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Gadzooks, is it that time already? The end of the year is upon us, which should explain why we’re feeling a healthy mix of frenzied excitement and harrowing exhaustion. It being the end of the year would also explain why we’ve gone and put together this mammoth list of our favourite albums of 2018! 


We’ve checked it twice.… although, we should explain, the actual mechanisms we employed to determine the order were a little more complex than Santa’s method. We canvassed the Flying Out staff for their top picks of the year, and smooshed those together with what you all liked (ie. bought), added a tablespoon of pickle juice and cracked pepper to the mix, and hey presto, our favourite 50 was decided!

We’re relieved and pleased to report that the local content in the list is well and truly over 50%, and it’s been fascinating to find out what y’all been enjoying throughout this truly unusual year! Thanks for being you, music is only magic if anyone’s listening!

AVANTDALE BOWLING CLUB - Avantdale Bowling Club

As you may have heard, rapper Tom Scott (Homebrew, @peace, Average Rap Band) is back with a new project – Avantdale Bowling Club. The album is a fusion of jazz and hip hop, featuring some of the best musicians in New Zealand – Jonathan Crayford, Julien Dyne, Ladi6, Mara TK, Esther Stephens, Teeks and many more.


THE BETHS - Future Me Hates Me

The Beths occupy a warm, energetic sonic space between joyful hooks, sun-soaked harmonies, and acerbic lyrics. Their debut album "Future Me Hates Me," on Carpark Records, delivers an astonishment of roadtrip-ready pleasures, each song hitting your ears with an exhilarating endorphin rush like the first time you heard Slanted and Enchanted or “Cannonball.”



Swoon-dog General Marlon Williams released his sophomore album, Make Way For Love, on February 16th via Caroline Australia. Known for his effortlessly distinctive voice, Make Way For Love marked Marlon’s exponential growth as a songwriter. Throughout eleven original songs, he explores new musical terrain and reveals himself in an unprecedented way in the wake of a fractured relationship.


WAX CHATTELS - Wax Chattels

Guitarless Guitar Music. This is the self-imposed one-line description chosen by Auckland, New Zealand's Wax Chattels. The keyboard, bass and drums trio don't have a guitar player, but their overwhelming sound and energy creates an atmosphere akin to a traditional loud power trio – except their music is anything but traditional. They create darkly hypnotic and frenetic music that's both rhythmically complex and sinister.


KODY NIELSON - Birthday Suite

Forever twisting genre, technique and persona, Kody Nielson continues to be one of New Zealand’s most vital musicians. Nielson’s groundbreaking production, songwriting and exhilarating live performance with art punk pioneers The Mint Chicks helped to secure the group fans worldwide and five New Zealand Music Awards for their 2007 gold-certified album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!


On Snow Bound lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It’s serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation. 



Sex and Food is the most eclectic and expansive Unknown Mortal Orchestra release yet, from the light-footed R&B of Hunnybee to the stomping flange of Major League Chemicals. If You’re Going to Break Yourself and Not in Love We're Just High chronicle the effects of drugs and addiction on personal relationships, while the lyrics Ministry of Alienation drip with modern-day paranoia like the silvery guitar tones that jewel the song's structure. The modern world, and all the thorny complications that come with living in it, loomed large on Ruban's mind while making Sex and Food.


WOMB - Like Splitting The Head From The Body

Wellington trio Womb introduce their long awaited album Like Splitting the Head From the Body. Initially anchored by the songwriting of Charlotte Forrester, Womb's line up has expanded to incorporate Charlotte's brother Haz and sister Georgette. Album singles Here We Bend (To Smell The Dirt) and Feeling Like Helium, both display their knack of crafting understated cadences of hazy dream like songs.


MARY LATTIMORE - Hundreds Of Days

Memories - places, vacancies, allusions - are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft.The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.


THE GOON SAX - We're Not Talking

The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. We're Not Talking shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It's a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes, full of lines like “When the bus went past your house and past your stop my eyes filled with tears" and "I’ve got a few things above my bed but it feels so empty, I’ve got spaces to fill and we're not talking.” Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion. 



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