My Top 10 Songs: 2018

Note: these are in no particular order, and are only in reference to songs released in the year 2018. I love a lot of music and artists, but these are 10 songs I believe deserve special recognition. 


you should see me in a crown | Billie Eilish

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“Count my cards, watch them fall

Blood on a marble wall…”

Cool, moody, and completely enthralling, this new single by Billie is a good sign that her debut full-length album will be something of great magnificence. 


Second Night of Summer | BØRNS

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“Throwing me that shade like I’m not cool enough…”

Blue Madonna kicked off 2018 on a great start musically, and, in my honest opinion, is even more impressive than BORN’s 2015 debut album. This song in particular is a highlight from the album, groovy with fantastic synth-laden interludes. It’s a great song to blast while driving on a summer night.


Wilson (Expensive Mistakes) | Fall Out Boy

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“I became such a strange shape

Such a strange shape from trying to fit in…”

Although MANIA was largely inflated and directionless (with an alienating and odd lead single), this song is a stand out. Energetic, fun, and with lyrics formed from movie quotes and references, “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)” is a great addition to the FOB discography. 


Mr. Tillman | Father John Misty

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“I’m feeling good, damn, I’m feeling so fine, I’m living on a cloud above an island in my mind…”

Sardonic, darkly witty, and intensely self-aware—“Mr. Tillman” is Father John Misty (a.k.a. Josh Tillman) at his best. (I mean, I’m a little worried for him, if I’m being honest, if half of these lyrics are true. But it’s a great song!)


Respect Commander | Jack White

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“She has all my respect

And I cannot protect

My heart from her command…”

Before the release of Boarding House Reach, Jack White was quoted as saying that his new album was, “good gardening music or roofing music or, you know, back-alley stabbing music”. I think this song pretty much captures that sentiment. Divided into two parts – a frenetic instrumental segment, and a bluesy, guitar-driven segment – “Respect Commander” sees Jack White channeling his inner Jim Morrison, and it will have you saying (like a friend of mine said after I forced her to listen to the whole thing in my car): “Wow, that was wild.”


After the Storm | Kali Uchis (feat. Tyler, the Creator & Bootsy Collins)

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“The sun’ll come out, nothing good ever comes easy

I know times are rough, but winners don’t quit, so don’t you give up

The sun’ll come out, but we’ve been struggling endless days

Someday we’ll find the love, ‘Cause after the storm’s when the flowers bloom…”

This song became my anthem for a better part of this year, as I embarked on the winding adventure that was making my TV show, “The Coroner’s Assistant.” Kali’s words of wisdom kept me going on the harder days, after we had to cancel long-planned shoots, find new locations last minute, and hope that the weather didn’t turn on us. “After the Storm” is empowering and will make you believe that your hustling and hard work will be worth it.


Life In Pink | Kate Nash

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“What’s wrong with me?

Am I person yet?”

In April 2018, Kate Nash released her latest album after five years. This album encapsulated the Kate Nash I knew and loved when I was a lonely, insecure teenager: a songwriter who addresses topics like mental health issues, creativity, hope, and belonging. “Life in Pink” does all that – in a bubbly pop rock song that will make you want to roll down the windows and scream along.


Mariners Apartment Complex | Lana Del Rey

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“You lose your way, just take my hand

You’re lost at sea, then I’ll command your boat to me again

Don’t look too far, right where you are, that’s where I am

I’m you man…”

Working with Jack Antonoff, the producer of her upcoming 2019 album, Norman F***ing Rockwell, Lana Del Rey released two singles at the end of the summer that caught her fans off guard and blew them away. “Mariners Apartment Complex” is one of her best singles to date, capturing perfectly the nostalgia that Lana’s music has always strived to encompass, with her vocals sounding better than ever after letting go of her beloved reverb. 


Dancing’s Not a Crime | Panic! At the Disco

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“We could be waltzing

But Darlin’ don’t be throwing shade, now

Don’t call me Saint California if you’re at another altar

Just gimme your vows, gimme your vows…”

Pray For the Wicked was a divisive album for many long-time Panic! fans. I thought it was an incredibly fun record, energetic and confident – and “Dancing’s Not a Crime” is Pray for the Wicked at its most fun. (And, of course, Brendon totally kills it vocally, like always.)


