As the year comes to a close, there’s a ton of stellar tracks to reflect back on in the past year, and so many potential songs to include in this list of the top 10 EDM tracks of 2018. In a world where many artists prefer to drop singles instead of albums, and where singles can make or break an artist, I chose to highlight the top 10 singles of 2018 instead of selecting full projects. This means that artists who put out stellar work – but not necessarily entire full-length projects – are recognized in this list.
Without further ado, here is Respect My Region’s Top 10 EDM Tracks of 2018.
10. Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity” ft. Diplo & Mark Ronson
One of the greatest gifts of 2018 was the explosive start to the supergroup Silk City. The producer duo is composed of Diplo and Mark Ronson. Their first single, “Electricity” is a statement to their power as a pair, as it’s up for a Grammy this year and has yielded tens of millions of listening streams. The pop-dance anthem is a super fun listen, a nearly flawless ballad with the skill in Dua Lipa’s vocals and the expert production combined.
9. Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey – “The Middle”
It’s hard to think of stand-out dance songs of 2018 and not immediately think of “The Middle.” This extremely popular dance hit was catapaulted to the top of the charts almost immediately upon release, and still sits in the top 5 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for Dance/Electronic (a full 48 weeks on the chart). “The Middle” is also up for three Grammy awards. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular – “The Middle” is an ultra-catchy dance track with mainstream appeal and a hook that will get stuck in your head for days.
While Zedd’s production style is often criticized for being too formulaic, it’s hard to ignore that whatever he’s doing is working. “The Middle” won’t be dropping off the charts anytime soon.
8. Rezz, Deathpact – “Life & Death”
Bassheads were treated to an album from Canadian artist Rezz this past year, and along with it came the bizarre, artistic and perplexing collaboration with the mysterious artist Deathpact. “Life & Death” is a testament to not only Rezz’s creative skill, but also in her selection of a feature. Listening to Deathpact’s discography alongside Rezz’s, it’s hard to deny that they are similar. However, “Life & Death” combines the best of both artists in a track that’s as unusual as it is mesmerizing.
This track is included on our top 10 because of its creativity, uniqueness, and expert skill in utilizing uncommon instruments and samples – combining them in a style that’s in its own realm entirely.
7. Skrillex, JOYRYDE – “AGEN WIDA”
Few collaborations were more hyped than the one between Skrillex and Joyryde. The two head-banging, base-loving artists joined forces for the explosive single “AGEN WIDA.” The result is a wildly energetic single with creative usage of sampling and drums to create a soundscape unlike anything you’ve heard before. “AGEN WIDA” is the type of single to leave you breathless at the end of your first listen, wanting to replay it again to catch every small detail.
6. Ghastly – “LSD”
Ghastly dropped his full-length album The Mystifying Oracle in 2018, and with it came a jaw-dropping single that has captivated EDM fans since its release – “LSD.” Ghastly manages to weave an incredibly infectious melody with a detailed sonic landscape telling the story of a girl participating in a scientific study on the effects of LSD. Everything – from the drops, the detail in the instruments, and the captivating way the melody calls the listener to feel the same ecstatic bliss – is a testament to Ghastly’s growth as an artist.
“LSD” is a must-listen for 2018, and I can’t wait to hear what Ghastly has in store for 2019.
5. Alison Wonderland – “Church”
2018 treated us to a new album from Australian artist Alison Wonderland – her third studio album, Awake. With that came her single “Church,” a single that made waves in early 2018 with its emotionally-charged lyrics about being in a toxic relationship. The powerful message contained in this track along with its graceful melody and jaw-dropping chorus makes this track a stand-out single of the year.
4. RL Grime, Daya – “I Wanna Know”
One of the most notable albums released this year was RL Grime’s NOVA, a masterpiece four years in the making. “I Wanna Know” comes from near the end of the album, and features vocalist Daya as a singer and songwriter on the track. Not only is “I Wanna Know” powerfully poignant in its lyrics, its drop is equally as energetic. RL Grime manages to pack a punch in the 3-and-a-half-minute song, delivering a nearly perfect dance masterpiece with some of the best vocal talent we’ve heard in EDM this year.
While the whole NOVA album is packed to the brim with hits, “I Wanna Know” stands out as a powerful collaboration that delivers stellar production, incredible vocals, and an emotional experience that’s not easily forgotten.
3. Fisher – “Losing It”
Australian artist Fisher seemingly came out of nowhere in 2018 with his hit track “Losing It,” and the single has launched its way to the top of nearly every Top 10 list out there. It’s nominated for a Grammy this year, and the hit single is widely regarded as the EDM party track of 2018. Its infectious rhythm, playful synth work, and use of horns throughout the composition make “Losing It” a gem in the world of EDM party anthems. “Losing It” will likely be played at house parties for years to come.
2. Illenium, Said the Sky, 1788-L, Kerli – “Sound of Where’d You Go”
Taking the #2 spot is a single produced by an all-star lineup of EDM artists. “Sound of Where’d You Go” is nothing short of a piece of art. The quality of vocal mixing and the use of synth to create an ethereal, dream-like quality to the track makes it a stunning proposition to the talent of each individual artist. Illenium, who typically leans towards softer, vocal-focused tracks, steps out of his comfort zone in this collaboration as he is paired with Said the Sky and new artist 1788-L.
The result is a track that will transport you from an initial feeling of something akin to sadness along with Kerli’s vocals, to anger in the powerful drops, to resolve in the next buildup, to a sense of calm as it trails off with the graceful notes of a piano. Take a ride on the emotional journey “Sound of Where’d You Go” brings – and keep an eye on each of these artists in 2019.
1. RÜFÜS DU SOL – “Underwater”
RÜFÜS DU SOL’s album Solace was a beautiful soundscape from start to finish, and their track “Underwater” is a testament to their incredible artistic talent. “Underwater” is a unique blend of house music with indie vocals, resulting in a genre-bending, other-worldly single that was all but overlooked in 2018. One of RÜFÜS DU SOL’s members, Tyrone Lindqvist, is featured as the vocalist on “Underwater,” and his emotionally-charged performance poignantly carries the abstract lyrics through this 6-minute track.
The grace, the ease, and the emotional vulnerability conveyed in the lyrics makes “Underwater” an easy pick for #1 on the list. RÜFÜS DU SOL makes a track like this seem easy, but its unique composition and carefully sculpted instrumentation make it a stand-out single worth the #1 spot.
With all of these incredible hits and rising artists in the genre, here’s to an even better 2019 in EDM!