Avoiding The Crowds Like I Used To: The Best Music of 2021

Music was once again mostly an isolated affair this year. Adversity is still winless against artistry, as seen in my top 50 songs and a list of 26 albums I enjoyed this year.

Here’s the top 50 songs in no particular order:

Here is my top 10 albums:

Sometimes I Be Introvert — Little Sims -BIG production, lush world making, and sharp wit on the level of classic 90s hip hop. It’s a favorite.

Heaux Tales — Jazmine Sullivan — Raw emotional R&B that feels like the confessions heard by an Uber driver.

Call Me When You Get Lost — Tyler, The Creator — This solidifies Tyler as the genius of his generation. The way he puts the classic mixtape formula through his askew vision makes every surprise feel like a cartoon punch with birds flying around your head as you spin.

Solar Power — Lorde — Lots of People were disappointed with this one. Not me. I love listening to it loud in spaces. It is alive and needs to fill the air around your skin, not just your ear canal through headphones.

Donda — Kanye West — Just pick your top 10 songs from this Jackson Pollick chaotic mess and make your own Ye record. It’s best is some of his best, They are all there to be loved.

New Long Leg — Dry Cleaning — From a lineage including Joy Division and Interpol, this super dry martini makes your throat burn in the best way.

Home Video — Lucy Dacus — The teenage diary is the nostalgia of all of our souls. All the love. All the mistakes. All the feels. Throw in Lucy’s ability to create truly hair-raising moments, and you have Breakfast Club for your ears.

Valentine — Snail Mail — Modern life is not easy. It’s a little easier with a friend like this album to release the frustration with. Trust me. Scream along to the chorus of Valentine and you add 3 days to your life expectancy.

Collapsed In Sunbeams — Arlo Parks — This is the only indoor show I saw this year. Hanging with Arlo for a night renewed my faith in the future just a bit. It at least created a crack where the light of her pure soul energy shines through. How she makes affirmational Portishead music is beyond me.

In These Silent Days — Brandi Carlile — The lighter songs are great. But it’s the rockers where Brandi shows her power. She’s the Ridley Scott of alt country rock. Somehow she builds beautiful stories even in the bombast.

Other Albums I Loved:

Jubilee — Japanese Breakfast

GLOW ON — Turnstile

30 — Adele

Sour — Olivia Rodrigo

Bo Jackson — Boldy James & The Alchemist

Open Door PolicyThe Hold Steady

Echo — Indigo Sparks

Daddy’s Home — St. Vincent

Little Oblivions — Julien Baker

The Marfa Tapes — Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert — Jon Randall

In Defense Of My Own Happiness — Joy Oladokun

I Know I’m Funny Haha — Faye Webster

Happier Than Ever — Billie Eilish

J.T. — Steve Earl

Ice Melt — Crumb

Gold Digger Sound — Leon Bridges

Here’s a playlist with all these albums:

I wish our world peace and love in 2022. Let’s go get it.

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For Fors.

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Chad Kerski

Chad Kerski

For Fors.

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