As I stated before it’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s definitely Christmastime but also that lovely time of the year where all of us music bloggers and journalists reminisce via online media, about all of the fantastic music that has been released this past year. So yesterday I posted part one of my 50 and as promised here’s part two of my top 50. Please enjoy and I hope you came across some songs you never heard of as 2018 gave us some pretty fun, innovative, creative, unique and just all around great music if you looked or listened hard enough. So without further ado here is The Reclusive Blogger’s Top 50 Songs Of 2018 …. Part Two

P.S. This list is in sequential order! 

25. Troye Sivan // My! My! My!

24. Blinky Bill // Showdown

23. Marian Hill // Subtle Thing

22. Eliza Shaddad // My Body

21. Olivia O’Brien // Care Less More

20. Lauv // Paris in the Rain

19. Saint Clair // I’ll Stay

18. King Princess // 1950

17. St. Vincent // Fast Slow Disco

16. Avonlea // Cars And Boys

15. Florence + The Machine // Big God

14. Ariana Grande // No Tears Left To Cry

13. Arctic Monkeys // Four Out Of Five

12. AFI // Get Dark

11. Kendrick Lamar + SZA // All The Stars

10. The 1975 // Sincerity Is Scary

9.  MAY // Falling

8. Twenty One Pilots // Chlorine

7. Khalid & Normani // Love Lies

6. Rationale // One By One

5. Shawn Mendes // Lost In Japan

4. Amy Shark // Don’t Turn Around

3. James Bay // Pink Lemonade

2. The Wombats // Turn

1. Bastille // Quarter Past Midnight

[Special shout out to Don’t Let Go (Love) from Bastille’s Other People’s Heartache EP for being so darn good and an absolute favorite of mine but … a Quarter Past Midnight just blew me away from the beginning and is my most played song this year! Thanks Spotify!]

And that’s it for this the list for 2018. Thank you for reading, watching, listening and please comments below and Tweet me back your faves from this year or faves from my list. Just get involved with me here and on my socials! Click that follow blog button. I want to make this upcoming new year bigger and better. Also, of course, listen to all of these artists as many of them are fairly new and indie and would very much appreciate it. Plus stay tuned for my top ten albums of 2018 list which is coming very very soon!

Until then,

Brittney W.

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It’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s time for me to reminisce via blog post all of the fantastic music that was released and that I listened to this past year. Trying to narrow down and figure out which tunes stayed with me and stuck out the most has proven to be quite the challenge but I finally completed it. I also ended up supersizing the list to 50 songs (posted in two segments) since 2018 had so much fun, innovative, creative, unique and just great music. So without further ado here is The Reclusive Blogger’s Top 50 Songs Of 2018 …. Part One 

P.S. The list is in sequential order! Also be on the lookout for my Top 10 Albums Of 2018.

 

Here we go with part one numbers 50-26 …

 

50. Childcare // Man Down

49. Leon Bridges // Bet Ain’t Worth Hand

48. Moss Kena // Square One

47. Loom:gs // Fault Line

46. Kiiara // Gloe

45. Bebe Rexha // I’m A Mess

44. Meg Myers // Numb

42. Robert DeLong + K.Flay // Favorite Color Is Blue

41. Tsar B // Rattlesnake

40. Ella Mai // Trip

39. Akine // No Gold

38. Virginia Wing // Glorious Idea

37. The Regrettes // Come Through

36. Kilo Kish // Elegance

36. Hozier // Nina Cried Power

35. Haux // Heartbeat

34. Charlie Barnes // Will & Testament

33. Jacob Banks + Seinbo Sey // Be Good to Me

32. CHVRCHES // Miracle

31. Kacey Musgraves // Slow Burn

30. Jorja Smith // Blue Lights

29. Bishop Briggs // Tempt My Trouble

28. NAO // Another Lifetime

27. Imagine Dragons // Natural

26. S-X, Nevve // Stay

And that’s it for part one stay tuned for part two coming up tomorrow! Comment below and Tweet me back your faves from this year or from my list. Just get involved with me on my socials! Also stay tuned for my top ten albums of 2018 list coming very very soon!

Until then,

Brittney W.

Be My Mistake
The 1975

What I think might be the sweetest song off the new alum from the indie-pop band’s long awaited third studio album. The soft acoustic guitar with the melancholy strumming pattern reminds me personally of songs Matty has done in the past such as 102 and She Lays Down. The guitar is so beautifully done, listeners can get absorbed immediately by the calming sound of the guitar. Matty’s voice comes in with an exclusive sound which can give you a feeling as though you’re sitting right next to the band as they record this piece. There is this everlasting personal piece to this song that makes you feel like you’re seeing it live or with the band sitting right there. I truly hope that when the band comes around for touring, they will consider throwing this song onto their setlist as it already sounds elegant from recordings and I would love to see their take on the song live.

