2018 is coming to a close. December 11 was the final new chart week of the year. With that, we take a look back at what artists and albums made the biggest waves in an ocean of new music. By most accounts 2018 was a great year for music. It can certainly and most welcomingly be called a ‘year of the woman.’ We were thrilled to see female solo artists and female-fronted bands dominate the charts. More than three quarters (77%) of the chart weeks in 2018 saw women leading the way. 2018 also saw an exciting mix of well-established and up-and-coming artists reach #1. From indie favorites like Beach House, Father John Misty, and Gorillaz to fresh new faces like Anna Burch, Thin Lips, and Kero Kero Bonito.
College and community radio continues to be a haven for artists old and new. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Paul McCartney, Mavis Staples, and Elvis Costello, as well as rock stalwarts Johnny Marr and Jack White, all enjoyed Top 10 albums this year. Long-time indie and alt-rock favorites like Yo La Tengo, Low, Death Cab For Cutie, Neko Case, Guided By Voices, Cat Power, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Belle And Sebastian, Guided By Voices, Metric, They Might Be Giants, Superchunk, and Iron & Wine all reached the Top 10. Core indie radio darlings like Cloud Nothings, Blood Orange, Dirty Projectors, Wild Nothing, Parquet Courts, Arctic Monkeys, Wye Oak, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Decemberists, U.S. Girls, and Car Seat Headrest also scored Top 10 albums. And as always, college and community radio was the place new music broke. Artists early in their careers like Superorganism, Post Animal, Hatchie, The Beths, Snail Mail, Let’s Eat Grandma, Tanukichan, Boy Pablo, and Grapetooth all landed Top 10 records. And sadly, we had two artists reach the NACC Top 10 posthumously. Both Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones (along with the Dap Kings) reached this pinnacle and Jones’ album was actually the first #1 of 2018.
Thank you for letting us be a part of showcasing all the music that finds a home at college and community radio across North America. We’re excited to see what 2019 has in store. From the NACC team to you, Happy Holidays! And may 2019 be your best year yet.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Only artist to reach #1 on the NACC 200 twice this year.
Only artist to reach the NACC Top 10 three times.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Be The Cowboy
Eight record-breaking weeks @ #1 on the NACC 200
Biggest climb ever to #1 on the NACC 200 (33-1)
2. COURTNEY BARNETT Tell Me How You Really Feel [Mom + Pop]
3. SOCCER MOMMY Clean [Fat Possum]
4. FRANKIE COSMOS Vessel [Sub Pop]
5. TY SEGALL Freedom’s Goblin [Drag City]
See what music caught the ears of programmers, DJs, promoters, & label employees in 2018 by viewing their personal Top 10 Albums and Singles of the year HERE.
NACC 200: BIGGEST CLIMBER
Jumped 177 Spots (190-13), biggest ever on NACC 200
NACC 200: HIGHEST DEBUT
[Anti-/Arts & Crafts]
Both debuted @ #9 on the NACC 200
NACC 200: MOST ADDED
[We Buy Gold/Thirty Tigers]
127 Top 10 Adds
NACC 200: BIGGEST CLIMB INTO THE TOP 10
And Nothing Hurt
Jumped 129-9 to reach the Top 10.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: ELECTRONIC
9 Weeks @ #1
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: FOLK
I’M WITH HER
See You Around
9 Weeks @ #1
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: HEAVY
7 Weeks @ #1
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: HIP HOP
10 Weeks @ #1
CHANHAYS was the only artist to reach #1 twice on any genre chart this year!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: JAZZ
DR. LONNIE SMITH
All In My Mind
10 Weeks @ #1
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: WORLD
Remain In Light
11 Weeks @ #1
NACC Blues, Latin & Chill Charts were launched during 2018 so they won’t be featured in the year-end recap as an entire year of chart data was not accumulated.