Deluxe 2021 Records of the Year

Out now, issue 24 of Deluxe Newspaper. Guest-curated '2021 Records of the Year', written and compiled by the team here at Drift.

We decided this year to ditch the top 100 numbers, instead an albums poll with no clear codification other than sequential. We didn’t do this to be idly inscrutable, but rather, we just felt that so many of these brilliant albums resonate for different reasons. Talking about them in this way feels more celebratory. We do have ONE Record of the Year (we’re not total heathens); but otherwise, this is a meander through the months that formed 2021, with notes about our musical highlights.

For your consideration, here are twelve months of new music (well, mostly so) that gave us the chills or made us feel equally moved. This is what we’ve been enjoying playing, and we hope you do too.

+ Read a PDF here.
+ Physical copies in good record shops now.
+ Free physical copies in all mail orders from Drift.


January
Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz
Nailah Hunter - Spells
Pom Poko - Cheater
Shame - Drunk Tank Pink
Maral - Push
Beautify Junkyards - COSMORAMA
Anna B Savage - A Common Turn
Goat Girl - On All Fours
LICE - Wasteland: What Ails Our People Is Clear

February
Black Country, New Road - For The First Time
The Weather Station - Ignorance
Femi Kuti and Made Kuti - Legacy +
Kiwi Jr - Cooler Returns
Django Django - Glowing In The Dark
Mogwai - As The Love Continues
Whitney K - Two Years
Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan - Interim Report, March 1979

March
Jane Weaver - Flock
Altin Gün - Yol
Gazelle Twin & NYX - Deep England
William Doyle - Great Spans of Muddy Time
Dialect - Under~Between
Hannah Peel - Fir Wave
Serpentwithfeet - DEACON
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
Madlib - Sound Ancestors [Arranged By Kieran Hebden]

April
Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END
The Reds, Pinks & Purples - Uncommon Weather
Silver Synthetic - Silver Synthetic
MICROCORPS - XMIT
Field Music - Flat White Moon
Yasmin Williams - Urban Driftwood
Nashville Ambient Ensemble - Cerulean
Leon Vynehall - Rare, Forever

May
Squid - Bright Green Field
Iceage - Seek Shelter
DJ Black Low - Uwami
Fears - Oíche
Sarah Neufeld - Detritus
Sons of Kemet - Black To The Future
Ryley Walker - Course In Fable
Colleen - The Tunnel and the Clearing
Gruff Rhys - Seeking New Gods
Lambchop - Showtunes
Sons Of Raphael - Full-Throated Messianic Homage
Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime
Buzzy Lee - Spoiled Love
Masayoshi Fujita - Bird Ambience
black midi - Cavalcade

June
Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
Marina Allen - Candlepower
White Flowers - Day By Day
Francis Lung - Miracle
Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
Maple Glider - To Enjoy is the Only Thing
Daniel Avery - Together In Static
L’Rain - Fatigue
Lonelady - Former Things
Rose City Band - Earth Trip

July
Snapped Ankles - Forest Of Your Problems
Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow
Sven Wunder - Natura Morta
Goon Sax - Mirror II
Les Filles De Illighadad - At Pioneer Works
Stephen Fretwell - Busy Guy
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - Superwolves
Darkside - Spiral
Mega Bog - Life, and Another
Alex Rex - Paradise
Koreless - Agor
Guardian Singles - Guardian Singles

August
Joy Orbison - still slipping vol. 1
Villagers - Fever Dreams
Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
Nathan Salsburg - Psalms
ISHMAEL ENSEMBLE - VISIONS OF LIGHT
Yann Tiersen - Kerber
Chubby and the Gang - The Mutt's Nuts
The Bug - Fire
Steve Gunn - Other You
Andrew Wasylyk - Balgay Hill: Morning In Magnolia

September
Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Matthew E. White - K Bay
Low - HEY WHAT
Sarah Davachi - Antiphonals
Amyl & The Sniffers - Comfort To Me
Saint Etienne - I’ve Been Trying To Tell You
Molly Lewis - The Forgotten Edge
Mild High Club - Going Going Gone
Nala Sinephro - Space 1.8
Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner's Mind
Lyra Pramuk - Delta
Smoke Bellow - Open For Business
박혜진 Park Hye Jin - Before I Die

October
Tara Clerkin Trio - In Spring
audiobooks - Astro Tough
Cindy - 1:2
Kit Sebastian - Melodi
SAULT - NINE
JOHN - Nocturnal Manoeuvres
Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou
Self Esteem - Prioritise Pleasure
Hand Habits - Fun House
Parquet Courts - Sympathy For Life
Ducks Ltd - Modern Fiction
Ty Segall - Harmonizer
BADBADNOTGOOD - Talk Memory

November
Cleo Sol - Mother
Curtis Harding - If Words Were Flowers
Damon Albarn - The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Courtney Barnett - Things Take Time, Take Time
Makaya McCraven - Deciphering The Message
W.H. Lung - Vanities
Dummy - Mandatory Enjoyment
Nolan Potter - Music Is Dead
Grouper - Shade
IDLES - CRAWLER
Snail Mail - Valentine

And do deep dive into our 76¾ hour playlist won't you? Hit random, have your mind blown...

If you sign up to the Drift newsletter, you will be emailed our Records of the Week every Thursday afternoon.

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