2022 Jan-Apr: “Just a figment of the plans that I never had.”

Black Country New Road released one of the first albums in 2022 that really caught me. They were my favorites last year and with lead singer Isaac Wood leaving the band, intrigued on where they will go.

Is Black Dresses really back? 

Wet Leg finally released their full album. It lives up to all their hyped singles.

Therapy? a band that came out before you would internet search them has a reissue of their Disquiet album. I was so addicted to this Northern Ireland band in the early 90’s and would love another album like Troublegum.

Lustmord has a very nice collaboration album.

Sunflower Bean is back and sounding in a new direction.

Zola Jesus gave us a tease of her new album and expecting great things.

And is Sky Ferreira returning? Is it finally happening? Nothing since 2013 and waiting ever since. I first caught her in 2012 playing the upstairs room at Pianos and have been hooked ever since. A tweet about a new song “Don’t Forget” popped up, so let’s hope it’s for real this time

And here’s something I haven’t said in years, but that new Arcade Fire? It’s damn good.

new songs playlist


My Favorite Songs of 2021

20. “The Missing Road”Radical Face
19. “Science Fair”Black Country, New Road
18. “Atlantic”The Weather Station
17. “Be Sweet”Japanese Breakfast
16. “Pool Hopping”illuminati hotties
15. “Good Luck Come Back”Caithlin De Marrais
14. “A Word & A Wave”Nation of Language
13. “The Hardest Cut”Spoon
12. “Show Up”Samia
11. “The Only Heartbreaker”Mitski
10. “Smartest Man”Homeschool, Samia
9. “Mona Lisa”Yumi Zouma
8. “Serotonin”girl in red
7. “The Gram Tape”Hus Kingpin
6. “Big Boss Rabbit”Freddie Gibbs
5. “Bunny is a Rider”Caroline Polachek
4. “Good Girls John Carpenter Remix”CHVRCHES
3. “Questions” Middle Kids
2. “Nine Stories”Hazel English
1. “Days Like These”Low

Listen to the rest of the top 101 songs here on Spotify
Doublehalo Best of 2021

Interesting Band Names from this year:
Bad Visuals
Cub Scout Bowling Pins
Sincere Engineer
New Post Punk Brooklyn band Geese
Not to be confused with indie groove band Goose

Here’s another playlist of all the amazing tunes I also absolutely loved
More from 2021

As always, thanks for listening

My Favorite Albums of 2021

10. Turnstile – GLOW ON 
The hardcore punk band from Baltimore have been on my radar for awhile but never surprised me. Glow On however brings a dreamier undertone and some new ideas to hardcore. Their musical experimentation adds a new angle to their incredibly catchy songs. Although they aren’t doing anything entirely new, they are breaking conventions and establishing a promising future. This ambitious and innovative record is just the beginning.

9. Backxwash- I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses
This album is what happens when you open a door full anguish and dread. Ashanti combines experimental hip hop, industrial and heavy metal to give shape to her terror. It is harrowing and hellish but the songs are justified in their pain and anger. Not for the faint of heart but a little bit of pain is certainly a good thing to endure every so often.

8. Illuminati Hotties – Let Me Do One More 
If you were to combine the new sounds of The Coathangers and That Dog, you’d get the raucous fun this album has. The songs are direct with high octane riffs that are full of surprises. The album is so versatile in its styles and had unexpected depth for a catchy fun listening experience.

7. Blu – The Color Blu(e)
A clever and and incredibly creative album. Every song, title and sample is related to the color Blu(e). Intricate wordplay and solid sampling makes the thematic gimmick intriguing and impressive.

6. Weather Station – Ignorance 
Although it came out very early in 2021, I revisited
Tamara Lindeman’s heart-felt album many times throughout the year. Her introverted style is ornamented with orchestral sections to expand her musical style. Her songs contrast joy and sadness but always anchored by her beautiful lyrics.

5. Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz 
Their 2nd release is full of entertaining post-punk hits. Some are punchy and aggressive while others are quite funny. The story telling is powerful with its boisterous vocals which are punctuated and embellished with saxophone. Adrenaline fueled fun with lots of mischief.

