Author: Ben Yung

Favorite Albums of 2018: Young Fathers – ‘Cocoa Sugar’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Young Fathers – ‘Cocoa Sugar’

Cocoa Sugar by Young Fathers Young Fathers have never been ones to settle and stay stagnant, which explains why their music defies categorization. Some try to pigeon-hole them within the vast genre alternative hip-hop, but their music infuses elements of pop, trip-hop, Afrobeat, rock, krautrock, and even classical. With each transformation, Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and Graham Hastings reap new […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Valley Queen – ‘Supergiant’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Valley Queen – ‘Supergiant’

Supergiant by Valley Queen Veteran and established artists dominated the music scene this year. Look at all the “Best Of” or “Favorites” lists, and newcomers barely occupy them. One band, however, was able to crack through this nearly impenetrable wall. It sure helps that Valley Queen‘s debut album, Supergiant, is a contemporary indie-rock classic. The record is highlighted by a […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Sunflower Bean – ‘Twentytwo in Blue’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Sunflower Bean – ‘Twentytwo in Blue’

Twentytwo In Blue by Sunflower Bean In their five years as Sunflower Bean, Julia Cumming (bass), Nick Kivlen (guitars), and Jacob Faber (drums) have earned every accolade and dollar. They’ve been recognized as New York City’s hardest working band, released a rocking debut EP in the rocking Show Me Your Seven Seconds, and reinvigorated the classic rock of The Velvet Underground, Blondie, […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Preoccupations – ‘New Material’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Preoccupations – ‘New Material’

New Material by Preoccupations And the circle is complete. Any Preoccupations fan will understand what these words mean, as the band’s latest album, New Material, completes a trilogy that began with Viet Cong (when they were known under that name) and continued with 2016’s self-titled album. Like the previous two, New Material is a dark, bleak, and trembling concept album […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Pinkshinyultrablast – ‘Miserable Miracles’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Pinkshinyultrablast – ‘Miserable Miracles’

For most of their career, Russian trio Pinkshinyultrablast established themselves as one of shoegaze’s finest outfits. While Slowdive and Ride were on hiatus, they filled the void with the expansive, chiming flair. For their third album, Miserable Miracles, however, the band expand their reach and unveil their most expansive LP to date. Miserable Miracles is more than just a record. […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Phosphorescent – ‘C’est La Vie’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Phosphorescent – ‘C’est La Vie’

C’est La Vie by Phosphorescent Since the release of his breakthrough album, Muchacho, in 2013, the music world anxiously waited to hear what Matthew Houck, the man behind Phosphorescent, would reveal next. He teased something was near, but nothing was shared. Finally this autumn, C’est La Vie was unwrapped. C’est La Vie is a cohesive and effortless album. It is Houck’s solar system, where […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Miya Folick – ‘Premonitions’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Miya Folick – ‘Premonitions’

For more than three years, Miya Folick has floored music fans and tastemakers with her awe-striking, wide-ranging vocals and poignant and gut-wrenching songwriting. She’s made her growing fan base dance, contemplate the state of the world, and remember their own times of immense vulnerability. She has moved people in ways very few artists have, and the arrival of her debut […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Mitski – ‘Be The Cowboy’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Mitski – ‘Be The Cowboy’

Be the Cowboy by Mitski Whether it is sitting behind the piano, ratcheting a distorted electric guitar, or scratching a synthesizer, Mitski Miyawaki – or simply Mitski – has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to make personal vulnerability sound bold and, thus, something to not fear. As she showed on Puberty 2, she wore it like a badge of honor, revealing […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: mastersystem – ‘Dance Music’

Favorite Albums of 2018: mastersystem – ‘Dance Music’

May 10, 2018 is a date that many indie music fans will never forget. It is the day we learned that Frightened Rabbit front man Scott Hutchison said goodbye to the world. Unfortunately, we never got the opportunity to say thank you for being the best friend we needed in our most difficult times. He did, however, leave one last […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Lucy Dacus – ‘Historian’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Lucy Dacus – ‘Historian’

2018 has been an incredible year for Lucy Dacus, who earlier this year collaborated with Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers under the moniker boygenius to release one of this year’s most incredible EPs. Her own solo album, Historian, is similarly a remarkable feat. The record is not merely a personal account of the 23-year old singer-songwriter’s life, but how the world has […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Lala Lala – ‘The Lamb’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Lala Lala – ‘The Lamb’

