In this last year, a lot of music has passed our way. We thought you might be interested to hear some of our favourites. So here they are. 10 of our top new albums (and EPs) from musicians in the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire, 2018.
Jackie Moonbather – The Month of May
Jackie Moonbather’s lush mini album was an obvious contender for our favourite releases this year. Combining a DIY aesthetic with smooth soul in a genuinely progressive way, we expect we’ll be listening to this record for years to come. Read full review.
Oh Papa – Papa Les
Oh Papa’s debut EP Papa Les is an understated treasure, capturing their leisurely, surf-pop sound perfectly. A tribute to the frontman’s grandfather, Les, this little record is pretty much as wholesome and charming as you can get from four Sheffield boys. Sounds especially good on Sundays. Read full review.
Otis Mensah – Mum’s House, Philosopher
Skillfully negotiating the contradictions and frustrations of modern life, Otis Mensah’s long-awaited EP is a salve for weary millennial souls. Brought to life by Berlin-based producer The Intern, this record sees Mensah embracing jazz-hop, sharpening his critique of society, and speaking to the listener with a wisdom that transcends his 24 years. Listen now on YouTube, Bandcamp and Spotify. Read interview.
Before Breakfast – Sticky Sweet
Another firm favourite of 2018, Before Breakfast’s Sticky Sweet EP is an outstanding debut from one of Sheffield’s most promising new bands. Expertly crafted songs, vital and compelling themes, and immaculate harmonies. We can’t recommend this record – this band – highly enough. Read full review.
Jackson Swaby – Wake And Call Me Early
This highly listenable record from the groovemaster Jackson Swaby is a delight from start to finish. Travelling through trip-hop to techno, Swaby creates a lush sonic journey that you don’t want to end. It’s just as well he’s so prolific. We’re hoping for more like this in 2019.
Franz Von – Escapism
Franz Von’s Escapism is an EP of back-to-back bangers. A conscious hip-hop fusion record, Escapism puts Franz Von firmly on the map as one of the region’s most compelling rappers. Featuring guest vocals from Steve Edwards, Tixxy Bang, and others – and masterfully produced by Philippe Clegg – this is one you need to hear. Read interview.
Speed for Lovers – Hot Yoga Emoji
Speed for Lovers’ debut album captures something of the metropolitan sound and feel of underground club culture in the North over the last two decades. Combining synths, bass and live drums, Speed for Lovers’ sound is at once nostalgic and unexpected. Highly recommended.
Tsarzi – Last Decade of Love
A fascinating and eccentric record. Tsarzi’s Last Decade of Love appears at first to be light-hearted and humorous, before taking an unexpected and irrevocable dark turn. Witty and imaginative, Tsarzi’s dramatic debut album deserves attention. Read full review.
ONIPA – Open My Eyes
The debut EP from ONIPA is an infectiously groovy taste of afro-futurism. The fruits of a collaboration between Nubiyan Twist’s Tom Excell and K.O.G, it combines traditional African rhythms and instrumentation with electronic elements, to ecstatic effect. This record is one of the rare variety that boasts massive dance floor appeal at the same time as offering boundary-pushing sonic experimentation.
Coco – No Rehearsal
Rapper and producer Coco’s No Rehearsal EP is clearly one of the key releases to come out of the Steel City this year. Deftly rapping about life in the North, aspiration, and the pursuit of big dreams, this record sees Coco further cement his reputation as a key player in UK grime.
These are just 10 out of a whole bunch of amazing records released this year. What were your favourite records? Hit us up in the comments section below.