As the year comes to a close, you drop any diet plans, and you begin your arduous journey to the rural s**t-hole of a town you grew up in, it’s a great time to reflect on the year we’ve – miraculously – survived. 2018 will probably be remembered more for the year that Trump went full psycho, massive and global climate change crises, the racist rant of Dolce & Gabbana, and a never-arriving Brexit; but even so, music has been playing throughout. Our favorite artists provide the melodic backdrop and soundtrack to all the BS we’re facing everyday – they inspire change, fun, and survival. 2018 offered sensual moments of pure pop, visionary avant-garde, hedonist fun – and, oh, CARDI B. What was playing in the DANSK offices, you’re wondering? We’ll tell you! Here, we invite you into our musical catalog as you dive even deeper into your mother’s candy supply and strategize a full-scale revolution (next year).
Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
The year began in April, when the Bronx native Cardi B pulled us out of our S.A.D. with her debut album Invasion of Privacy. With bangers such as “Bodak Yellow,” and “I Like It,” the album is exactly as maximalist, unapologetic, and humorous as its artist, who in little more than a year has become the biggest hope for female hip-hop.
Kanye West – Ye
Despite occasional public break-downs, a hyped fashion line, and three children under the age of 6, there seems to be no slowing down for crown prince of Contemporary Hip Hop, Kanye West, who surprised the world with this tight, conceptual album in June. Apparently re-mixed after his notorious public TmZ rant, it features the crème of American hip hop, and was apparently recorded in the rapper’s remote ranch in Wyoming – where the rapper’s listening party also took place. Either way, “Wouldn’t Leave” is one of our favorite songs of 2018.
Blood Orange – Negro Swan
Words can’t fully describe how in love we are with Dev Hynes, the mastermind behind much contemporary pop, as well as of his solo project, Blood Orange. His latest album, launced in August, is a poetic landscape of black excellence, pain, and togetherness, an homage to the world’s queer brown communities, and the people it has lost. Surprisingly, most of the album was recorded in Copenhagen, where Hynes’ partner, Ana Kraš, is heavily involved in the Ganni set. Negro Swan has been on repeat ever since Copenhagen Fashion Week – and probably will for another couple of months.
Ariana Grande – Sweetener
It was a noticably quiet year amongst pop divas, with Beyonce and Rihanna both taking a seat until 2019. But in August, the only 25-year old Ariana Grande released an album so sticky, saliva-inducing, and headache causing that it made up for all the absence. We love Sweetener, and feel that it perfectly encapsulates the second wind we encountered in our personal lives some time in September. Also, can “god is a woman” and “breathin” come any closer to the perfect pop song? We think not.
After Grande’s banger album, we soon realized we had been to fast to diagnose the absence of pop divas in the year 2018 – in fact, the music industry was just doing some much-needed revising! In October, Nordic pop princess Robyn melted every gay and lesbian heart, again, with Honey, a perfect piece of adult pup, filled with echoes of longing, desire, loss, and love. Honey describes with surprising simplicity our love lives of the past 10 years – and isn’t that what proper pop should do? “Beach2k20” remains in our headphones in these days leading up to Christmas.
Mariah Carey – Caution
Just as we thought we were done laughing, sissying, and dancing around in our underwear with our Spotify feed, Mariah Carey – who was just preparing her annual Christmas re-awakening – drops Caution, her best album in 10 years. With some help from the before-mentioned Hynes, as well as friends old and new, Carey asserted her relevance in today’s post-pop neo-r’n’b landscape – as its actual queen. Nevermind that she no longer dances and photoshops all her Instagram posts – we do to!! We love you, Mariah!