The results are in! From nearly 100 nominations for LOUD WOMEN album of 2018, Team LOUD WOMEN has whittled a Top 20 from which we present the joint Top Five Albums of 2018 because frankly we can’t and won’t choose between them. (And if you want to skip right to the music, here’s a Spotify playlist of the winners to brighten up your afternoon!)

The 2018 LOUD WOMEN album of the year is therefore shared by five artists; and if that wasn’t enough we’ve inaugurated a spanking new LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award chosen by LOUD WOMEN readers themselves (who are clearly better at making decisions!)

Without giving too much way at this stage let’s just say that it’s been a good year for block capitals: here goes! 

The LOUD WOMEN Top Five Albums of 2018:

Big Joanie – Sistahs

With stellar gigs performed all over the London-based DIY scene that they call home and extensive radio play on shows like BBC Music Introducing, it’s been a big year for Big Joanie. The feminist punk trio have certainly ended 2018 with a bang thanks to the acclaim that’s already been given to their debut album Sistahs…By allowing their true feelings to be at the forefront of their songwriting, the band create tracks that truly empower the listener; not only to rebel but to check their own activism, to continue growing, and to do better. [Read full review here]

GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails

“An irrepressible sense of fun runs through Tits and Nails, in spite of everything its lyrics address. GUTTFULL has created a brilliant and uncompromising summation of the trials of being ‘other’ in 2018 and they’re ready to shout down their oppressors – with wit and with groove.” [Read more from this review]

ILL – We Are ILL

They write songs which are both silly and serious, and they attack them (as well as each other) playfully. You can make a case for pretension in art, but there’s none with ILL; like so many of the best bands they seem like a gang you’d love to join, but ILL go one better and make you feel like you’d be welcome: friendly if not quite family-friendly (unless the family in question is more Addams than Partridge, perhaps). … A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence, and a genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address. With added bear growls. [Read more from this review]

LIINES – Stop/Start

‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliché, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker: the tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule. [Read more from this review]

Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth

A perfect ten tracks of no wave-disco electropop on a brilliant debut album from this Norwich duo. Described by The Guardian as “Thrillingly chilly, perfectly funky, no-wave straight out of early 80’s NYC…except that Sink Ya Teeth are a duo from Norwich. In a different era they’d have been all over TOTP” 4/5

The LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award:

The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’

The Menstrual Cramps is an anti-capitalist feminist band, therefore expect direct attacks on Tories, Neo-Nazis, big brands, business owners, famous idols who shouldn’t be idols anymore, and of course, “boyz-who-will-be-boyz”. The songs are so catchy that half of the album will get stuck in your head after giving one listen to the whole album. They produce music rapidly, though diligently. This rapidity actually shows itself in the guitars as fast riffs, playful strokes and abrupt small silences and it just sounds so good and steady. [Read more from this review]

The Top Twenty in full:

  • Big Joanie – Sistahs
  • The Breeders – All Nerve
  • Colour Me Wednesday – Counting Pennies in the Afterlife
  • Doe – Grow Into It
  • Dream Wife – Dream Wife
  • ILL – We Are ILL
  • GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails
  • Gwenno – Le Kov
  • The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’
  • Fightmilk – Not With That Attitude
  • LIINES – Stop/Start
  • Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  • Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals
  • Grace Petrie – Queer As Folk
  • Screaming Females – All At Once
  • She Makes War – Brace For Impact
  • Shopping – The Official Body
  • Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth
  • Skinny Girl Diet – Ideal Woman
  • The Twistettes – A Strange Play
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