top 10 albums

Artwork by the wonderful Mark Torpey

Artwork by the wonderful Mark Torpey

With all of the excellent music that came out, 2018 was a pretty great year for BUMP to start, but since we only started out in September, we haven’t much of an opportunity to talk about the music we really loved from earlier in the year. So, here’s us doing that. It’s been a year full of wonderful music and putting this list together proved much more difficult than we thought it would. We hope you have a lovely holidays and enjoy this list!

 
 

#10

KIds see ghosts - Kids See Ghosts

I remember back in high school when people would talk about dream collaborations.  With Kid Cudi’s mental health issues, and Kanye’s current eraticism, I never thought this would be the year that we would all get exactly what we wanted.  The combination of trashy rock instrumentals layered with the hypnotic hums of Cudi is like crack. The two MCs seem to build off of one another effortlessly.  They took from each other’s best ideas and just let it fly. It truly seemed like neither held anything back on this album (Kanye’s screeching on the first track is a clear example of this catharsis).  Was it an album that will forever change rap? No, but wow did it deliver on everything I wanted from this collaboration. Out of all the music in the megadump of music Kanye delivered this summer, this was the one I am the most happy about.  


#9

travis scott - ASTROWORLD

Travis Scott’s self-proclaimed role as “the glue” on arguably the biggest album of the year saw him mimic a format reminiscent of Kanye’s projects since Yeezus, placing himself at the center of an enormous musical moment, providing direction and a unifying force – and damn did he do it in style. This album sounds expensive. Not a single sound is out of place anywhere on this project and each track is utterly lavish in its layers and components. It’s clear that Travis was given total freedom to explore his vision and in doing so, he took his place amongst hip hop’s establishment. There are too many bangers to count, but my personal favorite is Yosemite – a fantastic blend of La Flame’s old and new styles.


#8

KEY & KENNY BEATS - 777

The album which established Kenny Beats as the definitive producer of 2018 and launched ‘Fat Man’ Key well and truly into the mainstream. I’m wondering why it took him so long. 777 places Key’s bubbly personality at the forefront of the record and pairs it with Kenny’s absurd versatility, resulting in a super varied but ultimately coherent piece. Key is honest, tough, vulnerable and refreshingly funny throughout the whole project. He never takes himself too seriously, yet tackles heavy themes of loss, family and depression throughout, all the while never losing his smile or failing to have fun.


#7

BEACH HOUSE - 7

The Baltimore duo’s seventh studio album is by far their most immersive and enveloping experience to date. Sonically, it is thick, dark and unrelenting, yet never failing to be captivating. With headphones on, you feel as if you’re at the center of a storm, buffeted over and over by waves of sound, bracing yourself against the howling wind. Gone is the minimalist drum production of previous projects and in its place come crashing symbols and deep kicks. Beach House have elevated their music beyond hip dinner party background noise into something truly massive and arresting. 7 preserves Beach House’s trademark etherealness, yet this is a dream at its most elemental.

 

#6

PUSHA T - DAYTONA

The Cocaine Kingpin will never let go of that crown, and honestly I’m not going to complain.  I am always impressed by Push’s piercing lyricism that emphasises harsh one liners that are as haunting as they are clever. On this album he makes sure to remind many who have forgotten his excellence, while simultaneously coming at the necks of some of the most powerful people in the industry. Backed by some of Kanye’s most uniquely catchy beats in a long time, this project brought hip hop back to the 90s for a good few months.  I cannot think of anyone else who is more fit to truly take down Drake through rap beef. This truly was a surgical summer.



#5

MAc MIller - SWIMMING

“My regrets look just like texts I should have sent”

This lyric floored me and continues to every time I put on this album.  Mac Miller’s ability to address his own insecurities and depression on this project is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming.  When you listen to Swimming, you hear a person truly battling their demons, and truly seem like if they aren’t winning, they are learning to live with them.  This is definitely Miller’s most intimate project, and a perfect amalgamation of everything he has worked towards in the past years of exploring new sounds. To think the kid making songs about being on his “Donald Trump shit” would be creating some of the most moving music of this year is not only impressive, but teaches us that with perseverance we can all learn to grow in to our strongest self.  This album will forever live with me as a reminder to preserve in the face adversity. I just wish he could be here to live the lessons he taught me.


#4

BLOOD ORANGE - NEgro swan

Devon Hendricks has an ability to share intimate stories in original ways.  Negro Swan sheds light on issues only a minority can immediately relate to, but does so in a way that creates a strong feeling of empathy with any listener.  The combination of funk,soft-rock, and hip hop on this album is not only a combination of sounds, but a combination of stories. The master weaving of this project has deeply moved me and made me appreciate the beauty this album puts out into the world. To have such an empowering album be released at such an important time in our nation’s history will solidify this album importance forever.


#3

Tierra whack - WHACK WORLD

An absolute funhouse. Tierra Whack’s audio-visual project is a totally eclectic mix of 15 one-minute songs spanning genre, tone and theme all of which teeter precariously between a saccharine dream and a sickly nightmare. Before you can figure out which, the next song has already begun. Equal parts benign and sinister, a track about pets going to heaven is concurrently about the process of mourning and with child-like silliness she sings about a suitor reminding her of her “deadbeat dad.” In a quarter of an hour this Philly native will rap, sing and chant her way into your heart and you’ll have no idea how it happened.


#2

CHOKER - HONEYBLOOM

Last year, from utterly nowhere, an artist calling himself Choker released Peak, a gloriously unpolished and varied project showcasing his beautiful voice and highly impressive production chops. As mysteriously as he had emerged, he disappeared once again for an entire year until a single tweet announced his sophomore album. On Honeybloom, Choker goes anywhere and everywhere with uniform deftness and confidence, from bashful rapping on songs like “Drift” to a sultry R&B croon on “Juno”, the album’s standout. Throughout, he is cinematic, sprawling, and yet candid – selling weed never sounded so romantic.


#1

JPEGMAFIA -VETERAN

When I say I was shook the first time I heard this album, I mean that in the most literal sense. I could not believe what I was hearing.  JPEGMAFIA produces some of the most jarring, yet addictive beats this side of the Mississippi. His wordplay is just icing on the cake. His punk liberal attitude embodies the ‘give no fucks’ attitude which has encompassed popular media in 2018.  His ability to put his soul out in the most visceral way I’ve heard musically has gotten me amped and thinking provocatively more times than I can count this year. All in all, this album pushed all the boundaries while being extremely enjoyable music, and for that we applaud Peggy to the fullest extent.