Best of ‘18 — Albums + Playlist

2018 truly was suuuuch a good year for music. Comparing my ‘best of’ playlist this year to last, I can’t help but feel this one raises the bar. I am so excited to see what 2019 will bring.

Music truly is my therapy – I listen nonstop. When I’m happy, sad, excited, nervous. When I put together lists and playlists like this, I do not take them lightly. I poured lots and lots of thought and heart into this and I hope you love it. And maybe give the playlist a follow, yeah?

I have always been an album person, meaning I prefer to listen to albums from start to finish. When a full album peaks my interest, I know it’s something special. There are few artists that are able to piece together a cohesive album – the following are artists that I believe achieved this with flying colors.

Ryan BeattyBoy in Jeans

The most cohesive, captivating album I have heard in a long time. I find myself constantly coming back to it. Regardless of the mood I’m in, I remain comforted and impressed with Ryan’s vocals and choice of words. A strong sense of nostalgia runs through the whole album – a modern tale of a young gay male is told effortlessly amidst unique sounds and samples.

Top 3: Haircut, Cupid, Powerslide

Troye SivanBloom

An album of just 10 songs, packed with emotion and impeccable storytelling. Seventeen intros the album, telling about Troye’s early stages of coming out. The album is busting at the seams with self discovery and confidence. You can feel Troye finding himself and finding love.

Top 3: Seventeen, Bloom, Lucky Strike

The 1975A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

They have done it again – this time, with more reference to modern society. Each album is somehow more honest than the last. The 1975 has taken difficult topics and turned them into songs that are easily understood (and are able to dance in your room to). Seeing them at Coachella this year is going to be a highlight of my 2019. I saw them for the first time at Coachella in 2014 and it made me a fan forever.

Top 3: TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME, Sincerity Is Scary, It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)

Ariana GrandeSweetener

I have loved Ariana, truly, since day one. She lured me in with her ballads from her first album and continues to awe me with her depth both lyrically and vocally. She inspires me in a way that leaves me almost speechless. I could say lots more but she really is just an icon, through and through. This was not her most cohesive album but it was a form of true self expression and that’s what I love about it.

Top 3: Pete Davidson, God Is A Woman, R.E.M.

Shawn MendesShawn Mendes

When the first single from this album was released, I was already parched and ready for more. This collection of songs aligned perfectly with where I was at in that time. Shawn’s voice is distinct and special, and his talent is undeniable.

Top 3: When You’re Ready, In My Blood, Lost In Japan

LANYMalibu Nights

My favorite band of all time. I’ll keep it 100, of every release of theirs, this is probably my least favorite. What I miss is that raw, home-studio vibe. Upon writing this I am revisiting and think I may have judged it a bit too quickly. Nevertheless I kept a few of these in my daily mix. I’ve spent days with Thick And Thin on repeat, coming up with choreography and singing to it on my bike commutes.

Top 3: Thick And Thin, Let Me Know, Thru These Tears

Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour

An album I didn’t expect to love, but had me captivated right away. I owe it all to Jewlie – she posted Happy And Sad to her story and I got curious. The album is vulnerable and real from the very first track. It had me hypnotized in the best way, and I found myself drawn to it when I needed to feel something. Missing her on tour with Harry Styles is one of my biggest regrets. I’ll see you at Chella, baby.

Top 3: Slow Burn, Velvet Elvis, Space Cowboy

Years & YearsPalo Santo

Communion is one of my favorite albums of all time. It helped me feel less alone during a very isolating part of my life – I remember it all very vividly. When I heard the first single from Palo Santo, I knew it would be just the same. A different feeling, a different vibe, a different sound; yet still the same comfort I felt with the freshman album. Thank you for always getting me through heartbreak with my head held high and a bumpin beat to back it.

Top 3: Karma, Preacher, Lucky Escape

Camila CabelloCamila

I was never a Fifth Harmony fan. I wasn’t dying to hear a Camila single. But when I did…. I was hooked. I admire her for setting herself apart from the group in such a distinct way, and not acknowledging their petty reactions to her leaving. She proved herself in an authentic way and blasting Never Be The Same with my friends is something I won’t soon forget.

Top 3: Into It, Never Be The Same, She Loves Control

And now for the good stuff… the playlist.

Let me just say – I had such a blast putting this together. And it might just be my favorite playlist ever. 2018 brought so much good music and shrinking that all into one playlist is no easy task. The following are songs I truly could not live without, from albums I admire so much.

If you’ve got Spotify, (we’ve been over this. if you don’t, get on it) click here.

If you don’t, I guess I’ll take an hour out of my busy day to type it all out for you. Xoxo.

  1. Ariana Grande – Pete Davidson
  2. Troye Sivan – Seventeen
  3. Ryan Beatty – Haircut
  4. The 1975 – It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)
  5. LANY – Thick And Thin
  6. Shawn Mendes – Nervous
  7. Ariana Grande – God is a woman
  8. Kehlani ft. Chance the Rapper – The way
  9. Emily Vaughn ft. LostBoyCrow – Say the Word
  10. Troye Sivan – Bloom
  11. Camila Cabello – Never Be The Same
  12. Kota Banks – U Changed
  13. Mura Masa – Complicated
  14. Years & Years – If You’re Over Me
  15. Tove Lo – shedontknowbutsheknows
  16. Charlie Puth – The Way I Am
  17. Saweetie ft. Kehlani – ICY GRL
  18. Dwilly – ADD
  19. Troye Sivan ft. Ariana Grande – Dance To This
  20. Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
  21. Ryan Beatty – Cupid
  22. Emily Vaughn – Strangers
  23. Cardi B ft. SZA – I Do
  24. Kehlani – How that taste
  25. The 1975 – Give yourself a try
  26. Sam Bluer – Shift
  27. Lady Gaga – Why Did You Do That?
  28. Ariana Grande – breathin
  29. Kasey Musgraves – Slow Burn
  30. Shawn Mendes – Particular Taste
  31. Young Franco – About This Thing
  32. No Rome ft. The 1975 – Narcissist
  33. Kaskade – Nobody Like You
  34. Ariana Grande – R.E.M
  35. Travis Scott – SICKO MODE
  36. Major Lazer ft. Tove Lo – Blow That Smoke
  37. Troye Sivan – Plum
  38. Lana Del Rey – Get Free
  39. Ruel – Younger
  40. Jeremy Zucker – comethru
  41. Ariana Grande – sweetener
  42. Sigrid – Sucker Punch
  43. Travis Scott – COFFEE BEAN
  44. Camila Cabello – She Loves Control
  45. Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani – Done For Me
  46. Years & Years – Karma
  47. Childish Gambino – This Is America
  48. The 1975 – Sincerity Is Scary
  49. Billie Eilish – you should see me in a crown
  50. Frank Ocean – Pink + White
  51. Shawn Mendes – Honest
  52. Troye Sivan – Lucky Strike
  53. Solange – Losing You
  54. Ryan Beatty – Powerslide
  56. LANY – Let Me Know
  57. Kacey Musgraves – Space Cowboy
  58. Ariana Grande – thank u, next

Aaaaand, there we have it. My 2018 soundtrack. Please listen and fall in love just the same as I have. Every song on here has a special moment/memory/lesson attached. My ‘best of’ playlists are always the ones I look back fondly on. I am already excited to put one together for 2019.

I love you endlessly. I’ll see you in the next one.

Xoxo, Cody J.

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