Best Albums of 2018
selected by Kristýna Trochtová

Rutka Laskier <BR> “Protiklady”

Rutka Laskier

Rutka Laskier are the New Black. Or, to be more precise, are the new Ravelin 7. They sound more ravelin7 than the actual Ravelin 7 (whose new album “Kry” is barely worth mentioning), which in itself should persuade you to give it a listen.

♪♫ Listen: “Klaun” + album stream

Rutka Laskier on Facebook, Bandcamp.

nulajednanulanula <BR> “mit Liebe aus Sudeten”

“mit Liebe aus Sudeten”

Indeed, there is so much love in this record: love for what came to public knowledge as French „real screamo“. Besides that, „mit Liebe aus Sudeten“ is possibly one of the darkest and most emotionally draining LPs that were ever put out in the Czech Republic.

It is incredibly intense. And the lyrics are just outstanding. Take it as a warning.

♪♫ Listen: “Nagano, 1998” + album stream

nulajednanulanula on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Dukla <BR> “Život perfektní”

“Život perfektní”

Being both Prague’s most loved and most hated band, Dukla certainly did a great job making this album a reality. Despite sounding like Liverpool’s superstar hipsters Her’s with a pinch of decent Czech lyricism to it, on “Život perfektní” they do their best to unravel the specific melancholy of taking a night tram to I. P. Pavlova. And other stories.

This album will make you feel nostalgic for moments you have never lived – is what I say. Ironically, of course.

♪♫ Listen: “Nagano nejsi” + album stream

Dukla on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Margo <BR> “First I Thought…”

“First I Thought…”

This album had to be on the list just for the sake of its title:

“First I Thought Everyone’s Staring at Me but Then I Realized Nobody Cared – All the Creatures I Met Sitting on the Back Seat and How to Deal with What I’ve Learnt”

It is an amazing record, though: all I can say is that when it came out at the very end of the year, it took everyone by surprise. Truly an unexpected revelation of some tasteful and pleasantly mature electro pop.

♪♫ Listen: “And Then One Day…” + album stream

Margo on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Manon meurt <BR> “MMXVIII”

Manon meurt

Manon meurt, who have been around pretty much since the new wave of “shoegazing” bands first emerged, already proved their talent to write unforgettable songs on their self-titled debut EP.

Now, four years after the record first came out, Manon meurt are back with their first full-length album “MMXVIII” on which they explore previously undiscovered places and structures, drawing on their distinct sound and style of writing, but also adding a significant new element to it: the notion of not being afraid of experimenting with extensive soundscapes, as well as consciously stretching the genre’s (otherwise deliberately limiting) boundaries.

♪♫ Listen: “Neon” + album stream

Manon meurt on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, www.

Decultivate <BR> “Milovat”


“Milovat” (which translates to “To Love”) is the debut 12-inch EP of the three-piece misanthropic hardcore punk outfit Decultivate. 9 minutes of pure hatred, angst and anger – I challenge you to try not to fall for these guys.

Finest (slightly) blackened crust punk, very much recommended to y’all insomniac teens.

♪♫ Listen: “Óda na nenávist” + album stream

Decultivate on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Tomáš Palucha <BR> “Čaro”

Tomáš Palucha

Tomáš Palucha, a literal all-star band (featuring present and former members of Lvmen, Orient, Kovadlina and Priessnitz, among others), cannot be described by a simple genre label. Their sound fluctuates between the very specific tenderness of Friend of Dean Martinez, the moodiness of Red Sparowes and the heaviness of the universally beloved Russian Circles.

If Pavel Bobek formed an instrumental rock band, they would sound exactly like Tomáš Palucha. That is a fact.

♪♫ Listen: “Hrob mouder” + album stream

Tomáš Palucha on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Never Sol <BR> “Chamaleo”

Never Sol

Following her 2013 fantastic debut Under Quiet, Czechia’s badly underappreciated darkpop queen Never Sol a.k.a. Sára Vondrášková finally dropped a new album, entitled “Chamaleo”, last year.

As she says, she has recorded it in her „attic audio-botanical sanctuary“ in Prague, and it sounds exactly like that. “Chamaleo” is visually accompanied by a series of collages by her friend Michaela Karásková.

Ever heard of the “Dark Side of the Moon”? – This is better.

♪♫ Listen: “Zoe” + album stream

Never Sol on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp.

Market <BR> “Art Star”

“Art Star”

Market are a Prague-based post-punk outfit and possibly the only band over whose qualitites no one in the Czech Republic dares to argue.

Market and their debut album “Art Star” are objectively t.h.e. b.e.s.t. that the contemporary Czech indie scene has to offer, and it is not only because they sound like a weird, anxious and somewhat awkward mixture of King Krule, Parquet Courts and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

♪♫ Listen: „Cum Dust“ + album stream

Market on Facebook, Bandcamp, www.

Katarzia <BR> “Antigona”


Having started her career as an unprecedentedly talented and bright indie folk singer-songwriter, Katarzia smoothly became one of the most overally acclaimed musicians in Slovakia. Her debut LP “Generácia Y“ thrust her into the limelight of the local music scene and with the 2016 record “Agnostika”, she opened up to a broader (nationality- and genre-wise) audience, as she had previously moved to Czechia’s capital, Prague, and somehow ended up forming a full-blown band around herself.

In 2018, Katarzia put out a new album/project, “Antigona”, which was originally created for the Slovak National Theatre (SND) and their play of the same name. “Antigona” is without a doubt Katarzia’s yet most exciting and profound piece of work, while it is crutial to mention that it was heavily marked by the influence of Pjoni, Slovak producer, whom Katarzia has been working with (on the album, as well as on stage at this point). Katarzia‘s sound might have changed, but what persists is her subtle lyricism that does not lack wit, yet it can also be poignant and distressing.

“Antigona” is an excellent album that absorbed the best of contemporary (electro) pop music and liberal feminism, which – in the context of Slovak and Czech scene – seems more radical than ever.

♪♫ Listen: “Bábiky sa vraždia” + album stream

Katarzia on Facebook.