Anyways
Arctic Monkeys

Alex Turner’s eccentric production from Tranquility Base flows through to this song which acts like a B-side to the title track Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. This song has so much going on it and is so packed with production that can knock anyone’s socks off with one listen. Right off the bat, the contrast of Alex’s voice with the guitar is so flawlessly done, it’s mesmerizing to me how Alex can manage to make every song flow with one theme and stick with that theme even beyond album tracks. But it’s not only the flow of this song that catches my attention. The production is so clear on Alex’s voice, there isn’t a single thing off on the way he sings his words. If you have ever seen the band live, you know of Alex’s peculiar yet enthralling act which he delivers every concert, this song matches Alex’s attitude with lyrics fitting his personality almost seamlessly. Alex has yet again delivered a song so out there yet so musically advanced, something that is true for any Arctic Monkeys song. You can never fall off this band as every song has you entranced by something new. Alex has taken us by surprise with this release and yet again delivered superior quality in his work.

Faking It
Sasha Sloan
Sasha’s production takes me by surprise every time I hear one of her songs. For an indie artist with little songs on platforms, you would never imagine such an astounding piece of music coming from her name, but this song proves everyone doubting her wrong. Right off the bat, Sasha has a unique and noticeable sound, she has an interesting reverb to her voice, but it is clear, and her production is top of the line matching ones of The 1975 or Arctic Monkeys. This song is catchy,something I can hear many people, whether fans or not, falling in love with. This will be a song that gets played almost everywhere. She has added the exact touches into this song to make her really explode on the music platform.

LIKE A ROCKSTAR
Chase Atlantic
Keeping consistent to their usual sound, Chase Atlantic released this song that is catchy yet interesting. There are so many aspects to this song that are very popular in music overall but the way that the band has been able to interlock in some unique drum tracks here and there along with melodies that are quite unusual to hear is exclusive to their sound and follows their aesthetic. This song is no different and includes some of the best vocal arrangements from the band I have heard yet.

whatare you so afraid of
XXTENTACION

Following alongside The 1975’s song, this song is an acoustic piece off of the rappers newest album SKINS. I personally love the take on this song as the singing is slurred, a common melody-line for xxtentacion, but has this beautiful strummed out guitar in the background which sticks with the whole song and is the only instrument played. The whole song in total has such a beautiful feel to it. It’s one of those songs that I can see true fans of the artist really falling in love with as they can pick apart all of the musicianship that x has put into this piece of art.

-Sabrina A. 

For the Holidays I interviewed Indie Singer-Songwriter Rändi Fay whose new Christmas single may seem a bit out place on my blog but once you hear it and read my interview with her you’ll see why I featured it …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an easy and quick question. So CD or Vinyl?

RÄNDI FAY: Vinyl. I will call myself out that I don’t have a record player anymore, and I rarely listen to CD’s anymore. I am a part of the current musician’s nightmare! I do buy Mp3s still, but I mostly stream. However, if I could re-create and embellish my collection of vinyl that I basically gave away for $5 twenty years ago (I know… right?), I could brush the dust from the tip of my cartridge and then hang out listening to the faint scratch of a record starting and all of that amazing sound that follows… I would LOVE that!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was your biggest inspiration behind the song Joy Whispered? And why?

RÄNDI FAY: The inspiration for “Joy Whispered” came in a songwriting challenge where I had to choose five words from a list of ten and write a Christmas song using them. Two words really stuck out to me: “silent” and “light.” I don’t think I had considered those two words together before, giving me a fresh image of the familiar manger scene. There must have been the feeling of “hush” among the people gathered under quiet starlight in awe of the new born baby, whispering excitement – so human and so divine! Picturing the scene, I saw joy crossing cultural, socioeconomic and “earthly” boundaries; hard-working native shepherds, wealthy kings from afar and heavenly angels, all sharing love for an infant and his impoverished family – a magical sight! We are one in this world. We can’t be reminded of that too frequently.

TRB: What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?

RÄNDI: “White Christmas.” I am soooo nostalgic, and I can’t get enough of the mood that song captures.

TRB: If you could collaborate with any musician who would it and why?

RÄNDI: Hmmm… so many!! I have so much to learn! I am going to go with Sir Paul McCartney because of his beautiful and resonant melodies, but also his fearless blending of instrumentation and genre. And his easy style and vocals. I wonder if he is really that charming in person?

TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?

RÄNDI: I have been listening to some really “off the beaten track” Christmas music and found Hayley Westenra. Wow, does she have a voice! Another cool, less known group is Alique. Wow. Again the vocals are inspiring, and the vibe is just the right mix of haunting and enthralling, with eclectic beats, unexpected harmonies and a classical yet magical approach to their production.

TRB: And what’s next for you Rändi Fay?

