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Music

Collating The Best Albums Of 2018 — (So Far)

Words by Edgar Daily

Throughout the year we'll maintaining and updating this list with the best full-length projects from the artists we think matter.

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Young Fathers Cover

Every three months, EDGAR rounds up the best albums that have passed through our inboxes and over our desks. This is 2018’s first quarter report and is jam-packed with club, ambient, experimental and rap gems you might have missed.

Throughout the year we’ll maintaining and updating this list with the best full-length projects from the artists we think matter. (Sorry, Justin Timberlake.) Whether you’re streaming new records on Spotify or shopping for LP’s at your favourite local record store, this is where you’ll find what you need to hear.

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Burna Boy / Outside

Burna Boy sounds invigorated on Outside, his latest collection of daring and graceful Afropop. It’s easy to see what drove artists like Drake and Fall Out Boy to collaborate with him: He traffics in both big-screen pop pleasures and granular rhythmic detours that reward close-listening. A song like “Streets of Africa” with its boast of “I’m Fela Kuti with the hoes” and its chorus of “How can I not be happy all day?” is as infectious as music gets.


LINK:
Spotify

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Amen Dunes / Freedom

Brooklyn-hailing guitarist Damon McMahon’s fifth album has an elegiac quality to it, soft and brooding rock that rises and falls with the cadence of his voice. Blue Rose is a particularly restrained and beautiful ballad with echoes of Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs.

 

LINK: Spotify

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CupcakKe / Ephorize

The combination of the absurd and mundane, the riotously funny and the deadly serious, makes listening to Ephorize a rich experience. You come away feeling like CupcakKe isn’t just playing games. The clever gross-out material is paired with off-the-cuff confessions on tracks like opener “2 Minutes” where the 20-year-old Chicago lyricist raps “I’m dealing with real shit/My stretch marks really itch.”

 

LINK: Spotify

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Young Fathers / Cocoa Sugar

Defying the supposed curse of the Mercury Prize – the Scottish experimental rap trio won the prize in 2014 – their latest album is not only vibrant and tender but their most approachable, and highest-charting, thus far. Though dark currents, musically and lyrically, pulse throughout the album, it deals with race and identity in more subtle and nuanced ways than their previous release, White Men Are Black Men Too.

 

‘In My View’ – A downcast pop(ish) track peppered with spoken rap, bending reverberations, finger clicks and a warmly murmured refrain of “I wanna be king until I am”.

 

LINK: Spotify

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