Best Albums of 2018
picked by 8 Greek music critics

Empty Frame <BR> “Who Wants To Ride The Horse”

Empty Frame
“Who Wants To Ride The Horse”

Empty Frame consciously (and inevitably, due to their huge talent) stay away from the mix of neo-psychedelia and urban misery that plagues a vast number of Greek bands in recent years.

Instead, they combine alternative, progressive and folk music with indie, country and Americana, they embellish their sound with violins and cello, while they create a realistic and dynamic image of a country (and of the people of the latter, consequently) in a profound crisis.

They criticize both of them in an essential way, without resorting to meaningless teaching and elevated fingers.

♪♫ Listen: “Feels Like A Breeze” + album stream

Empty Frame on Bandcamp, Facebook, www.

The Steams <BR> “Wild Ferment”

The Steams
“Wild Ferment”

The Athenian band The Steams manage to keep the listener’s interest undisturbed on their first full-length album, through an intense mystical and psychedelic atmosphere.

The quartet’s songwriting incorporates diverse and heterogeneous elements from various sound sources, some of which have a distinct Greek reference. And what testifies more the greekness of The Steams’ style is not the traditional instruments that they use, like tsampouna (a Greek folk instrument of the bagpipe family), the lute and the Cretan lyre, but the emotional load and the Dionysian sense that their airy sounds carry out through their melodies and their rhymes.

Along with these, you come across oriental scales and hallucinatory harmonies from the psych ‘60s, mainly from California. In all of the above organic ingredients, eccentric vocal lines in chant style are added, plus neurotic fuzzy rock guitars and a plethoric rhythm of percussion and bass, to eventually form one of the most impressive debut albums of 2018.

♪♫ Listen: “Perfect Storms from Afar” + album stream

The Steams on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Xylouris White <BR> “Mother”

Xylouris White

For the third time in our annual best of lists, and four years after their impressive debut release, Xylouris White, the duo of lute player George Xylouris and drummer Jim White, returns with its third album, “Mother”, for Bella Union.

This time, the visionary project comes back with more Greek spoken songs, more spiritual atmosphere than their previous albums and Anna Roberts-Gevalt of old-time folk duo Anna & Elizabeth. Their peculiar fusion and unique style still remains distinctive, but I guess it draws more influence this time from the Cretan/Greek music and tradition, at least for native ears.

Do not miss the stomper “Only Love” (“Αγάπη Μόνο”) and the psychedelic and strongly emotional “Motorcycle Kondilies”. Another spontaneous work full of interesting gems, produced once again by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto.

♪♫ Listen: “Only Love” + album stream

Xylouris White on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, www.

The Fog Ensemble <BR> “Throbs”

The Fog Ensemble

One guesses that the name of the band is probably a nod to the foggy, wet and grey winter mornings of Thessaloniki, the city that they are located in. But The Fog Ensemble are the right answer to the question “what happens when shoegaze and post rock meet trip hop and indie?”.

These seven songs recorded in only four days and spanning across thirty-two minutes are more than enough to create a tight record. Not even a single note is odd, not even a single lyric is necessary to convey the urban and eerie feeling, with which this record is imbued.

♪♫ Listen: “Lighthouse” + album stream

The Fog Ensemble on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

s̶i̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ <BR> “Untrue”


s̶i̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ is a noisy post-punk band from Athens. A new art rock carriage that delivers – in 29 minutes – seven instrumental tracks that knock you straight ahead.

They released their debut album “Untrue” in autumn, via Underflow Records, having raw and adventurous pieces of music, motorik rhythms and sophisticated guitar riffs.

The album was mixed and produced – apart from the band – by Coti K. An interesting first effort.

♪♫ Listen: “Fidel” + album stream

s̶i̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Zinovia Arvanitidi <BR> “Ivory”

Zinovia Arvanitidi

Zinovia Arvanitidi was born in Athens but she is currently living in France. She has written music scores for TV series, short films and theatrical plays, while she has offered three solo albums.

The most recent one was released on Kitchen Label, and it is without doubt a lovely creation. It includes ten tracks of delicate music. Piano-led compositions unfold neo-classical melodies bloomed in sensitivity and romanticism.

If you are exhausted of the everyday’s wilderness and buzz, now it’s the time to press the play button. “Ivory’s” cinematic atmosphere and its gentle melodies will guide you to the right place.

♪♫ Listen: “Fluttering” + album stream

Zinovia Arvanitidi on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Sworr. <BR> “Sworr.”


Sworr. are one of the most charismatic and fresh Greek bands that we have heard in the recent years.

The trio that was founded in Patras but released its first studio album via Thessaloniki’s Fair Weather Friends Recordings. “Sworr.” has a unique style of mellow beats, soulful electronic sounds and cool spoken words.

Their nine songs have nothing to envy from relative English bands, as these guys really know how to groove, to color their songs with their own personality and of course how to write fine tunes. An inspired debut! Can’t wait for their next release.

