Uh, August – ususally the time of shifting towards a more packed release schedule, but for some reason, there wasn’t much of a summer drought, so 2021 keeps getting us flooded with good music. This was especially crazy towards the end of August, with the 27th being one of the most packed release days of the year so far. What stuck with me during those past weeks? Let’s find out!
I was not expecting to like this as much as I did. Mood Ring is an extremely loveable record from an artist who just oozes charm with every note, and establishes a wonderful flair throughout the record. Kississippi plays into the vein of the contemporary trend of power pop, but making irresistibly good songs definitely balances that out.
It’s just fun to watch Unreqvited grow, change, and transform with every new release. Started as an underground blackgaze project with noteworthy songwriting skills, Beautiful Ghosts shows an artist that’s come to terms with his musical identity, on a path that just keeps getting more and more interesting.
Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson
August 13 // ALC
Boldy James is making waves since a couple of years by now. As part of the Griselda collective, he is probably most known for his collaborations with hip hop mastermind The Alchemist. Bo Jackson marks the third full-length those two worked on together, and it’s yet again proof that there is an incredible symbiosis happening between both artist, marking all future collabs as must-listens in my book.
Technical and progressive death metal has a good year. One of the finest examples of the new heights in the genre comes from Burial In The Sky and their new record The Consumed Self, which shows a very melodic and nearly catchy side of prog death. Plus, it has just the right amount of sax.
Another genre that experiences a great year is post-rock. The World Inside, the new record by UK-based outfit Tacoma Narrows Bridges Disaster, adds to the pantheon of great post-rock records in 2021 with its progressive songwriting and great sound design. Great stuff for every genre fan!
A critically overlooked album that steadily grows to be one of the most impressive displays of songwriting and artistic vision I’ve heard in the last months. Morly‘s ability to mix indie with pop, jazz, and more experimental ideas is inspiring and great. I can’t recommend this record enough.
I wasn’t exactly fond of the first singles Deafheaven released prior to the drop of Infinite Granite. The band had dropped all their black metal sensibilites in favor of going full shoegaze. Well, okay. When I finally got my hands on the record, I was blown away by the level of composition, songwriting, and stylistic confidence. While being the farthest away from their black metal roots, the band managed to give us one of the best albums to date.
Somewhere between indie pop, neo-soul, and hip hop, quickly, quickly is an incredibly charming project with a promising future. Portland-based Graham Jonson understands current musical trends and playfully reflects on them while giving everything a fresh spin with neat and interesting little details.
Technically, I don’t cover records that consist of previously released songs. Pile‘s newest offering Songs Known Together, Alone takes several songs recorded by the project in the past, and re-imagines them as solo performances by mastermind Rick Maguire. This album ends up being one of the most creatively interesting projects by the band, and I’m once again in awe in the presence of Pile.
Her feature on Little Simz‘ new album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (which is a fucking banger and one of the best albums of the year) already made splash, but please look a bit further and take a listen to her fantastic new album Mother. Maybe a bit under the radar, but this is some damn fine soul.
There is something so damn perfect about this band. They know exactly what they’re doing, stylistically, keeping it simple and crisp with every song. The smooth vocal lines, guitars drenched by reverb, and the phenomenal pocket of drums and bass make Untourable Album on point, once again.
I usually connect to only a small handful of ambient albums per year. While artist can easily master the surface level of the genre, filling ambient with narrative, depth, and texture is incredibly hard. Arrowounds adds to this catalog of outstanding ambient artists with ease, delivering an album that is compelling yet incredibly inviting.
I’m going to be honest with you: I’d written Leprous off after The Congregation. Back then, the band showed first signs on playing by the numbers, without having anything to say artistically. Aphelion shows a band that is extremely hungry and full of great ideas again, pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and elegantly embracing new elements along the way. Well played!
Turnstile have been shaping up to becoming the next big thing for a while, and now they are taking the next intense step with their new album GLOW ON, basically creating a new genre along the way. The dream punk vibe of this album is irresistible, and the band manages to be impressively authentic with every choice they make.
Thanks for scrolling!