size rock anthems (‘Connected By Love’). We like Wacky Jack very much. DS

49. Rejjie Snow – ‘Dear Annie’

Sprawling, hour-plus albums might be par for the course in hip-hop these days, but few hold the attention quite like ‘Dear Annie’, the long-anticipated debut from the Irish hip-hop prodigy Rejjie Snow. Unafraid to shy away from the darker side of his psyche on tracks such as ‘Room 27’ and ‘Mon Amour’, the production on ‘Dear Annie’ lifts this out of the realms of misery-rap Soundclouders, instead creating a buoyant, ever-changing and fun world to immerse yourself in. “I’m black, I’m weird, I’m proud,” he declares on ‘Bye Polar’ – long may he continue. TC

48. The Prodigy – ‘No Tourists’

The Prodigy probably shouldn’t really sound this great in 2018, almost 30 years since their debut show in a tiny east London venue. Yet ‘No Tourists’, the Essex ravers’ bracingly brilliant seventh album, is a wild ride indeed, an absurdly inspired collection that uses touchstones from their stellar output – there’s a reference to the guitar riff from classic track ‘Breathe’, for instance – as though assembling an army to carry out their sonic onslaught. These are amongst the hardest tracks they’ve ever produced, a journey exemplified by the uncompromising ‘Champions of London’, proving longevity doesn’t always mean mellowing out. Rave on. JB

47. Gorillaz – ‘The Now Now’

After seven years away, Damon Albarn’s animated brainchild returned last year with the dense and sprawling ‘Humanz’. Then – surprise! – the Blur man hit the studio again in the downtime amid heavy touring to quickly turn around sixth album ‘The Now Now’ just 14 months later. Far from than scraps and lunch hour recordings, the aptly-titled record strips away the guest-heavy approach of its predecessor to offer a more direct route to core of Albarn’s sweet and escapist pop genius. Here’s to not overthinking. AT

46. Father John Misty – ‘God’s Favourite Customer’

2018 was the year it all went pear-shaped for Misty – thematically, at least. Where 2015’s ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ was a punch-drunk tribute to romance and 2017’s ‘Pure Comedy’ an epic treatise on life itself, the shamanistic singer-songwriter’s fourth record, ‘God’s Favourite Customer’, was a taut break-up album. The sound is familiar – it’s Elton John after he’s popped a pill and read Infinite Jest in one sitting – but weepies such as ‘Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All’ and ‘The Palace’ suggested the God of Love was beginning to lose faith. He does mention he’s planning to get a pet named Jeff, though, so it’s not all bad. JB

45. The Story So Far – ‘Proper Dose’

At something of a juncture for the one-time heavyweight pop-punkers, ‘Proper Dose’ found The Story So Far striding ahead of their pizza- and skateboard-toting peers. With a clear – and surprising – love for the likes of Oasis and The Verve, the Californians broadened their sound, the chiming chords of Britpop lending tracks like ‘Keep This Up’ and ‘Upside Down’ a more sunny-side-up disposition than their past wares. Like the brothers Gallagher had they grown up in endless summer, ‘Proper Dose’ is proof that pop-punk can grow up gracefully. TC

44. David Byrne – ‘American Utopia’

“The chicken thinks in mysterious ways,” David Byrne informs us on ‘Every Day Is A Miracle’, and you can’t argue with that. The Talking Heads hero turned in a record that, he claimed, was not named ironically – the 66-year-old genuinely still believes in the power of positivity, despite the onslaught of horror-show headlines. Here, he revels in wonder and astonishment at the beauty and bizarreness of the world around him, his wonky art-pop more skewed than ever. This left-field approach (some tracks sound like alternate universe show tunes) is best realised on ‘Everybody’s Coming To My House’, an eccentric ode to the power of community. JB

43. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Sex & Food’

Exploring the fringes of their sound, UMO’s fourth record is a jarring trip between extremes. Come load up on the filth and the fury of the snarling and gnarly ‘American Guilt’, with a firecracker riff so dirty it would make Jack White run to the shower. If you like that, try on the sky-kissing psych-rock of ‘Major League Chemicals’. Stick around for the sentimental and sweet summer pop of ‘Hunnybee’ or the Prince-indebted disco jam of ‘Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays’. From romance to rage and all stops in between, it’s an album driven by instinct. AT

