The Fashionably Late Top 101 of 2018: Ha The Unclear

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: Ha The Unclear

What: Invisible Lines

When: August 2018

Where: Self-Released

Why: With Invisible Lines, Auckland-based Ha The Unclear once again captured my heart. Their endearingly bookish, skittering indie pop both jangles so jauntily and moons wide-eyed and earnest, the oft-depressing entanglements and banalities of reality dallying with a sense of pie-in-the-sky dreams in the most charming of ways. Standout knockouts "Where Were You When I Was All You Needed?," "Big City," and "Fake Flowers" shimmy impeccably, addictive earworms that were made to be played on repeat and danced to with abandon. All in all, whether they're being cynical about relationships or relocating friends, Ha The Unclear's Invisible Lines makes modern life sound a whole lot less rubbish.  

[posted 4.7.19]


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