Top albums of the year 2021
Exek - Good Thing They Ripped Up the Carpet
Album of the Year. This Australian outfit has signature and flair and, at times, seem to lose control of the song but then it comes roaring back with an obsessive allure and a dreadful charm.
Heimat - Zwei
Fantastic French two-piece, featuring members of Cheveu and The Dreams. Deconstructed pop music with an almost No-Wave edge. I keep going back to this record because it offers something new every time. Don’t listen to this if you’re stuck in traffic.
El Michels affair -Yeti Season
This album (and the reggae record with Liam Bailey) really cemented my appreciation of Leon Michels. I might still not know how to pronounce his last name but the turntable isn’t the one complaining.
Aaron Frazer - Introducing…
The Flying Stars of Brooklyn, NY and Durand Jones’ records have been stellar, and this new solo venture is outstanding by Aaron Frazer. I love the handprint that the Black Keys’ Dan Aurbach leaves on this record. Next to Curtis Harding, this funky falsetto act is tops for me.
Karl Kave & Durian - Untergang und Finsternis
Sparse, cagey electronic from a guy who put out like 5 records this year. German vox with more hooks than a bear sitting downstream.
Predator - Spiral Unfolds
Still my favorite punk band. This group from Atlanta unveils something new every few years, keeping me interested in their brand of well-crafted mid-80s Southern California hardcore. Spiral Unfolds might be their best yet.
Smirk - S/T
Debut record from a one man band outta Los Angeles, with tracks akin to late-70s punk at the Starwood more so than today. The production sounds like it was made in a bedroom with someone trying to compete with a garbage truck noises outside.
Nation of Language- A Way Forward
I have this record a proper listen while stick in traffic the day before Thanksgiving. Have been going back ever since, finding new melodies in the ever-expansive sounds this band has solidified. Great call and response with guitars and keyboards.
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