Waking Life: A Playlist Of Standout Songs From 2018

<p>(Photo: James Rexroad)</p>
<p>Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks</p>
Photo: Stephen Malkmus &amp; The Jicks publicity photo
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Another trip around the sun, another 365 days measured out in songs: as always, one could do worse than that. If there are two factual statements that can be made about 2018 they are: 1) It was a year that happened; and 2) A lot of music also happened, much of it quite good (though nowhere even beginning to approach a respectable percentage).

In that way, it was a musical year like most musical years: surprises, triumphs, disappointments, Autotune, etc. It's all pretty impossible to make sense of in this space, but the numbers are these:

  • 11 Waking Life playlists in 2018
  • 387 total cuts
  • 112 of those presented here as my favorites of the year

As usual, I didn't hear everything (I didn't even hear everything I wanted to, somehow), nor did I get to spend enough time with much of what I did hear. Still, this list represents six hours and 41 minutes of the music I listened to and enjoyed most (in individual song, anyway, the records I loved are here) -- new big deal artists, tried and true vets, insistent bangers and seemingly minor cuts that may resonate with no one but me.

The same rules as always applied: I tried to avoid multiple selections from the same album when possible (sometimes it just couldn't be helped) and I decided not to include new/old songs from reissues or early singles from upcoming 2019 releases.

But enough words, the music is waiting, there for you as it always is. It gives back what we put in and then some.

My best to you in the new year, during which I propose we all re-commit to supporting the artists we love when and where we're able. The seeds of fruits to come in your waking life ahead.

Listen to Jeremy Petersen's latest playlist of his favorite music from 2018 below.