2018-12-20T08:00:41-04:00 2018-12-20T08:01:40-04:00

EARMILK staff select the best music gifted to them in 2018

It's finally that time of year for tinsel, turkey and drunk Aunt Maggie but, most importantly, it's the time for lists. Best artists, best albums, best tracks, best mixes, best compilations. Curated using votes and tallies, figures and statistics, the lists are generated to compile the best of what's been an exceptionally outstanding year in music across the genre board. At EARMILK the best gift we can receive, not just at christmas but all year round, is the gift of music. Although you might find a new artist by chance on the radio or a hidden gem tucked away in a mix, sharing music from one soul to another has a magic edge – leaving a lasting impression and connecting you as people in that very moment.

With the time for giving and reflecting truly upon us, some of the EARMILK staff came together to talk about the best music old and new that's been passed onto us in 2018, and the story behind the sounds.

"Please" – Blanck Mass

"Every so often I'll discover a song that becomes a constant in my listening, and "Please" is one of them. My best friend and I have shared music spanning times and genres, back and forth for ten years – everything we've shared musically is significant and expressive. When he shared this with me he described it to soundtrack a night time drive we never got to have. This song is beautifully urgent and atmospheric, and taps into the part of me that daydreams. We might have never had the drive, but this song paints a picture of a place where we did. I've never heard another piece of music that comes close to this in terms of the emotion it evokes inside me" – Amy, UK Editor

"Pieces" – Amanda Cook

"When my sister heard this song, she thought the words of the song were poignant and would resonate with me. It's a beautiful song of surrender. Every time I listen to it, I feel my anxieties melt away as I let go of my fears in exchange for faith." – Celeste, R&B Contributor

"Hurrygirl" – MEI

"This was sent to me out of the blue by Paige Sims at Outpost Media. I enjoyed this track for many reasons, the first being that it doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard before, which is rare. Along with being musically exciting, the song has really impactful theme of empowerment and dealing with anxiety. Lastly, the video for the song has a really interesting aesthetic and compliments the lyrics beautifully" – Evan, Electronic Contributor

"Letters and Packages" – American Football

"My treasured friend and EARMILK cohort Amy Fielding and I spent a wild few weeks together this summer gallivanting around the UK and bonding for our first time IRL. Amy and I spent our time together learning how much we truly had in common, both musically and otherwise. Despite our current passion for the world of dance music, our shared emo heritage is something we quickly realized, and celebrated. With that Amy opened my eyes to American Football, and their track "Letter And Packages," off their eponymous 1998 debut EP. Let's hold hands and cry, shall we?" – Katey Ceccarelli, Dance Editor

"Syncopated Healing" – Twiddle

"My friend who I got to know this summer shared this song with me, along with a number of other jam band music. It opened up a whole new world for me. He invited me to a Phish concert later that month. Having never listened to that kind of music before, he showed me Twiddle which introduced me to the jam band community. I think I’ve listened to "Syncopated Healing" at least fifty times now and it really never gets old. It’s truly a “feel good” song that embodies a unique sound. Twiddle’s music blends genres which creates a lighthearted and diverse sound. This element allows them to appeal to fans of all genres" – Katherine, Dance Contributor

"Only You" – Steve Monite

"As a curator myself, i’m drawn to other amazing curators in my life. You could say i curate my friends like i do my music. And luckily one of my best DJ friends, Danny, shared this amazing song with me on a very special drive through the desert on the way to a music festival. That shared moment is forever etched into my brain and I get to revisit that moment, anytime I want, just by replaying the song" – Montrey, EARMILK certified boss

"Malamente" – ROSALÍA

"My friend Fernando sent me the Pitchfork profile on ROSALíA when "Malamente" came out and I was totally floored. He's Spanish and very tuned into the music scene there, but this has been the most rewarding find he turned me on to ever. I could tell he was so excited to share this because he knew how much I would love it, and he was right. "Malamente" is an incredible meeting of global cultures and is delivered in a way that transcends language barriers. In conversations, I would say that the vibe is what hits so hard here" – Steph, Managing Editor

"What's The Use?" – Mac Miller

"I came to Mac after he died, sadly. I was at a party and a friend of a friend was controlling the playlist. He's a musician himself, and he just said "everybody listen to this bass line" – I went home and listened to it for about a week straight. So much so that it was one of the only hip-hop tracks to show up in my top tracks of 2018 on Spotify. The song has such duality in it: lyrically it's about battling with demons and addiction but it's got the most vibey beat and the bass line gets under your skin. I've always admired artists who are able to contrast their sadness with upbeat musicality. Miller had died about a week before I heard this for the first time, and the duality of "What's The Use?" seeped into my own life. It reminds me of wonderful night with friends, at the same time filling me with sorrow about a lost talent" – Tanis, Indie Contributor

"Chocolate" – Big Boi, Troze

"This was sent to me by a friend purely because I needed more music to listen to. I wanted to move out of the dance/electronic confines and this was the perfect fit. The track is super catchy and the sub bass is HEAVY" – Vivian, Electronic Contributor

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Feature · Lists

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