As a music lover this is one of my favorite annual blogs to make. My favorite songs of the past calendar year. It's not going to be like your run of the mill "best of 2018" post because you won't see all the artist (but some!) that the sheeple love to eat up. No Ariana Grande, or Cardi B here! There's so much garbage music nowadays getting blown up, it makes zero sense to me. How anybody on earth enjoys 6ix9ine over Greta Van Fleet blows my mind.
I'm switching things up this year and making it a Top 20 of 2018; instead of top whatever number the year is. The more the merrier!
Still trying to stay true to my "it had to of come out this calendar year" rules, although if a song didn't gain popularity in the U.S. until this year I kind of bend that one. When you start paying $220 a year to have a blog that is read by 14 people-- you can start making your own rules. Another rule is a there is a max of 2 songs by any artist on the list. If this didn't exist, the list would look much different.
This year was kind of a disappointing year in music for me. Highlighted by the untimely deaths of XXX and Mac Miller. A bunch of bands I like came out with albums that to me personally left more to be desired. Mumford and Sons, Florence + the machine, Arctic Monkeys come to mind immediately. Not horrible, but for sure not their best work.
I consider myself a big music guy and try to listen to more new stuff to broaden my horizons. However recently, much like how I'll search Netflix 45 minutes just to end up back on The Office, I now will just end listening to the same "older" from 2015 that I like better. Recency bias for sure is a factor in these lists, I can barely remember key moments from the 2018 Red Sox World Series run, and that is hands down my favorite event of 2018, you really expect me to remember a song I loved in March????
Without further ado this is the Doz on Life Top 20 songs of 2018 countdown. I hope you enjoy! If you have apple music add me @rhodydoz for the playlist.
20. "Flip The Switch" Quavo featuring Drake
Unfortunately unable to get the full version on youtube.
"You was in your 20's in the 90's" is such an interesting insult that puts my brain in a figurative pretzel. I actually really enjoyed Quavo's solo album. Two titans of the game working together. What a nice thing to see.
19. "Light On" Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers is so fucking talented, her voice is unbelievable, she could sing you an eviction notice and you'd be alright afterwards. I can still remember the first time I heard her, I found her EP on apple music while going for a walk on a bike path during my brief stink in Nashville. If you haven't heard her story about how she was discovered it's something I highly recommend checking out.
18. "Cemetery" Coin
Coin; the artist who topped my best of 2016 chart is back with this dark, yet light hearted track "Cemetery" telling the story of a guy who put work and money above love and family, but at least he's the richest man in the cemetery. It's catchy af, I love the chorus. Coin is a band I thought would've blown up after Talk Too Much, but it's nice to see them still making solid alt rock. They remind me a vampire weekend a ton; not bad company to be a part of.
17. "When The Certain Falls" Greta Van Fleet
These Michigan rockers broke onto the scene last year with their debut EP "Black Smoke Rising". After another EP, and their debut album "Anthem for the Peaceful Army" GVF has become on of the most well known bands in the dying genre that is Rock n Roll. Sure they sound an awful lot like Led Zeppelin, but there are countless acts throughout music history with sounds of the bands that inspired them. GVF is unlike any other act in music today, they're young, they're fun and they're refreshing. It's nice to hear people with actual talent on the radio once and a while.
When the Curtain Falls has that car-chase scene in a movie feel to it, and is just a solid song to rock out to. A true rarity in 2018.
16. "Guiding Light" Mumford and Sons
Big Mumford and Sons guy. I wish I had known they were gonna surprise everybody at the Folk Fest because I for sure still wouldn't have gone since tickets are like 800 bucks. After straying away from their signature sound in 2015's Wilder Mind, Mumford and Sons have gone back to their more stripped down, folky roots. I don't love Delta, although in their defense I've only listened to it once so far. Guiding Light is a nice love song, though. Which is nice. Wow what a review!
