50 Best Albums of 2018 So Far

Including Janelle Monáe, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, the 'Black Panther' soundtrack and more

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Soccer Mommy, 'Clean'

Soccer Mommy, 'Clean'

A star of indie rock's poetically plainspoken new wave (see Lucy Dacus, Jay Som, Mitski, Big Thief, etc.), Sophie Allison weaves images of bedsheets, flora, fauna and lip-locks through 10 songs, sparkling guitar melodies carrying rubbed raw emotions. "Skin" conjures Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville in the best possible way; "Your Dog" flips Iggy Pop's proto-punk cornerstone canine fantasy ("I don’t wanna be your fucking dog"); and if there’s a more unnervingly sexy moment in 2018 rock than Allison instructing someone to "rip my flowers out" in "Flaw," we haven't heard it yet. W.H.

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