Put this together before the Music League 2021 round, ended up having to change it.
Mogwai’s Ritchie Sacramento is probably my song of the year, and Shame’s Harsh Degrees and black midi’s John L should be on my list too, but since they’ve already been mentioned here’s another ten. No order whatsoever (aside from maybe the first three), and going to keep it to one per artist:
Mogwai - Pat Stains
Like a sad sequel to Ratts of the Capital. Amazing.
Parannoul - White Ceiling
In that special zone where someone who hasn’t broken through completely goes for it and unleashes their opus without any guarantee of people ever hearing it.
Cloud Nothings - The Room It Was
One of their very best. Almost like I’m Not Part of Me, but rawer and with some pandemic anxiety thrown in. Incredible album closer. Highly recommend listening to it with the song that comes before it, they fit together perfectly.
Black Country, New Road - Sunglasses
Love how charismatic and all over the place this is, that Kanye section is so good and tense.
Charlie Martin - Sadie
Just a beautiful song from one half of Hovvdy, feels kind of nostalgic. Think fans of Strange Ranger’s more low key stuff will like this a lot.
KAUAN - Maanpako
Look at the album artwork, that’s pretty much what you’re getting. Great stormy post-rock/metal with vocals.
The Antlers - Green to Gold
It’s so nice having them back. Pretty and gentle and melancholic without going for the kill like Burst Apart and Hospice.
Beachy Head - Looking for Exits
Pretty, melancholic, melody-driven shoegaze from members of Slowdive.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
An understated, depressing album closer in the mold of the first part of Antennas to Heaven. It’s an instant day ruiner.
Bleach Lab - Old Ways
Brand new discovery from Music League (thanks @Spen78). Beautiful song, feels very Trouble Will Find Me era The National melody-wise or like very slowed down Cloud Nothings. There’s a real weightiness to this, not your usual dream-pop/shoegaze song. The bass really elevates it too.