42. Tom Misch – ‘Geography’

The kids are saying Disco Yes to soulful, south London smoothie Tom Misch. You might have heard of him from his Soundcloud mixtapes and remixes or the fact he snuck into the UK’s Top Ten charts earlier this year with his first studio album. On the earnest end of the schmaltzcore wave, also being served up by the likes of Rex Orange County and Matt Maltese, Misch blends his own dreamy voice with jazz guitar, hip hop beats, pop hooks and guest verses from GoldLink on ‘Lost In Paris’ and Loyle Carner on ‘Water Baby’. Still only 23, ‘Geo-gra-pheee’ (as Misch croons) could be the start of his soft-pop takeover. SC

41. Tirzah – ‘Devotion’

Call it post-R&B, experimental R&B, it doesn’t really matter. South Londoner Tirzah Mastin’s debut Devotion, following her 2013 I’m Not Dancing EP, is made up of eleven “straight up love songs” that are at times sparse and minimal, at times hazy and dissonant but always raw and tender. A collaboration with Tirzah’s friend and producer Mica Levi (AKA Micachu), Devotion feels intimate to the point of intrusion. Highs include the title track, with Coby Sey, the somber sounds of ‘Go Now’ and opener ‘Fine Again’. Catch Tirzah live at a handful of UK dates and European festivals in 2019 where she’s guaranteed to find more fans. SC

40. Spiritualized – ‘And Nothing Hurt’

‘And Nothing Hurt’ rivalled some of Jason Pierce’s most emotive and touching writing of his career to date. Full of wearied upset and despair at the world around him, Pierce’s voice captured human emotion at its most vulnerable and downtrodden: “You gotta take the pain / You gotta give it all away,” he sings on ‘The Morning After’, one of the album’s standout tracks. Despite the pain Pierce sings of, ‘And Nothing Hurt’ is also an album that finds hope in the very darkest of places, capturing the resilience of humans and how they can embrace the fear to work through it, despite the uncertainly of the times we face. EA

39. Soccer Mommy – ‘Clean’

Far from a high maintenance parent, Soccer Mommy is actually 21 year-old singer-songwriter Sophie Allison. ‘Clean’ is her debut album, following some tasty viral success on Bandcamp (with songs recorded in her bedroom) and tours with Slowdive and Liz Phair. Hailing from Nashville and on hiatus from NYU, Allison collaborated with producer Gabe Wax on these ten fragile but fearless guitar tracks, concerned as much with brutally honest self-reflection and identity forming in the age of Instagram as they are with the wonder and cruelty of teenage love. ‘Clean’ has angsty vocals, playfully distorted outros and lyrics – “I choose to blame it all on you” – that, well, sock you in the face. Post-album, Soccer Mommy has put out retooled early track ‘Henry’ and her melancholy take on Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’. More please. SC

38. Mac Miller – ‘Swimming’

Mac Miller’s brilliant fifth album ‘Swimming’, released a month before the musician’s death by accidental overdose, was a million miles from the frat rap that he made his name with; but this wasn’t a bad thing. Over rich instrumentals and bubbling beats Miller candidly addresses his life in the public eye and his personal pain. From the soaring ‘Come Back to Earth’, which sees Miller juxtapose his personal challenges with his optimism for the future over trickling pianos and gauzy strings, to the funk laced ‘What’s the Use?’ which alludes to the musician’s battles with addiction, he expertly hops through genres and shimmering production to create what was his best work in years. A heartbreaking reminder of how much more Mac Miller had to give. HM

37. Parcels – ‘Parcels’

Daft Punk-approved dance-rock from Australia via Berlin, Parcels make blissed-out tunes for a life of sunshine, cocktails, discoballs and hijinks. Creating what should certainly be one of the year’s most enduring debuts, five slick-but-cheeky surf dudes arrived in style with collection of playful but considered poolside pop. It’s got a magpie approach to the music of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘Random Access Memories’ by their robot friends, but feels fresh, vital, and completely human. AT

