Parquet Courts (Photo: Ebru Yildiz / Pitch Perfect PR)

THE BIG BEAT Playlist: The Best of 2018 - 12/17/18

Going out with a bang on the final show of the year.

December 17, 2018

Year-end lists can be as difficult as you want to make them. In years past I've toiled away for hours and stressed out about whether a record should be at #7 or #8, but in recent years on the show I've done away with 1-through-whatever rankings and just presented two hours of songs that felt like they were the best of the bunch. No formulas, no sabermetrics, no advanced analytics, I just eyeball it and go. That said, even though I compiled the lists for this week and last fairly quickly, I'm pretty confident in the finished product. So, without further nonsense from me, in no particular order, here are (roughly) the best 26 tracks of 2018.


Parquet Courts - "Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and out of Patience" (Rough Trade)

Foxing - "Nearer My God" (Triple Crown)

Mitski - "Geyser" (Dead Oceans)


Sufjan Stevens - "Mystery of Love" (Madison Gate)

Wild Nothing - "Letting Go" (Captured Tracks)

Beach House - "Lemon Glow" (Sub Pop)

IDLES - "Well Done" (Partisan)

Spiritualized - "I'm Your Man" (Fat Possum)

MGMT - "Me and Michael" (Columbia)


Lana Del Rey - "Mariners Apartment Complex" (Interscope)

Teenage Wrist - "Stoned, Alone" (Epitaph)

Interpol - "Number 10" (Matador)

Sleaford Mods - "Stick in a Five and Go" (Rough Trade)


Janelle Monáe - "Pynk (feat. Grimes)" (Atlantic/Bad Boy)

Car Seat Headrest - "Nervous Young Inhumans" (Matador)

Gorillaz - "Tranz" (Warner Bros.)


Boygenius - "Bite the Hand" (Matador)

Sharon Van Etten - "Comeback Kid" (Jagjaguwar)

Hot Snakes - "Six Wave Hold-Down" (Sub Pop)

Kurt Vile - "Loading Zones" (Matador)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "Hunnybee" (Jagjaguwar)

Thom Yorke - "Suspirium" (XL)


Courtney Barnett - "Charity" (Mom + Pop / RED)

Phosphorescent - "New Birth in New England" (Dead Oceans)

Young Fathers - "In My View" (Ninja Tune)

Christine and the Queens - "5 Dollars" (Capitol)