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Wildewoman writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2018: Allison Parssi

CHIRP Radio Best of 2018

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2018. Our next list is from Assistant Music Director and DJ (Wildewoman) Allison Parssi.

Another year of great music, another list of a portion of that music. This is a selection of releases that held steady spots in my heavy rotation. These records got me through the triumphant accomplishments and the challenging moments that were brought with 2018. It is no surprise that the majority of the places are held by female artists and that pop is the leading genre.


#1   Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (Wondaland)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Janelle Monáe Dirty ComputerI'm not going to say much about this record, as it speaks for itself. Monáe leaves her personas she embodied in the past to show us herself. It is truthful, powerful, and beautiful. No one can tell her what to do and this Afro-futuristic pop celebration makes that clear.



#2   boygenius EP by boygenius (Matador)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

boygenius boygenius EPSix songs that are the perfect example of how magical collaboration can be. A release from the supergroup Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, who are superb musicians in their own right, have come together to create a sound much grander than any one could make on her own. The record continues to give me goosebumps in its short 20 minute duration and their live performance at Thalia Hall had me in tears for their whole set.



#3   Bambi by Hippo Campus (Grand Jury)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Hippo Campus BambiBambi is quite the departure from their debut record (Landmark). Returning to work with producer BJ Burton (Bon Iver, Low), Burton posed the question of whether the band wanted to make another Hippo Campus album or an album under the name Hippo Campus. The group chose the later - breaking away from their infectious indie-rock guitar riffs, introducing synths, and experimenting more with the overall soundscapes of their tracks. The band also decided to write songs separately from one another instead of collaboratively. The narratives became more personal, current, and unbridled dealing with social anxieties, mental health, and the trials of any failing relationship. This record shows how Hippo Campus has matured and how they aren't confined to a specific sound.



#4   Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett (Mom + Pop)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really FeelOne of my musical heroes released her second full length album this year (even though I'll probably always consider her Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas to be her debut album). Barnett's keen observational lyrics and driving guitar skills are back, but there is a fire beneath the ten tracks. She takes this opportunity to look inward at her exhaustion, anxiety, and frustration with the world and herself forming more emotional narratives within the songs. She's truly outdone herself.



#5   Honey by Robyn (Interscope)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Robyn HoneyRobyn's first full length album in eight years is a warm invitation back into her music. Another artist who looks inward for her release this year as a result of the end of a long-term relationship and the death of a close friend and collaborator. It is the perfect mix of hazy disco, pop, and emotional honesty. Every track has it's own shimmer while simultaneously blending perfectly into one another. It is understated, but still leaves plenty of room to dance.



#6   LONER by Caroline Rose (New West)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Caroline Rose LONERCaroline Rose's sophomore release is one that uses humor and sarcasm when bringing up topics of feminism, sexism, and other societal disillusionments and expectations. Influenced by Justin Timberlake and Briteny Spears (at her show this past November, she aptly covered Spears's "Toxic"), LONER is an amazing and thoughtful pop-rock album that goes in a million directions, but always comes back to Rose's witty personality.



#7   A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975 (Polydor)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

The 1975 A Brief Inquiry Into Online RelationshipsMuch to everyone's chagrin, this album did in fact make a spot in my top 10. An absurd album from an absurd band about how people can't stop looking at their phones. For as much flak as this group and album are getting, I will come to its defense saying that it takes listeners on a carefully crafted, pop driven journey of how people connect in this modern age and the ramifications of being overly connected.



#8   Chris by Christine & the Queens (Because)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Christine & the Queens ChrisA queer woman blurring the lines between masculine and feminine - showing her aggression in the music and her vulnerability in the lyrics. Chris (the album) is a personal, sexual exploration of Chris, the musician (born Hélöise Letissier) who just wrote and self-produced her second album. It is one that raises hell while on the dance floor.



#9   Superorganism by Superorganism (Domino)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Superorganism SuperorganismBlowing bubbles with straws and using toy cars for sound effects, a song about prawns, and other weird experiences are what to expect from hearing Superorganism's debut album. After meeting online, the eight members started recording while living across the globe from one another (the UK, US, and Australia). This is an electro-pop record that can be the soundtrack to any Dr. Seuss story.



#10   The Lamb by Lala Lala (Harley Art)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Lala Lala The LambLala Lala, a project led by Lille West, refined her sound for her second release and first on the Hardly Art record label. The songs find strength in honesty as she sings about her struggles with addiction, the loss of loved ones, and other hardships she addresses for the first time. West started this project as a way to process her experiences, both good and bad, and The Lamb offers a comfort in knowing we are not alone.


Rubblebucket - Sun Machine - Grand Jury

Noname - Room 25 - Self-Released (Local)

Lucy Dacus - Historian - Matador

Beach Bunny - Prom Queen EP - Self-Released (Local)

BRONCHO - Bad Behavior - Park the Van

The Beths - Future Me Hates Me - Carpark

Now, Now - Saved - Trans-

My Brightest Diamond - A Million and One - Rhyme & Reason

Grapetooth - Grapetooth - Polyvinyl (Local)

Hinds - I Don't Run - Mom + Pop

Tasha - Alone at Last - Father/Daughter (Local)

Lucius - NUDES - Mom + Pop

Jess Williamson - Cosmic Wink - Mexican Summer

Ohmme - Parts - Joyful Noise (Local)

Palm - Rock Island - Carpark

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food - Jagjaguwar




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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2018

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