36. Janelle Monáe – ‘Dirty Computer’

Janelle Monae has been a bit of a pop outsider in the past, the theme of her complex and accomplished career to date being shapeshifting, finding new modes and ways to address what it is to be the other. Well overdue, ‘Dirty Computer’ is the album that has catapulted Monae to wider mainstream appreciation. Her face when she learned about her recent Grammy nomination for album of the year said it all – it’s been a long time coming, and in ‘Django Jane’ Monae spells out the historic erasure of black artists at major award ceremonies; “runnin’ down Grammys with the family” is something of a career ambition. Politically charged and deliciously playful at the same time ‘Dirty Computer’ takes the idea of a corrupted hard drive and runs with it. From the hedonistic “sex in a swimming pool” that underpins the impending doom of ‘Screwed’ to those infamous ‘PYNK’ vagina trousers and the free-wheeling celebration that is ‘Make Me Feel’ Monae doesn’t put a foot wrong. EH

35. Turnstile – ‘Time and Space’

You won’t have heard another rock record like this. Hardcore heavyweights Turnstile have never been ones to shy away from the fun-first approach, but on ‘Time and Space’ they took that mantra to huge new heights. From the afro-swing beats of ‘Disco’, to the punishing, riff-heavy likes of ‘Real Thing’, via Meatloaf-esque piano stabs in ‘High Pressure’, ‘Time and Space’’s box of bells and whistles has helped Turnstile push hardcore to places it’s never been before. TC

34. Kanye West – ‘ye’

It’s been a weird year for Kanye fans. On the one hand, a glut of Kanye-produced albums to delve into (the best are further up this list). On the other, there’s that White House visit to contend with. And of those albums, Kanye’s own solo record is representative of the majority – it’s a patchy album, hastily put together, short (seven tracks) and contains some troubling lyrics (not least those on ‘I Thought About Killing You’). For an artist we expect to set the agenda for the future, ‘Ye’ has been seen as something of a misfire. But give it another try, because there’s plenty in this experimental, weird little album that suggests Kanye has very much still got it, and he explores his own mental health in a way only he could: “I love your titties because they prove I can focus on two things at once,” he raps, for example. Kanye, it’s the way you tell ’em. DS

33. Years & Years – ‘Palo Santo’

That ‘Palo Santo’ was heralded with a sleek, Judi Dench-narrated video detailing its concept – a dystopia where humans perform in cabaret shows for their robot rulers – telegraphs Years & Years’ ambitions for their imperious second album. With a title that’s Spanish for ‘Holy Wood’, the twin themes are religion (tracks include ‘Preacher’ and ‘Hallelujah’) and sex. Throughout, pop evangelist frontman Olly Alexander purges his soul on the likes of ‘Sanctify’ (a heart-on-sleeves, tent-in-pants banger about the emotional minefield of an affair with a straight-identifying man) and aims a lyrical burn book over bad exes. It’s all coated in pounding house beats and the kind of early-noughties R&B bells and whistles The Neptunes reserved for Britney. ‘Palo Santo’ continued Alexander’s blooming into the one of the most vital pop stars of his generation, and made you want to tear your rosary beads off and head to the nearest dancefloor. Genuflect. GR

32. J. Cole – ‘KOD’

When J. Cole released ‘KOD’ he revealed that the acronym could stand for one of three things, Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed or Kill Our Demons. As the names suggest, across his fifth album the rap royal articulately tackles addiction and drug-culture, in some of the artist’s most brutally honest work. Interlude ‘Once An Addict’ sees Cole speak about his mother’s problems with alcoholism, while on ‘KOD’ he candidly raps about his childhood and the drugs he grew up around. With J. Cole’s blistering delivery cutting across searing production (that weaves together jazz, trap and SoundCloud rap), ‘KOD’ was a bold and brilliant offering. HM

31. Amen Dunes – ‘Freedom’

A sleeper hit amongst the more tuned-in music fans, the slow blossoming success of Amen Dunes’ ‘Freedom’ couldn’t be more fitting. It’s a record which thrives on that same delicacy – a slow-building, slow-burning cut of atmospheric, dusty indie-rock, all carried by Damon McMahon’s honeyed vocal. ‘Miki Dora’ is perhaps the best encapsulation of McMahon’s approach – a track named after, and chronicling the life of, a celebrated surfer who was also chastised for criminal activity and bigotry, it’s the perfect evidence of ‘Freedom’’s ability to take life’s less polished complexities, and turn them into something stunning. TC

30. Vince Staples – ‘FM!’

The Californian rapper evoked the bleaker side of his native land on this crisp collection. Although Staples’ lyrics are often hard-boiled (‘Don’t Get Chipped’ warns against gang violence), the sound is predominantly sunny: this is a summer record for the darkest of times. As the retro title and ‘Dookie’-like sleeve suggests, it’s like whacking up the car stereo as you cruise around Los Angeles, coolly assessing the fall-out of the American dream. Skits drift in and out between tracks, mimicking radio adverts, creating a sense of restlessness compounded by paranoid lyrics such as “he a rat / He be sidin’ with the cops”. JB

