The Fashionably Late Top 101 of 2018: The Essex Green

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: The Essex Green

What: Hardly Electronic

When: June 2018

Where: Merge Records

Why: I've been a fan of The Essex Green's chirpy, pastoral pop for such a long time, and it was wonderful news to have them release a new record after a lengthy hiatus. Songs like "Sloane Ranger" and "Don't Leave it In Our Hands" embody the city twee the band was so great at in the early Naughts, though there's a weariness to the blue sky and sunshine frothiness. As to be expected in our current climes, sadly. The mood occasionally be a little glum, but the charm of The Essex Green is as undeniable as ever. Hardly Electronic is a triumphant record that was well worth the wait.

[posted 3.10.19]


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