2018 has been a odd year for pop culture. I feel like we’re stuck in stasis, waiting for something exciting to happen. But can the underground really throw up anything truly transgressive when there are a thousand blogs (like this one) waiting to find The Next Big Thing and hurl it upwards long before it gets a chance to develop? Politically, 2018 was a terrifying mess; politicians aren’t playing the Game of Thrones, they’re playing Risk and they’re really shit at it. Meanwhile, television offered a fresh take on Doctor Who with the first female Doctor entering official canon. Big Brother came to a gasping end, with hotly-tipped housemate Lewis F (toxic masculinity with hippie hair) obliterating his chances of winning in scenes that went unaired. Musically, there were a few highlights to be discovered. The days of hunting for new bands has shifted from the shelves of your local HMV to playlists compiled by Spotify and Apple Music. I’ve bought more books this year than I did in 2017 (that’s a lot of books and loyalty points for sure), and they’ve been mostly worth the money.
Here is a round-up of My Favourite Things of 2018. Though they’re arranged in a Top Ten format, they’re all practically interchangeable.
Singles/Songs of the Year
- Taxi Taxi – Cowgirl Clue
- Anna Wintour – Azealia Banks
- Lost Ship – Juliana Hatfield
- Heaven Is My Thing Again – Ssion
- Real Estate – Life Model
- Pose – Naomi Smalls
- Baby You’re A Haunted House – Gerard Way
- Idiots – Home Economics
- Hot Pink – Let’s Eat Grandma
- Stain – Milk Teeth
Notable Mentions: You Got Style (Miss Linda Remix) – Duane, Walk Away – Cry Club, TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME – The 1975, Fly On The Wall – Cheap Teeth, All Of My Friends Are Falling In Love – The Vaccines, Jungle Kitty – Bebe Zahara Benet, Getting Down The Germs – Gerard Way
Albums of the Year
- 2 Sad 2 Funk – Young Guv
- Keeping Up With Miss World – Miss World
- Cosmos – Miss Kittin
- Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides – SOPHIE
- Spencer Sings The Hits – Jon Spencer
- Spell #6 – Part Time
- Ideal Woman – Skinny Girl Diet
- Choose Life – Apostille
- Black Rainbow Sound – Menace Beach
- The Make It All Show – Skating Polly
Notable Mentions: Shake Well – Shotgun Hope, Church of Bop – Bip Ling, Suspiria – Thom Yorke, The House – Porches, O – Ssion, Dance On The Blacktop – Nothing, Casey’s Tape/Harmontown Loops – Colleen Green, Post – Jeff Rosenstock, Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun – Smashing Pumpkins
Novels of the Year
I’ve decided to list novels only, which mean no short-story collections, non-fiction or poetry. 2018 was a cracking year for new fiction and galvanising new voices. I’ve put together a list of highlights.
- Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata
- The Body Library – Jeff Noon
- My Year Of Rest And Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh
- Severance – Ling Ma
- The Garbage Times/White Ibis – Sam Pink
- Meddling Kids – Edgar Cantero
- The Lady Killer – Masako Togawa
- All The Hidden Truths – Clare Askew
- Frankenstein In Baghdad – Ahmed Saadawi
- Those Who Knew – Idra Novey
2018 wasn’t so bad, was it? Because I’m often always writing or out somewhere promoting my fiction (the main way writers actually make money), I stopped posting on this blog. But earlier this year I decided to get back into this blogging thing again. I wasn’t sure what to expect, simply because I didn’t know if anyone would care. There are millions of blogs out there, each one with a voice all it’s own. However, I’m delighted to say that my stats boomed over the last few months; an explosion of readership means that whatever I post is being read, thankfully. So in terms of blogging and this site, I’m closing out 2018 with something positive. My first book of fiction for adults is out in 2019, so there’s more about that to come. My most popular posts, however, usually centre around music. My Dubstar article was read hundreds of times over that month. My features about The Craft and Jawbreaker were likewise massively popular. Thank you for taking time out to read me. If I’ve learned anything, it’s to write about the things that excite me. There will be more of that in 2019.
Anyway, all of the books and songs and albums listened above are available to buy at all good bookshops/online stores or available to stream via various methods. Enjoy!