Top UK Independent Album Releases of 2018

2018 has been a brilliant year of music for independent artists in the UK, and as always, the aim of Inspired Sound is to shed light on artists who may go a little under the radar, or a little over some people’s head. So, to celebrate some great releases, and to celebrate a little over a year of Inspired Sound we wanted to highlight some of our favourite album releases from the UK this year.

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Now, to narrow the choices we wanted to focus our attention on UK album releases only, and not singles or EPs. Generally, albums really highlight a more significant marker in an artists’ career and, whether it’s through beats or words, it can tell a more intimate picture of the artists’ current mood, thoughts, and influences. As ever, the platform has always tried to focus on independent artists, and the aim has always been to share good music which comes my way, no matter the genre. So, in no particular order:

Children of Zeus –  Travel Light

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The Magrehban – 01DEAS

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Kaidi Tatham – It’s All About You

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Louis VI – Sugar Like Salt

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The Expansions – Murmuration

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Manga St Hilaire – Outsiders Live Forever

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Kamaal Williams – The Return

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Moses Boyd – Displaced Diaspora

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Maisha – There Is A Place

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Blue Lab Beats – Xover

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Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is

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Summers Sons – Uruhu

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First Thoughts: Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is’

 

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Now, I remember discovering Barney Artist a while back from his stand out track, “I’m Going To Tell You” with Jordan Rakei around a year ago, but never delved into his full discography at the time. Although, having recently read he was planning a full album release this autumn, I wanted to get back in to his music again, and after noticing banging singles like; ‘Rose Thorn ft Dornik’ and ‘Something True’, I was quite excited to hear the album. With two albums behind him, his third album titled; ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ touches on a few points from his views on women, past relationships, and being optimistic on the future.

Barney Artist cites at UK artists; Kano and Ghostpoet as his main influences, along with,  American 90s hip hop groups’ ‘A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots’, as well, which is recognisable from the general tone throughout the album, as he skillfully raps over jazz and hip hop sampled beats. Barney’s introspective, poignant lyrics perfectly marry with the conscious style of hip hop most prevalent pre-2000s, and I think that candid approach is what has earned his respect. Tracks like ‘Rose Thorn’ show this, where he only expresses an experience he had in past relationship, and cleverly minces his distinctive, bold voice with a poetic styled wordplay which blend well with vibrant guitar melodies. Tracks like “Know him well” written for his younger sister, speaks on guidance and advice for her as she grows and gets in relationships with other people, as well as empowering her to be confident with herself.

The album includes host of successful UK based artists’ towards the latter stages, with features from; George the Poet, Tom Misch, Loyle Carner, Emmavie and Jordan Rakei.

You can support the artist via bandcamp, have a listen below: