It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, as we have just revealed our Best of 2018 lists here at KCRW! To celebrate, we’ll spend our time together diving deep on a couple of the overall station-wide champions, and a couple of my personal favorites.
Kamasi Washington – “Street Fighter Mas”
One of the best things about working at KCRW is the proximity to fellow music lovers. Everyone’s taste is slightly different, and we all have our certain areas of expertise. This means that the learning opportunities are endless. It also means that for an album to be the consensus pick for best of the year, it must be a very special album. Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth is just that. Everything that we’ve come to love from this L.A. based jazz-maestro over the years is represented via the deliciously funky single “Street Fighter Mas.” Plus the video is a super fun hang, and I sincerely wish I could pull off Kamasi’s outfit.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Hunnybee”
Another station-wide pick for best of the year was UMO’s brilliantly titled Sex & Food. This one came very close to making my personal best of list, and would no doubt be included were we allowed to pick a top fifteen. “Hunnybee” remains my go to track from the album with it’s sweet bounce, tight string section, and yearning vocals.
Death Cab for Cutie – “I Dreamt We Spoke Again”
When I was nineteen years old, I picked up a copy of Death Cab for Cutie’s rarities collection You Can Play These Songs With Chords because I’d just read a Spin magazine profile about them that peaked my interest, and I really liked the cover art for that particular cd. That collection is not recommended as a way in for DCFC, but I was in love with all of it immediately, and thus immediately a super fan. After Plans, their major label debut, which I listened to obsessively, I didn’t keep up as well as I should have. That is until this year’s Thank You for Today which contains all of the hallmarks of the best classic Death Cab. Crank this one loud to soundtrack a cathartic cry alone in your room, or take it for a spin on the best road trip ever. It’s truly one of those records that can work for almost any occasion.
The Innocence Mission – “Green Bus”
Music like this is honestly too beautiful to exist. The fact that it does is a small miracle. I hope this sends you off into the rest of your day’s activities feeling as calm and wonderful as I do every time I listen.