The life of a trend watcher is pretty amazing. No matter how wrong your predictions, you are still right. Like a doomsday prophet you can always explain away wrong predictions, or twist facts in such a way the prediction was right after all. Move on to the next round, the next year, and all will be forgotten in a couple of days.
I recently heard a trend watcher explain why 2018 was the year of togetherness, just as she predicted. Her reasoning was that people are turning away from politics and other traditional institutions that create cohesiveness in society, and re-group themselves in smaller, single issue communities. ‘Wow’, was all I could think, ‘that is a pretty interesting definition of togetherness’. People locking themselves up in small communities based on a single issue…it’s not fragmentation, it’s actually togetherness and belonging. I must have missed something.
But then again, I often do. Don’t ask me to predict the future, I will fail miserably. Back in 2004, when the Scottish band Dogs Die In Hot Cars released their debut album (Please describe yourself) I was convinced they would soon be as famous as Franz Ferdinand. Right. Do you even remember Dogs Die In Hot Cars?
Let’s do something easier and forward-predict 2019 through the lens of 2018. Women created the best music in 2018. Women created the most interesting music in 2018. Women created the most subversive and innovative music in 2018. That’s just a statement of fact. If you don’t agree, check any list of the best music released in 2018. Are women catching up or are (many) men missing what is relevant, interesting and new? I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care. I’m just happy with all good shit on offer.
To understand why 2018 was such an exceptionally good and feminine year, just follow me on this journey past four very distinct anchor points. First stop Sophie who, on her full-length debut, sounds both totally weird and completely reassuring. Electronic music with analog state of mind or vice versa. Move on to Kacey Musgraves. ‘Golden Hour‘ is such a ridiculously beautiful album you probably don’t even notice at first. It’s hypnotic, draws you into a world you didn’t even know existed. Then Robyn, whose majestic return after 8 years put her right back at the top of emotional dance music. Ever tried to dance for the full length of an album, crying and laughing out loud at the same time? Here’s your chance. Finally Marie Davidson, agent provocateur of electronic music. Frank Zappa famously asked if humour belongs in music. After listening to ‘Working class woman‘ there is only one answer possible. It does, it sure does…
Was this the best music released in 2018? Maybe, maybe not, who cares, just be happy that 2018 brought incredible music and start your journey from there.