The 5 Best Albums Released By British Women In 2018, Because These Acts Are Killing The Game
The UK's food, dialect, and music scenes are undeniably vibrant. Even the language we speak in is made up of a mishmash of various cultures and dialects, and it's no surprise that the nation's music sounds the same. In fact, my pick of the best albums of 2018 made by British women embrace this eclecticism in spades.
Take a stroll through Soho on a Saturday night, and you'll hear pub and tavern doors leaking out jazz on one street, pop on the next, and old school garage just around the corner. 2018 has arguably been British music's most diverse — gone are the end of year lists which only feature white men with guitars — so it seems. Sorry, Coldplay. Maybe next year.
These women are responsible for some of 2018's best music. Each has created unique pieces of work that not only showcase them as artists, but artists who are affected by a whole range of influences. But what makes these ladies' albums come out on top is that they seem to perfectly encapsulate 2018, while somehow still managing to sound timeless at the same time. That's exactly the kind of stuff you'll want in your end of year list. So, if the PM doesn't make you feel patriotic, these ladies just might.
'Lost & Found' By Jorja Smith
This year was always going to be Jorja Smith's year. She began her reign as the Brits Critics' Choice back in February, as The Guardian reported, and her debut Lost & Found showcases an exceptionally stylish and refined new British talent. It's also a testament to Smith's singing voice. The 12 songs on this album encompass ballads, throwbacks, and club-friendly bops which demonstrate her range and versatility. It's the perfect jumping off point for a singer who's going to become one of the world's most accomplished in only a matter of time.
'Someone Out There' By Rae Morris
If anyone's responsible for making pop music fun again — and smart again, and complex again — it's this lady. Hailing from Blackpool, Morris released her best work yet this year, with Someone Out There. It's an incredibly difficult to make pop music both infectious and challenging, but here, Morris balances the scales. Someone like Björk might be a fair comparison, but Morris' music is unmistakably her own. On this album, each risk pays off, and it's as impressive as it is hooky.
'OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES' By SOPHIE
SO MANY CAPS LOCKS. It's probably a fair warning though, SOPHIE's music is LOUD. It might not sound appealing in principle — imagine you're working on a construction site which also doubles as a bar and that's a bit like what this album sounds like. Actually, it sounds unlike anything you've heard before. But, most surprising of all — it's actually really great.
I imagine that it must be pretty difficult to cultivate your own trademark sound now that music's been around for, y'know, thousands and thousands of years. Maybe even as difficult as trying to invent a new colour. But that's exactly what Scottish-born producer SOPHIE has done.
'Devotion' By Tirzah
Tirzah's been a compelling and enigmatic figure across London's underground dance scene for a number of years now. With a smattering of singles and club appearances to add to the intrigue, it felt like a relief when Tirzah finally released her debut LP Devotion.
Usually, when longing for an ex, or just wanting your current partner to be a bit more tender, the words come out clumsily. But on Devotion vulnerability has never sounded so slick. Backed by lazy, effortlessly cool beats, Tirzah's album is one of this year's most beautiful love cries. To add to its credit — it's been a long time since I've heard a musician really nail down the sound of the capital city quite like this. Tirzah's Devotion is all love and London town.
'I'm All Ears' By Let's Eat Grandma
Let's Eat Grandma make every moment of your life sound like a movie, as though everything you ever experience is vital and valuable. That's probably why there's no better music to pretend you're in a music video to than I'm All Ears. Made up of childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth — these ladies have made one of 2018's greatest pop albums — and they're not yet 20.
I'm All Ears sounds undeniably adolescent, but like it's been crafted by a maestro who's been making music for decades at the same time. It takes all of the good bits from teenagehood, too. The nostalgia-tinged adrenaline, the infatuation, the running around late at night. It sounds a bit like Lorde, if Lorde grew up in Shoreditch. In other words, it's perfect.