2018 Top Ten Album List – Steve Murphy

Steve's Top Ten

Between my two writing gigs and my own personal record collecting, I’ve probably listened to a hundred albums released this year.  2018 has been a year full of beautiful discoveries, and solid returns to greatness.  I was quickly drawn to some, while others needed to steep in the pot of my brain for a bit before fully understood and enjoyed.  Of great importance to me when listening is understanding the purpose of the art.  The “who,” “where” or “how” is not as important as the “why,” and of course, the finished work of art.

When listening to an album or song, I ask myself, “Why did they write this?”  For some, they’re trying to become famous and create something which will appeal to the widest of listeners.  In my experience, these songs rarely have any meaning, depth or personal connection; they’ve been diluted of substance.  Others attempt to recreate a certain style and constrain themselves to fit into predictable limits; these imitators can rarely achieve greatness to eclipse or replace the original.

I’ve selected my personal favorite Canadian albums released in 2018 (listed alphabetically).  There’s everything from self-released albums to major national releases.  Hopefully this helps prove the point that a large budget doesn’t necessarily equate to a great record, but it doesn’t necessarily negate one either.

Thanks to the rest of the GDW team, Lesley and Martin for their inspiring contributions, and of course giving me an outlet for ramblings and opinions on music.

  1. Astral Swans – Strange Prison
  2. Basement Revolver – Heavy Eyes
  3. Brookside Mall – Self Titled
  4. Daniel Romano – Finally Free
  5. Eamon McGrath – Tantramar
  6. Jackson Reed – Dark Areas of Description
  7. KEN Mode – Loved
  8. Preoccupations – New Material
  9. Shad – A Short Story About A War
  10. Tampa – Belated Love

Honorable Mention (shameless plug):  Steve Murphy – Lonesome Scrapbook


A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.

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