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  • Patrick McNaught

Washed Out Festival's Top Releases of 2018

Yes, another end-of-year list. Our bad. We think this one's a little bit special though, as we've asked some of our favourite DIY artists and promoters to contribute. Listen to the Spotify playlist now whilst you read our top picks:




Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

We'll start with our Album of the Year, as selected by Washed Out's Festival Director, Patrick McNaught. This delicate, weird and wonderful indie rock album quickly became the soundtrack for our 2018 after it's April release.


The Beths - Future Me Hates Me

"Just a record full of absolute bangers! Really catchy vocal hooks and just a really cool vibe on the whole record. I bloody love it!!" Dom Wright of Death by Shotgun wasn't the only one to pick this one, but was certainly the most excited. Here at Washed Out HQ, we're pretty big fans too!

Boygenius - Boygenius

In-house promoter for The Green Door Store, Toni Coe, chose the EP Boygenius as her top pick of 2018. It comes from a supergroup made up of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus and was written in just four days. Packed full of harmonies, it's both vulnerable and haunting; leaving you desperately wanting for more. Fingers crossed these three get together again in the future.


Dilly Dally - Heaven

Thanks to Nicola from Doe for choosing this one. Katie Monk's vocals are one-of-a-kind, snarling over the signature grunge sound you'll be familiar with as a fan of 2015's Sore. Another gem of Toronto's brilliant music scene.


Gender Roles - Lazer Rush

It's no secret that we're fans of Gender Roles - their 2015 Washed Out set is still up there with our favourites. It's been a busy year for the Brighton-based band, but they managed to release Lazer Rush amid the madness and fit a European tour in too. Catch them play at the last ever night of Sticky Mike's Frog Bar on New Year's Eve. It'll be emotional.


Kal Marks - Universal Care

Collider - Heads. was also in the running for Modern Ritual's Harry, who picked them both for being both"interesting and hard-hitting records."


Doe - Grow into It

Yes, another Big Scary Monsters release and of course, a Washed Out 2019 headliner. We really can't get enough of this. It's fun, fierce and queasy in all the right places. They'll be joining us in April - don't miss it.


Lingua Nada - Snuff

"It’s amazing start to end. We discovered whilst on our first European tour, thanks to an amazing promoter/host that we met in Zwickau and it’s all the pieces of great bands I love in one. My undiscovered super-group." Tom Bennett, Gender Roles.


Joe Booley - Movements americansignlanguage's Adam Hyman chose this one because"Joe is a passionate and beautiful soul which has put every part of himself into the record. Personal favourite is 'Movements III' as it makes me feel safe."


Elle - She

A mix of post-hardcore, emo and skrams, Elle is raw and at times chaotic, but has a subtle melodic undertone. Released on Conditions Records and Dog Knights Productions we love that the production maintains a punk sound.


Turnstile - Time & Space

"Big hardcore tunes, big dance, big riffs, big chorus pedal" Can't disagree with Matthew Miller of americansignlanguage, can you?


Itoldyouiwouldeatyou - Oh Dearism

Oh Dearism is a truly 2018 take on emo - impossibly sad and incredibly progressive at once. Following the release on Alcopop, Failure By Design and Beth Shalom Records, they're set to go on tour with Queen Zee in February.


Kaddish - What World Was Still

Darran of Charlotte Light and Dark chose this one, but was torn between three releases. "For me, it's so close between Further Still by Bosse de Nage, Enemy,by Ostraca and What World Was Still by Kaddish, but Kaddish just about pinches it. They all capture the extremes of human emotion in a way that sounds genuine without sacrificing their compelling and thoughtful songwriting but Kaddish have this ascending, optimistic characteristic to their music that just lifts it up above the rest."


Bloody Death - Eventually

Ted Foster's solo project Bloody Death has carved a space in the Brighton music scene's heart with his lo-fi tracks. Both summery and fuzzy, the EP was released on Hanger Records, adding to their impressive roster.


Drug Church - Cheer

"Their past releases have been really good but my god did they step it up with this album. Wall to wall hook-laden banger and it's so well written and interesting that I still can't decide what genre it is." Danny Lester, Mean Caesar


Orchards - Losers/Lovers

'Math' and 'fun' usually don't belong in the same sentence, but in the context of Orchards, it makes perfect sense. Losers/Lovers bounces and soars with it's danceable, glittering math rhythms. We couldn't leave this one off the list.


Camp Cope - How To Socialise and Make Friends

Hassan of Triple Sundae gave us a pick from both inside and outside the punk world: "Iridescence by Brockhampton was probably my favourite release this year, the album covers a big range of different emotions and each song is banging in its own little ways. As far as punk releases in 2018 I'd say How To Socialise and Make Friends by Camp Cope was probably the one I enjoyed most."


Slow Mass - On Watch

Our post-hardcore pick of the year had to go to Slow Mass. The Chicago four-piece released the debut On Watch in May and hardly a day has gone by since that we haven't listened to it. Check out their Audiotree session to see why.


I Feel Fine - Long Distance Celebration

Finally, we've chosen another Failure by Design release and member of the current British wave of emo, I Feel Fine. They joined us at last year's festival and have had us pining for their return since.


Anything we missed? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you!