The 25 Best Songs of 2018 – According to Meagan – Lead Singer – Odds Fish
Well, it is once again that time of year when we can reflect back on all of the music that was created and put forth into the world this past year and pick out our favorites; the ones that we will continue to play in 2019 and beyond.
So I (Odds Fish lead singer, Meagan) am here to talk about MY favorites of 2018 – the songs that I consider to be the best of the best for the year. Now, I know my tastes tend to be more for rock and pop music, but I do like a bit of everything, so you may see some rap, R&B, etc. on this list as well, much like last year. But, unlike last year, my 25 Best Songs of 2018 list will only allow for one song per artist (which was tricky with so many artists putting out albums I loved, like Muse, twenty one pilots, and Conspicuous Bystanders.) There will also be very few honorable mentions. This is not to say that there wasn’t a ton of great music out there in 2018, because there was! I just wanted to challenge myself to really give you all the songs that, in my eyes, were the very best.
So, without further ado, I present to you MY picks for The 25 Best Songs of 2018!
The 25 Best Songs of 2018
“still feel.” by half-alive
This is a great song, but I can’t help but feel like it is just a mash-up of Daft Punk and Alex Clare, so as much as I enjoy it, it couldn’t make the main list.
“Waiting for Tomorrow” by Martin Garrix and Pierce Fulton ft. Mike Shinoda
With lyrical content that can connect with so many people, great production, and a sound that reminds me of music from about 2007 when I was graduating college (which is not a bad thing), this song is definitely a great jam; one that was so close to being included on this list…
“Deny” by Heart of Jordan
Heart of Jordan play a bit heavier fare than what I typically go for, but when music is good, it’s good, and “Deny” by Heart of Jordan is good. They are definitely a band that deserves more attention. Let’s hope they get that in 2019!
“Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne
This one is all about hitting the listener in the feels… Avril conveys so much emotion in the vocal performance here that it really is moving, even if the rest of the instrumentation and production of the song is a bit generic. Basically, Avril delivers, she slays, she still rocks, and her song at least deserves an honorable mention.
“Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Impressive singing from Bradley Cooper and beautiful, raw sounds from Gaga that mostly would come out in her live shows, not on records, makes this song hit deep and provide the listener with chills. Plus, it was in a great movie, so there’s that…
“Fake Love” by BTS
BTS takes Pop to a new level with this one, blending different styles and genres with some incredibly catchy vocal hooks and creating musical magic. I’m a big fan of this song, and it was another one that almost made the list. Maybe next year, BTS, because I have a feeling we are going to continue to hear great things from you!
“Do Not Disturb” by Halestorm
This song is dirty, sexy, raw, explicit, and unruly… and it truly rocks. I am obsessed. I love the guitar, the vocals, and just, everything about it. I will be playing this one a lot in 2019.
“Delicate” by Taylor Swift
“Delicate” snuck up on me… I didn’t realize how much it resonated with me until one day, I was like “this is art.” I kept hearing it, and I found that I wanted it to go on longer when it would play. It starts so soft, then it continues to build and build, and as it continually changes in small ways throughout, it truly becomes such an engaging piece of music, and yes, art.
“This is America” by Childish Gambino
“This is America” is a great song that includes important social commentary in it. It also has a stellar music video. In fact, if this list was “The 25 Best Song/Music Video Combos,” it would definitely be on it. But as it is, the song on it’s own, though still great, is just not quite strong enough to land it a spot on the main list. I still like it though – enough to make it the very last honorable mention…
The 25 Best Songs of 2018 – According to Meagan – Lead Singer – Odds Fish
25. “Thunderclouds” by LSD
LSD is Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo. (Who knew we needed this combo? I didn’t… but I do now!) I can seriously listen to this song on repeat, because it is just so addicting to me. The vocals are kind of strange and beautiful, and the music keeps my head bobbing ever so slightly throughout, so I just become one with the tune. I love it.
24. “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae
This song gives me Prince vibes in all the best ways, and also incorporates modern pop ideas utilized by artists like Taylor Swift and Mark Ronson. But of course, it is also so very Janelle Monae, and you know that’s gonna be cool.
23. “Fall in Line” by Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato
A powerful song, with a powerful message, and powerful vocalists to perform it? Sounds like a recipe for success to me. I have loved Christina Aguilera for many, many years and have truly grown to appreciate Demi Lovato’s talent in the past few years as well, so this song was an exciting collaboration for me and continues to shine.
