Best of 2018: Julia

Next up in our year end round-up is one of the newer members of the Sonic Boom cast, Julia! She picked us 13 titles that stood out this year, ten fresh ones and a few stand out reissues. As with all our staff-lists, there’s some great tips here. Now, in her own words:

Julia’s 2018 List (not in order)

1. Car Seat Headrest Twin Fantasy

Car Seat Headrest is one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite bands to see live. This revisiting of an old album feels perfectly updated to match their current sound and timely pop-culture references. I can’t tell you how many times I yelled along to Beach Life in Death with my best friend in the car.

2. Bonny Doon Longwave

Longwave stuck with me because it felt kinda meditative. The guitars on this album make me picture being down at the water just as it’s starting to get dark in the summertime.

3. Damien Jurado The Horizon Just Laughed

I saw Damien Jurado play St. Mark’s Cathedral this year. It felt like his vocals filled up every ounce of space in that towering room. The Last Great Washington State gets me every time.

4. Emily A. Sprague Mount Vision

Emily A. Sprague is perhaps better known for her work as Florist (another one of my all-time favorite bands to see live). If you’ve heard Florist, you might be surprised to hear that things can get even more chill, even more pensive, and even more melancholy. This is her second album of ambient music. So great.

5. Amen Dunes Freedom

This album was just so listenable. This year it was my go-to album to put on when people came over to just hang out. Plus Damon McMahon’s vocals are just so great.

6. Lucy Dacus Historian

What a good breakup album. I love the lines “the first time I tasted somebody else’s spit /I had a coughing fit/ I mistakenly called them by your name /I was let down, it wasn’t the same” immediately followed by “I’m doing fine.” I like the humor of everyday life that Dacus pulls out in her lyrics.

7. U.S. Girls In A Poem Unlimited

This was one that ended up on repeat in my car over the summer. I love that it reminds me of the eighties but also just feels timeless??

8. Parquet Courts Wide Awake!

I think the kids would say, this one bops! Right? Can you tell I’m getting writer’s fatigue?

9. Black Belt Eagle Scout Mother Of My Children

This album is so haunting! It builds on itself so well that I find something new in every listen. And she’s local. Excellent excellent debut from Katherine Paul.

10. Richard Swift The Hex

Still feeling sad about Richard Swift. But also really glad that we have this album.

Reissues etc:

1. Jess Sah Bi & Peter One Our Garden Needs Its Flowers

This was a reissue that Awesome Tapes From Africa put out. Originally recorded in the 1980’s, it’s folksy and sunny and contains songs that get stuck in my head.

2. Liz Phair Exile in Guyville

I’m a sucker and I bought this box set just so I could hear Ant in Alaska on vinyl. One of my favorite 2018 moments was seeing Liz Phair live at the Showbox (save the Showbox!) and then ending the night by singing Liz Phair karaoke with Kay at the Crescent.

3. Gillian Welch Soul Journey

Thank you Mike Sampson for playing this all the time when we closed together on Fridays. I can’t believe how solid this album is and I’m so glad they released it on vinyl this year.