29. Troye Sivan – ‘Bloom’

Troye Sivan grew from singing YouTuber to bona fide pop behemoth with this second album, and its tender unpacking of the queer coming of age experience. There’s sex – the lubricious title track, an ode to bottoming, rides a tsunami of synths, and the ecstatic jam ‘My My My’ is as horny as the first hit of poppers; and love (his danceable-domesticity Ariana Grande collab ‘Dance To This’), but it’s his needlingly honest eye-for-detail lyrics that stand out – on the stark ‘Seventeen’, he outlines his formative experiences of Grindr, where a longing for community sees him seeking refuge in the bed of an older man. With gorgeous hook-heavy tunes that grip like flypaper and cover universal themes, it might seem reductive to pigeonhole him (he once told NME he’d been sent a photo of his and Years & Years CDs in a “gay” section), but there’s no doubt he’s an important Gen-Z icon – and ‘Bloom’ is a make-someone-feel-less-alone standard-bearer for #20GayTeen. GR

28. Ezra Furman – ‘Transangelic Exodus’

It’s surely long overdue that the transangelic community – people born knowing they’re illegally angels inside and transitioning with an operation to release their wings – should have their struggle documented in a leftfield alt-pop “queer outlaw saga” concept album. And, at long last, here it is. Chicago art-pop provocateur Ezra Furman’s eighth album (with various backing bands) tells the “half-true memoir” of Furman falling for a transangel and having to go on the run while shadowy government agencies and Nazi gangs hunt the lovers down. Truly heavenly. MB

27. Jon Hopkins – ‘Singularity’

British producer Jon Hopkins has fairly described this record’s heavy hitting 10-minute centrepiece ‘Everything Connected’ a “massive techno bastard” (its thumping mid-section will squeeze your skull with mind-melding effect) but there are plentiful moments of quiet introspection (the ambient ‘COSM’) and joyous release (the chilled coda of ‘Luminous Beings’) to indulge in too. At once cerebral and appealing to your basic repetitive beat instincts, ‘Singularity’ – contrary to its name – is an album of endless layers, a rich soundscape of ideas to lose yourself in. JB

26. Matt Maltese – ‘Bad Contestant’

The Berkshire don helped to create a genre this year: schmaltzcore, caramel-smooth jazz-pop whose purveyors include Tom Misch and Rex Orange County. Sounds like Jamie Cullum, but cool, you know? On his damn fine debut album, Maltese crafted near-perfect piano pop with whip-smart lyrics (“Some people think the Earth is flat / But if it were / How come I don’t see you anywhere?”) and the occasional boogie-woogie flourish (we heard Jools Holland smashed up his Steinway in a jealous rage when he heard the funky final 30 seconds of ‘Guilty’). ‘Bad Contestant’ is smooth as silk wrapped around a razorblade. JB

25. Tommy Cash – ‘¥€$’


The Estonian rapper proved there’s more to him than outlandish visuals (his ‘Little Molly’ video sees his face creepily super-imposed onto a little girl’s body) with this maximalist record. Euro dance beats, bubblegum production from PC Music, a rapper called MC Bin Laden – this is not a subtle album, but Tommy Cash is not a subtle man. ‘Horse B4 Porche’, with brittle percussion and languid bass, demonstrates the record’s (relative) softer side, while the more representative ‘Brazil’ ups the ante with thudding rapid-fire rhythms. On ‘Cool 3D World’, Cash raps, “I’m a chronic masturbator”, but the pleasure is all ours. JB

24. Young Fathers – ‘Cocoa Sugar’

A band who always struggled with the mainstream, often preferring to deliver their experimental sound from the edges, ‘Cocoa Sugar’ marked a bold change in direction for the Edinburgh three piece. Creating their most cohesive and accessible album to date, this was an album of stark juxtapositions, probably best exemplified by the song ‘Lord’. Its gentle piano-arpeggios and infectious gospel harmonies uplifted whilst its synth heavy, drone backdrop felt ominous, creating a mood that unsettles as much as it comforts. Such contrasts were frequent on an album that very much felt like a band caught between their two selves of old and new. For fans of their earlier work, there was still plenty of experimentation and innovation with everything from scratchy electronica to dynamic spoken word. The album was at its best where the two sounds – old and new – combined into something altogether more harmonious, such as on ‘See How’ and ‘Border Girl.’ EA