Chlorine | twenty one pilots

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“Hide you in my coat pocket, where I kept my rebel red

I felt I was invincible, you wrapped around my head…”

Dynamic, layered, complex, “Chlorine” is a stand out from Trench, the phenomenal latest release from this Columbus duo. This track is stunning from start to finish, crafted with Tyler Joseph’s endlessly inventive lyricism and undeniable energy. 

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Lana Del Rey: Unreleased

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In appreciation of the end-of-summer surprise that Lana has given to us fans, with the release of her singles, “Mariners Apartment Complex,” and “Venus Bitch,” I’ve decided to share some of my favorite “unreleased”* tracks of Lana’s. I’ve included my favorite lines of lyrics to each song.

*I say, “unreleased,” because while a lot of these tracks were leaked by Lana fans, some of included in this list were, at one time, “released” to the public under Lana’s former stage personas, including her “real” name, Lizzy Grant, and Lana del Ray. Although she released many demos, EPs, and singles (and an entire album as “Lana del Ray”) during these stages, they are not available to the general public on iTunes or streaming services.


 

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JIMMY GNECCO (also known as, “Jimmy Necco”)

Just Lizzy and a guitar.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, take me to the park 

Buy me cotton candy, kiss me in the dark


 

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QUEEN OF DISASTER

Bubbly and fun; delightfully retro.

You got me spinning like a ballerina

You’re the bad boy I’ve always dreamed of

You’re the king, and I’m the beauty queen of disaster


 

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KILL KILL

Lizzy Grant (a.k.a. Lana Del Ray) showcases her (soon to be) signature style.

I’m in love with a dying man


 

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DRIVING IN CARS WITH BOYS

Great guitar hook in the background; great anthem about being a young adult. (There is an “official” version of this song and a demo version. Both are worth listening to.)

I was born to live fast, die young

Leave a beautiful corpse and life on the run

I got my cash and my Louis Vuitton, diamonds and guns

Girls just wanna, just wanna have fun


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YOU CAN BE THE BOSS

Classic Lana song about a rich older man.

He has a white corvette like I want it

A fire in his eyes, know, I saw it

He’s bleeding from his brain and his wallet

He’s sick and he’s taken but honest


 

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HOLLYWOOD

Atmospheric as hell. Lana makes Hollywood seem as glamorous as it once was — or never was.

Body electric and I dance like Morrison

When the night begins, baby comes alive again


 

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DYNAMITE

Another upbeat pop tune, sprinkled with Lana’s style.

French vanilla ice cream

Just the way I like

Dripping on your windscreen

I can’t get a bite


 

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DANGEROUS GIRL

Featuring an electric guitar riff that samples the Star Spangled Banner, which works surprisingly well.

He’s my drugstore cowboy

Italian alloy, classical American

And I’m America’s sweetheart

Cute, delicious sweet tart

Sipping on my Diet Coke

Singin’ in the trailer park


 

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KINDA OUTTA LUCK

A weird little song about a lady killer. And by that, I mean an actual lady who kills her boyfriends and then dumps their bodies in the back of a truck.

Femme fatale, always on the run

Diamonds on my wrist, whiskey on my tongue


 

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JFK

I don’t share Lana’s particular enthusiasm for this president, but I am enthusiastic about how great this song is.

You’ve got a way like JFK when you do it

The way you move it

Spins me ‘round like a record, baby


 

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THE MAN I LOVE

Melodramatic with rich imagery.

All that’s real to me is Halloween and Jesus

Coney Island beaches

Chandeliers and seizures, honey


 

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FLIPSIDE

Presumably a reject from Ultraviolence, which should have made the original tracklist.

You’ve got me all dressed up tonight

Springsteen on the radio

You’ve got me all freaked out tonight


 

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YOUR GIRL (3 YEARS) (also known as, “Your Girl,” and “3 Years (Your Girl)”)

Lana perfectly captures the ache and anger in unrequited love.

I wish I was your girl


 

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YES TO HEAVEN

Sweet and delicate.

If you dance I’ll dance

I’ll put my red dress on again


 

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ANGELS FOREVER (FOREVER ANGELS) (also known as, “Forever Angels”)

Sometimes, when I feel sad, I put on this song, and everything seems okay.

Does the ocean inspire, easy rider?

Do the stars and the wind take you higher?


 

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SUMMER BUMMER (SOLO VERSION)

In my opinion, this should have been released as the “official” album version.

It’s never too late to see what I wanna see

Instead of what’s in front me, yeah

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