Everything Else

Sleep So Late’s Favorite Albums of 2018

Ordering a list of favorite albums is harder than quitting smoking -there’s just no way I could bring myself to do it. With that in mind – here are five albums that are Sleep So Late’s Favorite Albums of 2018 in no order at all.

Favorite Albums of 2018
From top left to bottom right: Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!, Flasher – Constant Image, Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance, Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel, and MGMT – Little Dark Age

 

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

I was lucky to catch Parquet Courts at the tail end of 2017. At the show they played an unnamed new song (turned out to be “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience”) that was absolutely terrific. I remember thinking to myself, “Their next album is going to be a memorable one.” Wide Awake! is definitely memorable. The album is a nice balance of goofy guitar dance music with a blend of punk rock. I mean, Parquet Courts played on Ellen this year – what the hell!?

Some of the songs that pop on this one are: “Freebird II”, “Total Football”, “Wide Awake”, “Tenderness”, and the previously mentioned “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience”.  Even though this album is more for “everyone” it doesn’t back down. Great album that will put you in a great mood – I guarantee it.

 

Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

Courtney’s second album isn’t as loud as Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, but it didn’t need to be. It’s isn’t as story led as her older tracks, but it didn’t need to be either.

Tell Me How You Really Feel is an album that goes into human vulnerability and emotion like Courtney Barnett has never done before. This is heard in “Hopefulessness” when Courtney sings, “You know it’s okay to have a bad day.” This sentiment is also echoed in the 7th track on the album, “Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of Self-Confidence”. Tell Me How You Really Feel just feels like mature album from Courtney Barnett that definitely deserves your time.

 

Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance

Idles quickly followed up 2017’s, Brutalism with this year’s Joy as an Act of Resistance. The album tackle’s issues like over-the-top masculinity and immigration among others. “Never Fight A Man With A Perm” dives into the issue of over masculinity with words like, “You look like a walking thyroid. You’re not a man, you’re a gland.” The ironic part is this album is an absolute gem for the gym. I feel like I’m shredding deep dish pizza pounds by just sitting on the couch and listening to it.

In England where immigration is a very large and debated subject, “Danny Nedelko” is a song about unity among everyone. Very off topic, but “Polish butcher” that is referenced in “Danny Nedelko” is also sung about in “Roland” by Interpol from their masterpiece Turn On The Bright Lights. This British punk album gets on this year’s list because of Idles’ unabashed and loud take on larger issues.

 

MGMT – Little Dark Age

MGMT came roaring back with their latest release, Little Dark Age. Their previous self-titled album, MGMT, was a type of too-cool-for-school album that just seemed to lack something. With Little Dark Age, they came back into the music world with an album that is very enjoyable. The album may even be their poppiest ever with tracks that make you want to get out of your seat.  Songs like: “She Works Out Too Much”, “Little Dark Age”, “When You Die”, and “James” are the tunes that give the album the most punch. Stepping away from the experiment that was MGMT, MGMT is back. The Chicago Bears are back, tiny backpacks are back, and MGMT is back. Stand up and dream away with this release.

 

Flasher – Constant Image

Constant Image is a terrific debut from the Washington D.C. trio, Flasher. The album doesn’t sound like a debut, but a seasoned record from a seasoned band. The truth is the band has only been around for years.

It may be a stretch, but you can hear a little of The Clash on some of the tracks. This is also a great album for a long car ride – the tracks are mostly quick tempo and are perfect for that lengthy highway drive. It is going to be exciting seeing these guys grow as they are primed for a boom in popularity. Check out: “Material”, “Pressure”, and “Who’s Got Time?” and I promise that you’ll be hooked.

 

What just missed the list:

Interpol – Marauder

Peter Bjorn and John – Darker Days

Snail Mail – Lush

 Skegss – My Own Mess

We Were Promised Jetpacks – The More I Sleep the Less I Dream

Beach Slang – Everything Matters But No One Is Listening (Quiet Slang)

Stephen Malkmus, & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage

Lucy Dacus – Historian

 

-HubieDubie

I Was There

Courtney Barnett –Riviera Theatre (Chicago) – 10/18/2018

This is the second time I have seen Courtney Barnett at the Riviera Theatre. The first time was almost two and half years ago when she was touring, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. I think it’s safe to say that she has enhanced her craft over those two and half years.

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The confidence flowed as Courtney performed a whopping 8 songs (8 out of the 10 total) from her new album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. She may have found the perfect set opener with “Hopefulness”. The tune has a nice buildup before ending in an explosion of sound. It’s a great song to open with and one we should all hope Courtney continues to use.

The set was long (5 more songs compared to 2016) and featured a nice blend of the new and the old. An interesting part of the show was when Courtney Barnett played “Small Talk” which was just released earlier in the month. Out of all the songs she played live, “Small Talk” seemed to be the one she was having the most fun playing. You could see the genuine joy on her face as she was playing along. There The set also featured two covers: “Houses” by Elyse Weinberg and “Everything is Free” by Gillian Welch. For “Houses”, Waxahatchee joined Courtney and band on stage for an awesome performance. Waxahatchee, who opened for Courtney Barnett was excellent.

If Courtney Barnett makes her way to your city on this tour, go catch the show. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be watching an artist in their prime.

-HubieDubie

 

Everything Else

Courtney Barnett’s New Song is Just Her Talking, and its Lovely

 

Courtney Barnett’s new song “Small Talk” was released in a compilation from Mom+Pop in honor of their 10-year anniversary.

There’s something about Barnett’s voice that transports you to a comfortable couch. You kind of just want her to do an audiobook. Perhaps a gardening book? I’d buy that, whatever book she would voice.

“Small Talk” is a nice relaxing rocker that is like it’s title, a song about conversation. The song cuts into those situations when you are chatting and you’d rather not be.

“i like very much being here with you

but you see, all this small talk is killin’ me”

Great couch song.

-HubieDubie