With 2018 coming to an end, the GMAT Staff reflects on their own favorite albums of the year...
Go To School - The Lemon Twigs
I’m still surprised about how much an effect a genre-hopping, rock musical about a chimpanzee could have on me, yet Go To School remains one of my favorite releases this year. From its intricate songwriting, emotional story, and wide spectrum of sound, The Lemon Twigs bounced back with a second album full of fun and feeling. I feel that there’s a song on this record for everybody, no matter what your music taste may be. Go To School is truly an experience to listen to in its full, but one that is well worth it.
Artificial Flavors - Lunar Vacation
While not a full album, Lunar Vacation’s new EP was the perfect soundtrack to this past summer. With its calming, dreamy, pool rock vibes, this collection of four songs encapsulates high school in a much more interesting way. Artificial Flavors speaks to teenage tropes like isolation at parties and first loves, and does so in a way that is upbeat and fun, highlighting that dualistic teenage mindset well. For me, “The Basement”, a song that showcases the band’s tight technique and lead singer Grace Repasky’s crooning vocals, has been on repeat constantly. This EP is an accurate introduction to the Atlanta based group, and one that definitely had me grooving.
Little Dark Age - MGMT
Though released in January, MGMT’s Little Dark Age is an album that has been played all year long. It is hard to ascribe a single definitive sound to this record. The 80’s synth of “Me and Michael”, along with the electro pop vibes in songs like “Tslamp” and “Little Dark Age” showcase the band’s wide range of musical genre, as well their confidence in divulging in them all. The album’s darker lyrics and undertones are balanced out by weird, yet catchy, mini ballads, reminding me why I love this band so much in the first place. Little Dark Age keeps the group’s signature psychedelic sound, while also delving into unknown musical territory - a feat only MGMT could do.
Off To the Races - Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost will always have a special place in my heart. They’re a hometown band, and one that has been a crucial part of my own coming of age. With all of that in mind, Off To The Races, their fourth studio album, did not disappoint. While a bit poppier than past records, the trio are still able to include the classic piano rock sound fans know and love, while adding a twist of their own. I got strong Queen vibes from this album, and greatly appreciated Ben Thornewill’s layered vocals, Tommy Siegel’s millennial crisis ballads, and Jesse Kristin’s clean and intricate drums. Each member contributes their own unique talents to every song, making OTTR the ultimate culmination of what Jukebox has to offer.
boygenius - boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus)
Just listen. Boygenius. Wow.
Wait - Arlie
Just an absolutely amazing EP. The lyrics are specifically relatable and the coupling instrumentals are equally as touching.
Windows II - Hunny
Reminiscing on the sunshine and long drives of summer, this album provides the perfect escape. It’s as equally poppy as it is brilliantly written.
This Is It - The Greeting Committee
This Is It is a therapeutically upbeat yet chill album with lyrics that connect to experience and the heart.
Skylight - Pinegrove
Favorite Songs: "Rings", "Portal", "Angelina","Darkness", and "Light On"
Smell Smoke - Vundabar
Favorite Songs: "Harvest", "Big Funny", and "Diver"
Trench - Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Songs: "Jumpsuit", "Morph", "Cut My Lip", and "Pet Cheetah"
Composure - Real Friends
Favorite Songs: "Me First", "From The Outside", and "Get By"
No Dogs Allowed - Sidney Gish
Favorite Songs: "Sin Triangle", "I'm Filled With Steak, and Cannot Dance", "Persephone", and "Imposter Syndrome"