The Lamb by Lala Lala Can an album simultaneously charm and devastate? In the case of Lillie Smith and her solo project Lala Lala‘s sophomore album, The Lamb, the answer is an emphatic yes. The record is a multi-dimensional exploration of both the human spirit and music that aims to crush souls. The quiet yet emotionally powerful grunge ballad “Moth” is […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Khruangbin – ‘Con Todo El Mundo’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Khruangbin – ‘Con Todo El Mundo’

Con Todo El Mundo (N & S America Edition) by Khruangbin For nearly fifteen years, Laura Lee (bass), Mark Speer (guitar), and Donald “DJ” Johnson (drums) have been perfecting their instrumental psychedelia as Khruangbin. However, their music isn’t solely based on the psych-rock that emerged in the late ’60s and ’70s and has taken on a ferocious approach in modern times. They […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Iceage – ‘Beyondless’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Iceage – ‘Beyondless’

In their early days, Danish post-punk quartet Iceage were a furious and hard band. Their initial releases were filled with teenage angst, but their third album, Plowing Into the Field of Love, revealed a change in tone and approach. It represented a band maturing and whose perceptions grew to account for the world as a whole and away from the […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Emma Ruth Rundle – ‘On Dark Horses’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Emma Ruth Rundle – ‘On Dark Horses’

Emma Ruth Rundle‘s last album, Marked for Death, was a sonic and emotional catharsis that continues to tremble walls and souls. It is Rundle’s masterpiece and one of the great records of not just 2016 but this decade. Trying to follow up a generational LP is a challenging endeavor that many before have fallen short, but Rundle matches MfD‘s fervor […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Devon Church – ‘We Are Inextricable’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Devon Church – ‘We Are Inextricable’

We Are Inextricable by Devon Church For fifteen years, Devon Church plied his craft as one half of the ambient-electronic outfit EXITMUSIC. Rarely did he assume the position as the person with the mic, but he did orchestrate much of the duo’s cinematic soundscapes. Following his and Aleksa Palladino’s announcement they getting a divorce and, thus, bringing an end to […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: City Calm Down – ‘Echoes in Blue’

Favorite Albums of 2018: City Calm Down – ‘Echoes in Blue’

 Down Under, a little indie band is capturing the brooding brilliance of The National and the cathartic darkness of Joy Division. In the process, they are winning over fans and critics alike. For City Calm Down, recognition and acclaim started with their second EP, 2012’s Movements, and gathered steam following the release of their debut album, 2015’s In a […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: The Beths – ‘Future Me Hates Me’

Favorite Albums of 2018: The Beths – ‘Future Me Hates Me’

Future Me Hates Me by The Beths For a couple of years, The Beths were New Zealand’s little secret. Elizabeth Stokes (guitar/vocals) along with Jonathan Pearce (guitar/vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass/vocals), and Ivan Luketina-Johnston (drums/vocals) built a cult following in Aotearoa with their infectious brand of guitar-pop rock. But in this shrinking world where the internet gets people closer together, the fine […]

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Favorite Albums of 2018: Belako – ‘Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence’

Favorite Albums of 2018: Belako – ‘Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence’

In the Basque town of Mungia, a little band led the charge in reigniting a genre that people said was dying. Way back in February, Belako unleashed Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence, which was fifty-one minutes of pure adrenaline. The record featured the band’s unique, cathartic blend of post-punk, indie-rock, krautrock, and electro-rock. Or in other words, they took the best […]

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Favorite EPs of 2018: Yumi Zouma – ‘EP III’

Favorite EPs of 2018: Yumi Zouma – ‘EP III’

EP III by Yumi Zouma If there is one band on the planet that could be described as your best friend, Yumi Zouma would undoubtedly win the contest. From dreamy and dizzying dream-pop to their embracing lyrics, Christie Simpson, Charlie Ryder, Josh Burgess, and Olivia Grace Campion have lifted many spirits and warmed plenty of hearts. With EP III, they grab us […]

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Favorite EPs of 2018: YONAKA – ‘Teach Me to Fight’

Favorite EPs of 2018: YONAKA – ‘Teach Me to Fight’

In their brief time as a band, YONAKA have quickly emerged as the voice of a young generation that feels frustrated and disenfranchised. They have assumed the space that Nirvana, Hole, and Rage Against the Machine once occupied. With the backing of a major label and an alt-rock sound that is equivalent to 10 mega-tonnes of TnT, they have the […]

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