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Our favourite 50 albums of 2018 40-31

40. Nathan Bowles - Plainly Mistaken

A whole album of banjo songs, but it's a whole lot more varied than you might imagine in a mix of new and old.

39. Jenny Hval - The Long Sleep

Spacious avant-pop compositions in which the vocals and lyrics are an instrument along with the piano and saxophones. Open and vast but also humble somehow.

38. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

The sweetest, chatchiest county music with some real stings in the tail.

37. Tomberlin - At Weddings

Subdued and sombre, Sarah Beth Tomberlin's debut is deeply sincere and remarkably open. Always subdued, like a collection of whispered secrets, it's an album worth investing some time in to discover everything it has to tell.

36. Kero Kero Bonito - Time 'n' Place

More indie than I was expecting following the J-pop, Casio mash-up of 2016's Bonito Generation. The inventiveness is intact though, and the group inject personality into their pop through creative production, charming melodies and imaginative lyrics.

35. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo

The psych trio's second album hangs between several different genres and eras of music. Foggy vocals take a backseat to immaculate solos and instrumentals, but it's not overproduced - there's an air and atmosphere to these recordings and it's an album full of personality.

34. boygenius - boygenius EP

Don't care if this is technically an EP. It's pretty long and pretty great. Powerful and intense guitar music from a super-group containing Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, this side project feels like some of the most important music to come out this year.

33. Accu - Echo the Red

A swirling, psychadelic, Welsh album that's bewitching and a little bit magical.

32. Petite Noir - La Masion Noir

South Africa’s Yannick Ilunga post-punk spirit charges around on this album, skipping over genres, but always direct, never deviating from the his target.

31. Marie Davidson - Working Class Woman

Intense techno and an incisive depiction of club life. It's bold and attention grabbing.

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