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Top Albums of 2018: Staff Picks

2018 has come and gone and left us in a vast wasteland. On the bright side, it happens to be chalked full of great albums! Some tucked into trenches, others in toxic dead zones, but great albums nonetheless. We put our game faces on and braved the warzone to find the best records we could. While it was no easy task, KJHK’s music and executive staff made it look easy. Without further ado, here are the albums that fought their way to the top of our year-end lists:

Patrick Kennedy

  1. Pllush – Stranger to the Pain
  2. The Spirit of the Beehive – Hypnic Jerks
  3. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
  4. Boygenius – Boygenius
  5. Trace Mountains – A Partner to Lean On
  6. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  7. Foxwarren – Foxwarren
  8. Yowler – Black Dog In My Path
  9. Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar
  10. Snail Mail – Lush

Miranda Roberts

  1. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  2. Sidney Gish – No Dogs Allowed
  3. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
  4. Boygenius – Boygenius
  5. Foxwarren – Foxwarren
  6. Salad Boys – This Is Glue
  7. Frank Turner – Be More Kind
  8. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
  9. Trampled by Turtles – Life is Good on the Open Road
  10. Yowler – Black Dog In My Path

Jamie Martin

  1. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  2. Against All Logic – 2012-2017
  3. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
  4. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
  5. SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
  6. Employer – Fax of Life
  7. Foxwarren – Foxwarren
  8. Pllush – Stranger to the Pain
  9. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love
  10. Ought – Room Inside the World

Erin Bugee

  1. MGMT – Little Dark Age
  2. Jack Stauber – HiLo
  3. BØRNS – Blue Madonna
  4. Death Grips – Year Of The Snitch
  5. The Babe Rainbow – Double Rainbow
  6. Hippo Campus – Bambi
  7. Peach Pit – Being So Normal
  8. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  9.  Spooky Mansion – Alright
  10. deM atlaS – Bad Actress

Dylan Fox

  1. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love
  2. Amen Dunes – Freedom
  3. Low – Double Negative
  4. Dedekind Cut – Tahoe
  5. Grouper – Grid of Points
  6. Death Grips – Year of the Snitch
  7. DJ Koze – Knock Knock
  8. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  9. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  10. Kiran – Konduku

Quinn Leyda

  1. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
  2. Grapetooth – Grapetooth
  3. Tash Sultana – Flow State
  4. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  5. Foxing – Nearer My God
  6. Snail Mail – Lush
  7. Hippo Campus – Bambi
  8. Ocean Alley – Chiaroscuro
  9. Ron Gallo – Stardust Birthday Party
  10. The Nude Party – The Nude Party

Jaya Chakka

  1. Foxing – Nearer My God
  2. Ex:Re – Ex:Re
  3. Boygenius – Boygenius
  4. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  5. Joji – BALLADS1
  6. Son Lux – Brighter Wounds
  7. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
  8. Mountain Man – Magic Ship
  9. MGMT – Little Dark Age
  10. Marlon Williams – Make Way For Love

Zara Strayer

  1. Lucy Dacus – Historian
  2. The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl
  3. Boygenius – Boygenius
  4. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  5. Half Waif – Lavender
  6. Foxing – Nearer My God
  7. Yowler – Black Dog In My Path
  8. Kississippi – Sunset Blush
  9. The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
  10. Snail Mail – Lush

Kade Schoenfeldt

  1. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
  2. Snail Mail – Lush
  3. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  4. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
  5. Foxing – Nearer My God
  6. Denzel Curry – TA13OO
  7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food
  8. Teenage Wrist – Chrome Neon Jesus
  9. Iceage – Beyondless
  10. Mitski – Be The Cowboy

Caroline McCone

  1. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  2. Sidney Gish – No Dogs Allowed
  3. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  4. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
  5. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  6. Pinegrove – Skylight
  7. Cautious Clay – Blood Type
  8. Brother Moses – Magnolia
  9. Frankie Cosmos – Vessel
  10. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

