Music in 2018

Normally I blog about the records I liked best in the week between Christmas and New Year, but this time around I didn’t. Things were insanely busy during these days, and I didn’t get around to sitting down for a longer post for which I can’t just dump a few tasting notes from Google Keep and be done with it.

Also, I didn’t even have the list ready by that time. Now I do, for about three minutes or so. My shortlist was 14 records and while I couldn’t really rank them before without a lot of consideration, I now just picked the ten I liked best and was done with it. Ordering them took another minute or two.

#10: Old Crow Medicine Show – Volunteer

This record came hot on the heels of “50 Years of Blonde on Blonde” I didn’t rank it any higher than tenth. It’s a good record, but it’s a bit too enthusiastic. Almost up to a level that I skip it because I want something a bit more quiet, and a bit more accommodating than ‘everything at 11’.

#9 Tyler Childers – Purgatory

When this was announced I fully expected it to be my number one album of the  year, but it had a massive drawback. It got released a year late in Europe, and because of that nothing on it was new. All tracks were on Youtube before, and a lot of them featured on EPs that came out in 2017. It almost felt like a greatest hits. So, great songs, great record. Just too late.

#8 My Brightest Diamond – A Million and One

My third favorite record of 2014 (I had to look it up) was by Shara Nova. This one came out in November or December, and I gave it a couple of spins right away. Thoroughly enjoyable, even though it didn’t make as big an impact on me as the previous one. Still great tunes, and far more electronic and ‘modern’ than anything else.

#7 Eels – The Deconstruction

A very old fashioned Eels record, compared to the previous few. And an old fashioned Eels record is something to keep an eye on. Quite upbeat even. For me and for Eels.

#6 Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain

I loved her previous record which only came out last year. It even took the number one spot back then. The second record is almost as good, which is quite an achievement. It’s a bit different, with a different style to it, and it didn’t have Table for One on it, which I still think is an epic song.

#5 Gretchen Peters – Dancing with the Beast

This record… If you’ve not heard it, go give it a listen. It is a bloody amazing one. All songs are good, and it certainly has that darker mood that I seem to love (no surprise to anyone, I guess). Strangely, it feels like a record made thirty years ago, but with just some contemporary edges to pull it into 2018…

#4 Carter Sampson – Lucky

When the first Carter Sampson record of 2018 hit Spotify I was very happy, until I realized it was yet another record with old songs. Somehow that’s a thing for her/her record label. A few weeks later Lucky was released, and it did not let me down.

I really enjoy these Americana/Country (not sure where one ends and the other begins) records that tell stories about weird peope. The fly-over-state version of Tom Waits, so to say.

#3 Karen Jonas – Butter

I don’t even really know why this one is so high, but I keep replaying this album. It took some getting used to, and it’s rather different than most things I like. It’s a bit more brash, and a bit more fun, maybe.

The surprising combination of Karen’s voice, with how not-so-big she is was surprising, to say the least.

#2 Colter Wall – Songs of the Plains

This was one I was waiting for, and a bit afraid for. It’s been a thing the last couple of years that follow up album are a bit of a letdown. This is not one of them.

It’s a farm-country record, if that’s a thing. Which is not strange since Colter Wall herds cows too, if I’m not mistaken. Also, it makes me want to go to Canada for a road trip. That voice, then. Keep in mind the guy was born in 1995.

In less than two months I’m going to see the guy live too. Very much looking forward to that!

#1 John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness

Another artist I’m going to see live this year! I’m glad I’m able to do so, since he isn’t the youngest anymore!

John Prine released his record early in the  year, after years of not releasing anything and me being completely oblivious to him and his songs. I fixed that this year and have listened to his music a lot, especially this record. I walks the line between addressing issues in the world and his life, and being funny and not serious at all.

His voice is great, especially if you consider his history. His song writing is old fashioned, yet relevant. My favorite record of the year!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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