Thursday, August 29, 2019

McQ's Best Of 2018 Mix Collection

And here it is, the complete McQ's Best Of 2018 mix collection.  Click on the mix names for the full write-ups and various links, or just listen to everything here on this page.

And remember, you can always follow McQ & Nancy on Spotify and access all their mixes directly at David Francis McQuillen.

We begin as we usually do, with McQ's mix of favorite cuts from his favorite albums of 2018.

Arguably Punk's best year of the 2010's is looked at in greater depth here.  Includes highlights from releases by IDLES, Parquet Courts, Shame, Iceage, Fucked Up, Daughters, Hot Snakes, and Jeff Rosenstock.

Female artists continue their trend of dominating the contemporary indie rock/pop/folk scene .  Many of 2018's top highlights from the likes of US Girls, The Beths, Snail Mail, Courtney Barnett, Boygenius, Lucy Dacus, Soccer Mommy, Hop Along, Neko Case, First Aid Kit, and more are included here. 

Contemporary Pop, Jazz, Crossover Country, Alt R&B, mainstream Hip Hop and some really odd but very current experimental works are the emphasis here.  Includes stellar efforts from the likes of Yves Tumor, Tierra Whack, Kamasi Washington, Sons Of Kemmet, Kids See Ghosts, Kacey Musgraves, serpentwithfeet, Sophie, Noname, Trove Syvian, Cardi B, Khruangbin, Cardi B, Earl Sweatshirt, Young Fathers, Kali Uchis, The 1975 and more.

Electropop oriented dance and funky R&B is the almost exclusive focus on this mix which profiles great recent efforts from Christine And The Queens, Robyn, Janelle Monae, Rosalia, Django Django, Jessie Ware, DJ Koze, Let's Eat Grandma, US Girls, Against All Logic, and the unstoppable Confidence Man

My daughter Eleanor joins the family tradition with her debut mix of contemporary 2018 favorites, including efforts from the likes of Ariana Grande, Pusha T, Travis Scott and many more. 

Indie rock may be down, but it's hardly out. Ranging from dream pop all the way to Death Metal, this mix profiles a number of acts still feature the guitar prominently in their art.  Includes 2018 tracks from Car Seat Headrest, Thee Oh Sees, Amen Dunes, Black Foxxes, Hookworms, The Xcerts, Sleep, Deafheaven, Stephen Malkmus, Screaming Females, Spiritualized, Ezra Furman, The Liminanas, Wild Nothing, Ought, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

My son Kevin returns in 2018 with his second collection of contemporary Hip Hop favorites. 

Many of 2018's best oddball, electronic and/or barely there vaporous tunes are gathered here.  Includes efforts from Low, Beak>, Julia Holter, Skee Mask, Rival Consoles, Gazelle Twin, Underworld, Gwenno and Nulifer Yanya among others.

Another great batch of Nancy curated tunes here.  Includes 2018 highlights from Sufjan Stevens, Rhye, Phosphorescent, Nathaniel Ratleiff, John Prine, Hozier, Hop Along, David Byrne, Father John Misty, and several more. 

Volume 11 - The Next 100

No write up for this one, just, in no particular order, the next 100 great 2018 songs I was considering that barely missed the cut.

McQ's Best Of 2018 Vol 10 - Nancy's Favorites!

Hot off the presses, Nancy has finally locked down her 2018 selections of easy-listening favorites. As is usually the case on Nancy's annual edition, it starts with the crazy fun stuff and then progressively gets more thoughtful and intimate.

Write-up will get finished over next few weeks but wanted friends to have access to the mix for the Labor Day Holiday.

Here's the Spotify Link! Enjoy.

About The Artists/Albums/Songs on This Mix:

1. Nina Cried Power - Hozier (feat: Mavis Staples): Nancy opens her 2018 mix (most appropriately for her) with Irish blue-eyed-soul troubadour Hozier's gospel-tinged celebration of some of the most socially conscious singers of the past fifty years and the power their music had to change the world. Originally the title track to Hozier's 2018 four song EP, Nina Cried Power is now also the opener for his 2019 second full-length Wasteland, Baby!

2. You Worry Me - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Staying in an R&B mode, next up is Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats' bluesy number one adult alternative charter from their 2018 sophomore release Tearing At The Seams.

3. Lost In The Game - Public Access T.V.: One of the most intriguing under-the-radar power-pop acts out there, New York City's Public Access T.V. feels like they are on the verge of a major, Franz Ferdinand-styled breakout sometime here soon, as this rollicking cut from their super infectious 2018 album Street Safari clearly implies.

4. Make Me Feel - Janelle Monae: From the similarity in album titles, to the lattice work pattern that quietly dominates each cover, to the emphasis on sexual frankness, virtually every moment from Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer seems to be drawing from Prince's 1980 release Dirty Mind for inspiration, but never do comparisons between the two records feel more musically apt than with this huge hit here, easily one of the best songs of 2018.

