What’s in the Box: Albums of 2021

Every publication is assembling year-end lists of their selection of the best albums of the year. Well, quantixed did not want to miss out on the fun, so I came up with a list of my favourite 20 albums released in 2021.

Top 20

  1. Electric Looking Glass – Somewhere Flowers Grow
  2. Corduroy – Corduroy
  3. Divide and Dissolve – Gas Lit
  4. Mogwai – As The Love Continues
  5. Fuzzy Lights – Burials
  6. Goat Girl – On All Fours
  7. Pictured Resort – Hurry Nothing
  8. Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime
  9. Steel Bearing Hand – Slay In Hell
  10. Weezer – OK Human
  11. Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
  12. 93MillionMilesFromTheSun – Why Do We Fall Apart
  13. Ruby Bones – Laser Tooth Tiger
  14. Carcass – Torn Arteries
  15. fanclubwallet – Hurt is Boring
  16. Portable Radio – Portable Radio
  17. Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade
  18. st. vincent – Daddy’s Home
  19. TEKE::TEKE – Shirushi
  20. Wavves – Hideaway

I’ve restrained myself from writing a blurb about each one. My top pick, by The Electric Looking Glass, is a delightful slice of retro psychedelia à la The Dukes of Stratosphear. The track “Rosie in the Rain” is the standout. It harks back to a time when melodic space in rock music was relatively unexplored and abundant catchy riffs were low-hanging fruit to build a song around.

I’d like to thank the folk on Twitter and those who still write music blogs for the recommendations. Also, thanks to Bandcamp for Bandcamp Fridays which have helped me to expand my collection.

Honourable mention

The following albums didn’t make the final twenty but were all excellent.

  • Sault – Nine
  • Delta Sleep – Spring Island
  • Mainliner – Dual Myths
  • Bríi – Sem Propósito
  • Cloud Eleven – Pandora’s Box
  • Dope Purple – Grateful End
  • Gruff Rhys – Seeking New Gods
  • Tibetan Miracle Seeds – Inca Missiles
  • Squid – Bright Green Field
  • The Anchoress – The Art Of Losing
  • JK Flesh – See Red
  • Polypores – Chaos Blooms
  • Almunia – Pulsar
  • Trees Speak – PostHuman
  • Hillside – Sunday In June
  • Karima Walker – Waking the Dreaming Body
  • Finn’s Motel – Fireworks or Lightning
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!

Best reissue

I bought a lot of reissued albums, but the best by a long way was Baby Silverskins  –  Yarping Down The Tweeds. It’s a collection of 90s punk pop tunes assembled by Crackle Records.

Best EP

I enjoyed beabadoobee’s “Our Extended Play” a lot. It edged out Midlake’s “Milkmaid Grand Army” and The Lickerish Quartet’s “Threesome Vol. 2”.

The post title comes from “What’s In The Box (See Whatcha Got)” by The Boo Radleys from their “C’mon Kids” album. I seem to remember that this song is about what’s in your record box, although I couldn’t find any confirmation on the web.

3 thoughts on “What’s in the Box: Albums of 2021

  1. I love the fact that I know none of these albums and only recognise around 5 artist names in the whole posting!
    For what it’s worth, I have been enjoying the following:

    – 070 Shake “Modus Vivendi”
    – Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes “Sticky”
    – Alfie Templeman “Forever isn’t long enough”
    – CHVRCHES “Screen Violence”
    – Joel Culpepper “Sgt. Culpepper”
    – Royal Blood “Typhoons”

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