2021 has been the extension of the insane 2020. Despite all the troublesome craziness of this year, it has been generous in giving us great album releases.
These top 10 records are our personal choices that we actually own in vinyl. Tyler the Creator’s Call Me if You Get Lost, Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs), and Men I Trust’s Untourable Album, should, but did not make it to our list because we weren’t able to get our hands on some copies yet. Nevertheless here’s our top 10 new releases of 2021!
10. Durand Jones & the Indications - Private Space
Smooth as a silky silver spacesuit, brilliant as a rocket launching into space. This retro-soul album is like a hazy slow-mo disco ball turned into music. If you are in the mood for a fun & funky expedition give this album a try. “Witchoo”, the second track in the album will keep you coming back for more!
9. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
This album is something you should never miss getting on vinyl. A mind-blowing late-career release by Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, in a three-way collaboration with Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra. This is a Salvador Dali painting incarnate. Housed in a die-cut gatefold album, even the regular variant looks so nice and very much collectible. We will soon have the marbled variant and 180g available in the shop too!
8. Lucy Dacus - Home Video
The third album by Lucy Dacus explores diary-like songwriting as she tries to retell snippets of her adolescence. The words she used are almost straightforward as if she’s actually telling you a story. Some songs get kind of heavy like “Thumbs”. We haven’t really been following her previous albums but we think ‘Home Video’ is a great entryway to her discography while still experiencing the distinction of her work.
7. L’imperatrice - Tako Tsubo
We won’t tell you what Tako Tsubo means, you can just google that. L’imperatrice’s newest release is like if Men I trust and Daft Punk got together to create a superband. It’s not just their music that is blowing our minds, the way they present themselves, the cover of their album, their political stand, how is it even possible to be fun and danceable while still being relevant?
6. Lorde - Solar Power
Damn Pitchfork for giving this album a 6.8 score. Solar Power is our favorite Lorde album. We just love how sunny, earthy, and refreshing this album is. A blissful defiance to this very stressful year.
5. Faye Webster - I Know I’m Funny Haha
The kind of album that you will binge listen to when you just want to stay in bed all day. Faye Webster’s melancholic voice just brings comfort like a soft furry blanket. Her fondness of Pokemon, Animal Crossing, & yo-yo adds to the many reasons why we love and relate to her. Go search her cover of Animal Crossing 7PM song on YouTube, you are welcome.
4. Clairo - Sling
The much-awaited Clairo’s 2nd album did not disappoint. Musically more mature but toned-down the mood of the whole album sounded like it was released by a seasoned musician. “Joanie” the non-lyrical track is such fresh air, listening to it can truly calm you down, like how your dog/cat/pet can make you forget your problems. Our only complaint is the pressing, hope they release a quieter pressing, we actually own 2 copies (green and black) both have constant pops but don’t worry it’s still worth it!
3. Hayley Williams - Descansos / Flowers for Vases
Despite sounding so different from Petals for Armor, FLOWERS for VASES/descansos is the stripped-down sequel. Hayley’s voice and singing style are still undeniably iconic that it gives us the feeling of being home safe. And to be able to hear her against the very folky arrangements, far from her Paramore days is such a rare treat we will never say no to.
2. Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
It really is Jbrekkie’s year! Jubilee is just so full of unforgettable tracks such as Be Sweet, Kokomo IN, In Hell, & Tactics. We really hope she wins a Grammy next year. Zauner had ripened from the sprouts of Psychopomp to a tree that is SSFAP and now to a sweet persimmon that is Jubilee. It’s unimaginable how she’s able to release a book, a game soundtrack, and Jubilee all in the same stressful year.
1. Snail Mail - Valentine
The buzzer-beater album of the year is our no. 1 favorite release of 2021! Valentine is one of those albums that will instantly capture your heart as soon as you hear it. Her words are so much more mature than from Lush, yet didn’t compromise on the heaviness of her give it all love. At an early stage of her career, I think she had found her distinction in the indie scene. Our favorites from this album are Light Blue, Forever (Sailing), c. et al., Automate, and Mia. If you haven’t heard it yet make sure to give it a listen!
So there it is our top 10 releases this year. Soon we will also be releasing another list for our top 10 new releases off the radar edition, so please wait for it and stay Brightly!