Favorite Albums of 2021


#1

The Antlers - Green to Gold
Lightning Bug - A Color of the Sky
The Ophelias - Crocus
The Surfing Magazines - The Badgers of Wymeswold
Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend
Kings of Convenience - Peace or Love

Fog Lake - Tragedy Reel
Sloe Noon - Embassy Court
Skirts - Great Big Wild Oak
Beach Fossils - The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads

Katy Kirby - Cool Dry Place
Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams
Lord Huron - Long Lost
Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever
Field Guide - Parachutes


Favorite Instrumental Albums of 2021

Fuubutsushi - Natsukashii
Chad Lawson - You Never Knew
Jeremiah Fraites - Piano Piano
James McAllister - Scissortail
Teen Daze - Breathing Tides
Chihei Hatatkeyama - Void XXII

Yutaka Hirasaka - Substance
Floating Points & Pharaoh Sanders - Promises
Morimoto Naoki - Kuuhaku
Fuubutsushi - Yamawaru
Fuubutsushi - Setsubun


#2

Sierra Ferrell-Long Time Coming
Steve Earle and the Dukes-J.T.
John Hiatt and Jerry Douglas-Leftover Feelings
Kayla Ray-Songs of Extreme Isolation, Economic Crisis, & Other Funny Things
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit-Georgia Blue


#3

Okay, I usually do my best-of-the-year lists between Christmas and New Year but here are some obvious picks:

Best hipster rock album
War on Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore

Best album by a defining artist of our time who continuously puts out stellar albums
Lana del Rey – Blue Banisters (Chemtrails over the Country Club is also awesome)

Best album by a scumbag holed up in a Laurel Canyon mansion
Ryan Adams – Wednesdays incl. “Red and Orange Special” 7" (it is really great)

Best musical discovery through Mutineer’s post above
Kayla Ray – Songs of Extreme Isolation, Economic Crisis, & Other Funny Things

Best semi-guilty pleasure
The Killers – Pressure Machine

Best live performance available on YouTube that was actually made in December 2020 but is so insanely good that it also has to be included on this list
Thundercat – “Them Changes (live on Adult Swim) (feat. Ariana Grande, JD Beck & DOMi)”

Best re-issue that is not really a re-issue
Bob Dylan – Springtime in New York

Honorary mention
Best comedy album by a male hipster who has found a way of making corona isolation very funny and at the same time creatively extending the chauvinistic tradition of ridiculing women through a use of the ethnic label “white” as an alibi
Bo Burnham – Inside (see the song “White Women’s Instagram”)


#4

for me in no particular order:

The killers
warren zeiders
nathaniel rateliff and the nightsweats
broken hearts and dirty windows vol 2
morgan wade
brandi carlile
deep dark woods
lana del rey
taylor swift
cole scheifel (probably my fave this year)


#5

Off the top of my flattened head:

Los Lobos - Native Sons
Billy Strings - Renewal
Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows - Various Artists
Strand Of Oaks - In Heaven
Sturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood and Juanita
Steve Earle - JT


#6

Here’s mine. I know I’ll catch a lot of shit for the John Mayer one, but I love it. Trip the Witch is a project of Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo, really cool instrumental album. Watchhouse use to be the lead vocal/guitarists from Mandolin Orange.

Albums

  1. War on Drugs — I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  2. John Mayer — Sob Rock
  3. Trip the Witch — S/T
  4. Big Red Machine — How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?
  5. Taylor Swift – evermore
  6. Jon Hopkins — Music for Psychedelic Therapy
  7. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Barn
  8. Julian Lage — Squint
  9. Watchhouse — S/T

Compilations, singles, and cover albums

  1. Highway Butterfly – The Songs of Neal Casal
  2. Colin Hay – I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself
  3. Leif Vollebekk – I’m Not Your Lover (Live at the Troubadour)
  4. Helios – Crystal (Original Score)

Re-Releases/Remasters

  1. Radiohead – KID A MNESIA

#7

Neil Young C Horse - Way Down in the Rust Bucket
Ty Segall - Harmonizer
Sault - NINE
Courtney Barnett - Things Take Time, Take Time
My Morning Jacket - s/t
Neil Young - Barn
Julien Baker - Little Oblivions


#8

Agreed on almost all counts, but I will add:

Bat Fangs - Queen of My World


#9

dude. wtf

john mayer is cancelled.

jk

i think he is? but i don’t listen to him so i don’t know for sure.

nice list. had to give you shit


#10

Hah!

I don’t follow the celeb gossip much so I don’t know whether he’s cancelled or not; a general google search doesn’t indicate much of anything, aside from the usual articles about his relationships with Katy Perry.


#11

I missed that one on my list.


#12

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
Kanye West - Donda
Olivia Rodrigo - Sour
Playboi Carti - Whole Lotta Red
CHVRCHES - Screen Violence
Halsey - If I Can’t Have Love…
Wednesday - Twin Plagues


#13

Wet Leg - Wet Leg


#14

Another great album from 2021:
Low – HEY WHAT (if in doubt, listen to the track “White Horses”)


#15

I check outed their Tiny Desk home concert. Didn’t realize they were the chaise lounge band. I liked their set.