2018 proved to be a landmark year for ex Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson, who stepped away from his role as songwriter-for-hire to write, record, produce and release Tell Your Friends, a bittersweet collection which arguably deserved more acclaim than it received.
Jono McCleery’s honeyed voice is another sadly hidden treasure; his covers album Seeds Of A Dandelion reimagined works from artists as divergent as Billie Holiday and Thom Yorke – and pulled it off.
It’s been a turbulent couple of years for Teleman songwriter and front man Thomas Sanders, but cleverly he let part of the background become the foreground on the band’s third album Family of Aliens, a diaphanous pop record with a melancholy streak.
New York’s Onyx Collective are a loose body of artists who first emerged playing hit-and-run improv shows; their Lower East Suite collection is a magnificently diverse and tonal pitch, jazz as emotionally binding as it’s fresh and vibrant.
Kanye West may have some pretty muddled politics – pretty muddled everything in fact – but his work on Pusha T’s Daytona, whilst its star flayed Drake and told more high life stories about his rise from street dealer, turned it into one of rap years most complete experiences.
DMA’s – For Now
There is an air of fellow Australians Pendulum about the Sydney three-piece; unassuming, image free and making music that if the wind continues to blow in the right direction will make them famous for much longer than 15 minutes.
Noname – Room 25
Self written, self financed and self-produced, Room 25’s sweet and soulful vignettes were as intricately fascinating as they were endlessly playable.
Steve Hauschildt – Dissolvi
It’s been another stellar year for underground electronic music; on Dissolvi Steve Hauschildt weaves together minimalist techno with the ambience of 2016’s Strands, the result a high bar in a time of constant benchmark setting.