Lala’s top songs of 2018. I have a stuffy nose. Defined as songs that warranted playing on repeat, obsessive phases, and uncontrollable outbursts of singing. If I wasn’t deep in a Holiday Party recovery zone I would have played even more tunes so I put them all on a Spotify playlist for yall! Here’s my playlist, with words about the ones I played on air.
Hands - Ocatavian
When I first heard this song, I was SHOOK. I texted it to all my friends. I felt deeply. I was like, who the fuck is Octavian and what has he done with my heart?! The textures and distortions and weird song structure just get me somewhere.
Pynk (feat. Grimes) - Janelle Monae
ICONIC video, sweet and subversive. YEAAAAAAH! Some like that.
Nobody - Mitski
Beyond the fact that this is incredibly fun to sing in the shower and has that disco-y guitar that is one of my top pop pleasures, lyrically I would say this was my most felt song of the year. I watched her talk about it with Genius and Feeling alone as hell in Kuala Lumpur and not quite rooted to anything? Check. Nobody wants me, but I’m kind of having fun with it? Check.
Holding On - Tirzah
I do a lot of dancing alone in my room, and this is high on the list of mirror jams. Mica Levi’s production and Tirzah’s delivery on this track are just effortlessly cool, which is how I like to think I look when I’m dancing alone in my room.
successful - Ariana Grande
This is my most played album of the year and this song has been an ANTHEM. I do a lot of the aforementioned room dancing to it before I have a big day at work. And while ‘Nobody’ is my most felt song as far as my personal life I feel like I had a really amazing year in my work life and really fuckin feel this vibe. AYE!
High (feat. Elton John) - Young Thug
This song is also on my ‘Devastation’ playlist (along with some others on this list) which is composed of tracks that really just make me want to cry, and I’m not sure what emotion is really responsible. I’d been waiting for this since the leak and am very glad I can now listen to it whenever. I love romantic Thugger.
Work It - Marie Davidson
YES BITCH. FEED MY SOUL with minimalist club music and spoken word about labor that is kind of joke but also kind of not!
Thingamajig - Miya Folick
I love when I just hear a record and fall in love with it not knowing anything about the artist. That happened here! This is also on the devastation playlist.
One More - yaeji
One of my favorite moments of 2018 was yaeji’s set at All Points East in London. It was the middle of the day, I was completely sober (yes I would like a cookie for that), and I honestly can’t remember the last time I danced like that! Thank you yaeji.
Short Court Style - Natalie Prass
Something about how much soul she packs into that disney princess voice just gets me every time. Also, rep VA.
Ghost Town - Kanye West ft PARTYNEXTDOOR, 070 Shake & Kid Cudi
I was gonna stop writing these lil blurbs but felt it was lame to stop right before Kanye. This song is honestly much more about 070 for me. That verse is GUTWRENCHING, and also is on my devastation playlist. Kanye obviously has some things to learn about the world.
Situation - Baba Stiltz
This is the only song on here by an artist I work with because I’m fucking obsessed with this song. For a while this 4-song EP was the only thing on my phone and I didn’t even mind.
A.A.L - Such A Bad Way
A very welcome return from Nicolas Jaar, I savored these gems of sticky weird soul goodness and it’s definitely one of my favorite records of the year.
Peggy Gou - It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
The first time I heard this song, I was on the subway and a man was freestyling near me and it just happened to land exactly on the beat of this song. It was NYC serendipity. Peggy Gou is the future.
Teyana Taylor - WTP
No I change my mind, this is the #1 song I danced to alone in my apartment. I would fucking murder this if I had to lip sync for my life down to the Paris is Burning dialogue.
Bad Gyal - Internationally
This track is peak early 2018 Yum Cha, we spent a lot of time dancing to this and belting the 10% of words that we could understand.
Joey Purp - Elastic
I don’t even like Joey Purp really but this track slaps and I played it in every party situation I could get away with.
Zola Jesus - Wiseblood (Johnny Jewel Remix)
This shit EMPOWERED ME SO HARD tbh. I am here for the sonic drama and the call to arms to cut toxic shit out of your life.
Mac Miller - Come Back to Earth
When Swimming came out, I fell in love with how lush and hopeful it felt. Mac was acknowledging his demons but it seemed like he really believed that he was gonna make it through. When Mac died, I was completely unprepared for how hard it would hit me. I was at work, unable to concentrate on anything except thinking about what a fucking loss it was - someone who seemed to take so much joy in music, someone my age, fucking around with some of the same drugs as my friends. I left work early and walked across the Williamsburg Bridge, listening to Swimming on repeat. It brought me back to the people I’ve lost to addiction, how no matter how much they believed in themselves or I believed in them, it wasn’t enough to save them. But I don’t mean that in a nihilistic way - that’s just facts. Listening to this record reminded me that a tragic outcome doesn’t make a life, that it’s the moments of self-love and hope and humor and joy, and I found so much comfort in that and still do. This record was a hug. Thank you Mac, and rest in peace.