Megan Kiser

  1. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  2. Noname – Room 25
  3. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  4. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  5. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
  6. Gorillaz – The Now Now
  7. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  8. Vince Staples – FM!
  9. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
  10. Joji – Ballads 1

Alisa Agostinelli

  1. LANY – Malibu Nights
  2. yungblud – 21st Century Liability
  3. The Aces – When My Heart Felt Volcanic
  4. 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
  5. Lovelytheband – Finding It Hard To Smile
  6. Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noise
  7. With Confidence – Love and Loathing
  8. The Hunna – Dare
  9. State Champs – Living Proof
  10. The Academic – Tales From The Backseat

Patrick Sullivan

  1. Mac Miller – Swimming
  2. $uicideBoy$ – I Want to Die in New Orleans
  3. 88Rising – Head In The Clouds
  4. Denzel Curry – TA13OO
  5. Post Malone – Beerbongs and Bentleys
  6. Ghost – Prequelle
  7. Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
  8. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
  9. Joji – BALLADS1
  10. Mumford and Sons – Delta

Brian Trevizo

  1. Hermit & The Recluse – Orpheus V. The Sirens
  2. Deathgrips – Year of the Snitch
  3. Lupe Fiasco – Drogas Wave
  4. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  5. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  6. Armand Hammer – Paraffin
  7. Quelle Chris & Jean Grae – Everything’s Fine
  8. Kamasi Washington – Heaven & Earth
  9. Guerilla Toss – Twisted Crystal
  10. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence

Deegan Poores

  1. Playboi Carti – Die Lit
  2. Saba – CARE FOR ME
  3. Snail Mail – Lush
  4. Pusha T – DAYTONA
  5. KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS
  6. SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
  7. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  8. Soccer Mommy – Clean
  9. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love
  10. Hatchie – Sugar & Spice

Cole Billings

  1. Employer – The Fax of Life
  2. Stars Hollow – Happy Again
  3. Bladee – Red Light
  4. Nylon Smile – Angel of Doubt
  5. Mom Jeans. – Puppy Love
  6. Connan Mockasin – Jassbusters
  7. loveboy – Malfunction
  8. Snail Mail – Lush
  9. Yung Lean – Poison Ivy
  10. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs

Liam Mays

  1. boygenius – boygenius
  2. Conner Youngblood – Cheyenne
  3. Valley Maker – Rhododendron
  4. Pinegrove – Skylight
  5. Wilderado – Favors
  6. Haley Heynderickx – I need to Start A Garden
  7. Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
  8. Hovvdy – Cranberry
  9. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  10. Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Sasha Artaega 

  1. Jess Sah Bi & Peter One – Our Garden Needs Its Flower
  2. Tancred – Nightstand
  3. Marcus Lewis Big Band – Brass and Boujee
  4. Foxing – Nearer My God
  5. Soccer Mommy – Clean
  6. Part Time – Spell #6
  7. Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers – Bought To Rot
  8. Blushing – Weak
  9. mewithoutYou – [untitled] e.p.
  10. Joey Purp – QUARTERLOVE

Matthew Stratton

  1. Rainbow Kitten Surprise – How to: Friend, Love, Freefall
  2. Black Foxxes – Reiði
  3. Denzel Curry – TA13OO
  4. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
  5. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
  6. Snail Mail – Lush
  7. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
  8. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
  9. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  10. Judas Priest – Firepower

Dawson Frick

  1. The Voidz – Virtue
  2. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
  3. Jack White – Boarding House Reach
  4. Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch
  5. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  6. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
  7. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  8. Middle Kids – Lost Friends
  9. AWOLNATION – Here Come the Runts
  10. Sleep – The Sciences