15. "Stir Fry" Migos
I have dipped my toe in the rap game again, and with the Migos I like a lot of their music, but I also think a ton of it is absolute trash. Walk It Like I Talk It is one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my entire life and it bums me out they wasted such a cool music video concept on that song. Despite all the shit I just talked I fucking love Stir Fry. It's a banger. It's fun. Lot of cool sounds going on it. I dig the whistles. It has a really easy "dance" to go along with it, which for a rhythm-less, fat, white dude is much appreciated. Stir Fry bangs and is associated with a lot of fun memories from earlier in this year. Very worthy of a spot on my list.
14. "Hunger" Florence + The Machine
Hunger opens up letting you know some demons the goddess known as Florence Welch has dealt with. I'm sorry you felt that way Flo! Just know dozo loves you, and your 2016 show in Mansfield is still the best show I've ever been to. Hunger, despite the opening, builds up to that classic Florence + the Machine sound full of like 38 different instruments, some perfectly placed claps and stomps and of course Florence's backbreaking vocals. In an album that left me rather let down, Hunger is for sure the highlight and saving grace.
13. "Salvation" Tash Sultana
Tash Sultana for those unaware of her (sorry I can't say that cause she's [oops again!] non-binary). While I do think that whole craze is idiotic, I can look past it because the music Tash makes is phenomenal. Perfect relaxing, chill out, vibey music. Tash plays like 49 instruments and has a voice more soothing than a mother's hug. Her debut album "Flow State" is a must listen. Salvation takes us on a journey that I don't want to have end any time soon.
12. "PASS OUT" Quavo (featuring 21 Savage)
Musically this isn't going to be what they are teaching freshmen at Berkley, but it still has value. This song has some funny ass lines highlighted by "yellow diamonds on me, they pissy". Just a solid song to be in the background when you definitely aren't smoking weed with your boys.
11. "Paranoid" Post Malone
In his sophomore effort Post Malone's "beerbongs & bentleys" produced two #1 hits (Rockstar and Better Now) and Better Now peaked @ #3, but to me Paranoid is Posty's best work of 2018.
At first glance you'd think Post is just another mumble, xanax rapper, but after digging past the Stay Away face tat, I've learned that Adam Post is soooooo much more than just another face-tatted rapper. His music actually has production value and flow, he tells stories, and breaks shit down in a real emotional way. I think he's one of the most talented people currently in music. Incredibly relatable song in the age of social media.
10. "Four Out of Five" Arctic Monkeys
I've said it a million time, but I'm still not sure if I like this album or not. After being out of the spotlight for almost 5 years the Arctic Monkeys returned with a concept album about a Hotel/Casino. It was weird, it wasn't really rock, and it for sure didn't sound the the Arctic Monkeys.
But in Four out of Five even though it doesn't sound like their past, it's more errie, and weird, that organ or whatever the fuck it is in the beginning is not something you hear too much in popular music it's still an enjoyable song thanks to Alex Turner's vocals, story telling and unique singing style. As a flow guy I wish he didn't buzz off those locks but I'm sure he does not give even a 1/16 of a fuck.
9. "Small Worlds" Mac Miller
Bonus John Mayer cover at the Mac Miller celebration of life:
Mac Miller's Swimming as a whole is just really errie and somber considering the lyrical content and his untimely death less than two months after it's release, but god damnit if it isn't a fantastic album. I wasn't some Mac Miller diehard and really didn't even know much of his music outside past like 2011, but being the same age and in college when he broke out he was always around.
Small Worlds being one of the most obvious of the "holy shit this dude was really going through something songs" on the album that make his death even more heartbreaking. I'm not done talking about Mac yet as this is his first of two spots, but in Small Worlds, off of one of my favorite albums of the year we get a real inside look into the mind of Larry Fisherman. Who knew being rich was so lonely? It's a beautiful song despite the circumstances around it. John Mayer killed it with his cover at Mac's Celebration of life in October.
8. "Sad!" XXXTENTACION
Say whatever you want about XXX's past, but in his short time in the spotlight he made quite the impact on music. His style of emo/rap is something relatively new, and while I am not crazy about the current state of rap music it's a shame we didn't get to see what else he could've made. Sad!
