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Marlowe

Genre/Style: Hip Hop

FFO: Oddisee, Lando Chill, Bishop Nehru

Summary: Producer L’Orange and rapper Solemn Brigham formed Marlowe to deliver a fresh and inventive album rooted in hip hop tradition. L’Orange produces some of his most potent concoctions as a canvas for Brigham to paint with thoughtfully crafted sentiments delivered with palpable energy . This veteran producer and hungry, young vocalist are a match made in hip hop heaven.

Listen: Lost Arts (Official Video)


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Miya Folick
Premonitions

Genre/Style: Indie Rock, Indie Pop

FFO: St. Vincent, Snail Mail, Half Waif

Summary: The debut of the LA singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is one of the most eclectic, inventive albums of the year. Folick achieves a full pop sound using only organic instruments, no small feat in 2018.

Listen: Stop Talking (Official Video)


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OUGHT
ROOM INSIDE THE WORLD

Genre/Style: Post-Punk, Indie Rock, Art Punk

FFO: Parquet Courts, Preoccupations, Protomartyr

Summary: The Canadian post-punk band polishes some edges of their sound to deliver a beautiful yet bracing album, led by Tim Darcy’s unmistakeable howl.

Listen: Desire (Official Video)


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PORCHES
THE HOUSE

Genre/Style: Synthpop, Alt-R&B, House

FFO: Blood Orange, Girlpool, The Knife

Summary: Aaron Maine started out making indie-rock under the name Porches and now on his third album, his musical abilities have evolved immensely. Incorporating elements of house music into his lush synth-scapes, Maine turns what is essentially a breakup record into an absorbing exhibition about isolation and connection.

Listen: Goodbye (Official Video)


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NAO
SATURN

Genre/Style: R&B, Pop

FFO: FKA Twigs, Mariah Carey, Frank Ocean

Summary: On her sophomore album the British singer tops her incredible debut with anthemic hooks, oozy grooves, and earth-shattering vocal performances.

Watch: Another Lifetime (Offical Video)


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Richard Swift
The Hex

Genre/Style: Indie Rock, Ragtime Rock, Soul

FFO: The Black Keys, The Shins, Kyle Craft

Summary: Singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Richard Swift was a legend in the world of indie-rock. He had a prolific solo career, he was a member of The Shins, and he produce some of the greatest indie albums of the 21st Century, working with the likes of Foxygen, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Damien Jurado. This year Richard passed away at the age of 41 and he completed this record just a month before his death. Saying this album is a masterpiece is an understatement, it is a timeless talent at peak performance leaving a precious parting gift.

Listen: Broken Finger Blues


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Let’s Eat Grandma
I’m All Ears

Genre/Style: Synthpop, Experimental Pop

FFO: CVRCHES, CocoRosie, The Horrors

Summary: British teenage weirdo-rockers and childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth made their debut in 2016 and immediately established themselves as indie-rock innovators. On their sophomore album they turn their sights to pop: polishing up their sound, saturating it with synths, while keeping their experimental spirit. With the help of super-producer SOPHIE and The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, they deliver some catchy, quirky, expertly crafted jams.

Watch: It’s Not Just Me (Official Video)


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Parquet Courts
Wide AWAKE!

Genre/Style: Post-Punk, Indie Rock, Dance-Punk

FFO: Protomartyr, Ought, Gil-Scott Heron, Talking Heads

Summary: Art Rock kings Parquet Courts return with a politically charged record expanding their sound with more elaborate instrumentations. A. Savage rambles and croons covering every subject from Tom Brady to dysfunctional families to the need for human connection.

Watch: Wide Awake (Official Video)


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TIERRA WHACK
WHACK WORLD

Genre/Style: Art-Rap, Experimental Pop, Alt-R&B

FFO: Beyonce, Vince Staples, Jamila Woods

Summary: The debut of art rapper Tierra Whack displays her incredible artistic range. She presents her work in a groundbreaking format: 15 songs, 1 minute each = 15 minute album. Over such a short time she covers so much ground, slipping in and out of different sounds and styles. Walking the line between silly and poignant (sometimes both at the same time) each track is more unforgettable than the last.

Watch: Whack World


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Janelle Monae
Dirty Computer

Genre/Style: Synthpop, R&B, Hip Hop, Funk

FFO: Prince, Grimes, Outkast

Summary: You can’t touch the queen! This album is pure Black Girl Magic, social statements, sexual declarations, and hopeful motivation.

Watch: Dirty Computer [Emotion Picture]