4. Injury Reserve – By the Time I get to Phoenix 
An experimental and emotional release that straddles hip-hop, industrial and psychedelia. Nervousness and anxiety is layered throughout this downward spiral. The lyrical despair is no doubt related to Jordon Grogg’s untimely passing last year. An abstract and surreal tribute. The glitchy and unpredictable directions are held up by its impeccable production. It is abstract, angry and emotionally resonant.

3. Porter Robinson – Nurture
An emotionally complex album filled with glitchy electronic sounds and interlocking melodies. On the surface it sounds so artificial with its intricate synth programming and processed vocals. These manufactured compositions are juxtaposed with an underlying passion and human sensibility. It may seem chaotic but the kaleidoscopic rhythms make this such a fun and reassuring listen. Nuture is an album full of energy and hope where you can safely escape into.

2. Middle Kids. – Today We’re The Greatest
This Australian trio came with a sophomore album full of indie anthems and clever hooks. Although not a complete package, it is full of sing along dynamic pop songs. The album is joyful and full of emotionally charged songs with swelling melodies that straddle between indie bangers and wonderful sentimental pop.

1. Low – HEY WHAT 
HEY WHAT is progression from Double Negative’s disintegrated melodic themes and energy. The sonic expressions unfolds emotional responses of both despair and passion. Each track rumbles and dissolves into each other and the arrhythmic flourishes sustains the uneasiness throughout the record. The impending doom struggles to break through to simply die away leaving the listener trapped. “Days Like These” captured a degrading soundscape of anxiety and impending doom that became my anthem for 2021.

2021 Jul-Sept: I wonder where you might have gone to

Better late than never.

Lots of new songs came out the past few months. It’s starting to sound like a good year of solid releases.

Some highlights:

Big surprise from Kevin Whelan of The Wrens to release some “Wrens-ish” material under Aeon Station.
Guided by Voices continues to release new material that always has a few rocking tracks.
JPEGMAFIA teasing out something new to come.
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast had a busy year. I just finished her book just as she released the music for the game “Sable.”
Some new live John Coltrane got unearthed.
An incredible Portishead cover by Haley Williams.
Iron Maiden releases a pretty solid album.
Nation of Language keep releasing solid singles before the official album release.

Here’s a [long] playlist of all the new tunes.

R.I.P. Richard H. Kirk

Richard H. Kirk, co-founder of the pioneering UK industrial group Cabaret Voltaire died at the age of 65. I recently had to throw away a lot of my old mixed cassette tapes due to flooding from Storm Ida. Seeing the breadth of songs sprinkled in the hand written song titles were proof of the diversity and influence they had on me. Cabaret Voltaire easily fit within the experimental and disruptive electronic noise scene. They were also a gateway into Industrial music.  Richard still continued to make powerful music that hit my top 100 last year. I’ll be taking some time jumping back into their vast discography to rekindle those feelings I had the first time I experienced this band.


2021 Apr-Jun: “Only good for one ride on the carousel.”

Lock down is slowly lifting and venues are slowly letting the show go on.
And new singles keep pouring in.

Girl in Red puts out another great one, too bad the rest of the album can’t follow through.
Sufjan Stevens continues to play with the electronic knobs on his generic ambient works.
Loving the new Gojira.
Kings of Convenience is back. Sounds the same which is just fine cuz their sound is uniquely theirs.
Ida Maria also returns. I was actually thinking about what happened to her as she disappeared just as she was getting big in the states. Last time I saw her was at a chaotic show at Maxwell’s in 2009 that ended in way too many beers with her. New material continues her madness.
Cornelius dropped a silly new single.
Really enjoying all the new Lana Del Rey.
Michelle Zauner is back with a new album and a new book.
Samia releasing a bunch on collabs and a strong new single. She was my pick for best debut album last year and her new stuff is exactly what I was hoping for.
St. Vincent has a new one. It’s a hot mess but an enjoyable one.
And more Black Midi.

Here’s a playlist of my favorite new songs from the past 3 months.