Our esteemed music reviewers have sifted through their STACK submissions and chosen their tippy-top three records of 2018 – read on!

BILLY PINNELLSteve-Boyds-Hoodoo-Hipshake

Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie, Hoodoo Hipshake

“I can’t recall the last time I heard a debut album as fully realised as this one… Funk, rock, zydeco, jazz, gospel, blues and soul are all represented on these infectious songs that could have been born in New Orleans.”

Honourable Mentions

Yolanda Ingley II, Woman Got To Cry

Tash Sultana, Flow State


AMy Shark Love Monster

Amy Shark, Love Monster

Love Monster’s tracks are about love, lust, and childhood crushes, spoken of in the way only a veteran of relationships ever could… [let] your adolescent romances flow over you in song form.”

Honourable Mentions

Thundamentals, I Love Songs

Various/Kendrick Lamar, Black Panther OST


SIMON WINKLERTirzah Devotion

Tirzah, Devotion

“Cautiousness, confidence, strength and forgiveness [are] all told in unsteady snare snaps, suspended piano loops, subtle synths and vocal refrains… If we can be certain of anything it’s that Tirzah has made one of the most quietly compelling debut albums of the year.”

Honourable Mentions

Laura Jean, Devotion

Marlon Williams, Make Way For Love


TIM LAMBERTWest Thebarton Different Beings

West Thebarton, Different Beings Being Different

“Reverend Ray isn’t just delivering a raspy 40-minute sermon – he is preaching straight out of the Lord’s pint glass… it’s intricate, soulful, gut-wrenching, and hard as nails.”

Honourable Mentions

Trophy Eyes, The American Dream

Jack River, Sugar Mountain


SIMON LUKICVoivod The Wake

Voivod, The Wake

“When it comes to artistry in heavy metal, this Canadian institution is at the top of the mountain… Voivod are one of the genre’s finest: a forward-thinking band that defines “progressive” like no other. The Wake is ample proof.”

Honourable Mentions

Warrel Dane, Shadow Work

Tribulation, Down Below



Perry Keyes, Jim Salmon’s Lament

“Keyes is the Springsteen you’ve never heard of, the songwriter who shows us the inner-city Sydney you don’t see in the tourism brochures… [He] has a razor-sharp eye for detail, which brings these urban vignettes to life.”

Honourable Mentions

Matt Corby, Rainbow Valley

Middle Kids, Lost Friends


JAKE CLELANDAriana Grande Sweetener

Ariana Grande, Sweetener

“Grande in 2018 is more bold and more influential than the voting public believed former Disney stars could ever possibly be…

Sweetener is the endpoint for pop music. Everything that came before was just tuning up.”

Honourable Mentions

The Go! Team, Semicircle

Totally Mild, Her



Sarah Mary Chadwick

Sarah Mary Chadwick, Sugar Still Melts In The Rain

Honourable Mentions

The Goon Sax, We’re Not Talking

“Despite living lives full of uncertainties, the band possess a remarkable assuredness. We’re Not Talking is further proof of the trio’s genius, and serves to show just how much they’ve grown as musicians.”

Blood Orange, Negro Swan


DENISE HYLANDSColter Wall album

Colter Wall, Songs Of The Plains

“Wall’s voice is the first thing that smacks you in the face, raw and honest, a deep rich baritone. With stripped-back arrangements, he creates real imagery of his Canadian prairie.”

Honourable Mentions

Various, Take Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Compilation

Dawn Landes, Meet Me At The River