Top 89 of 2018: Bonus Categories

The Current's Top 89 of 2018
The Current's Top 89 of 2018 (Luke Mills | MPR)

Let's face it, The Current's listener-curated Top 89 countdown is the main attraction among our year-end lists. By voting for your favorite songs of 2018 in our Top 89 poll, you're entered to win a serious Down in the Valley prize pack; we'll air the whole countdown from 5 p.m. to midnight CT on New Year's Eve and again on Jan. 1 from 12-7 p.m. CT.

That said, there's more to the story this year. While you make those tough voting decisions, we wanted to celebrate some of the extra-canticular categories of 2018: Best New Artists, Best Albums, Best Local Artists, Best Sessions, and Best Twin Cities Concerts. If you'd like to hear special radio programming based off these bonus categories, tune in on Dec. 31 from 12-5 p.m. or on Jan. 1 from 7 a.m.-12 p.m. (before the Top 89 countdown, in both cases).

The Current staff curated picks for the following categories:

Best Twin Cities Concerts

From Prince associates to iconic frontmen, some of music's best partied in Minneapolis and St. Paul this year. Courtney Barnett entranced Surly Festival Field; David Byrne got celebral at the Orpheum; Haim dubbed Lizzo their honorary "fourth sister." Scroll through pictures, videos, and recaps of The Current's Best Twin Cities Concerts.

We hosted some of the best in the business this year, including Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Mitski, and Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel of Spoon. Watching The Current's Best Sessions, enjoy some of our engineers and multimedia staff's finest work: live performances recorded and filmed in locales such as Reykjavík, Iceland; Austin's South by Southwest music festival; Minnesota Public Radio's various performance spaces; and St. Paul's "best remnant of the '40s," the Turf Club.

Best New Artists

You may not have known any of these acts on Jan. 1, but you'll have encountered several (if not all!) by the time we hit Dec. 31. Featuring a handful of incredible guitarists, a disproportionate number of Australians, and more than one group whose members met on internet forums, here are 2018's Best New Artists.

Best Albums

Not sure what to listen to in today's sea of options? We wholeheartedly recommend these albums. A few come from established favorites; several are sourced from breakout artists. They're all The Current's Best Albums of the year.

Best Local Artists

The names you know — Hippo Campus, Atmosphere — are on the list. But so are lesser-known acts, like a certain trio of "scrappy" young punks, as well as rockers on the rise. Check out 2018's Best Local Artists.

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