My favorite albums of 2018 consisted of a mix of black metal (taking up the majority of my favorites, as usual) alongside some experimental (trippy) music which made up the balance. Here’s what sat on heavy rotation for me as the year ran its course.
This is my Portland album of the year. I spent most of my time listening to it drinking shitty PBR beer and chilling in the sunlight – a perfect combination in my books. If you’re going to dive into it yourself, the beer and the sunlight is a must.
Lo-fi hard-core punk + death rock + black metal = a hell of a lot of airtime for me this past year. The album picks up bonus points for its awesome cover art—so good, I even got the t-shirt. That’s a sign of true commitment.
This 37-min long song is the closest you’ll ever get to Pop Depressive Suicidal Black Metal (which is about as specific a sub-genre as you can get). It catches you, takes hold of you, and doesn’t let you go for a single moment of its out-there runtime. Early December brought us a gift in the form of Deha's "Blackness in May", with a killer The Gathering cover. 10/10 recommend.
This is dreamy, psych folk rock from Japan. I’m lucky enough to have this on vinyl and this was a record that got a lot of play across the course of the year. It’s a nice balance alongside the rest of the list.
This is, by far, my favorite album to emerge in the second half of the year – but only part two of the album. The first part is a little too generic-black-metal to earn a place on the list, but part two brings it home with an Americana tone that earned its spot on heavy rotation.
The best saxophone album of the year. (Undisputed.) Trippy and mellow. Good for just about any occasion.
The stand-out winner for the first half of 2018 in my books. I played this album relentlessly and still managed to never get sick of it.
2018 saw me spending way less time playing games. Chalk it up to a combination of work commitments, time abroad, or parenting a 1-year-old. A friend told me I should no longer be entitled to make an end-of-year list for games given the lack of time I spent playing them, but here it is anyway.
Rogue-like Symphony of the Night clone. I loved it, and played this on the Switch.
Playing Diablo 3 is a meditation practice for nerds. It’s pure joy for me to be able to play this on the go on the Switch.
Non 2018 release that I was obsessed with:
This is my game of the year—I know, it's a sad ugly thing, but it's perfect for my current lifestyle. I can pick it up anytime I want, it’s very min-maxing and it's hard as nails. Crazy mobile JRPG. I'm a big fan.
I made a point to read a bunch of Murakami books in 2018. These were the best ones from an evocative and intriguing author.
This was my first proper LITRPG book, and the best of the genre I read this year.
This was another first for me—in this case from a LITRPG sub-genere, Dungeon POV. Really fun reading that was simple to get into each time I picked it up.
A lovely introduction to the idling side of life.
I had so much fun reading this one. Lon Milo is an incredible storyteller.
This was a good reflection about our rushed times and enjoyable to make my way through.
I worked with Flutter for most of this year developing mobile apps. After a year spent with it, it's safe to say I'm really digging it.
This app let me nerd out with brightness control and blue light emission. I also use it to turn my screen to grayscale.
I can’t stand the Gmail redesign given how slow it is too use. Instead, I’ve been using Superhuman for almost the whole year – it’s a joy.
This is Pomodoro on steroids. Highly recommended.
This is perfect for butter coffee.
This bag is almost perfect. I love the size, the leather and the feel of it.
I started skateboarding in 2017 using a friend's old board, and in 2018 I finally made the commitment and grabbed myself a proper one. It's perfect — not too big, very stable and a hell of a good time to ride.
One of my goals in 2018 was to be less stressed about things (with varying amounts of success). This magazine helped significantly.
This is my go-to rainy day blazer. It saw a lot of use when I was in PDX and Sao Paulo this year.
The best sparkling water I’ve ever had. I drank so many litres of this stuff in 2018.