22. “Solara” by The Smashing Pumpkins
“Solara” is great because it is reminiscent of old school Smashing Pumpkins but with enough of a modern flair that it is able to keep The Smashing Pumpkins relevant as artists to a modern audience, and I am so happy for that. Younger generations need The Smashing Pumpkins in their lives, I am sure of it!
21. “The Mountain” by Three Days Grace
I was surprised by just how much I liked this song this year, and I am not sure why. Maybe it is because I hadn’t heard any Three Days Grace in awhile. But man, do I like this song. It pumps me up, but it also chills me out… I don’t know how that’s even possible, but I’m not complaining!
20. “Better Now” by Post Malone
Post Malone got a lot of attention this year, and his song “Psycho” made a lot of other year end lists. But I didn’t really enjoy “Psycho;” to me, his best song this year, and maybe ever, was “Better Now,” hence why it landed a spot on the list. A big part of it is the hook – it is catchy, engaging, but also haunting, so it stays with the listener, long after the song ends.
19. “Don’t Sleep” by Chromeo ft. French Montana and Stefflon Don
I am a pretty big fan of Chromeo. I love how they infuse old school vibes with modern sounds, real instruments with synths and computers, and how they always just seem to have a bit of a swagger to them. Their music is well made, critically speaking, but still loads of fun. The features make sense here too. It doesn’t feel like they were added just for more cred, but to genuinely enhance the track.
18. “GTFO” by Mariah Carey
Who hasn’t wanted to be that person who can just be like “Yeah… GTFO…”? I know it could have served me well in the past. I love that Mariah sings these sentiments with such conviction and class; but also so delicately that it’s kind of calming and sexually stirring as well. Mariah knows how to use her voice to evoke specific moods, and she shows that clearly here. I love it.
17. “She’s Kerosene” by The Interrupters
Every year end song list needs a short pumper, right? Here, we have the perfect choice with “She’s Kerosene.” It’s rock, it’s pop, it’s old school surf music somehow… to put it simply, as the kids would say… it’s a bop!
16. “Colors” by Beck
Okay, “Colors” technically came out in 2017, but it has truly had quite a year in 2018. It grew in popularity slowly throughout the beginning of the year, the artistic music video brought more attention to it later in the year, and then it got nominated for a Grammy, so I think you can see why it earned a spot here. I really enjoy the quirkiness of the track and how it makes me want to groove. Beck brings the magic… again.
15. “Honey” by Robyn
Robyn has an amazing ability to completely hypnotize me with her music. It’s a combination of her incredible and unique voice, the emotion she and her music portrays, the poetry of the lyrics, and the artistry of everything coming together perfectly. In 2018 she dropped “Honey” and I was simply intoxicated by it; it’s just so beautifully done in my opinion, so it had to make the list!
14. “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande
What a well crafted pop song. Ariana shows off multiple singing styles and parts of her vocal range, and all to great effect. Plus, the lyrics are pretty relatable, especially for younger audiences. I don’t mind one bit that this song had a lot of mainstream success; the girl deserves it! (For an added bonus with this song, check out the cover by Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson. It is really cool.)
13. “KILLSHOT” by Eminem
Well, Eminem is the Rap God, so we should have expected this, right? But yet, we didn’t, so when it dropped we were all like… “AWWWW, SNAP, Em!”
Machine Gun Kelly didn’t stand a chance…
12. “Over and Over and Over” by Jack White
This song is weird, it is disturbing to the Western ear at times, and it ROCKS!!! I love it. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. It is genuinely strange and hits me inside in ways I didn’t expect. Jack White most definitely had an artistic vision here and he executed it in such a raw and real way. I dig it.
11. “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” by Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus
Mark Ronson made a smart choice when he decided to put Miley on this track. “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” definitely has “Jolene” vibes to it, and Miley’s cover of Dolly Parton’s classic song a few years back was one of the best that has ever been done. So to utilize her on a track that shares similarities to that was brilliant. She definitely elevates this song to another level.
10. “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd
This is a song that can gut a person… The emotion and sheer vulnerability of this song are incredibly moving to hear, especially when a lot of mainstream music lacks depth.
Not this song… it may actually be uncomfortably deep for some, which to me, just shows that it truly is art and deserves a spot on this list.