23. SOPHIE – ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’

Few producers in recent memory have had the immediate cultural impact of SOPHIE. Initially associated with PC Music – a group of South London oddballs on a mission to infiltrate the mainstream – her work has gone on to touch everyone from Charli XCX to Madonna (SOPHIE co-wrote the brilliantly absurd ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’). After appearing on camera for the first time in the video for ‘It’s OK to Cry’, this year has seen the multi-talented creative force coming into her own as an artist, too. Though debut album ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ keeps firm hold of the bizarre ‘what the hell is this’ sonic quality of SOPHIE’s early releases, it’s a transcendent and sublime interrogation of pop music itself. EH

22. Deafheaven – ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’

With their fourth studio album, Californian metallers Deafheaven embraced melody like never before. Surely the first black metal-adjacent record that wouldn’t sound out of place at the Proms, the likes of ‘Canary Yellow’ and ‘Honeycomb’ are all the evidence you’d ever need to prove metal’s worth in the critical arena. A sprawling, stunning journey through Britpop anthemia, classical intricacies and post-rock explosions, all wrapped up in George Clarke’s banshee vocal, ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’ was one of 2018’s most beautiful and bracing releases. TC

21. Ariana Grande – ‘Sweetener’

Her compassionate, dignified handling of the aftermath of the Manchester bombing elevated Ariana Grande from uber-stanned pop star to deity status here in the UK. The arrival of ‘Sweetener’ 18 months later meant songs like ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ couldn’t help but be freighted with meaning, but the real revelation is how out-of-the-darkness joyous it sounds. Aided by Pharrell and Max Martin, Grande’s luscious millennial-Mariah vocals are paired to trap-beats and ‘90s R&B production, while experimental excursions such the Nicki Minaj-assisted ‘The Light Is Coming’ (which samples right-wing anti-Obamacare protests) and closer ‘Get Well Soon’ (tackling her mental health) pay off. Three months later, she underlined her quicksilver-pop instincts by releasing the positive break-up single ‘Thank U, Next’. After a period in which her life has been presented as in flux (the death of Mac Miller, the failure of her engagement to Pete Davidson, dealing with PTSD), this is the sound of a pop hero saying ‘business as usual’ in the face of a storm. GR

20. Slaves – ‘Acts of Fear & Love’

You might not associate Kent bruisers Slaves with melody – or, indeed, fear or love – but their third full-length found the two-piece shuffling their deck somewhat. Pushing melody to the front like never before, frontman and drummer Isaac Holman even (gasp!) singing, rather than barking away, it proved that there’s more to Slaves than just thrashy punk and full-throttle excess. What’s more, it somewhat unexpectedly catapulted them into arenas, with a recent Alexandra Palace appearance proving that there’s a big audience for their bile-filed wares. As album highlight ‘Bugs’ sides the band with “another let down generation” lambasted with “inaccurate information”, Slaves have quickly become an essential voice. TC

19. Travis Scott – ‘Astroworld’

When you’ve released a record that’s as invigoratingly fun as ‘Astroworld’, then you’re surely allowed to turn your live show into an actual theme park, right? Travis Scott’s rollercoaster set-up is currently wowing audiences across North America as the rapper continues his annus mirabilis, which has also seen him co-headline Reading & Leeds and welcome his first daughter Stormi Webster with Kylie Jenner. The success of ‘Astroworld’ will live long in the memory, though: from thrilling collaborations with the likes of Frank Ocean and Tame Impala to the psychedelic might of cuts like ‘Stargazing’, this is an album which just keeps on giving. Strap yourselves in: it’s a wild ride. SM

18. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Hope Downs’

The War On Drugs finally reached Australia… or so it sounded from Rolling Blackouts Coastal fever’s debut album. Touting a catchier, Go-Betweeny strain of the space grunge that Adam Granducial and Kurt Vile have been pioneering, ‘Hope Downs’ was a freewheeling delight, like the brakes failing on a truck full of old Lemonheads albums. On fire. ‘Talking Straight’, ‘Mainland’, ‘Sister’s Jeans’ – every track seemed to want to out-cuterock the last, and every one succeeded. Bring on the Blackouts. MB

