Best Tracks of 2018
selected by Adrian Yap


lost spaces
“Boxset Girlfriend”

Upstarts lost spaces has been making glorious 80s-inspired electro pop this year. If we are lazy, we would say, ‘think early The 1975’. Out of the four singles they released this year, this one stands out as the pick of the bunch. With its smooth and easy guitar riffs and gentle synths, it’s a track carved out of a John Hughes movie but set in the present day. Much can be expected from this band.

lost spaces on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


“Tsing Tao”

Milo Dinosaur drummer Alang is on a real roll this year. Sweetass sees him playing frontman for a unit that describes its sound as ‘Born of loud rock ‘n’ roll, rare rainbow fish and racial unity’ and as bonkers as that sounds, it’s also pretty apt for what they do. Merging the crunch and primal energy of hardcore with pop-leaning melodies and chord progression may sound like an oxymoron but oh, does it sound delicious. Probably more than rare rainbow fish.

Sweetass on Bandcamp, Facebook.


Youth Portal
“Turning Point”

Youth Portal follows up on their infectious 2017 single ‘Butter Breakfast’ with a whole record filled with similarly lazy indie anthems. The pick of the bunch is this track, a simple indie pop ditty built around a catchy guitar hook, buckets of synths to set the mood and a melody that rarely gets out of second gear. Yet again, the band shows things don’t have to be complicated to be good.

Youth Portal on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


The Garrison
“Punk Rock is a Quagmire”

There is an uninhibited form of joy that springs forth when one can sink into a rip-rollicking punk number like this. Far too long has the genre had to endure defacing from the rubbish acts MTV used to endorse. Purists need not fear, there is enough attitude and discordant riffs here to banish that saccharine aftertaste from watered down pretenders. So rock an air guitar, bop your head and pogo around your house if you wish, this is a track that’s meant to be enjoyed with a little less self-control. Punk has indeed become a quagmire but tracks like this provides more clarity.

The Garrison on Bandcamp, Facebook.



Heymun has created a sonically rich record that deviates greatly from some of her earlier works. Gone are the melancholic strumming folk songs replaced by a record that makes her not the center of it, but the atmosphere. It’s not a record that you necessarily want to sit down to flip through its liner notes. Its magic is best experienced with closing your eyes and letting the music take you where your mind allows.

Heymun on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


The Impatient Sisters

The Impatient Sisters have found beauty in sorrow, if this track is anything to go by. Soraya, Nazeera and Irena Taib has managed to merge their folk leanings, infectious melodies and perfect harmonies with a large slice of melancholia, creating a track that entices you in but will leave you a heartbroken wreck. Thread with caution, if you’re nursing a broken heart.

The Impatient Sisters on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


Milo Dinosaur
“Usah Resah”

Rock music in these parts have been starving for some sophistication for a while. Milo Dinosaur’s music may be loud, aggressive and weighty but underneath the gang sing-a-longs and angular brain-pounding beats lies a sophistication that very few bands can hope to attain. This is emo rock done Tim Kasher style, so bring your thinking cap along with your studded belt.

Milo Dinosaur on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.


“Stuck With You”

Oh how we need more artists that wear their bloodied hearts on their sleeves like talented lass Lunadira. She enticed us last year with ‘Forever’s Not Our Thing’ but she’s ditched the coffee table ukulele pop for something a little more sophisticated this time. A soulful ballad with a bluesy undertone, ‘Stuck With You’ hits you with oodles of attitude but you may find yourself very quickly, addicted to the pain.

Lunadira on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


“Still Mine”

Alex Bong, otherwise known as alextbh, returns with a fantastic track that effortlessly straddles the line between down-stated mainstream pop and edgier industrial flourishes. ‘Still Mine’ never overcrowds itself with the unnecessary, keeping things sparse and stark. But it’s in this dryness that the track finds its vibe and form. It’s a track that demands attention, and you’re probably going to give it that.

alextbh on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


“Gita / Malam”

Under his moniker Bayangan, Fikri Fadzil has delivered a record of immeasurable richness and sophistication and many would agree, probably one of the best records this year. It’s one with layer upon layer to peel through, always offering something new with every listen. This is none more centrally embodied than on this track, which sees him weave a tapestry of lush chords with a brooding melody, lulling you in with maudlin balladry before sending you off in an upbeat cheery fuzz. It’s one of those tracks that never allows you to settle, but you feel better for it.

Bayangan on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.