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03.18.19 Congratulations Dewinged03.15.19 Sputnik Championship
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02.07.19 A 2019 List12.20.18 Decade Top 100
12.19.18 it doesn't get better than...12.08.18 Sowing's 10 Best Songs of 2018
12.07.18 Sowing's 2018 EPs12.06.18 Sowing's Top 25 of 2018
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Sowing's 10 Best Songs of 2018

The best songs of the year. Objective fact.
10Kacey Musgraves
Golden Hour

"Slow Burn" - Golden Hour is the greatest country album released in my lifetime. When "Slow Burn" opens the experience with Musgraves' wistful, dreamy, and smooth twang, I can't help but drift off into the farthest corners of my imagination. A beautiful and simple pleasure.
9Haley Heynderickx
I Need to Start a Garden

"Oom Sha La La" - The most melodically accessible track from Haley's debut, "Oom Sha La La" is a metaphorical rut-buster of a single. Lines like, "if you don't go outside, well nothing's gonna happen" and the hoarsely shouted, titular manta of "I need to start a garden!" mark the emotional apex of the whole album. If you enjoy breakthrough moments for indie songwriters, this is a must-listen.
Nearer My God

"Lich Prince" - The moment when I knew Foxing was for real. There were a lot of expectations emanating from the band's third LP, but when they broke out their first real guitar solo - and nailed it better than any indie-rock band I've heard in a few years - the hype became justified. A slow building song with an epic apex.
7Let's Eat Grandma
I'm All Ears

"Donnie Darko" - British pop duos do not often make this sort of list, but Let's Eat Grandma aren't your typical outfit. With layered synths and electronics, the 11 minute album finale is a revelation. The duo recounts tales of physical abuse and neglect, while dancing all the way through the pain. It's a triumph, and an important song for pop, women, and really just everyone.
6Ben Howard
Noonday Dream

"Murmurations" - I waver a lot on my favorite song from Noonday Dream (because they all could be it on any given day), but "Murmurations" hits home the most. Howard paints a picture of some peaceful alternate reality, where you can even escape the apocalypse ("Missed the end of the world and that was just fine / Saw my family for the holidays and we had a good time"). When he sings, "it's so peaceful here, no one to fuck it up", I feel like I'm on my own island. An ambient and lyrical masterpiece.

"Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament" - It's probably been since 2006's The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me since I've heard a band this accurately summarize a total loss of hope and innocence. The overarching theme damns both politics and society, deeming both "fucked", and after listing a series of things that used to give the singer hope, he swats down each one with a reason why it is corrupted. A shattering and sadly truthful tale.
4Julia Holter

"I Shall Love 2" - Holter crafted something of an unapproachable beast in Aviary, but within the swirling experiments there are certain moments that just whisk you away. The haunting ooh's set a somber, reminiscent tone conducive to evening autumn strolls beneath a canopy of changing leaves. The slow build to Julia's chants of "I shall love" feels like a universal proclamation - this turning point for all of mankind to fall under her spell and become one with each other. It's almost too good to be true.
Dance Music

"Bird Is Bored of Flying" - On May 10th Scott Hutchison's body washed up on the shores of Port Edgar, just outside Edinburgh. He took his own life after decades of struggling with severe depression. Most people remember Scott for his work with Frightened Rabbit, but Dance Music was his final recording - and "Bird Is Bored of Flying" the final song he penned. Much like how "Floating in the Forth" feels eerily prophetic now, this fuzzed-out, reverberated guitar rock track does the same. Scott's lament of "I want less" and his finals words - "I’ve seen all that I care to see, become what I don’t want to be...Bird is bored of flying" before an extended riff outro will make you shed a tear. Heartbreaking finale to his career, jam this in his memory.
Whatever We Probably Already Had It

"God Once Loved a Woman" - The most beautiful, stripped-down indie love song. The narrative puts the focus on God, who fell in love with his creation: "Her blouse caught the sun and her eyes lit up like she recognized someone / He wanted her to know him, so when it started snowing, God spoke to her / He said you are the most beautiful thing that I all the boneyards tremble with her name." It's poetry put to shimmering acoustics, and all from a band that typically never takes itself seriously. A gorgeous moment from Frog, and a major surprise.

"Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore" - Aaron Weiss soundtracks his mental breakdown. Amid distortion that is disorienting enough to blur the meaning of most of the lyrics, one can discern Aaron shouting a plea to his brother (Michael - who is also in the band) that's just barely audible above the noise, "Michael won't you row that boat ashore, your little brother can't paddle anymore!" It's an admission that he's drowning, both mentally and in a metaphorical sense that works with the title of the song. Only Weiss could craft such an elaborate and poignant passage, and it's hardly the only one here ("Wonder who’ll my children be? / Strangers like their mom and me?"..."What voices you been hearin’ / As waters rise and darkness comin’ in?). "Michael" is a menacing storm of reverb, dissonance, and heartbreaking's a challenging listen that will peel away at you and ultimately shake your core. The best song of 2018.
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