That beat goes hard, and the lyrics go soft (but in a good way)
7. "God's Plan" Drake
I mean this shit was huge, brings me back to my Vegas trip with my boys. Fire song with a cool video. Not really much more to say. IMAGINE IF I NEVER MET THE BROSKIS???
6. "TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME" The 1975
This song honestly reminds me a lot of Drake with the beat. Almost like a tropical vibe to it. Much more poppy than rocky by the 1975. It's a fun song that makes me want to dance which speaks volumes considering Stephen Hawking has better moves than me. The 1975 are the act most effected by my two song rule. Love If We Made it for sure would be on this list if there was no limit.
P.S. what the fuck is with the Justin Timberlake Ramen hair, Matty?
5. "New Light" John Mayer
All things considered, this is by far my favorite music video of 2018. John Mayer didn't release a new album, but this give us some premium content with "New Light". I feel like this song kind of gets forgotten since it is an orphan without an album to call home, but "New Light" is infectious,
4. "There's a Honey" Pale Waves
Technically this song came out in 2017 but they're British and the album came out this year so it doesn't count. I fucking love Pale Waves. I've listened to their album "My Mind Makes Noises" at least a dozen times front to back. If you closed your eyes and heard them you'd never guess they are full on U.K. goths/ghosts. They remind me of so many bands, I'll list a few: The Cure, The Cure, The Cure and oh yeah the 1975 too. Emo has kinda died but they brought it back to life. Oh and btw on their album "My Mind Makes Noises" it's almost like they have a side-bet that "body" needs to be a lyric in every song. Hard to pick just one Pale Waves song, but There's A Honey cemented itself a spot in the top 5 of 2018. I like the album version better than the single ftr. They are going on tour with the 1975 and idgaf how it happens, but I will be there. I think this band has an incredibly bright future, despite how pale their faces are.
3. "Cigarettes" Tash Sultana
Cigarettes are awful, but this song is not. It gets you in like a melodic trance. Goddamnit Tash's voice is like a velvet jumpsuit for my brain and heart. That guitar at the end kicks ass!
2. "What's The Use?" Mac Miller
Live at NPR tiny desk version:
I'll be the first to admit I wasn't exactly the biggest Mac Miller fan prior to his death in September, but God damnit that Thundercat bass line just hooks you from the second the song starts. We just want another minute of Mac.
What's The Use hits on his way too public breakup with Ariana Grande and all the good that happened in Mac's life. Fuck her man. Never been a fan, and with how she's been milking Mac's death to her benefit just adds fuel to the fire. As for "What's the Use" I've probably listened to this song at least 10 times a week since Mac died. I sucked in and cant' break away. It bums me out that it took until his death for me to really appreciate his music. Swimming isn't just a rap album, there's so much more than that and to put it in a box is simply unfair.
Between the lyrical content and it's reliability; there's been countless times in life I've felt this way What's the Use is the 2nd best song of 2018 in my ears. The bass and overall make up the song is just so funky I fucking love it. God damnit this album is so bittersweet. Swimming has been nominated for Rap Album of the year and IMO it has to win.
1. "It's Not Living If It's Not With You" The 1975
I can't stop sweaty or control my feet; It's Not Living If It's Not With You is the DOL song of the year for 2018.
I need to be a more positive person and by listening to this song I feel like I'm already half way there even though when you actually listen, despite the up beat guitars it's not exactly your textbook lovesong. Is it about heroin? Idk I love the 1975 but I'm not a 16 year old girl so I don't follow all of the inner workings of Matty Healy's demons. But what I have done is listen to this song more than any other off of the 1975's third album "A Brief Inquity Into Online Relationships" and cannot get enough. I love the added choir element it. It's so happy and sad at the same time, which is the perfect to describe this band.
It just makes me happy and is such a fun, up beat song on par with other 1975 classics from their first two albums. Even though it only came out a little while ago; It's Not Living If It's Not With You is my favorite song of 2018.
I'd be shocked to see many lists that resemble mind, but what about you guys? What do you think were the best songs of 2018?