Hearing Orion in 8 bit midi is probably one of the best things that’s happened this year.
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:
Cub Scout Bowling Pins
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 Oct-Dec: “You said it was all in.”
Last quarterly playlist is finally out. Had to wait for a few late December releases I was eager to check out. Some tracks wound up on my Best List so it was worth it.
Speaking of finally out, Aeon Station got its official release.
It’s not exactly how I thought the next Wrens album would materialize. And it’s not exactly the Wrens but it is Wrens-like.
Was it worth waiting almost 20 years for?
No, but I’ll take what I can get.
Cloakroom and barmm sneaked In some nice shoe gaze singles
Nilüfer Yanya put out a strong single in anticipation for a new release in March.
Haven’t enjoyed too many of the Health collabs as of late, but they found a good pairing with Poppy.
Check out the playlist of the newest singles from the last few months here:
Best Of posting coming soonish!
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.
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.
Aeon Station – Queens
This release by Kevin Whelan from The Wrens comes with surprise and anticipation but also some baggage attached. A dispute about money and the never released saga of The Meadlowlands pushed Kevin to release these 5 songs intended for that mirage of an album. Regardless on how this materialized, I’m taking anything I can at this point as I’m tired of posting every few years a hope for an album. The 1st Single Queens is out. I’m already pretty excited for the rest of the release in Dec.