New Year's Eve blog post tradition, part the second – this time it's all about the music, powered by the sacred union of Spotify and Last.fm. Let's jump in, shall we?

Top 10 artists listened to in 2018

  1. Screaming Females
  2. Iglooghost
  3. tUnE-yArDs
  4. The Go! Team
  5. Janelle Monáe
  6. Iron Maiden
  7. Neil Diamond
  8. Zeal & Ardor
  9. Andrew Lloyd Webber
  10. We Are Scientists

After 2017's dalliance with ambient electronica, my tastes swung firmly back towards rock and roll in 2018 – as well as the artists listed above, I also listened to a lot of Shame, Tiny Moving Parts, Mastersystem, The Beths, and Black Foxxes this year. Of the top 10, the first five (plus #8 and #10) all released cracking new albums this year (or a double EP, in the case of Iglooghost), and we even got to see We Are Scientists play an amazing gig in a tiny venue in October.

Also, I suspect Iron Maiden only made it so high up my chart because I made myself a specific "their good albums in the right order" playlist to accompany coding sessions this year...

Top 10 albums listened to in 2018

  1. Screaming Females — All At Once
  2. tUnE-yArDs — I can feel you creep into my private life
  3. Zeal & Ardor — Stranger Fruit
  4. The Go! Team — SEMICIRCLE
  5. Janelle Monáe — Dirty Computer
  6. Moby — Play
  7. Let's Eat Grandma — I'm All Ears
  8. Soccer Mommy — Clean
  9. MGMT — Little Dark Age
  10. Juliana Hatfield — Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John

Again, all new releases this year apart from Moby's 1999 album which I revisited a couple of times, mostly because Zeal & Ardor's metal-meets-negro-spirituals aesthetic reminded me of Moby's similar repurposing of African-American folk music almost twenty years earlier.

The top three were all new discoveries to me in 2018, but I instantly fell in love with Screaming Females' Sleater-Kinney-esque combo of strong female vocals and counterpoint guitar. The Go! Team were familiar from their Mercury-nominated debut way back in 2004, but I'd always found them a little annoying until this album, their fifth. And Janelle Monáe's gorgeous, Prince-tinged Dirty Computer was my favourite pop album since Beyonce's Lemonade in 2016.

Track of the year

Without a doubt my ear-worm of 2018 (and most played track of the year to boot) has been I'll Make You Sorry, the third single taken from Screaming Females' brilliant All At Once: