Best Albums of 2018: 40-31

Over the last twelve months, we seem to have bought more vinyl, made more playlists, and recommended more new music to our mates than ever before. In fact, when predicted what we’d see in 2018, little did we realise how many great records we’d be unexpectedly treated to.

So, as the year comes to a close, we have collated a list that we feel reflects the wide range of records that we’ve loved this year.

Here it is- (40-31) of Secret Meeting’s Best Albums Of 2018.

(Click album covers to read full reviews)

40. Idles – Joy As An Act of Resistance

‘In so many ways, IDLES have captured the moment in 2018. With the perfectly named, Joy as an Act of Resistance – their follow up to last year’s riotous punch in the mouth, Brutalism – they’ve produced an album of intensity, fun, outrage, anger and witty lyricism. But they’ve also encouraged us to pause for a moment to contemplate and expel the utter disillusionment in which so many people in Britain find themselves feeling today. The average man or woman on the street has no experience of real struggle or suffering – not in comparison to many – but in the current climate the average Briton has the right to be pissed off. IDLES capture this mood perfectly.’

39. Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile

‘Resistance Is Futile is in many ways a rebirth, but also holds onto the past. Though it is the first to be recorded in the new studio, it was helmed by long-time collaborator Dave Eringa. Though there is a sense of malaise when talking about politics, the fire still burns to strive for change. The Manics have always stood alone among their peers and their longevity is testament to that. Longevity for the sake of it though is pointless unless the work you continue to produce is worth it. And with this record, they’ve proven that they’re still a force to be reckoned with.’

38. Lonnie Holley – MITH

‘Throughout MITH, Lonnie Holley’s third full length LP, are fresh, exciting, emotional songs which showcase his turbulent talents. Holley moves effortlessly between genres, fusing jazz, funk, electronica, indie guitars, and dance into a wonderfully crafted manifesto for life. At the epicentre his remarkable voice, cast with the scars of experiences, but there is an enthusiasm and relish for life, which suggests this will be a record that is appreciated for decades to come.’

37. Jonathan Wilson – Rare Birds

‘Rare Birds is a victory. For all the influences, it never sounds derivative. For every knowing nod, there is something completely original. Previous albums Fanfare and Gentle Spirit aspired to hit the heights achieved here, but for various reasons didn’t have the same impact. On Rare Birds, all the pieces have fallen together to create a truly breath-taking record.’

36. LUMP – LUMP

‘Over seven tracks, their two creative worlds collide to create a record that is compelling and, at times, breathtaking. The atmospheric Morodorian synth stylings of Lindsay flirt with Marling’s acoustic guitar to create a cinematic soundtrack that allows her vocals the chance to go where they never have before.’

35. Nicholas Kvrgovic – OUCH

‘This album may be a document of one of the darkest times of Krgovich’s life, but that acute pain has given life to such a wonderful selection of songs. The candid way in which he unveils his feelings, warts and all, is not dissimilar to the recent work of former collaborator, Phil Elverum, only regurgitated in a totally different form. The music is never any more embellished than it needs to be, but odd flourishes of melody land a sucker punch before disappearing forever.’

34. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – With Animals

‘Lanegan’s career has been defined by carefully choosing where to engage his synergic energies. But as he settles into his third decade as a song writer, could it be that he’s found the perfect wing man in Duke Garwood? Because together they’ve created one of 2018’s most carefully crafted and unprecedented successes.’

33. Gwenno – Le Kov

‘By approaching this record in the way that she has, Gwenno has created a world separate from that we dwell in. Full of sunshine and joy, it celebrates the cultural heritage of one of the most historically rich areas of the UK by creating a new plane on which it can exist. At a time when our government is systematically slashed arts budgets, as well as withdrawing funds for the Cornish language completely, it is a welcome middle finger to those that seek to curb the next generation of artists.’

32. Lucy Dacus – Historian

‘Virginia singer/songwriter, Lucy Dacus, burst onto the music scene in 2016 with her self-assured debut, No Burden – giving a glimpse of the artist that she could become. Now in 2018, sophomore record, Historian, finds Dacus is sensational form, emboldened by personal strife and lashing out at the political displacement felt by thousands of young Americans.’

31. Neko Case – Hell-On

Hell-On is a returning triumph for Neko Case. Somehow, she is often overlooked in discussions regarding contemporary female singer-songwriters, however, Hell-On fantastic patchwork of songs that stand individually as unique moments, and as a body of work to more than prove she’s in the big league with the likes of St Vincent, PJ Harvey and Bjork.’

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