Time for the final year-end list, which is this list of my favourite songs of the year. I actually had a huge list typed, but then the whole thing just wore me out and I just shortened it to top 20 songs with another 180 or so as a Spotify playlist. You can see all the picks there. That was kind of the main idea. To make a huge playlist for the onechord history books and then move on to next year. The Spotify list is not in any order, because if the ranking of albums is a bit silly, then ranking of songs is absolutely ridiculous and totally impossible. Even the top 20 that I typed here could be in any order to be honest. I love music and I think all the songs on the playlist are great. It’s just 200 wonderful songs from 200 different artists. It’s fairly possible that the playlist will grow with some selected cuts during the next week or two, because I’m sure I missed some. It’s kind of difficult to control such a long list, because I might forget a song completely or I might think that I already did add it.
Anyway, this is it for 2018. Thanks to everyone who visited this once or multiple times during the year. Thanks to everyone who liked, commented, shared, followed a playlist or social media pages. It matters to know that I’m not just blasting words and songs into a void. I definitely want to keep this going at least for another year. This baby of mine will turn 18 next September and that seems a little insane and maybe that is worth celebrating by setting up a concert or something. Let’s see how that goes. Most likely nothing will happen.
Top 20 (or well 200+) Songs of the Year 2018
20. Clay Parker and Jodi James – Katie’s Blues
19. Lauren O’Connell – Superimposed (Sugar Glider)
18. Joshua Ray Walker – Canyon (State Fair Records)
17. Scott Hirsch – Valley Of The Moon (Scissor Tail Records)
16. John Prine – Summer’s End (Oh Boy)
15. Julia Jacklin – Body (Transgressive Records)
14. Michael Feuerstack – Jerome & I (Forward Music Group)
13. Robert Ellis – Fucking Crazy (New West Records)
12. Michael Nau – Funny in Real Life (Full Time Hobby)
11. Andrew Bryant – Night Wants the Moon (Last Chance Records) (Not on Finnish Spotify, listen here)
10. Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain (Loose Music / Fat Possum / Mama Bird Recording Co)
And then the top 10. Of course these could all be in alphabetical song, because I love them all and none were clearly above the other. Courtney Marie Andrews starts with the lead single and title song of her superb 2018 album May Your Kindness Remain. Deep empathy and warmhearted kindness shined throughout the whole album and reached its highest peak on this masterful song.
9. Austin Lucas – The Shadow and Marie (Cornelius Chapel Records)
Next we have Austin Lucas from Bloomington sending the darkness away by singing ever so beautifully. His album Immortal Americans contains lots of amazing songs, but this one he wrote for Marie is so powerful and deeply moving.
8. The Weather Station (feat. Jennifer Castle) – I Tried to Wear The World (Paradise of Bachelors)
I’m not going to let The Weather Station escape these lists even during a year when she doesn’t release an album. Thankfully I don’t even have to bend the rules to include her music, because she released a fabulous collaboration single with another Canadian songwriting hero of mine, Jennifer Castle.
7. Anna Tivel – Dust and Magic (Fluff and Gravy Records)
Next to Portland, Oregon to meet up with Anna Tivel. I do spend a lot of time in Oregon on this list. Anyway, I love Anna Tivel’s songwriting and she released two amazing songs this year. Her latest release is the single Fenceline of her forthcoming 2019 album and it is actually the key song of her year. A deeply affecting song about immigration and humanity and everyone should hear it. I still thought I save that and other songs of that 2019 album for the next year-end list, because one of the songs I listened to most this year was Anna Tivel’s rare love song Dust and Magic. It came out as a digital single in February and stayed with me the whole year.
6. Damien Jurado – Over Rainbows and Rainier (Secretly Canadian)
Damien Jurado released the best album of his career. I knew it was going to be a special album when this first single Over Rainbows and Rainier dropped into my heart. In a way so simple and sparse, but still so detailed, deeply moving. Beautiful storytelling and poetic imagery
5. Laura Gibson – Thomas (City Slang / Barsuk)
Goners by Laura Gibson is my favorite album of the year. I feel like all the songs are worthy of a place on this list and it’s almost impossible to pick one favorite. If I’m forced to choose, I think would go with Thomas on most days. Maybe a bit surprisingly, but I’ve just been really drawn to this song since day one.
4. Gladie – 20/20
Any of these last four could have been the song of the year, because I changed it pretty much on a daily basis. This one so different than anything else on this top 10, but I do love this song passionately. Gladie is a Philadephia-based indie rock band/duo formed by Augusta Koch and Matt Schimelfenig and this song is an opening song of their Everyone Is Talking But You EP. It’s a good partner to have, if the everyday life starts to resemble an overwhelming chaos. Everything feels somehow manageable with this song on my side. If the walls are closing in on me, this will kick them back and I can breathe again.
3. Grand Salvo – In the Water (Mistletone)
Grand Salvo from Melbourne, Australia takes the third place with this exceptional, epic and beautifully arranged 10 minutes long baroque folk song. This serene, beautiful and devastatingly sad song is masterful. The song I’ve spent the most time with during these last months of the year.
2. Matt Dorrien – I Can’t Remember (Mama Bird Recording Co)
Matt Dorrien’s beautiful piano-driven album In the Key of Grey was one of my big favorites of the year. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it and I still love it as much as the day I heard it. Actaully maybe this feels even more powerful now in December, because for example today the length of the day was less than 6 hours (sunrise 9.38 am, sunset 3.43pm), so it’s even easier to relate to that beautiful chorus where the love disappears like the sun in December. I can understand, if someone thinks it’s weird to rate a fairly simple break-up song so highly and above much more complex and multi-dimensional works of art. I still do that, because this song captures that deep pain so accurately and honestly. Absolutely wonderful song.
1. Haley Heynderickx – Untitled God Song (Mama Bird Recording Co)
And the song of the year is Untitled God Song by Haley Heynderickx. It really could have been any of these top four, but in the end it felt like Haley Heynderickx and this song in particular defined my year and she was the artist I listened to most during 2018. I can definitely have a heated argument with myself is this even the best Haley Heynderickx song of the year, but it’s the one that started everything and therefore on an emotional level it’s definitely the one that I love the most. It’s a profoundly captivating, completely addicting and a dazzlingly beautiful song that describes the appearance of God in an unconventional manner. I’ve never been a green thumb, but thanks to Haley Heynderickx I’m pretty sure I need to start a garden.