As we enter the third year of the pandemic, art and entertainment are solidly reflecting the new world we are living in in various ways. Either by helping us escape it, or directly commenting on it and its impact on our lives.
Gone are the physical barriers to creating music. No longer do musicians have to collaborate in the same room or even in the same continent.
And yet, the power of presence persists.
Concerts came back in 2021, and the energy that can come from sharing a musical performance bleeds into sharing our love for the best albums of the year. After all, these incredibly talented folks partly make their art to be shared, even if we all just end up listening to it by ourselves.
So here are We Bought A Mic’s collective Best Albums of 2021, based on the separate top 10s shared during our 2-parter episode you can listen to below.
10. Bright Green Field – Squid / Harmonizer – Ty Segall
Simple guitars evolve and cascade to create a new tapestry of modern rock.
9. Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
Against all odds, an optimistic album. Here is a woman born to a dying world. A doomed generation. Scrutinized by the public and the crushing pressure of fame. And still, she looks on the bright side. An uplifting album deviating from the darkness of her debut. Growing up means trying to be happy, even if we’re pretending. And she still finds ways to push her sound into new directions, even if it’s not all as tight as her debut. Fucking stellar penultimate track, one of the best songs of the year.
Tied for 9th spot: Loving in Stereo – Jungle / The Golden Casket – Modest Mouse / Faces – Mac Miller
8. Cheater – Pom Poko
Clean vocal tones and guitar riffs combine for a perfect curveball of an album that relishes fresh indie rock and roll.
7. Friends that Break Your Heart – James Blake
Deeply sad and moving. Perfectly performed. His voice is angelic. Goosebumps every time.
6. Gami Gang – Origami Angel
Youth energy explosion. Buncha kids joyriding around town trying to make the most of this fucked up world with hope in the form of dumb jokes and young love.
Tied for 6th spot: The Long and Short of It – Quickly Quickly
5. Draw Down the Moon – Foxing
Our boys are back with a strong showing. Tight and focused. Ready to fucking rock.
4. Vince Staples – Vince Staples
Over before you know it, but with enough of a punch to entice you to hit play all over again. Grooving beats and rhymes and the apex of everything Vince has been building towards in the post-Summertime 06 era.
3. Inside (the songs) – Bo Burnham
Infectious to the point of nearly every word burrowing itself into your brain. The ideas are as poignant as they are playful, casually throwing in dick jokes alongside existential dread. An encapsulation of a thousand feelings. Read our blog on Inside here.
2. Call Me If You Get Lost – Tyler the Creator
Grrrrrlll you look malnourished
1. An Evening With Silk Sonic
An album so sexy and dripping wet and just insanely well produced by Bruno and his team. Tight and funky as ever. There is tons of friendly competition between Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak as they vie for the spotlight, but it is all played for laughs. You can feel the fun. Hairy pussy music is alive and well.