Best New Music You Should Have Been Listening to in 2018

From rock to post-punk and new wave to hip-hop, it’s so easy to listen to our favorite songs on repeat and get lost in the comfort of our most beloved bands. But a new year means a new you and of course, new music. To help you build the perfect playlist with the freshest tunes, The Vault has compiled a list of up-and-coming bands you should have been listening to in 2018, cause it’s not too late to start. Now go on and grab those headphones!

Nation of Language

Nation of Language is the epitome of feel-good music as singer-songwriter Ian Devaney creates a nostalgically addicting ‘80s new wave sound that will make you dance like to no one is watching. Each song is filled with lush synth lines and melodies that are reminiscent of some of our favorite tracks like “Temptation” by New Order or “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. The band released two new singles this year, “On Division St” and “Reality” and has supported Holy Ghost! And The Wombats on their U.S. tours. Inspiring, romantic and playful, Nation of Language is a must-have on your next Spotify playlist.  


Brooklyn-based band Bodega, is an art-rock quintet with an energetic sound and witty lyrics inspired by post-punk political protests and old-school garage bands alike. Boisterous, yet fluid, Bodega’s latest debut album Endless Scroll is packed with lively guitars and high-energy vocals that are perfect for a living room dance party. After appearing at SXSW earlier this year, the band received a ton of traction and have supported Franz Ferdinand in the U.S.    

Billie Eilish

Just 17 years old, Billie Eilish is a brilliant singer and songwriter with mesmerizing vocals and a witchy sound that will send goosebumps down your arms. Singing passionate lyrics of heartache, anger and longing against electropop beats and piano rhythms, Eilish’s music is the perfect combination of both courage and vulnerability. Born into a music-oriented family and raised in Los Angeles, she wrote her first songs at 11 years old and signed to Interscope when she was 14. Her debut album Don’t Smile at Me was released last summer and her track “Bored” was featured in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

Erin Rae

Nashville indie folk singer-songwriter Erin Rae released her debut album Putting on Airs back in June and has garnered the likes of NPR Music, The FADER and Rolling Stone. In fact, NPR writer Ann Powers said, “this album will bewitch and enlighten the nation.” A gentle blend of angelic vocals and bright sounds of the acoustic guitar, Rae’s poignant storytelling and captivating melodies truly set her apart from other folk artists. Trust us when we say we’ve got “Wild Blue Wind” on repeat.


Los Angeles producer and musician, Cuco has figured out the ideal way to intertwine synth-infused beats with nonchalant vocals. Alternating between English and Spanish, Cuco’s Omar Banos creates an “alternative dream pop” sound that is both charming and laid-back which is evident in tracks like “One and Only” and “Stay for a Bit.”  From effect pedals and guitars to keyboards, Cuco incorporates a medley of instruments to create expressive sounds that have resulted in sold-out shows and performances at festivals including Coachella and The Governors Ball.


Energizing, boundless and passionate, Monowhales is a pop-infused indie rock quartet that combines feisty, upbeat sounds with insightful lyrics that scream fun. Their EP Control Freak was released earlier this year, followed by their hit single “Let it Go” and they have no plans to slow down any time soon. Their first single “Take it Back” has earned the band commercial radio airplay as well as opportunities to share the stage with bands like The Beaches, The Pack AD and Matt & Kim. Monowhales have built a reputation for their stellar live performances and refreshing tempos.

The Regrettes

American punk rock band from Los Angeles, The Regrettes is led by frontwoman Lydia Night and makes us think of a Kat Stratford playlist from 10 Things I Hate About You. Talk about nostalgia. A combination of garage pop meets riot girl, The Regrettes have an infectious pop aesthetic, wistful sounds and an attitude that’s hard to ignore. The band released their debut solo album Feel Your Feelings Fool! on Warner Bros. Records in 2017 and have opened for well-known artists, including Sleigh Bells, Cold War Kids and Kate Nash.

Snail Mail

Lindsey Jordan, singer and songwriter of Snail Mail, has been listed as one of the breakout stars of SXSW 2017, and it’s for good reason. Jordan has a powerful voice that rises and falls with perfection throughout Lush, her debut album that was released earlier this year. Singing about awkward house parties, passing trends and heart-wrenching crushes, her music is both emotional and articulate and will take you back to the chaos of growing up. Jordan is only 19 years old and has played in esteemed indie rock bands, including Helium, and Wild Flag. Her single “Heat Wave” is one of our favorite tracks.  


For more band recs, check out Women Who Rock, Our Favorite One-Hit Winders from the ’90s, and Six of Our Favorite Musician Moms. 


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