17. Parquet Courts – ‘Wide Awake!’

Somehow Parquet Courts’ sixth album was among their most cohesive and accessible, despite lobbing space folk, hippy pop, new wave, funk, dub opera, Rio samba, garage rock and a hefty pinch of shouty Strokes into their wonky alt-rock blender. MC5, Pavement, Talking Heads, Squeeze, Neutral Milk Hotel – the record came across like a quick-change act of impeccable alt-rock references, yet was unmistakably Parquet, for its erratic/inspired melodic quirks alone. Quirks? How about an American band singing a song called ‘Total Football’ about actual British football? Mind. Blown. MB

16. BROCKHAMPTON – ‘Iridescence’

A scattershot, wildly inspired record, the Texan alt-boyband’s fourth studio album arrived in the wake of founding member Ameer Vann’s ejection from the group due to sexual assault allegations. Yet the album centres on the positives (its understandably-ditched working title was ‘The Best Year Of Our Lives’), encompassing global success, the long road travelled to achieve it and the group’s determination to retain hold of the quality that made them massive in the first place – their honesty. Musically, ‘Iridescence’ bounces from howling sirens and brutal bass kicks to barked vocals, almost always offset by the vulnerability conveyed in the lyrics. JB

15. Kids See Ghosts – ‘Kids See Ghosts’

Arguably Kanye’s best team-up since ‘Watch The Throne’, ‘Kids See Ghosts’ saw the prolific 41-year-old partner up with regular collaborator Kid Cudi to craft a condensed and focused record which oozed plenty of vibrancy and vulnerability. “I don’t feel pain anymore / Guess what, babe? I feel freee,” Ye sings with gusto (and an added “SCOOP!”) on the appropriately-titled ‘Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)’ – and this thrilling, unabashed sense of freedom is precisely the kind of quality that made ‘Kids See Ghosts’ one of the best listens of 2018. As NME noted, ‘Kids See Ghosts’ sounds “suitably ghostly and supernatural – [it’s] a brief glimpse into another world.” And it’s a world you’ll want to visit time and again. SM

14. Snail Mail – ‘Lush’

Contradictory, defiant, vulnerable and over-awed – Baltimore teenager Lindsay Jordan captured the universal experience of growing with this debut album of gusty indie rock. Quieter and more melancholy than her live gigs, at which she shreds grunge vocals, this is a record that earns its title: the hooks and swooning and winsome, the lopsided guitar melodies lush indeed. Whether she’s channelling country (the finger-picked ditty ‘Let’s Find An Out’) or veering into expansive alt-rock (the reflective weepie ‘Deep Sea’), it’s clear that Jordan is a young musician with a unique voice, her continued growth a journey that her fans will accompany her on. JB

13. Dream Wife – ‘Dream Wife’

Not since Yeah Yeah Yeahs burst out of Manhattan in the early 2000s in a blaze of fishnets and glitter has punk rock been as downright fun as this. From the opening coos of ‘Let’s Make Out’ to the hammered-out closing chords and screams of the excellently sweary ‘FUU’, ‘Dream Wife‘ is a record that revels in spontaneity and the sheer magic of three best friends getting together in a studio and having the time of their lives. AT

12. Blood Orange – ‘Negro Swan’

Dev Hynes’ fourth Blood Orange project continued his fine streak of innovation, and ‘Negro Swan’ let us witness its creator at his most candid and intimate. The record’s 16 tracks include some prominent guests (Puff Daddy, A$AP Rocky, Steve Lacy), autobiographical musing (“16-year-old boy / Confused and knowing that he’s different he wants to give in / After school, sucker-punched down / Down and out,” he devastatingly recalls on opener ‘Orlando’) and what NME’s five-star review called a “piecemeal approach [to] music making: [Hynes] cherry-picks jazz piano, unstructured guitar and collaborators… to create nourishing layers of melancholy R&B pop.” A stunning and revealing work. SM

11. Robyn – ‘Honey’

Eight years after the ‘Body Talk’ trilogy, Robyn got the whole world channelling a particularly honey-hungry Winnie The Pooh when she first confirmed her long-awaited return. In her time away the Swedish pop icon experienced two heavy blows of loss in quick succession; she broke up with her long-term boyfriend (the pair have since reunited) and lost her bandmate and collaborator Christian Falk to pancreatic cancer. Turning her sorrow into glass, ‘Honey’ is an strangely euphoric, gentle giant of an album that attempts to make sense of the fall-out. Robyn’s always had a rare gift for clashing extreme emotions perfectly, and as heart-wrenching as this record can be, it ends on a note of prevailing hope. EH

