Photo of I Don’t Know How But They Found Me in Portland by Cassie Wilson
Let’s be real… I’ve been so busy with my classes this year that I haven’t gotten to write half as much about new music as I have in years past. I miss yelling about artists I love, so I decided to sit down and catch you all up on what I’ve been loving in 2018, in a more relaxed and personal way.
Admittedly, I haven’t been great at listening to new music from week to week this year. That being said, I have spent some time growing and connecting with releases from last year. Some albums that have been my go-tos are as follows: Melodrama by Lorde, Lovely Little Lonely by The Maine, Spin by Tigers Jaw, As You Please by Citizen, I Love You Like a Brother by Alex Lahey, Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers, After Laughter by Paramore, and Here Again by A Will Away.
I haven’t written even one full album review this year (although, you likely didn’t notice because we have so many wonderful contributors now that have been covering all of your favorite artists). So, let’s talk about some records that we haven’t properly highlighted…
Void Ripper by Animal Flag
I have been wanting to write about this album for months. It’s actually a large part in why I decided to write this entire post. I’ve moved ‘Review Animal Flag LP’ from day to day on my calendar since the end of March because it’s one of the only albums that has really blown my mind this year.
Animal Flag is easily one of the most talented bands in my music library, and one of my absolute favorite live bands. The first taste I got of this album came in the form of “Fair,” the song with which they closed their set in a basement in Portland a year before Void Ripper was released. Unfortunately, all of their gear was plugged into one power strip, and a minute into “Fair” it all started coming unplugged. While the title isn’t about a carnival, I remember thinking about how much the bright and soaring instrumentals reminded me of a neon-lit ferris wheel in motion.
My first proper listen to the album took place during a two hour car ride to the Oregon Coast on spring break. As we were climbing the hills of the coastal mountain range and I had no signal or connection to the online world, I put in my headphones and went on a journey.
I had chills for the majority of the 33 minute listen, and immediately hit repeat when it ended. Void Ripper is packed full of huge, in your face riffs, as well as Animal Flag’s best musicianship and writing thus far. “Candace” is a definite highlight, and super energetic. The record also features some of the band’s best singalongs, and continues to build on memorable stand out lyrics that will resonate with just about any listener.
Listen to Animal Flag. Never miss a chance to see them live. Thank me later.
get well soon by worlds greatest dad
If it wasn’t for Codie listening to every new release each week, I wouldn’t have heard this wonderful album. Get well soon starts soft and acoustic, but then halfway through the first track, everything kicks in and the band soars.
“Laughing (While You’re Smiling)” is my initial favorite from the record because it’s so dang catchy and relatable. This whole album is just so great!! I know nothing about this band, but I’m excited to grow more familiar with them.
You Are Someone Else by Fickle Friends
Warning: this album will make you dance no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Whenever I put Fickle Friends on a playlist, they’re the band that people stop mid-conversation to ask who is playing. This album is pure pop gold, and I just feel so lucky that they gave the world SIXTEEN  songs on this record!! In 2018!! And every song is an absolute bop. Let this album be the soundtrack to your summer road trips, hangouts, and solo dance parties.
Never Nothing by Super Whatevr
You may have already read my interview that I did with Super Whatevr early in the spring, but let’s just remember why their record, Never Nothing, is so great. It pops, it rocks, and it covers mental health in an accessible way. Their following has grown a ton this year as they’ve toured more frequently, and they’ve built a pretty wholesome community along the way
Other 2018 albums…
We’ve already covered new music from The Wonder Years, The Aces, Waterparks, Tiny Moving Parts, Better Love, and soon to come – 5 Seconds of Summer, but they couldn’t go without mention because each of their new records are brilliant as well.
I saw some pretty amazing shows in the first half of the year. Lorde put on one of the best sets I have ever seen, and it’ll be hard (impossible) for anyone to top it the rest of the year. There’s such a magical feeling during arena shows, especially having not been to one in several years. Some other great sets I saw were performed by I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, Andrew McMahon, and The Wonder Years—each memorable for their own reasons.
Now that you’re caught up…
There’s so much great music coming out the rest of the year!! New Homesafe soon, Save Face, Foxing, Real Friends, Like Pacific…the list goes on. I am so excited to see what the music community creates in the last half of the year, and look forward to writing about some of it, and sharing writing and photos from the rest of the Sick Snaps team as well.
If you’re interested in writing about new music (of any genre) and want to join our team, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
I enjoyed catching up – let’s do it again soon.