WRMC’s 2018 Year in Review
by Maddy Goodhart, WRMC Middlebury College and Jeff Holland on December 31, 2018
Posted in: Album Review, Comedy, Concert, dream pop, Dream Pop, Eclectic, Electronic, Experimental, Hip Hop, History, Music, Pop, Pop Punk, Psychadelia, Punk, R&B / Soul, Rap, Rock, World
It is the year 2018 and music lives in clouds and streams. Airpods deliver computer-generated sounds directly to our brains in hopes of harvesting the newest addition to the long list of dwindling natural resources: dopamine. This year, the new millenium claimed the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, and the premature losses of Avicii, Mac Miller, and Xxxtentacion led to important discussions surrounding mental health and ethics in the music industry. In the new era truths are no longer truths, and Kanye continues to wear a MAGA hat whilst using dragons as his scapegoat.
So it’s sounding pretty grim, right? What’s a college radio station to do in an age of diminished morale and dying analog?
This year WRMC got a new board, new server, a new live recording studio, and a new meeting space. Baby, we’ve never sounded better. Our tech director, Bobo, has even been beta testing a WRMC mobile streaming app that will be available for download this spring.
COME TO GEN BOARD! MONDAYS @ 5pm IN THE GAMUT ROOM! pic.twitter.com/D7ngmkcDxI
— WRMC (@WRMC911) October 1, 2018
2018 started off cold when we returned for J-term to brave a week of sub-zero temperatures, but dark new releases by perennial WRMC favorites Porches and MGMT encouraged us to stave off the temptations of cuffing season so that we might have space to properly brood. Beautifully in character, Programming Director of the time, Charlie Dulik, refused to submit quietly to his impending February graduation and went out with a bang by broadcasting for 24 hours straight.
Luckily, the springtime crept in warm and bright with a bountiful crop of female fronted indie albums. Soccer Mommy released WRMC’s top played album of the year, Still Clean, and Frankie Cosmos, U.S. Girls, and Courtney Barnett kept the resilience rolling all season long.
We returned to our roots, holding the 20th annual Sepomana in its birthplace, Coltrane. Concert goers were gingerly gifted kits with soap bubbles and little animal figurines as they poured in to see Maria BC, gobbinjr, and Jay Som at the April 20th show. Although it makes a lot of sense in retrospect, Jay Som’s cover of “White Flag” cut the attendees deeper than they ever could have anticipated at the time. The show was a resounding success, prompting WRMC to respond to Middlebury’s recently stoked flame for live music by bringing Clever Girls and Palehound to the Gamut Room the following week for a Sepomana encore.
As sun broke through the permafrost we celebrated by dancing our hearts out to Cardi B, Janelle Monae, Rihanna, and yaeji in the Mill basement for Top 91. We said difficult goodbyes to graduating seniors and DJs going abroad, and left Middlebury just as the trees began to blossom.
Summer 2018 was all about feeling larger than life. Beach House, serpentwithfeet, SOPHIE, and Oneohtrix Point Never put us in contact with the divine, and Snail Mail brought us back down to earth and even ate creemees with us at Schafer’s. Summer Managers Maddy and Noah leaned in to the WRMC’s time-honored seasonal tradition of having a ridiculously fun time by installing giant speakers in the WRMC office so they could blast the entire PC Music discography while they worked. As the season strolled on Noah’s love for Clairo grew deeper and Maddy took full advantage of having a job without a dress code.
In August, plans for a WRMC secret rave were jeopardized when the spot was blown up mere days before the event, but we were ultimately saved by the residents of Short Shannon who kindly offered us their home. Noah’s DJ set and live performances by Cannon Gill ‘20, Jack Herscowitz ‘20, and Fiona Sullivan ‘19 culminated in what was arguably the most eventful Tuesday of the summer. Later that month, WRMCers flocked to see Sidney Gish and our queen, Mitski, at Higher Ground the night before the release of Be the Cowboy.
When we got back to school, the Proctor fire and town wide power outage of the first week left Middlebury feeling a bit apocalyptic, but releases by Blood Orange and BROCKHAMPTON eased the transition. In September, as the culmination of efforts put into motion by 2017 General Manager Meg Daly, we recorded our first live session in the new studio with Advance Base. Our all DJ mixer, PASS THE AUX, had us sharing glitter with bright eyed freshmen and taking the dance party out into the Gamphitheater when we maxed out capacity. A few weeks later we brought Kaycee Shakur and Porches to the Johnson Pit for Grooveyard, where rumor has it that Aaron Maine did his sound check in one of the new WRMC crewnecks.
In late October, the boygenius EP had us in tears but we were happy about it, and Robyn finally released that gd song from Gossip Girl. In November, our Programming Director, Jeff, played a trippy show at the Mill as his musical persona, Cat Fugue, complete with visuals by Kyle Meredith ‘19 and in December we tied off the year with some literal bows at the annual mixtape exchange.
