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KCRW's Best of 2018KCRW's Best of 2018

KCRW's annual Best Of recognizes the music and performances that caught our DJs' attention in 2018. These artists continually innovate and inspire, while pushing culture forward. Explore the best music from the past year.

1

Heaven and Earth

Kamasi Washington

Heaven and Earth feels completely new and yet deeply familiar. Kamasi Washington's saxophone and the intention behind his dense, powerful music is meant to include us, activate our imaginations, and give us the permission to keep daydreaming. —Anne Litt

2

Good Thing

Leon Bridges

A meteoric talent, Bridges consistently delivers future classics brimming with heart and soul, and an indomitable spirit. —Chris Douridas

3

Con Todo El Mundo

Khruangbin

Khruangbin deliver a powerful second LP. Their psychedelic sound is sparse and meditative, with a knack for groove-filled, melodic hooks. —Mathieu Schreyer

4

For Ever

Jungle

On their sophomore album For Ever, Jungle explores thoughtful new directions without straying too far from their crowd-pleasing retro funk flair. “Heavy, California” is the stand-out that speaks to the UK soul group’s experience making this album in the City of Angels. —Jason Bentley

5

God's Favorite Customer

Father John Misty

God's Favorite Customer gets back to pairing Father John Misty’s trademark piercing, observational lyrics with unforgettable melodies. This album reminds us he’s one of the greatest songwriters we’ve got. —Dan Wilcox

6

El Mal Querer

Rosalía

Rosalía’s sound is an amalgamation of flamenco, fado, pop, and opera. El Mal Querer is an impressively unique album. —Aaron Byrd

7

Sex & Food

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

More superb psychedelic groove rock from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Sex & Food explores compositional variety and evolving style; from songs that swing and smack to those that simmer and sooth. —Garth Trinidad

8

Oxnard

Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak returns with his signature celebration-sound and assistance from Dr. Dre. Oxnard takes us to the streets, to Church, and everywhere in between. —Anthony Valadez

9

Geography

Tom Misch

Groove fanatics will appreciate the album’s multi-layered mash of jazz, pop, hip-hop, and the distinct East-London's broken beat. Geography has all the bases covered, whether you want to get down on the dance floor, or in the bedroom. —Valida

10

Blood

Rhye

Rhye’s Blood is the seamless melding of gorgeous vocals, beautiful songwriting, and sexy grooves. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a couple glasses of wine and a lit candle (or two) with that special someone. —Raul Campos

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