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 balanced things out. Here’s what was on heavy rotation for me as the year ran its course.
- Deafheaven — Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
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 are a must.
- Devil Master — Manifestations
Lo-fi hard-core punk + death rock + black metal = a lot of airtime for me this past year. The album picks up bonus points for its excellent cover art—so good I even got the t-shirt. A sign of genuine commitment.
- Dehá — 4 5 6
This 37-min long song is the closest you’ll ever get to Pop Depressive Suicidal Black Metal (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 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.
- Kikagaku Moyo — Forest of Lost Children (2018 Reissue)
Dreamy, psych folk rock from Japan. I’m lucky enough to have this on vinyl, and this record got played a lot over the course of the year. A nice balance alongside the rest of the list.
- Panopticon — The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (part 2)
By far, my favorite album to emerge in the year's second half – but only part two. 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.
- Sendelica — Chromlech Chronicles III
The best saxophone album of the year. (Undisputed.) Trippy and mellow. Suitable for any occasion.
- Unreqvinted — Stars Wept to the Sea
The stand-out winner for the first half of 2018. I played this album relentlessly and never got 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 my lack of time playing them, but here it is anyway.
- Dead Cells
Roguelike Symphony of the Night clone. I loved it, and played this on the Switch.
- Diablo 3 Eternal Collection
Playing Diablo 3 is a meditation practice for nerds. Being able to play this on the go is a pure joy.
Non 2018 release that I was obsessed with:
- Buriedbones (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.
- A Wild Sheep Chase / Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami
I made a point to read a bunch of Murakami books in 2018. These were the best ones from this evocative and intriguing author.
- Awaken Online: Catharsis, Travis Bagwell
My first proper LITRPG book and the best of the genre I read this year.
- Dungeon Born, Dakota Krout
Another first for me—in this case, from a LITRPG sub-genre, Dungeon POV. Enjoyable reading that was simple to get into each time I picked it up.
- How to Be Idle: A Loafer's Manifesto, Tom Hodgkinson
A lovely introduction to the idling side of life.
- My Life With the Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician, Lon Milo DuQuette
I had so much fun reading this one. Lon Milo is an incredible storyteller.
- My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh
A good reflection about our rushed times and an enjoyable read 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 digging it.
- Iris (instead of Flux.app)
This app let me nerd out with brightness control and blue light emission. I also use it to turn my screen to grayscale.
- Superhuman Email Client
I’m not too fond of the Gmail redesign, given its slow use. Instead, I’ve been using Superhuman for almost a year — it’s a joy.
- Ultraworking Work Cycles
Pomodoro on steroids. Highly recommended.
- COACH Men's Manhattan Bike Bag
This bag is almost perfect. I love the size, the leather, and the feel of it.
- Gravity Arrogant Bastard 33" Longboard
I started skateboarding in 2017 using a friend's old board, and in 2018 I finally made the commitment and got a proper one. It's perfect — not too big, very stable, and a hell of a good ride.
- Idler Magazine
One of my goals in 2018 was to be less stressed about things (with varying amounts of success). This magazine helped significantly.
- Rambler Sparkling Water
The best sparkling water I’ve ever had. I drank so much of this stuff in 2018.
- Nau Hokkaido Blazer
This was my go-to rainy-day blazer. It saw a lot of use when I was in PDX and Sao Paulo this year.