Daniel Turpin, Sight and Sound I
In the face of divisive times, it’s more important than ever to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and to utilize whatever privilege we’ve been given to help those who have been failed. Although the music industry at large becomes more and more impersonal with each passing year, the craft itself and the communities it spawns remain authentic. In the face of larger trends, college radio continues to root for the underdogs. Our heroes are the marginalized and the resilient. WRMC may have upgraded from our origins in a chicken coop but the founding sentiment remains the same, to provide a platform for the students of Middlebury College and the artists they revere. As we turn the page to a new year, the musical resistance lives on in the Champlain Valley: scrappy and full of love.
Below you’ll find WRMC’s most played songs and albums of 2018, year end lists and favorites from WRMC’s executive board and a Spotify playlist to put it all in your ears. Let us know what you’ve been listening to this year!
WRMC’s Most Played Albums of 2018:
- Clean – Soccer Mommy
- Be the Cowboy – Mitski
- Little Dark Age – MGMT
- Vessel – Frankie Cosmos
- Stone Woman – Charlotte Day Wilson
- The House – Porches
- Isolation – Kali Uchis
- Lush – Snail Mail
- Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
- Superorganism – Superorganism
WRMC’s Most Played Tracks of 2018:
- “Moon River” – Frank Ocean
- “Good Kisser” – Lake Street Dive
- “Nice for What” – Drake
- “thank u, next ” – Ariana Grande
- “Hunnybee” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
- “Pristine” – Snail Mail
- “Pretty Girl” – Clairo
- “Little Dark Age” – MGMT
- “Nothing New” – Charlotte Day Wilson
- “Sticky” – Rayvn Lenae
Maddy Goodhart – General Manager & Noah Sauer – Studio Manager – Best music videos:
A lot of artists thought they could get away with making one or two videos this year. Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack did a collection of fifteen. The whole thing is incredible.
FKA Twigs + Anderson .Paak. No CGI necessary.
Donald Glover has come a long way from his days of rapping about summer camp.
More bisexual cyborgs please. David Bowie and Prince are watching this visual album in heaven.
The Russian police might try and shut down these goth lords, but WRMC never will. шоу должно продолжаться.
A must see, even if, like us, it just leaves you deep in your feelings scouring Mom and Dad’s house for your Sims DVD.
Sunny and surreal masterpiece directed by Instagram phenom and next-level look-server Nadia Lee Cohen.
Bad girls only. If Ic3peak is the most Russian video we’ve seen in a minute, this is the most Spanish.
The only way to describe serpentwithfeet is holy. “I feel like I shouldn’t even be allowed to listen to this.” – Maddy
Super inventive VFX and a razor sharp comment on the politics of hip-hop listening in 2018.
No high budget, visual effects, or appeals to internet culture in this one. Dev Hynes’ music is deeply about people, and this brief but intimate video is the same way.
Charli XCX dressed as Steve Jobs is our spirit animal.
Jeff Holland – Programming Director – Best experimental production (unranked):
My 2018 went like this: four months studying abroad in Jordan, three months living in Brooklyn and interning with Terrorbird Media and WFMU, and then a fall semester that consisted of lots of electronic music production and experimentation (as you can see from the kind words Maddy wrote about me above). My favorite albums of the year were the ones that really pushed the boundaries of what electronic or experimental music can be. These eleven songs represent the sounds that left me intrigued, fascinated, and awe-inspired this year.
- Oneohtrix Point Never – “Last Known Image of a Song” – Age Of
- Earl Sweatshirt – “Nowhere2go” – Some Rap Songs
- People Like Us, Matmos, Wobbly – “Clawing Your Eyes Out Down To Your Throat” – Wide Open Spaces
- SOPHIE – “Faceshopping” – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
- Mouse on Mars – “Dimensional People, pts. I-III” – Dimensional People
- Puce Mary – “Red Desert” – The Drought
- Eartheater – “Inhale Baby, feat. Odwalla1221” – Irisiri
- Yves Tumor – “Let The Lioness In You Flow Freely” – Safe In The Hands of Love
- Aphex Twin – “abundance10edit[2 R8’s, FZ20m & a 909]” – Collapse EP
- Amnesia Scanner – “AS Too Wrong” – Another Life
- Laurel Halo – “Raw Silk Uncut Wood” – Raw Silk Uncut Wood
Walker Stewart – Concerts Director – Best artist tweets:
Mikaela Chang – Concerts Director – Top Tiny Desk Concerts:
*personal favorite performances, showcasing artists/songs **i didn’t know about before watching; unranked, but chosen based on musicality/technique/showmanship
- Jamila Woods
- Nick Hakim
- Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio
And top others that i just liked/listened to a lot :’)
- Jorja Smith
- Erykah Badu T.T
Songs of 2018 that Erin Hoynes – Creative Director played on repeat enough to call for interventions from her friends:
- Night Shift — Lucy Dacus
- WTFK — Yowler
- Baby — Clean Bandit, Marina, Luis Fonsi
- Scorpio Rising — Soccer Mommy
- No Angel — Charli XCX
- Coolhand — Buzzy Lee
- Pretty Ugly — Tierra Whack
- RATCHET SATURN GIRL — Amine
- Follow My Girl — The Japanese House
- Charcoal Baby — Blood Orange
Special Mentions (not released in 2018) (“oy with the phoebe bridgers already”):
- Waiting Room, Steamroller, Killer — All by Phoebe Bridgers
- First Love Late Spring — Mitski
- Zombie — The Cranberries
- Weaker Girl — Banks
- All the Things She Said — t.A.T.u
- Untouched — The Veronicas
- Me Rehuso — Danny Ocean
- Hawaiian Party — Cub Sport
- Conceited (There’s Something About Remy) — Remy Ma
Rayn Bumstead – Creative Director –
Short, angry, and to the point: 2018’s Best Songs Under 2 Minutes long
If you told me to describe this year in two words I would probably choose short and angry. While those adjectives are synonymous with a shit year, they make for a kickass pop punk song. Therefore to say good riddance to 2018, I decided to share with you my favorite songs from this year that time in at two minutes or less.