10. Christine and the Queens – ‘Chris’

Scribbling out majority of her moniker, and transforming into the strutting character of Chris, Christine and The Queens’ second record takes a sheet of sandpaper to the evocative softness of debut album ‘Chaleur Humaine’. Exploring power dynamics, and the threat posed by a dominant, sexually empowered woman, ‘Chris’ adopts rougher and rawer tact. Bolstered by filthy pop production – inspired in part by Jerry Jam and Terry Lewis – Chris’ poetic lyrics address desire head-on. And there’s a reason why her meticulously imagined stage show is the talk of the entire year, too – jostling with her rabble of dancing misfits, in theatrical technicolour, Christine And The Queens is one of the most important and boundary-pushing pop stars we have right now. EH

9. Mitski – ‘Be the Cowboy’

Strangely Mitski’s moment in the spotlight arrived four whole albums into her career, largely thanks to the success of the preceding ‘Puberty 2’. A hefty, distortion-drenched tangle, the Japanese-American musician held up the extremes of heady romance and loneliness against one another, unpacking questions of identity, contentment, and the conventions of indie rock. Though ‘Be the Cowboy’ stems from the same aching place, it’s an altogether more playful prospect. ‘Nobody’ sees her take a turn towards deceptively chipper disco, plonking piano and a key-skipping chorus masking bleak isolation. And ‘Lonesome Love’, meanwhile, plays host to the best self-love one liner since St Vincent’s ‘Birth in Reverse’: “Cause nobody butters me up like you, and nobody fucks me like me”. It’s Mitski at her incisive best. EH

8. Cardi B – ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Cardi B’s whip-smart debut album ‘Invasion of Privacy’ is filled with witty braggadocio, and understandably so; the last few years have taken the Bronx rapper from rags to riches. As she quips on ‘Get Up 10’, referencing the U.S. Women, Infants, and Children federal aid program, she “went from WIC to lit”. Now one of the biggest rappers in the world, ‘Invasion of Privacy’ tells the story of Cardi’s rise to the top. Dexterous and surprising, it’s never clear where her tale will steer next; one moment she’s brutally honest, the next she’s cracking jokes. “With them pretty ass twins, you look like Beyoncé,” she says, rapping about her breasts – what else – on ‘Money Bags’. When Cardi B claims she’s set to take over the world, only a fool would doubt it. EH

7. Kali Uchis – ‘Isolation’

Genre has no place in Kali Uchis’ world. The Colombian-American musician’s debut album dances between R&B, disco, retro-soul and even a little bossa nova, sounding like the party playlist you’d knock together if you were, like, the greatest party host ever. There are cameos from established artists – Jorja Smith and Tyler, the Creator – but Uchis always emerges as head honcho; when her falsetto croon glides over rippling sound effects on ‘Dead To Me’, it’s clear we’re in the presence of tomorrow’s pop royalty. Even when she confesses her vulnerability (the buoyant ‘Feel Like A Fool’), Kali Uchis resides in a league of her own. JB

6. Shame – ‘Songs of Praise’

Like lice from the grimy undercrackers of Fat White Family dropped the next generation of South London gristle rockers. Shame: sweaty, gnarled and chronically allergic to shirts. Yet the airy, amphetamine indie rock of debut album ‘Songs Of Praise’ allowed listeners a (slightly) less slimy passage into the scene, with glistening tracks like ‘Dust On Trial’ and ‘Tasteless’ counteracting the grot rock gore of ‘The Lick’ and the like. Imagine if The Bunnymen ended up as roadkill, crushed beneath the wheels of Idles’ tourbus. MB

5. Pusha T – ‘Daytona’

If you know, you know. Kanye West’s decampment to Wyoming for a series of intense recording sessions this year struck gold on its first try with ‘Daytona’, which will undoubtedly go down as a classic work of hip-hop. The Ye-produced record saw Pusha T utilise nearly every second of its 21-minute run time to fire off captivating and belligerent bars about drugs, guns and his dislike of Drake (to put it mildly). The man himself might’ve put it best in an interview back in October: “‘Daytona’ is the rap album of the year. Best-produced album and best lyrically rapped album. I don’t think it’s even a contest in those two areas.” We don’t disagree, King Push. SM

