Well, it’s that time of year again. We get to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past year. Right now we’ll run through our top songs of 2018… While this is Alt Columnist, we can’t deny there were some true bops in every genre this year. There’s a bit of everything on this list, from rock to indie to pop punk to singer/songwriter to R&B to electropop. So strap in and enjoy!
Best Songs of 2018
- “Bulletproof” by DALES
- “Bad Girls Don’t Cry” by The Night Game
- “Enough” by Speak Low If You Speak Love
- “Surveillance” by George Ogilvie
- “Growing” by Blue Heaven
- “Drive” by Pale Waves
- “If You’re Over Me” by Years & Years
- “Magnetic” by Phillip Phillips
- “Topanga Lawrence” by Charmer
- “Cool Out” by Imagine Dragons
- “Good Kisser” by Lake Street Dive
- “Pacific Kiss” by MILKK
- “Again” by Kehlani
- “Bullet For Your Sweetheart” by Make Out Monday
- “Bad Machine” by Boston Manor
- “take you home” by slenderbodies
- “Sister Cities” by The Wonder Years
- “Daydream” by The XCERTS
- “My Life” by The Vamps & New Hope Club
- “Haircut” by Ryan Beatty
- “Lash Out” by Alice Merton
- “Swim” by Fickle Friends
- “Why” by Shawn Mendes
- “Babe, Can I Call?” by The Hunna
- “all the kids are depressed” by Jeremy Zucker
- “Blonde” by Waterparks
- “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” by The 1975
- “Sky Full of Song” by Florence + the Machine
- “Just Like That” by The Aces
- “James Dean” by The Wrecks
- “Taking Me Back” by LANY
- “Voices” by Against the Current
- “Hair Too Long” by The Vamps
- “My My My!” by Troye Sivan
- “Villains” by Mainland
- “Moving Along” by 5 Seconds of Summer
- “Misty Mae” by Georgia Fearn
- “Malibu Nights” by LANY
- “Before the Sun Goes Down” by The New Respects
- “Mariners Apartment Complex” by Lana Del Rey
- “Heaven’s Gate” by Fall Out Boy
- “You Can Count On Me” by Trophy Eyes
- “The Overpass” by Panic! at the Disco
- “stop and stare” by joan
- “Mad Love” by Honest Men
- “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer
- “That Something” by With Confidence
- “Daphne Blue” by The Band Camino
- “Heat Wave” by Snail Mail
- “Jumpsuit” by twenty one pilots
- “Not Warriors” by Waterparks
- “Powerslide” by Ryan Beatty
- “Best Friend” by 5 Seconds of Summer
- “Brooklyn” by Fickle Friends
- “Lovely” by Pinkish Blu
- “Revolution” by The Wrecks
- “Hunger” by Florence + the Machine
- “Lake Effect Kid” by Fall Out Boy
- “Midnight” by 5 Seconds of Summer
- “Empty Cups” by Charlie Puth
- “Thick and Thin” by LANY
- “Lovin’ Is Bible” by The Aces
- “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975
- “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes
- “Babylon” by 5 Seconds of Summer
Yeah, I’m surprised too. I’m not going to explain every song on this list, but let’s go through a handful of my favorites.
“I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is basically if The 1975 made a late ’90s Third Eye Blind song… and it somehow works.
“Bullet For Your Sweetheart” by Make Out Monday is reminiscent of Fall Out Boy’s From Under the Cork Tree, lyrically and musically, which is a welcomed sound.
Speaking of Fall Out Boy, while I consider MANIA to be their most unsatisfactory project to date, “Heaven’s Gate” surprised me with its soulful melodies and organic instrumentation, seemingly harking back to the Folie á Deux era of their career.
Similarly, Panic! at the Disco’s Pray For the Wicked was a disappointing release, but “The Overpass” provided some punch, rhythm, and excitement with gutsy horns, racing percussion, and soaring choruses.
“stop and stare” by joan is an ’80s-inspired indie pop rock jam with warm synths, ethereal atmosphere, and a stellar guitar solo.
“Daphne Blue” by The Band Camino is an undeniable summertime anthem, perfect for a windows-down, volume-up drive.
“Powerslide” by Ryan Beatty is another tune for the summertime, but much more chill and smooth and, uh, suggestive, bound to get stuck in your head with its bouncy melodies and vocal harmonies.
“Lovely” by Pinkish Blu delivers a hazy indie rock vibe through nicely reverb-laden guitar timbres and poignant lyricism.
Fall Out Boy originally released a demo of “Lake Effect Kid” on their 2008 Welcome to the New Administration mixtape, but the song finally got its rightful studio version released this year, a decade later, as a love letter to the band’s hometown of Chicago. This is the Fall Out Boy we’ve been missing.
“Midnight” by 5 Seconds of Summer was released as a Japanese bonus track on their latest effort Youngblood, but it’s easily one of the best songs from the record. (Although, as you can tell from their numbers of entries on our list, it’s fairly difficult to say there were many inferior songs on the album to begin with.) “Midnight” is a sultry plea for a deeper relationship with a paramour who only gives their love after midnight, but the tune is so anthemic and gargantuan that the tremendous choruses and celestial atmosphere nearly eclipse the subject matter.
“Empty Cups” by Charlie Puth is a rather similar song, begging a lover to stay, but with more groove and allure… and more scandalous in regards to cheating.
LANY’s “Thick and Thin” employs tasteful simplicity and heartfelt lyrics to craft a refined, exquisitely minimalistic tune deserving of repeated listens and shouted singalongs.
“Lovin’ Is Bible” by The Aces is a fabulous ’80s-influenced tune with some real character. The chorus is undeniably catchy, and the guitar riffs are absolute earcandy.
“Love It If We Made It” by The 1975 is a desperate yet hopeful survey of our world’s current sociopolitical state, and while it is quite anxiety-inducing, it is one of the band’s strongest works to date.
Speaking of anxiety, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes is an empowering cry for help, a portrait of persevering through mental health struggles and general challenges of life. Shawn Mendes surprised us with this Kings of Leon-inspired pop rock song, and it’s brought me to tears on multiple occasions.
“Babylon” by 5 Seconds of Summer is a ripping pop rock anthem, characterized by colossal guitar melodies and sky-high choruses. Calum Hood’s moment to shine is an ultimately defining moment for the Aussie band.
That’s our list! Let us know your favorite tunes of the year in the comments down below or tweet at us on Twitter. @AltColumnist