5. New Birth In New England - Phosphorescent: One of the more charmingly relaxed indie artists of the last ten years, shaggy-dog alt-country troubadour Matthew Houck (aka Phosphorescent) landed another irresistible, light-as-air number in 2018 with New Birth In New England, taken from his seventh studio album C'est La Vie

6. Not Running - The Beths: Committing fully, warts and all, to a budding romantic relationship is the optimistic focus here on this propulsive indie-pop number from Auckland-natives The Beths' ridiculously catchy full-length debut Future Me Hates Me

7. Everybody's Coming To My House - David Byrne: Nancy has always been a huge David Byrne / Talking Heads fan, so it was zero surprise that Everybody's Coming To My House, the best track  from his 2018 album American Utopia, ended up on her mix here. 

8. It's A Shame - First Aid Kit: Following four non-stop years of touring and recording, Swedish sister's Klara and Johanna Soderberg had reached the breaking point, and mutually agreed to shut things down for a spell.  After a near-year long hiatus in which the two barely spoke and the sister's romantic relationships collapsed, they finally reconvened in Los Angeles in 2016 to start anew, but this time thematically focused on exploring what exists after things have fallen apart. That view point informs just about every moment of the album that came from those LA sessions, 2018's Ruins, as on lead single It's A Shame here, where the Soderberg's wonder how they could still feel so down when enveloped in So Cal sunshine.

9. One That Suits Me - Hop Along: As I wrote about Hop Along's 2018 release Bark Your Head Off, Dog for our Indie Gals Get 'Er Done mix, most of the album's song drift charmingly in out of moments of awkward musical inscrutability and sharp, potent focus, but on Dog's best track One That Suits Me here, once that first moment of clarity hits, the song never lets go of the reins, delivering a final four minutes of classic rock euphoria. 

10. See You At The Movies - J Mascis: Since the reformation of Dinosaur Jr.'s original line up a decade ago, J Mascis has reserved his softer folk-rock predilections for his solo albums, but thankfully he keeps making them, as See You At The Movies from his 2018 album Elastic Days was one of the year's best shaggy-dog light rockers.

11. New Light - John Mayer: Staying the in the soft rock camp, here's a new 2018 single from one of the entertainment industry's most notorious bedroom tattletales.

12. Slow Burn - Kacey Musgraves: Though highly reminiscent in feel/structure to Beck's Golden Age off of his 2002 release Sea Change, Golden Hour opener Slow Burn is nonetheless one of the most striking songs of 2018, a hauntingly gorgeous acoustic ballad that perfectly sets the table for the cross-over country feast that follows on the album.

13. Leave It Alone - Amanda Shires: Jason Isbell's better half and fiddler extraordinaire Amanda Shires returned to the spotlight on her own in 2018 with her sixth solo effort To The Sunset.

14. Bite The Hand - Boygenius: Lucy Dacus takes over lead vocal reigns from Phoebe Bridger and Julien Baker on this number from 2018's fantastic indie supergroup EP Boygenius.

15. Love Is A Wild Thing - Kacey Musgraves: Here's one more gentle number from Texas-native Kacey Musgraves' wonderful 2018 release Golden Hour, only the sixth album in history to complete the Grammy, Country Music Awards, and American Country Music country album of the year trifecta, and only the second album in history to do that and also win the Grammy's overall album of the year award. 

16. My Wild Sweet Love - First Aid Kit: Nancy's second selection from indie-folkers First Aid Kit's fourth studio release Ruins is actually the oldest track on the album, originally written for but rejected as a soundtrack option for the film adaptation of the teen romance The Fault In Our Stars

17. Mystery Of Love - Sufjan Stevens: Crafted specifically, along with companion piece Visions Of Gideon, for the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack at the request of the film's director Luca Guadagnino, Mystery Of Love would go on to receive a nomination for best song at the 2018 Academy Awards.

18. Waste - Rhye: Here's another cut from bedroom R&B outfit Rhye's sophomore full-length Blood. You can catch another cut from the album on our Vol 4 - Newer Things.

19. The Songwriter - Father John Misty:  Taking a less savage tack than on 2016's barbed political diatribe Pure Comedy, Father John Misty's fourth release God's Favorite Customer finds the troubadour showing a more empathetic side, as on this song, where he considers his life if the creative roles with his wife, photographer Emma Elizabeth Tilman, whom he's written about extensively in past songs, were reversed.

20. Souvenir - boygenius: Julien Baker takes the vocal lead on this poignant number from Boygenius's self-titled 2018 EP.

21. Summer's End - John Prine: Knocking out a top flight album at the age of 82!  You've definitely earned closing track status for our entire 2018 collection John Prine! Way to keep going! From the 2018 album The Tree Of Forgiveness.