Bullet Music's 2018 Editor's Picks: Tough Love, Solid Suggestions and a 51-Song Playlist

Main Image: Sarah Htun for Bullet Music

End of the year lists are a time-honored tradition in music journalism. It’s a special time when those of us who immerse ourselves in music day in and day out, attending countless shows and documenting our experiences for your enjoyment, can tell you that the album that changed the way you see the world is really only the 27th best album that came out this year. But these lists are for more than just telling you that your favorite bands suck -- they give you an opportunity to atone for your sins and find better music.

Now, you might be saying, “Music taste is objective, and just because your publication doesn’t rate an album highly doesn’t mean it’s bad,” and that’s where you’re wrong. This isn’t an opinion piece or a reader’s poll, it’s a lesson in what good music is from the editorial staff at Bullet Music. So press play on the playlist above and read a little about what our favorite songs, albums and live performances were in 2018 and why we feel that way.


Liz Peña - Owner/Publisher

Song of the Year

“God’s Plan” // Drake

Album of the Year

ASTROWORLD // Travis Scott

Live Performance of the Year

Christina Aguilera at The Fox Theatre

If you haven't already read it, here are the 5 reasons why I believe Drake is the number one artist of 2018. Post Malone, Travis Scott and Cardi B also really killed it for me. They all have taken hip-hop back to a place where the genre feels brand new again and like we are finally leaving the era of mumble rap.

Tayler Newman - Editor in Chief

Song of the Year

“I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” // The 1975

Album of the Year

Young & Dangerous // The Struts

Live Performance of the Year

The Wrecks in Purgatory at the Masquerade.

“I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is a song that rides the line between depressing, intimate ballad and catchy, hit pop song perfectly. It paints a vivid picture of depression and anxiety in the digital age during the toned down verses before delivering a powerful chorus that, despite its dire subject matter, makes you want to get up and move. Young & Dangerous simply jams. With a track-list full of potential hits like “Body Talks,” “Fire - Part 1,” “Bulletproof Baby,” “Primadonna Like Me,” and several others, it’s an instant classic. The Wrecks with Bad Flower and Deal Casino at the Masquerade wasn’t a show I covered, and that may be why it’s my favorite. I was fully immersed in the music, the friends I was with and the sold out crowd for three amazing bands in a tight, intimate venue.

Sami Hutton - Editor

Song of the Year

“Infinite Cities” // The Bright Light Social Hour

Album of the Year

Eat the Elephant // A Perfect Circle

Live Performance of the Year

Ghost at the Coca-Cola Roxy

“Infinite Cities” holds its own, musically, with swift percussion and haunting melodies blended together with strong vocals to make a pleasantly groovy pop tune. Eat the Elephant is a perfectly haunting album. Dark melodies and powerful lyrics made this album an absolute banger. Ghost’s theatrics, dark mysticism and heavy "ass wobbling" tunes mixed with comedic monologues made their set a win-win in all aspects. I look back fondly on all of these choices. Not only did they stand out in regards to talent, but they each had a significant impact on my year as it unfolded.

Elyssa Velez - Graphic Designer/Resident Hipster

Song of the Year

“Loser” // McCafferty

Album of the Year

Puppy Love // Mom Jeans

Live Performance of the Year

Death Cab for Cutie at the Coca-Cola Roxy & The Story So Far in Heaven at the Masquerade

I chose “Loser” by McCafferty because sometimes you just feel like a fucking loser and this song is too relatable. Mom jeans is one of my favorite bands, and if you don’t know them you should. All of their songs slap. For best live performance, it’s a tie between crying at Death Cab for Cutie in the photo pit because they’re so heckin good and screaming along to all of my favorite songs from The Story So Far.


We hope you discovered a few new songs and bands, and if you already knew them all -- Congratulations! You’ve got amazing taste in music. Disagree with any of these picks or think we snubbed the greatest sound to grace your ears this year? Let us know on Instagram @bulletmusicnet. We’ll be waiting.

Until then -- Happy Holidays and Happy New Years from the entire Bullet Music team! We look forward to sharing even more great music, kick-ass shows and rad interviews with you guys in 2019.

Tayler Newman

Tayler is Bullet Music's Editor-in-Chief. With years of experience in the music industry as both a fan and creator, Tayler brings a unique perspective to his writing. More of his sagely wisdom can be found @T_Newm on Twitter and Instagram.