Top 30 (+2) albums of the year: 2021

Black Country New Road – For the First Time

Black Country, New Road’s debut album For the First Time is a monumental musical achievement. With it’s lengthy, explorative guitar-leads, monotonous yet hypnotic vocal performances, intense drumming and jazz-inspired improvisation, this album is one of the best experimental rock releases I’ve heard all year. They balance quiet and subdued melodies with explosive, maximalistic moments of pure, unfiltered noise. Their compositions are just incredible, and with a new album set to be released early next year, they are only getting started. It’s a truly exciting time for the band, and I can’t wait to hear what new stuff they’ve been working on. But for the time being, immerse yourselves in this memorable and important piece of music.

Squid – Bright Green Field

The wacky compositions and odd vocals make Squid’s Bright Green Field one of the most colourful and interesting debut albums in recent years. The subtleties in some of the guitar-led melodies and the more subdued moments on this album are contrasted in louder, punchier and more colourful moments, with bizarre sonic effects and adventurous moments capturing the beauty and essense of their artistry. It’s a wonderfully eclectic experimental rock album, one I recommend to everyone.

Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg

This is yet another exceptional debut album from one of the most exciting new rock bands of the last few years. Dry Cleaning’s New Long Leg is an incredibly punchy and fiery rock album, with some intense guitar riffs, infectious melodies and a deadpan, spoken word-like vocal delivery from lead singer Florence Shaw, who’s wit and humour shine through. There’s so much vibrant and colourful energy to their music, and it’s an album I’ve had on repeat since it came out.

black midi – Cavalcade

On black midi’s second studio album Cavalcade, the London-based group have truly hit their stride, with a densely composed, overwhelming sound. The intensity of the drumming throughout, as well as their knack for jazz-like improvisation and experimentation makes this a thrilling and exhilerating listening experience. The more I listen to it, the more I pick up on some of the subtleties in their vast and immersive soundscapes, as they are able to channel a freakish energy that is even more incredible when experiencing them live (something I did this year, and oh my it was incredible). It is a sublime body of work, and one I will be playing for years to come, I’m sure of it.

Yves Tumor – The Asymptotical World EP

The fact that this is the only real EP on the list speaks volumes about what Yves Tumor has been able to capture and produce in just 6 tracks. The Asymptotical World EP is somewhat of a spiritual successor to one of my favourite albums last year in Heaven To A Tortured Mind, only with a heightened psych-rock influence, one which features some electrifying guitar riffs and compositions that sound grand and utterly mesmeric. Some of these anthemic compositions are among ny favourites of this year, and I cannot wait to see them perform these tracks live. My EP of the year, and a geniune contender for one of the best projects of 2021.

And there we go – Happy discovering! To a positive, healthy and memorable 2022!

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I run In Search Of Media with the aim of giving a platform to independent beatmakers, rappers and talented musicians. I also hope to make this a home for music discovery, interesting film analysis, exhibition reviews and other interesting content for all of you guys to dive in to. I hope to start a podcast and documentary-style project soon. If you're looking to be a part of this creative project, please go to the contact page and drop me an email, or connect via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I also write for 'Music Is My Sanctuary.' Thanks 🙏

2 comments on “Top 30 (+2) albums of the year: 2021

  1. Pingback:  Ants From Up There is a grandiose, powerful musical statement that sees Black Country, New Road reach new musical heights – In Search of Media

  2. Can.t argue with this list!!


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