“Temporary Tattoo” – Remember Sports (1:43)
“The Man with No Heart of Brain” -Goat Girl (1:33)
“Bisexual” – GRLwood (2:00)
“I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch”- Courtney Barnett (1:50)
“Full of Pride” – Starcrawler (1:55)
Luisangel Osorio – Library Manager – Best meme songs:
With the death of yet another year comes with a clear view of the memes that have sprung up from its corpse. Memes are ever-present in today’s youth, weaving itself into the very fabric that makes up our culture, and this is the perfect time of the year to celebrate the memes that have influenced us one way or another. There exists a wide variety of subcultures and classes when it comes to memes but a good meme can break through all the clique-y barriers and into the hearts of all children.
Edit: After writing this list I realized these memes are my personal memes of 2018 rather than THE song memes of 2018. Oops.
“Gimme the loot”
This song is tied with “Mo Bamba” with being one of the most overplayed tracks of 2018 but for good reason. Astroworld was a fantastic release and this song is undoubtedly hype with that best switch and Drake feature. Perhaps putting this song with “Mo Bamba” already on the list is cheating as the memes around the two are similar but telling someone that they are going “sicko mode” is too much fun not to include.
“Mia Khalifa” by iLovefriday (or however these people stylize it)
Tik Tok created some god-awful memes amongst a myriad of great ones reminiscent of Vine (RIP) this year. One of the more prominent memes of Tik Tok is the infamous Hit or Miss girl. Now there are arguably two hit or miss women, but one reigns supreme in her takeover of Tik Tok. Her cosplay, facial expressions, and dance captured the hearts of many online enough for nyannyancosplay to become the face of Tik Tok memes itself. The song by ILoveFriday is absolutely god-awful yet catchy in spite of the subpar, almost elementary diss against the ex-adult film actress.
“I Love it” by Kanye
Kanye had a wild ride in 2018 and I’m not sure how to feel about supporting this man at this point in time. His video with Lil Pump, however, has no debate surrounding how out of left field and fun it is. Those suits are sick.
“Cancun” (Snippet) / my stummy hurt by Playboi Carti
“My stummy hurt”
Playboi Carti had a pretty good year with Die Lit but man o man do i love this snippet most of all. R.I.P. slaps but does it have the charisma of repeatedly declaring the poor condition of your stomach in a high pitched voice? No. Nothing comes close to the radiance and brilliance of this man rubbing dollar bills all over his stomach making a word like “stummy” sound simultaneously ridiculous and cool. The parking lot setting only adds to mystery.
“Dead Locs” by Blueface (any Blueface song really)
“Chase the bag, don’t worry about what i’m doing”
How can a man who is rapping offbeat make such an absolute banger? I am in awe of the brilliance of this lad. He’s channeling some of that west-coast E-40 offbeat-yet-on-beat style with truly marvelous lyricism. I am not sure whether this man is memeing or not, he probably is, but I am enjoying the debate about Blueface’s talent.
“Oh fuck! Shit! Bitch!”
HAHAHA my dad got us all alexa’s for xmas and i yelled “alexa play mo bamba” and the whole house fuckin shook and all 7 alexa’s started playing it
— kelsi gortner (@kelsigortner) December 22, 2018
If your name is Chadley (or anything in the same realm), this is your favorite song. If you hear Mo Bamba from a distance, this will undoubtedly be the scene.
Micah Raymond – Music Director- BEST RELEASES BY ARTISTS IN ALL CAPS:
Albums/singles by some of my favorite artists that are probably angry or confused or just wanting attention, who knows:
- YACHT – Abolish ICE
- BADBADNOTGOOD – King of the Hill
- KAYTRANADA – NOTHIN LIKE U (instrumental)
- DRAMA – Ready for Love
- ALASKALASKA – Monster
- SALES – Forever & Ever
- ARTHUR – Woof Woof
- HIGH HØØPS – Seasons on Planet Earth
- RJD2 – In Rare Form, Vol. 2
- HAAi – Motorik Voodoo Bush Doof Musik
**also barely fitting the theme but Yaeji’s remix of Charli XCX’s Focus lol
Lucy Rinzler-Day – Music Director- Best album artwork:
(points for red lighting, velvet, fonts & collages, to be On Brand)
(in color/gradient order)