YEAR END! Top Records of 2021

As another year closes, so does a year end list get posted into the void that is online music discourse. This list is not a fair depiction of what I really listened to this year. Being weird and isolated in the frozen wasteland of Minnesota had me listening to a lot of old jazz records. I have no recommendations based on that. This isn’t that kind of a blog. No one wants to hear my opinions on jazz fusion (I mostly don’t like it) or smooth jazz (actually pretty cool if you can get over the Weather Channel of it all).

In an attempt to feel less street team, I am focused on actually posting stuff in 2022. I got stuck in a cycle of posting about the same three things. To that point, I’ll post a thing about that new Overo / Zochor / Punch On! / Coma Regalia split next week. That would have probably made the list had it come out earlier. Beyond that, I hope to at least get something out on a regular basis. Just not sure what “regular” means in that regard.

Blah blah blah. The list. Let’s fucking go. Top whatever of whatever. In alphabetical order:

Beach Bunny – “Blame Game”
Bnny – “Everything”
Bruce Lee Band – “Division In The Heartland”
Catbite – “Nice One”
The Copyrights – “Alone In A Dome”
Dan Vapid and The Cheats – “Escape Velocity”
Danz CM – “The Absurdity of Human Existence”
Drug Church – “Tawny”
Faye Webster – “I Know I’m Funny haha”
Floatie – “Voyage Out”
Girl K – “Girl K Is For The People”
Hospital Bracelet – “South Loop Summer”
Japanese Breakfast – “Jubilee”
King Woman – “Celestial Blues”
La Luz – “La Luz”
Laura Stevenson – “Laura Stevenson”
Marissa Nadler – “The Path Of The Clouds”
Mia Joy – “Spirit Tamer”
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “When God Was Great”
Moontype – “Bodies Of Water”
Neighborhood Brats – “Confines Of Life”
Parting – “Unmake Me”
Pet Symmetry – “Future Suits”
PONY – “TV Baby”
Real Sickies – “Love Is For Lovers”
Regional Justice Center – “Crime and Punishment”
Scowl – “How Flowers Grow”
Steady Holiday – “Take The Corners Gently”
Tashaki Miyaki – “Castaway”
Tigers Jaw – “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me”
VIAL – “Loudmouth”

This list would probably look different had I listened to everything I was keeping track of. There’s still one shit-million records I need to work through. It’s what it’s, I guess. Anyway. Go pre-order that new Perennial record. That band fucking goes.

Obligatory playlist:

YEAR END! – Top Records Of 2020

Ok. It’s 7am on New Year’s Eve as I’m writing this. I barely slept last night. I guess it’s year end list time. 2020 was a whole goddamn thing. In the broader sense, the pandemic and politics of the year were a fucking disaster. On a personal level, I had to leave Illinois at the end of the summer. I got transferred at work. I’m now up in Minnesota. It’s…ehhh. I can’t wait for live music to be back. I want to see how the Minneapolis music scene compares to Chicago’s. That will be a tough challenge. Chicago is the best.

Anyway. These are my favorite records of the year. In alphabetical order, because that just makes sense. Ok?

Anna Burch – “If You’re Dreaming”
The Chinkees – “K.A. Music”
Dehd – “Flower Of Devotion”
Frances Quinlan – “Likewise”
Gia Margaret – “Mia Gargaret”
Gladie – “Safe Sins”
Joan Of Arc – “Tim Melina Theo Bobby”
Melkbelly – “PITH”
Nana Grizol – “South Somewhere Else”
NNAMDÏ- “Brat”
Ohmme – “Fantasize Your Ghost”
Open Mike Eagle – “Anime, Trauma And Divorce”
Overo / Asthenia – “Split”
Ratboys – “Printer’s Devil”
Slow Pulp – “Moveys”
Sugar High – “Love Addict”
Surf Rock Is Dead – “Existential Playboy”
Tenci – “My Heart Is An Open Field”
Thank You, I’m Sorry – “I’m Glad We’re Friends”
V.V. Lightbody – “Make A Shrine Or Burn It”

It’s worth noting that Gladie and NNAMDÏ both put out a bunch of great music this year. Consider everything they put out as being on this list.

Also, did anyone have a better year than Kris Esfandiari? Absolutely everything she put out this year was great. She released music as Sugar High, Miserable, Dalmatian, NGHTCRWLR, and KRIS this year. Everything sounded different, and everything is worth a listen. Excited to see what the new King Woman stuff will sound like.

Fuck it. That’s it. Spotify playlist included below.

YEAR END! – Top Records Of 2015

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I’m keeping this list brief this year. Not too many bells and whistles, or whatever. It’s the end of January, so I really need to just post it. 2015 was a weird fucking year, and I didn’t keep up with this stuff the way I should have. 2016 should be better. Anyway, on with the list.

Top Records of 2015. LPs, EPs, and splits. In alphabetical order:

  • Adult Mom – “Momentary Lapse Of Happily”
  • Annabel – “Having It All”
  • Beach House – “Depression Cherry”
  • Big Awesome – “Party On”
  • Blind Mice – “Sunday Songs”
  • Bong Mountain – “You’re Doin’ Great”
  • Drowse – “Soon Asleep”
  • Football, etc. – “Disappear”
  • Haybaby – “Sleepy Kids”
  • Island Of Misfit Toys – “I Made You Something”
  • Jennylee – “Right On!”
  • Kindling – “Galaxies”
  • King Woman – “Doubt”
  • Kind Of Like Spitting / Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers – “It’s Always Nice To See You”
  • Long Knives – “This Is Your Life”
  • mewithoutYou – “Pale Horses”
  • Pet Symmetry – “Pet Hounds”
  • Sheer – “Uneasy”
  • The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Harmlessness”
  • The Unlovables / Dirt Bike Annie – “Reunion Show”
  • Waxahatchee – “Ivy Tripp”

 

YEAR END! – Top Ten Records Of The Year

Here are the best records of the year. Not much label diversity here, but that is just how it goes sometimes.

1) Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This (Count Your Lucky Stars)

2) Dowsing – It’s Still Pretty Terrible (Count Your Lucky Stars)

 

 

 

 

 

3) Dikembe – Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

4) Dads – American Radass (this is important) (Flannel Gurl)

 

 

 

 

 

5) State Faults – Desolate Peaks (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

6) Best Practices – The EP LP (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

7) Suis La Lune – Riala (Topshelf)

 

 

 

 

 

8) You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)

 

 

 

 

 

9) Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)

 

 

 

 

 

10) The Dandelion War – We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes (Deep Elm)