♪♫ Listen: “Colder” + album stream

Sworr. on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Selofan <BR> “Vitrioli”


Behind Selofan, you will find Dimitri Pavlidi and Ioanna Pavlidou, the owners of the Athenian darkwave label Fabrika Records, a key figure in the resurgence of that particular sound not only in Greece, but generally in Europe. So it’s no surprise at all, that in their fifth record they do exactly what they know in the best possible level.

Synths colder than death, robotic, repetitive rhythms, cryptic lyrics with national fluidity (English, Spanish, German, Greek), and you got “Vitrioli”. A top of the game record with many allusions to the glorious, Greek past of electronic darkwave bands such as Χωρίς Περιδέραιο and Metro Decay.

♪♫ Listen: “Give Me A Reason” + album stream

Selofan on Bandcamp, Facebook.

The Last Drive <BR> “The Last Drive”

The Last Drive
“The Last Drive”

The Last Drive are one of the most legendary rock bands of the underground music scene in Greece. Formed in early ‘80s, they split up in 1995 and have reunited eleven years ago. Τheir reputation has passed from generation to generation through their amazing live gigs, hundreds of articles about them, and of course through their critically acclaimed albums.

In 2018 they released nine new songs, with a typically barrage of heavy guitar riffs, tight drum rolls and sublime vocals. Their genuine garage and psychedelic rock devoured once again their fans, whose number keeps on increasing.

Alongside with this release, do listen to the tribute album titled “NOT The Last Drive”, a remix compilation and reconstruction of their album by twelve artists and bands, with MENTA, Mechanimal, Antonis Livieratos and 2 by Bukwoski among them.

♪♫ Listen: “Always The Sun” + album stream

The Last Drive on Bandcamp, Facebook, www.

Sans Corps <BR> “NNULL”

Sans Corps

“Nnull” is the debut album of the Athenian group/collective Sans Corps and it is a hell of a record. Improvisation is the key word here, but in the end it seems too limiting for the sound that this special band creates.

It is an imaginative, urgent explosion of ideas emanating from both a wide and eclectic set of sonic references, varying from noise to krautrock and psychedelia to electronic, with improv. jazz being the glue that connects everything.

Despite the fact that there is no structure here and everything is based on instinct, there seems to be a magical order that turns chaos into gold here. Twelve magnificent songs, thousands of ideas and a promise of much more to come from this band of rare, wild beauty.

♪♫ Listen: “God Machine” + album stream

Sans Corps on Bandcamp, Facebook.



Aww ΛΕΞ, a hip-hop name to surely watch and one of the most active and interesting underground acts of Greece during the last years! Thousands of loyal fans follow every single step he makes, creating a serious buzz around his releases and live performances.

Hailing from Thessaloniki, with caustic, aggressive and dark rhymes, he gives a great sense of perspective for the humble and depressed youngs, the working-class heroes of our generation. And speaks out loud against the cops, the neoliberalism and the nazism of our days.

Dof Twogee, Tyler Rydosz and Damned United produced the whole album and dropped the beats, the samples and the sounds of the 9 tracks, that flow essentially. Conscious hip-hop for the likes of Wu-Tang Clan or Kendrick Lamar to name a few.

♪♫ Listen: “Πολυκατοικίες” + album stream

ΛΕΞ on Facebook.

Melentini <BR> “ZRSHA; Fundus Uterus”

“ZRSHA; Fundus Uterus”

With her second solo album, the lovely young musician from Athens presents an emotional testimony with deep references to the work of the writer Virginia Woolf – as she declares.

Melentini sings genuine pop songs in English and her trademark “Zrshian” language, while she unfolds slow melancholic pieces of music – mainly using synthesizers, abstract sounds and downtempo electronic beats.

In ten doses, Melentini captures her weird, claustrophobic little world that is full of atmospheric and sad songs, steeped in heartache.

♪♫ Listen: “Yellow Roses” + album stream

Melentini on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Παιδί Τραύμα <BR> “Μυστικές Χορευτικές Κινήσεις”

Παιδί Τραύμα
“Μυστικές Χορευτικές Κινήσεις”

While the anonymous creator of Παιδί Τραύμα – who is introduced as someone who writes music and words inside a block of flats in the centre of Athens – is sparing with his identity information, his first album is in contrast totally gifted and wealthy.

His lyrics are clever and caustic, tender, extremely personal and they sometimes have a unique observeness for the outside world. They coexist perfectly with the electronic pop sounds of the album, giving birth to a really fresh and one-of-a-kind new act for the Greek independent music scene. Which came almost out of nowhere.

♪♫ Listen: “Νερατζιά” + album stream

Παιδί Τραύμα on Bandcamp, Facebook, www.

Fuku <BR> “I Am”

“I Am”

In a musical piece of work where improvisation seems to be the dominant concern, its initiators choose to align the route of composition with the route of experimentation. Thus, while Fuku’s structures sound mazy, you can find a clear flow of escalation at the same time. And beyond the hybrid development, there is also a multi-layered structure, with elements from various musical idioms in a continuous osmosis.

Between darkness and light, Fuku’s inspiration methodically spreads and carries something from the revolted American alternative ‘80s and ‘90s (with several no-wave influences), ambient electronica and post-rock from the late ‘90s till present, plus heavy/space psych of the 2010s, IDM abstraction and free jazz ecstasy. Lose yourself freely.

