DS FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2021

Another year around the sun with headphones on or speakers sending sonic vibrations around the house, as I immersed myself in the many excellent albums that were released in 2021.

Lockdown provided the perfect escapist excuse to go deep with listening, finding new and fascinating artists and sounds while still digging new releases from longtime favourites.

Black Midi, Black Country, New Road and Infinity Broke took the boat out into new and exciting waters, Neil Young revisited the magic and beauty of Crazy Horse and the likes of Mess Esque, Jessica, North Arm and Daniel Lanois explored hypnotic meditative worlds in their own unique ways. From alt-country to post punk, art rock to heavy rock, these were the 50 albums I enjoyed the most in 2021.

50. Michael Beach – Dream Violence

49. North Arm – Bring The Daylight

48. Jack Ladder – Hijack!

47. Sleaford Mods – Spare Ribs

46. Ryley Walker – Course In Fable

45. Darren Cross – Distorder

44. F.S. Blumm & Nils Frahm – 2×1=4

43. Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

42. The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore

41. Dinosaur Jr – Sweep It Into Space

40. Squid – Bright Green Field

39. Jessica – With Reverie

38. Steve Gunn – Other You

37. Imperial Broads – Counterpart

36. Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz

35. Shihad – Old Gods

34. Fake Fruit – Fake Fruit

33. Pino Palladino & Blake Mills – Notes With Attachments

32. Bob Weatherall & Halfway – Restless Dream

31. Richard Cuthbert – Daydreaming

30. Plaster Of Paris – Lost Familiar

29. Mere Women – Romantic Notions

28. Tomahawk – Tonic Immobility

27. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage

26. Restless Leg – Dream Buffet

25. Mogwai – As The Love Continues

24. Rose City Band – Earth Trip

23. Family Jordan – Big Grass

22. Vincent Neil Emerson – Vincent Neil Emerson

21. Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny haha

20. Riddy Arman – Riddy Arman

19. The Aerial Maps – Intimate Hinterland

18. Infinity Broke – Your Dream My Jail

17. Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun

16. Suicide Swans – Reservations

15. Kelly Dance – The Yips

14. Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark

13. Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort To Me

12. Golden Fang – Man With Telltale Scars

11. Magnetic Heads – Moral Outage

10. Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg

9. Black Midi – Cavalcade

8. Tindersticks – Distractions

7. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Barn

6. Parquet Courts – Sympathy For Life

5. Mess Esque – Mess Esque

4. Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolves

3. James McMurtry – The Horses And The Hounds

2. The Felice Brothers – From Dreams To Dust

#1. Black Country, New Road – For The First Time

Pretentious, visceral, brave and thrilling. BCNR delivered on the promise of their earlier singles and released an album that that was shaped by the loose boundaries of post rock and avant rock and emboldened and inspired by youthful exuberance and musical dexterity. An absolutely magical debut.

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