Lorena de la O

  1. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
  2. Shakey Graves – Can’t Sleep
  3. boygenius – boygenius
  4. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
  5. Ought – Room Inside the World
  6. Tiny Moving Parts – Swell
  7. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  8. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  9. Vein – Errorzone
  10. SOPHIE – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES

Cami Koons

  1. Snail Mail – Lush
  2. The Internet – Hive Mind
  3. Mac Miller – Swimming
  4. The Marías – Superclean Vol. II
  5. Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
  6. Noname – Room 25
  7. Soccer Mommy – Clean
  8. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  9. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  10. Beach House – 7

Andrew Chavez

  1. Robyn – Honey
  2. Beach House – 7
  3. Ryan Beatty – Boy in Jeans
  4. Mitski – Be the Cowboy
  5. Jack Larsen – Push-Ups
  6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – IC-01 Hanoi
  7. Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.
  8. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  9. Snail Mail – Lush
  10. Ricky Eat Acid – I Am Happy, Singing

Parker Freeman

  1. Julia Holter – Aviary
  2. Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
  3. The Voidz – Virtue
  4. Panda Bear – A Day with the Homies
  5. Tim Hecker – Konoyo
  6. Mid-Air Thief – Crumbling 무너지기
  7. Everett Bird – People Person
  8. Clarence Clarity – THINK: PEACE
  9. Mount Eerie – Now Only
  10. Autechre – NTS Sessions 1-4

Benji Bloom

  1. Saba – CARE FOR ME
  2. Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
  3. Pusha T – DAYTONA
  4. Denzel Curry – TA13OO
  5. Flatbush Zombies – Vacation in Hell
  6. Mozzy – Gangland Landlord
  7. Smino – Noir
  8. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  9. G Herbo – Swervo
  10. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard

Sophie Johnson

  1. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  2. Snail Mail – Lush
  3. Mitski – Be The Cowboy
  4. Beach House – 7
  5. Boygenius – Boygenius
  6. Rubblebucket – Sun Machine
  7. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  8. Noname – Room 25
  9. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
  10. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited

Kalekidan Yeshiwas

  1. Kali Uchis – Isolation
  2. Clairo – dairy 001
  3. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  4. Noname – Room 25
  5. Dreamgirl – Dreamgirl
  6. SALES – Forever & Ever
  7. Omar Apollo – Stereo
  8. The Internet – Hive Mind
  9. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  10. Ravyn Lanae – Crush EP

Maggie Witherow

  1. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  2. Tierra Whack – Whack World
  3. Noname – Room 25
  4. Robyn – Honey
  5. Snail Mail – Lush
  6. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  7. The Internet – Hive Mind
  8. Phantastic Fernature – Phantastic Fernature
  9. Haley Heynderickx – I Need To Start a Garden
  10. Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Coleman Connolly

  1. The Jefferson Park Boys – Casual Horns, Dog
  2. John Maus – Addendum
  3. Shades – In Praise of Darkness
  4. Tsuruda – Unlimited Data
  5. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
  6. Woolymammoth – Filling Spots
  7. Molly Nillson – Twenty Twenty
  8. Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
  9. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
  10. Gangus – Anti Self

Kyle Wernimont

  1. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
  2. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
  3. Joji – BALLADS 1
  4. Kali Uchis – Isolation
  5. Vince Staples – FM!
  6. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
  7. Dreamgirl – Dreamgirl
  8. Onyx Collective – Lower East Side Pt. 3
  9. TWRP – Together Through Time
  10. Denzel Curry – Taboo

Brian Locascio

  1. Jon Bellion – Glory Sound Prep
  2. Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself Up
  3. Blue False Indigo – More Light
  4. Houndmouth – Golden Age
  5. Troye Sivan – Bloom
  6. Betty Who – Betty, Pt. 1
  7. Kina Grannis – In the Waiting
  8. Lauren Daigle – Look Up Child
  9. ODESZA – A Moment Apart (Delux Edition)
  10. Vulfpeck – Lonely Town