Foreword: I did not write this list in the warmest glow of these songs. Listing my favorite songs from September of 2018 in January of 2019 means that songs that waned over time won’t be included, and songs with more staying power will be. In a sense that’s not terrible, but the goal of this series was to capture my month in music as close to the month as possible. That said, these are some of the songs I loved in September, 2018:
Boy Sim – “Criminal”
The electronic croonings of Boy Sim album Pink Noise soundtracked my September last year. The whole album is consistently good and I listened to it a lot. (I had trouble selecting just a single track to represent it on this list!) Definitely one of my most-listened albums of the year, the whole thing is an excellent execution of the hyper-pop sounds that I love. “Criminal” ended up in this blog post for that “baby, you’re a criminal” line that’s delivered by moistbreezy with such verve.
Melaina Kol – “Wiilt”
Another album that lit my path through September was Melaina Kol’s Bird Kill Worm. Like the Boy Sim album, this outing was supremely consistent and consistently enjoyable. I get a strong Elliott Smith vibe from the vocals and instrumentation of Melaina Kol. “Wiilt” was my favorite song thanks to the driving piano tune pushing the song along.
DILLY DALLY – “Bad Biology”
The return of DILLY DALLY into my life was a welcome one. I absolutely adored the band’s 2015 album Sore (god, I had “Desire” on repeat for months) so it was with bated breath that I listened to the new album. There are definitely some stand-outs–“Bad Biology” is great for its quiet-loud dichotomy, and I also loved “Marijuana”–but overall the album didn’t quite reach the heights Sore did. Nonetheless, DILLY DALLY still wrote a great album and I love the sound they’re putting out.
Slayyyter – “BFF”
Ugh, the string of singles Slayyyter released late in 2018 were non-stop jams. Following Slayyyter on the 5-song run from “BFF” through “Hello Kitty” was an excitement, every track was an incredible pop dunk. I discovered Slayyyter through her feature on the Boy Sim album, and the musical similarity between the two is another example of me loving plastic, PC-adjacent dance music.
Frightened Rabbit – “Poke”
I found “Poke” through some “the 25 saddest songs ever”-type list on the internet, and this was one of the few that grabbed me instantly. (I love-love-love sad music, but only certain stripes.) I had tried to listen to Frightened Rabbit a few times before and it never clicked, but “Poke” was the one that finally hooked me. I love the dreariness of the lyrics, the way the narrator presents the end state of a relationship that had slowly eroded into nothing but history. And those mournful “ooohs” between the verses are perfect. What a delicious bummer of a song.
Charly Bliss – “Heaven”
Charly Bliss is so great! Like DILLY DALLY, I loved this band’s last album and had been eagerly awaiting what came next for the group. “Heaven” is a great lead single, a song I’m always excited to hear–that line “and fill it with daughters and daughters and daughters” is so fun!–and I can’t wait to hear what’s next from the band.
Afterword: I don’t remember much from September outside of music, not much of a memorable month (despite me turning 29 during it). But I heard some good music, so it wasn’t a total wash.