The Fashionably Late Top 101 of 2018: Amen Dunes

2018. What is there to say? It was another year full of terrible, horrible things on a grand scale. But as with 2017, which was also a year full of terrible, horrible things, there seemed to be an abundance of really, really good music. And thank the heavens for that.

This year I had an even harder time coming up with my list than I did for the 2017 version of the list, which is probably obvious given there's 101 records in this year's batch (and that's after whittling about 30 off that total). But I just couldn't leave any of these hundred and one records off my list.

As with my 2017 picks, I've gone in alpha order from A-Z and nothing has a number ranking. Partially, that's because I'm pretty indecisive and it also just feels wrong to do anything other than just share the love equally. 101 ways. As always, the list ended up surprising me. Some records I thought might end up on my list are absent, and happily there were quite a few previously unknown bands that ended up stealing my heart and getting themselves in on the list. I truly hope you'll be reminded of some music you enjoyed last year, and I also hope you'll perhaps find new favorites to swoon over from here on out. My sincere and endless thanks to each and every band/artist on the list, because thanks to them 2018 was a little less insane.

Who: Amen Dunes

What: Freedom

When: March 2018

Where: Sacred Bones

Why: It had been nearly four long years since the last Amen Dunes record, Love. After the astral psych moonlight of that glorious record, I wasn't sure where Damon McMahon would take his Amen Dunes sound. But then I heard Freedom, and it all made sense. Though a lot less psych sonically, McMahon's deeply emotional lyrics and vocal fragility are still very much present on Freedom. There's an underlying spirit of life and being alive and letting go in order to live that's palpable and powerful on these songs, and in listening to them there is indeed a sense of freedom. One of 2018's very best records.  

[posted 2.26.19]


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