♪♫ Listen: “Shame” + album stream

Fuku on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Lost Bodies <BR> “Specific Ocean”

Lost Bodies
“Specific Ocean”

Lost Bodies are one of the most emblematic, long-lived and consistent groups of the Athenian, underground art-punk scene, (in)famous for their vitriolic, political lyrics in Greek language and the surreal humour of their crazy-ass frontman, Thanos Kois.

However, “Specific Ocean” is their most poetic, tender and atmospheric release yet. It’s a collection of previously unreleased tracks that they have written through the years for theatre, dance and cinema.

In this dense, 75-minute album, a completely different, vulnerable side of the band is revealed, one that proves that behind the rawness and anger of punk, there is a hidden world full of sensibility and romance to discover.

♪♫ Listen: “Exeunt” + album stream

Lost Bodies on Facebook, www.

Post Lovers <BR> “Post Lovers”

Post Lovers
“Post Lovers”

Post Lovers, the solo project of Eleni Karageorgou, made its first appearance in the summer of 2017, with a 7-inch single for the anniversary series of Inner-Ear Records’ 10th birthday, titled “A Distant Victory Singles Club”. It made an excellent impression and great expectations for a proper full-length debut.

And in fact, they released their self-titled album at the end of the year, having by their side one of the most important producers in Greece, Coti K. Post Lovers play modern indie folk-rock music, avoiding unnecessary sound variations and experimentations.

The 13 songs of the record have an effortless melodic proximateness, combined with the mature female lyrics of Eleni. Enter the unique emotional world of Post Lovers.

♪♫ Listen: “On Sundays” + album stream

Post Lovers on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

Stereo Nova <BR> “Ουρανός”

Stereo Nova

Two decades after they split up, the cult band of Stereo Nova (Στέρεο Νόβα) reunited in 2018 and returned with a new album, “Ουρανός” (“Sky”), for their dedicated fans.

21 years after their last album, the pioneers of the Greek electronic music came back with a release that contains 15 new tracks, featuring both songs and instrumental pieces, esoteric abstract sounds and joyous dancefloor outbreaks.

Their successful return will take you to melodic, trippy soundscapes, full of atmospheric, emotional and eclectic electronic music.

♪♫ Listen: “Ουρανός” + album stream

Stereo Nova on Facebook.

Nalyssa Green <BR> “Μπλουμ”

Nalyssa Green

Greek singer-songwriter Nalyssa Green releases her first full-length record in her mother tongue, changing both lingual and musical direction.

This time, on her 3rd album, she brings at the forefront gentle electronic vibes, synthesizers and electronic pop miniatures, next to her acoustic treatments. Everything in this effort hangs together easily, with a touch of beauty while the songs inevitably recall the Greek new wave pop songs of the ‘70s.

A lovely record that is sweet, at times weird, with mellow beats and addictive dreampop. Nalyssa Green is definitely blooming!

♪♫ Listen: “Παπαρούνα” + album stream

Nalyssa Green on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Vagina Lips <BR> “Generation Y”

Vagina Lips
“Generation Y”

Jimmy Polioudis, aka Vagina Lips, is a remarkable nerdy guy from Thessaloniki. He writes tons of songs and despite his “poor” equipment he manages to hit you right in the stomach, with his pure emotional lo-fi explosions and his heart-on-sleeve falsetto.

Strongly influenced by the ‘80s post-punk and dark wave bands and – at the same time – by the ‘90s indie darlings, he offers eight mainly speedy songs crammed with adhesive melodies and fuzzy guitars. Equally harmonic and woozy, this is an album to listen to out loud in your room.

♪♫ Listen: “This Is A Good Life” + album stream

Vagina Lips on Facebook, Bandcamp.

TFATFY <BR> “Well, Εxcuse Μe”

“Well, Εxcuse Μe”

TFATFY are four musicians hailing from totally diverse musical backgrounds. Though they released their first complete album in 2018, all of them are well known musicians, and quite usual suspects of the Greek music scene, playing next to bands and artists like Planet of Zeus, Night Knight, Modrec, Μonika, Spiral Trio, Imam Baildi, Savina Yannatou and Lena Platonos, to name a few.

Their longing for true communication and their wish to experience the unknown, as they say, brought them into the studio, to jam and express themselves through these seven long compositions. And it obviously worked well. Having the blessings of… Frank Zappa, this fusion band outstandingly merged their different styles, unfolding an eclectic mix of jazz, kraut rock, funk and even instrumental hip-hop.

Minas Liakos on guitar, Spyros Manesis on keyboards, Stelios Provis on bass and Serafeim Giannakopoulos on drums, collaborated in absolute harmony, having great depths in their music, but without sounding to eccentric or arrogantly virtuosos. Their approach is earthly and elegant, the final result is a convincing marriage of their various influences. A totally charming and uplifting record.

♪♫ Listen: “BB Bun” + album stream

TFATFY on Bandcamp, Facebook.