A personal Top 68 of the year's best albums so far...

First off, a gentle reminder that our excellent new issue of Uncut is in the shops now, featuring a look at Prince‘s greatest albums, the return of the Cowboy Junkies, Graham Nash, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, John Coltrane, Hawkwind, Teenage Fanclub and Jennifer Warnes. Full details about the issue are here, in case you missed them.

Conscious that we’re about to hit the halfway mark through 2018, I tried to round up my favourite albums of the year so far; specifically releases from January until the end of June. They’re listed in alphabetical order, in case you’re interested. Reassuringly, there’s already a lot to look forward to in the second half of this year – including strong new album from Glenn Jones, Nathan Salsburg, One Eleven Heavy, Alexander Tucker and Thee Oh Sees among others.

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1 Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (Domino)
2 Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel (Marathon Artists)
3 Beach House – 7 (Bella Union)
4 Belly – Dove (self-released)
5 Kadhja Bonet – Childqueen (Fat Possum)
6 Breeders – All Nerve (4AD)
7 David Byrne – American Utopia (Nonesuch)
8 Dylan Carson – Conquistador (Cargo)
9 Chris Carter – Chemistry Lessons Volume 1 (Mute)
10 Neko Case – Hell-On (Anti-)
11 Jennifer Castle – Angels Of Death (Paradise of Bachelors)
12 Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade (Duophonic)
13 Graham Coxon – The End Of The F***ing World OST (Warner Music Group)
14 Ry Cooder – The Prodigal Son (Fantasy Records)
15 Lucy Dacus – Historian (Matador)
16 Juliana Daugherty – Light (Western Vinyl)
17 Dead Meadow – The Nothing They Need (Xemu Records)
18 Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer (Bella Union)
19 Eleanor Friedberger – Rebound (French Kiss)
20 Shinya Fukumori Trio – For 2 Akis (Deutsche Grammophon)
21 Gang Gang Dance – Kazuashita (4AD)
22 Gnod – Chapel Perilous (Rocket Recordings)
23 Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread OST (Nonesuch)
23 Gwenno – Le Kov (Heavenly Recordings)
25 Jon Hassell – Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) (Ndeya)
26 Haley Heynderickx – I Need To Start A Garden (Mama Bird Recording Co.)
27 Jon Hopkins – Singularity (Domino)
28 Steve Jansen – Corridor (self-released)
29 Andy Jenkins – Sweet Bunch (Spacebomb)
30 Kaada – Closing Statements (Mirakel Recordings)
31 Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
32 Mary Lattimore – Hundreds Of Days (Ghostly International)
33 Mélissa Laveaux – Radyo Siwèl (No Format!)
34 Sarah Louise – Deeper Woods (Thrill Jockey)
35 Luluc – Sculptor (Sub Pop)
36 Francis MacDonald – Hamilton Mausoleum Suite (TR7/Shoeshine Records)
37 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard (Domino)
38 Johnny Marr – Call The Comet (Warner Bros.)
39 Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage (Domino)
40 Mien – Mien (Rocket Recordings)
41 Mind Over Mirrors – Bellowing Sun (Paradise of Bachelors)
42 Modern Studies – Welcome Strangers (Fire Records)
43 Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbard – Here Lies The Body (Rock Action Records)
44 Mouse On Mars – Dimensional People (Thrill Jockey)
45 Ought – Room Inside The World (Merge)
46 Josh T. Pearson – The Straight Hits (Mute)
47 Natalie Prass – The Future And The Past (Fire Records)
48 Mark Pritchard – The Four Worlds (Warp)
49 Gwenifer Raymond – You Were Never Much Of A Dancer (Tompkins Square)
50 Red River Dialect – Broken Stay Open Sky (Paradise of Bachelors)
51 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
52 The Sea And Cake – Any Day (Thrill Jockey)
53 Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin (Drag City)
54 Snail Mail – Lush (Matador)
55 Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile (Impulse! Records)
56 Stuart A. Staples – Arrhythmia (City Slang)
57 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar)
58 U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited (4AD)
59 Laura Veirs – The Lookout (Bella Union)
60 The Wave Pictures – Brushed With Happiness (Moshi Moshi)
61 Leon Vynehall – Nothing Is Still (Ninja Tune)
62 Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance (Dead Oceans)
63 Wand – Perfume (Drag City)
64 Kamasi Washington – Heaven And Earth (Young Turks)
65 Jess Williamson – Cosmic Wink (Mexican Summer)
66 Jonathan Wilson – Rare Birds (Bella Union)
67 Virginia Wing – Ecstatic Arrow (Fire Records)
68 Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On (Matador)

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The August 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Prince on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive features on John Coltrane, Graham Nash, Cowboy Junkies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hawkwind, Jennifer Warnes, Teenage Fanclub, David Sylvian, Wilko Johnson and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Israel Nash, Dirty Projectors, Luluc, Ty Segall and White Fence, Nathan Salsburg and Gwenifer Raymond.

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