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My Favorite 20 Songs of 2018

These were my Top 20 of last year, in reverse order.
20Loreena McKennitt
Lost Souls

"Ages Past, Ages Hence"

The funny thing here is that this is from an album that's all supposedly misfit songs - songs that didn't make (or fit in with) any of her other albums. This track is typical Loreena, though - delicate, ethereal, and very beautiful.
19Rachael Sage


I liked this whole album. This one is an upbeat little ditty about human relationships and strangers who connect in the night.
18Sting and Shaggy

"Just One Lifetime"

Another album that didn't go over well with the Sput crowd (See # 15). Oh well. The lyrics here were borrowed from Lewis Carroll's narrative poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter".
17John Gorka
True in Time


A brooding folk track about living in uncertain times. My favorite lyric: "Losing hurts worse/Than winning feels good". I tend to agree.
Red Lights


My favorite pop-punk track of the year (barely edging out Senses Fail's "Double Cross"), although the album itself didn't blow me away.
15Three Days Grace

"The New Real"

Yeah, yeah, I know - Sput hates Three Days Grace. But I don't. The song is just accessible hard rock with a compassionate theme.
14Frankie Cosmos


An admittedly strange choice for a Best Songs list, because it's so short it's more of a songlet than a song. But I love Greta Kline's voice and the dreamy quality of the music here, and while the lyrics are pretty typical young-girl-in-love stuff, there's an appealing genuineness to them.

"Peach (Loboromy)"

I was disappointed by this album, but not by this song. They win the "Best Use of Whistling in 2018 Award" for this one.
12Haley Heynderickx
I Need to Start a Garden

"Drinking Song"

I know she originally recorded this song on her 2016 EP, but this is a different version, and I liked it too much to leave it out.
Love Is Dead


My favorite song from my favorite album of 2018. A young-love-gone-wrong electropop track.
10Johnny Marr
Call The Comet

"Hi Hello"

Marr definitely knows how to craft an intelligent pop rock song. It serves as a reminder that while most people think of Morrissey when they think of The Smiths, he only wrote the lyrics. Marr wrote all the music.
Little Dark Age

"She Works Out Too Much"

A clever little song. The back-and-forth interplay between lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden and the workout instructor makes the track work.
8When We Land
Introvert's Plight


Found this Minneapolis indie band thanks to Sowing's review. This one is a mid-tempo number with a sense of desperate sense of longing to it.
7Red Lama

"Perfect Strangers"

My favorite psychedelic rock song of the year. Kudos to Papa Universe for turning me on to this band and this album.
6of Montreal
White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood

"Paranoic Intervals/Body Dysmorphia"

Weird track that strings two songs together in the style of an old eighties dance mix. The first half finds singer Kevin Barnes trying to convince his paramour of the benefits of monogamy, the second is simply about feeling ugly.


Soft, otherworldy vocals and noisy, boisterous music make a nice combination.
4They Might Be Giants
I Like Fun

"When the Lights Come On"

The singer is pretty optimistic here about how great things are going to be when the lights back come on, considering he lost a kidney and part of his left hand, and he was thrown down a staircase by someone (or some thing).in the darkness.
3Tonight Alive

"Crack My Heart"

Totally hook-laden power-pop rock track, and the video is pretty cool too.
2Snail Mail


I didn't love the album as much as some critics, but I did love this song, even though it's definitely an example of what my daughter derisively refers to as "just some chick singing about her feelings".

"Plimsoll Punks"

Found this one on a bonus comp I received when I ordered the Jeff Rosenstock CD. A jangly-rock classic that combines sixties girl-group with nineties Britpop.
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