L to R: Snail Mail, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Soccer Mommy

Under the Radar’s Top 25 Debut Albums of 2018

A Soccer Mommy Sends Some Snail Mail to a Flasher, a Goat Girl, and a Serpent with Feet; What a Shame

Dec 21, 2018 Photography by James Loveday (Snail Mail), Ray Lego (Soccer Mommy)
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Ahead of our forthcoming Top 100 Albums of 2018 list, we present our favorite debut albums of the year. To qualify, an album simply had to be the artist's first full-length release under their current artist name. EPs weren't eligible, otherwise boygenius and Hatchie would've made the list on the strength of their excellent 2018-released debut EPs. Sometimes it gets complicated. For example, Soccer Mommy released Collection in 2017, which showcased her various singles up to that point, but Clean is her official debut album. Some have called Room 25 Noname's sophomore album, although the rapper's previous release, 2016's Telefone, is considered a mixtape, making Room 25 her debut album proper.

The list includes several bands you could label as supergroups, as they feature members of other notable bands. LUMP, for example, is a new band that teams up acclaimed singer/songwriter Laura Marling with Tunng's Mike Lindsay. Loma is a trio consisting of Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg and the two members of Cross Record (Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski). Tracyanne & Danny is a new project from Camera Obscura frontwoman Tracyanne Campbell and Danny Coughlan (who has previously released music as Crybaby). Mastersystem was the final project for Scott Hutchison, 36-year-old frontman for Scotland's Frightened Rabbit, who was found dead in May of apparent suicide. The band featured Hutchison alongside his brother Grant Hutchison (also Frightened Rabbit's drummer) and brothers Justin and James Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories. Finally, Frontperson is a new duo that features Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers (and also a solo artist and formerly of Immaculate Machine) and Mark Andrew Hamilton (who has released six albums as Woodpigeon). But regardless of the musical heritage of their members, all of those albums are true debuts. The rest of the artists are fresher faces.

You can read interviews with many of the artists on this list in either our Pleased to Meet You section or our Music Interviews section.

Read our full Top 25 Debut Albums of 2018 list in our list section here.

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