4. Sunflower Bean – ‘Twentytwo In Blue’

From dank New York basements to breezy Laurel Canyon air, Sunflower Bean have made the same leap as many an underground rock band seeking wider appeal – they’ve gone full Fleetwood. So second album ‘Twentytwo In Blue’ laced dreamy folk rock swoons like ‘I Was A Fool’, ‘Twentytwo’ and ‘Memoria’ between glam stomps like ‘Crisis Fest’ and ‘Puppet Strings’, plus the odd psych rock freak-out (‘Human For’) and track that sounded like someone’s spiked the punch with MDMA at a goths-only prom (‘Only A Moment’). A lustrous evolution. MB

3. IDLES – ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’

What were Idles resisting? What you got. Toxic masculinity, Brexit, thug culture, xenophobia – Joe Talbot kicked back against society’s copious modern ills with a passion, power and exuberance that shot Idles’ second album straight to the frontline of the new punk fightback. From the brutalism of ‘Colossus’ and ‘Samaritans’ to the emotional hardcore of ‘Cry To Me’ and pop pogo ‘Danny Nedelko’, ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ proved that, in a world of sonic artifice and stylish disguise, a record this raw, righteous and honest could still hit home as hard as a bloke with a perm. MB

2. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’

The ‘character album’ is often career palate cleanser, and 2018 has given us a bumper batch. Muse’s ‘Simulation Theory’ (band as ’80s cult throwbacks), Lump (band as fluffy bigfoot) and Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Tranquility Base…’, in which Turner and co played the house Elvis impersonators at a lunar cocktail lounge like a Daily Sport headline come to life. A whole album full of anti-gravity easy listening would have been overkill in lesser hands, but it made for an intriguing, endearing twist in the Monkeys’ tale, and who knows what sort of band they’ll be when they come back down to earth… MB

1. The 1975 – ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’

The 1975 are a famously divisive band – you only have to read the comments on NME’s (frequent) social posts to see that.

When our Deputy Editor returned from a trip to LA to interview Matty Healy ahead of the release of their third album hailing ‘A Brief Inquiry…’ “the new ‘OK Computer’”, I think my retort was, essentially, the fingers-on-chin emoji. I’d enjoyed the bangers on ‘I like it when you sleep…’, but something about the band hadn’t totally connected. Healy was undoubtedly a impeccable frontman, someone with the big mouth and swagger people had been craving, but I was yet to be a fully-fledged member of the cult of ’75. 

It took me a couple of listens, as every great album should, to fully appreciate ‘A Brief Inquiry…’, but it soon became apparent that Healy and drummer George Daniel have encapsulated the millennial condition through a record that is as diverse as it is a single, unified body of work. 

You learn a couple of things when you get to my age” is the opening lyric, and it’s clear: Matty has matured. His battles over the last year have been widely publicised – and widely referenced on this record – but this is a different man than the brashly confident ‘UGH’ era Matty, still making astute observations about the world around him but with a self-awareness that comes from an inward-looking period spent in therapy, getting clean and communing with a horse.

From the pacy ‘Give Yourself A Try’ and ‘TooTime’ to a song that starts off sounding like Disney’s Fantasia and drops into the raviest of eyes-closed, head back, sense-tinglers, this record is a chocolate box full of surprises.

‘Love It If We Made It’ is an album highlight – and has been a very strong contender for our track of the year, list coming on Monday, so stay tuned – made even greater by the fact that fans have been shouting ‘FUCKING IN A CAR’ at each other for months.

‘Be My Mistake’ moves me to tears. Not since Lorde’s ‘Liability’ has a song done that. ‘Sincerity is Scary’ has spawned a rush in rabbit hat purchases – as ridiculous as it sounds – which just proves the influence of this band.

For all of you who will criticise our choice of album of the year – of which I know there will be many – I implore you, give it a try. Not one listen, not skipping tracks but two or three runs, in full. This record is unique. It’s complex, it’s beautiful, it’s special in its observation of not just the politics, emotions and relationships of our time, but in its spanning and embracing of different styles of music. Modernity may have failed us, but The 1975 have upped their game. Charlotte Gunn, Editor 

COMING TOMORROW: our new interview with The 1975, talking about their chart-topping album, their crazy year and their plans for 2019.

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