Best Music of 2021

DownIsTheNewUp

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STOLEN:

"It's the year 2050. You're walking down the seawall listening to Deafheaven's 29th record, a fresh foray into the emerging musical movement known as avantgarde-post-pre-bootgaze. They approach the genre with a tenderness and honesty that is not normally found in this kind of music, and you take comfort in knowing that something you like is liked by others as well. Their last record was okay, but this one is something special.

The album ends and you once again return to the world. The sky is turning pink from the setting sun, and the sound of the waves welcomes you back to reality. The wind rustles your hair and you breathe it in and taste the sweet nectar of existence. Life is good. Deafheaven used to be a controversial topic to some, but those people have moved on. Genres as we once knew them are a thing of the past, there is only music, free from expectations, rules, and restrictions. You look out at the renaissance you are a part of and breathe another dreamy sigh.

But then, off in the distance, you hear something. A murmur, a whisper. Something you haven't heard in some time. You hop down to the small beach just beyond the sea wall where the tide is starting to go out. What is that sound? It's getting closer and you know you're close to finding whatever is making that familiar sound. It seems to be coming from a rock embedded in the freshly soaked sand. Contemplating for a second, your curiosity gets the better of you, and you decide to lift up the fist-sized rock to see what's underneath.

Beneath the rock you see a small long-haired man in a black denim jacket and Doc Marten's, who appears to have painted his face to resemble a panda. He's staring at a Blasphemy record in his hands and cursing under his breath, clearly frustrated at something you can barely comprehend. Suddenly he notices you, and looks up at you with a scowl. Before you can say anything, he opens his mouth and speaks:

"Deafheaven isn't black metal"

BUT INFINITE GRANITE IS ONE OF THE BEST SHOEGAZE ALBUMS EVER MADE



 

musicjunkiegreg

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Slipped Under My Radar:

Ishmael Ensemble - Visions Of Light (8.6.21)

Not sure if this album has been talked about here or not.. but it should be! Experimental electronic and nu-jazz at its finest! Track 4 "Soma Centre" may be one of the best songs of the year, too.



 

musicjunkiegreg

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Slipped Under My Radar:

Tomaga - Intimate Immensity (3.26.21)

Just discovered this album that dropped back in March. Apparently it's the final album from the London experimental duo (which was recorded just prior to the passing of one of the members of said duo). This album has some excellent percussion and synth work. Definitely going to be giving this one some repeated listens, and I'll be checking out the rest of their discography.


 

Hollywood

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Slipped Under My Radar:

Ishmael Ensemble - Visions Of Light (8.6.21)

Not sure if this album has been talked about here or not.. but it should be! Experimental electronic and nu-jazz at its finest! Track 4 "Soma Centre" may be one of the best songs of the year, too.



You might be on to something here 🤔 I'm getting some serious trip-hop vibe on Empty Hands and The Gift is possibly the best song Aparrat has never written ❤
 
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wokeupnew

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Okay this Men I Trust album is really good. Getting a lot more trippy, Boards of Canada vibes from some of the songs on the new album than their previous work. "Before Dawn", "Serenade of Water", "5AM Waltz" are prime examples. Also "Tree Among Shrubs" is unironically a bop.
 

Hollywood

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Okay this Men I Trust album is really good. Getting a lot more trippy, Boards of Canada vibes from some of the songs on the new album than their previous work. "Before Dawn", "Serenade of Water", "5AM Waltz" are prime examples. Also "Tree Among Shrubs" is unironically a bop.
Agreed 💯 Plus I'm getting a Daft Punk vibe on a couple tracks
 

wokeupnew

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Agreed 💯 Plus I'm getting a Daft Punk vibe on a couple tracks
I don't really listen to Daft Punk so I can't say, but definitely more synth-y which I like. There's fewer outwardly pop songs or songs that feel like they can stand alone like they've done in the past like with "Numb", "Tailwhip", "Show Me How" etc. as singles.
 

Hollywood

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I don't really listen to Daft Punk so I can't say, but definitely more synth-y which I like. There's fewer outwardly pop songs or songs that feel like they can stand alone like they've done in the past like with "Numb", "Tailwhip", "Show Me How" etc. as singles.
The more I listen to the album, the more I think this might be their best yet, at least their most coherent and concise LP.
 

wokeupnew

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The more I listen to the album, the more I think this might be their best yet, at least their most coherent and concise LP.
yeah it's really good. I think I like some songs on Oncle Jazz a little more, but this one is definitely a better overall listen. Oncle Jazz could do without a few tracks that make it so long. I rarely sit and listen to all of it.
 

musicjunkiegreg

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Slipped Under My Radar:

Jana Rush - Painful Enlightenment (8.13.21)

Just found this one on Bandcamp. Some experimental electronic with some excellent percussion and footwork. And the sample use on this project is amazing. Any fans of the Tekken franchise? Check out the sample at the begging of track 2 (bonus points if you know which character it is).

 
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