This is no scene or collective. These artists have reached their limit in all directions, back into traditions and forward into uncertain futures. 2018 presented challenges for all of us, and our artists presented challenges right back.
In a year when we wanted the radio star to have an opinion on the political divide, leave it to these ten exemplary pop records to slip in -- largely unnoticed -- and leave a lasting legacy all their own.
A great ambient album can provide a space to step into, or make the trees on your morning walk seem a little taller and the light a little more vivid or the world seem a little more like a dream.
What's here, on our 13th annual attempt to showcase and define indie pop, through celebration and exclusion, are brand-new acts, fairly new acts, and a longtime favorite or two.