2018 in Review: Top Songs

Amy Vachal: “Wait”


Amy Vachal released her album Strawberry Moon in 2018, including the glorious Wait

Amy Vachal released her album Strawberry Moon in 2018, including the glorious Wait.

Amy Vachal, a Top 8 finisher on Season 9 of The Voice, released her debut album, “Strawberry Moon,” in late January.

And the lead single was a song called “Wait,” about a love that withers on the vine. A song that proved the perfect showcase for Amy’s ethereal vocals.

On Instagram, Amy explains that the origin of the song, co-written by Kiyoshi Matsuyama, pre-dated the album by nearly two years.

She recalled a writing session “in a rugged rehearsal space” in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where they stood on opposite ends of the room with a keyboard in the middle.

“We each spilled out a different melody, sang ’em back to back, and they almost too easily became the verse and chorus. Had some placeholder lines but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t finish the lyrics. It was like we almost knew what it meant, but hadn’t lived it yet.”

Months passed. The Voice experience came and went. And Amy said she continued to be haunted by that uncompleted song.

“I landed home at the turn of the year (early 2017) and suddenly found myself living inside the words of what that song had really meant,” she wrote.

So she called up Kiyoshi, they met in a home studio Amy was just learning how to use and wound up in a “DIY co-production” that resulted in the brilliant song you can check out below.

Here’s “Wait” from Amy’s “Strawberry Moon” album.

Editor’s Note: By my count, former contestants from The Voice released more than 70 albums or EPs, more than 90 music videos and more than 800 original songs in 2018.

This week, I’m featuring my favorites, spotlighting what I’m calling the Top 5 music videos, Top 20 songs and Top 5 albums/EPs.

I hesitate to call them the best because that’s very subjective. Besides, I easily could have made each of these lists five times as long and still omitted lots and lots of great music.

That’s why I grit my teeth when Marshmellow or Ann-Marie or even a coach or advisor winds up with a guest performance spot on The Voice. I’ll never understand why the show doesn’t do more to promote its alumni.

Ah, but this isn’t a time for griping. It’s time to celebrate the accomplishments of talented artists.

I’ve also posted a complete list of post-Voice singles, albums and EPs, with links for your listening pleasure. And a blog with all 90-plus music videos. Please, check them out. Find your own favorites.

And if I’ve missed anyone, let me know. Stage names change. Side projects are created. Tracking the output of 600 post-Voice artists … well, I’ll be shocked if I didn’t miss someone. Just let me know by commenting below or emailing [email protected]. In terms of singles, my goal is to list any where the former contestant is the primary vocalist.

Coming tomorrow: The Top 5 post-Voice albums of 2018.

Happy listening.

Top songs (not ranked)

Adanna Duru, “Doll”
Amanda Brown, “Take a Pill”
Amy Vachal, “Wait”
Austin Jenckes, “In My Head”
Brian Nhira, “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

Cartelli, “Last Night’s Mascara”
Chloe Kohanski, “Come This Far”
Christiana Danielle, “Resignation”
Darby, “Save a Thought for Me”
Domo, “Currency”

D.R. King & Jackie Foster, “Love is a Drug”
Jamie Lono, “New Orleans”
Johnny Gates, “Brooklyn Nights”
Koryn Hawthorne, “Down Goes Rome”
Loren Allred, “Never Enough”

Matt McAndrew, “Game Over”
Natalie Stovall, “Making Out in Cars”
RaeLynn, “Queens Don’t”
Riley Biederer, “Heartbreak Back”
We McDonald, “Head Up High”

Top Videos

1. Faultlines (Ashley Morgan), “Rain”
2. Sawyer Fredericks, “Hide Your Ghost”
3. Darby, “Play Pretend”
4. Brian Nhira, “Is This Love?”
5. Dawson Coyle, “Saturn”

All 2018 music videos
All 2018 albums and EPs
All 2018 singles

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