RÄNDI: 2019 is going to rock!! I start it out by playing “Donna” the lead in “Mamma Mia!” Yikes! That is completely new territory for me! And also, producer/co-writer Aaron Zinsmeister and I already have five tracks finished for our new project “Intuition,” a passionate concept album further exploring “symphonic pop,” in the spirit of Moody Blues meets Evanescence meets Disney, a little Dido, a little Celine…we have 5 (or maybe 6?) more songs to go, and hoping for a late summer/early autumn release!

TRB: Anything else you would like to add?

RÄNDI: I would love to send a message of peace to all of your readers. No matter what our specific commitment to Christmas is, be it more religious or more retail ;)… or none at all, this is a challenging time of year. Take some time for yourself, but also some time for helping others who need it. There is so much joy in passing on those small favors, with asking nothing in return. Truly – give it a shot! And THANK YOU for inviting me to participate in this blog! Merry Christmas!

Stream Joy Whispered here: http://bit.ly/JoyWhisperedSpotify

Until then,

Brittney W.

Today I bring you Cavey a bluesy London based alt-rock four-piece band consisting of Luke Cave on Guitar and Vocals, Alexander Chalstrey on Piano, Organ and Rhodes, Chun-Ting “Refa” Wang on the Upright Bass/Bass guitar, then Adrian Ortman on Drums. They’ve just released a smoky and soulful new song called “About to Start”. The song (produced by Blaenavon’s Frank Wright) which is a ballad harkens back to the days of smoky clubs and torch songs mixed with the precision of early to mid 2000s Alternative Rock flair. It recalls the trials and tribulations of being a working musician and what may or may not come of that. With the rather admirable use in abstract storytelling from Cavey the storyline could very well be interpreted as long lost love or friendship, as heartbreak is the central theme within the songs’ lyrics. The lead vocalist Luke Cave has a soulful tonality and jazzy vibrato to his vocals, which adds a unique touch not often seen in an Alternative Rock band. Therefore making them one to stick out a bit which could be a bad or good thing, in my opinion a good thing. So if you want something old school yet fresh and new plus are looking for something new to add your Holiday Party playlist (hint hint) check out Cavey’s “About to Start” and warm your ears this Winter.

CAVEY // SOCIALS

CAVEY // FACEBOOK

Brittney W.

Follow My Girl
The Japanese House

In preparation for her new album, female singer and artist The Japanese House has yet again released an elegantly done single matching her inviting yet calm sound. The reverb on her voice has such a interesting echo to it, one that is so unique to her. In this song, I personally love the production. She has included so many interesting background instrumentals that really tie the whole song together giving it a completely full sound. The more you focus onto this song the more you hear the musicianship is so well done by her. The way she includes these captivating background sounds throughout the song allow her to grasp your attention and force you to focus to every aspect of the song.

Lookalike
Conan Gray

Conan Gray once again showed his stunning talent and skills with this song. Conan has such a way of creating a clear sound to his vocal, one that is strong but does not overpower the instrumental taking over the whole song. One thing I have noticed from each song, his sound is just so appealing and clear that it resonates with you even after the song is finished and this song is no different in that sense. Everything from his pleasing vocals to the interesting, calming instrumental is superb.

Away We Go
Bad Suns

The instrumental of this song is something that captured my attention right off the bat. The upbeat feeling to the song makes the sound something that is a total feel good vibe. The way the song has a mixture of an acoustic guitar along with these cheerful electric guitar riffs playing through sections of the song makes this song a total feel-good upbeat tune. Another noted aspect of this song is the interesting echo reverb set on the singer’s voice. The vocals is something that always captures my attention throughout the song and the consistent echo-y effect in this song makes the song have an extremely unique and intriguing sound.

Family Tree
Ezi
The instrumental section of this song has a total new-age r&b feel but the way Ezi comes in with these old blues-rock type of soul vocals that we would hear from singers such as Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse, it really makes the song different from what we normally hear. There are many aspects of this song which really catch the attention of all listeners but I think the major note to be made here is Ezi’s vocals which held my attention throughout the whole song as her voice really shines through production-wise.  

Givin’ Up
Emarosa

I love when bands are able to change their style slightly but still kill it with their music and this song has done exactly that for Emarosa. The band used to be this post-hardcore style but this song has changed what they will be known for completely making and indie/alternative sound for themselves. I know this may veer many fans away from the band but I believe this is one of the best indie songs out there currently. The guitar is easy yet catchy. The drumming is consistent and the beat is upbeat enough to make you want to dance around. I love how they included a small horn solo towards the middle of the song as this aspect is something you never quite hear and really emphasizing it was an interesting touch to include. I do believe the instrumental is a tad overpowering on the vocals but there are many other aspects of this song which I think block of that tiny impurity.

– Sabrina A.