9. “Dancing” by Kylie Minogue
Need a pop song that can make you super happy, but can also make you cry? Well, the highly underrated Kylie Minogue has just the song for you. It can be about “going out dancing” on the town, but it can also be about leaving this life… “when I go out, I want to go out dancing…” Just give it a real listen and I think you will see what I mean… I think it is a brilliant and beautiful song.
(I do want to mention that I really enjoyed “Stop Me From Falling” from Kylie this year as well. It featured Gente de Zona and was just a lot of fun. The music video was cute too!)
8. “Chlorine” by twenty one pilots
It was hard to choose just one song from “Trench,” as I really thought it was a solid album. (Other major standouts for me were “Jumpsuit,” “Smithereens,” and “Cut My Lip.”) But, I limited myself to one song per artist this year, so here we are with “Chlorine.” I don’t know what it is about this particular song, but it seemed to stick with me more than any other song from “Trench.” Maybe it’s because “this beat is a chemical…”
7. “The Great Chain of Being” by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
If you read my list last year, you will know that I love King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. If you didn’t, let me tell you, I LOVE King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They make the music that they want to make; music that is strange, experimental, different, exciting, and truly ROCKS! “The Great Chain of Being” is a great addition to the King Gizzard songbook.
6. “Forever & Ever More” by Nothing But Thieves
What do you get when you blend Queens of the Stone Age with Muse and then with something fresh and new? You get “Forever and Ever More” by Nothing But Thieves. This song is such a great jam; the very QOTSA riff drives it well, and the vocals are on point. I’m about it…
5. “Body Talks” by The Struts ft. Kesha
This is a great little rocker, and adding Kesha in as a featured artist was a good idea. She adds a bit of mature sexiness and street cred to the track, and really, she sounds fantastic. The Struts also deliver with their fresh take on old school glam rock.
There were other songs by The Struts I considered for the list as well, including “Primadonna Like Me” and “In Love with a Camera,” but “Body Talks” was just so catchy that it won out. But I definitely think that The Struts are a band to watch in 2019 and beyond.
4. “Waist up in Gold” by Of Empires
You can probably tell that I like it when rock n’ rollers are a little weird and experimental with their sounds and when they evoke feelings of classic rock and psychedelic rock. Of Empires does all of that here, and I am all about it. I do feel like this song could have come out in the hippie heyday, but yet, it is still just as appropriate and important to the music scene now… When a song can be timeless, you know it’s good.
3. “I Want Out” by Conspicuous Bystanders
Conspicuous Bystanders are one of my favorite new bands! They could have had several songs on this list from their album that they released this year, including “Buttons,” “Down on My Luck,” and really… the whole album. But I have rules…
So I chose “I Want Out” because I think it shows all of the best parts of the band members and their abilities, I love the composition and arrangement of it, and it is just a great song. But I would still recommend checking out their other work as well. They are definitely a band on the rise, and you will want to remember their name…
2. “The Void” by Muse
I will probably have a lot of people disagree with me here, and that’s okay. But I stand by my choice. As much as I love “Thought Contagion,” “The Darkside,” “Pressure,” and a few others from the new album, something about “The Void” just connects with me on another level, and stays with me long after I am done listening to it, so it gets my number two spot.
(I suggest sitting in the dark, turning this song on, closing your eyes, and just letting it in… it is not background music… it is meant to be absorbed by the soul…)
1. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Backstreet Boys
Yes, my top choice for the best song of the year is a pop song by a boy band. But let me tell you why…
I love the Backstreet Boys. I have been their fan for over twenty years. And you know what is amazing about them? Over the years, they have continued to evolve and yet, at the same time, they are still able to stay true to themselves and their fans. That is a feat that not many other acts can do.
Also. BSB had gone about five years without a new album, so to drop a fire song like this after all that time was exciting for fans and non-fans alike. (I have caught a lot of “non-fans” jamming to this song! Just saying!)
And though they also released the lovely “Chances” (a song we liked so much that we covered it! You can see/hear that here: Chances Backstreet Boys Odds Fish Acoustic Cover 2018) the true standout. and the song that announced to everyone that “Backstreet’s Back, ALRIGHT!” was definitely “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” So it is my number one song of 2018!
There we have it! The 25 Best Songs of 2018! (At least, according to me, Meagan, the lead singer of Odds Fish!) Do you agree with my picks? Did I forget to include some of your favorites on the list? If so, let me know in the comments or on social media. We love to hear from you!
If you want a full playlist of all the songs I talked about here, I do have one on YouTube:
And of course, if you’re not already…