DiSsers Share and Rate their albums of 2021 (an open-ended polling thread)

Back by popular demand, it’s the 2021 edition of the end-of-year “DiSsers Share and Rate their albums of” thread!

Last year was a lot of fun, so let’s not fix something that’s not broke. Show us your favourite albums of the year 2021 (so far) and tell us why you love them. Descriptions of genre/style are always welcome, as are video/spotify/apple music links to the whole album or good entry point tracks.

(And whilst we’re doing it why don’t we have polls for a score out of 10 so that we can get an idea of which ones DiS as a collective digs (but not take any scores too personally))

How to correctly set up an average rating poll

Make sure to select ‘Number Rating’ when making the poll and set the max choices option to ‘10’

Let’s go team

7 Likes

We started last year’s thread with an amazing album, so let’s do it again…

Spellling - The Turning Wheel

Spotify and Apple Music Links

Spotify

‎The Turning Wheel by Spellling on Apple Music

Incredible art-pop that’s big on theatricality and ornamentation. Most importantly, Chrystia Cabral’s impeccable arrangements and engrossing lyrics ensure that the musical and vocal flamboyance add extra layers of dynamism and genuine drama rather than affectation. If I had one minor criticism it’d probably be that the first half is so strong that the second, whilst still very enjoyable, feels a little slight in comparison.

Also has a serious contender for Song of the Year in Boys at School. FFO of Kate Bush and Joanna Newsome I think.

If you want to read a small review I did on the album at the time for my personal music blog you can find it at number 3 here.

Spellling - The Turning Wheel
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1 Like

Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee

Soft Sounds was my AOTY for 2017 (though Melodrama might just pip it retrospectively). When I heard the lead tracks for her new one and her relatively shinier, poppier direction I wasn’t sure how it would work for me

But guess what? It’s another perfect album. Covers so many different moods and textures: there’s bright shiny synths, jangling guitars, dark brooding fuzzed out reveries, indie-disco grooves, swelling strings, and lyrics that can really break your heart. Think she deserves indie megastar status and always feels underrated compared to some of her peers - but hope some of the excellent videos from this album will change that.

The pairing of Bondage and Sit in the middle of the album destroys me, that is basically exactly what I want music to be.

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3 Likes

A nearly flawless album. We’re off to a cracking start

2 Likes

the fact that i could prefer it to Soft Sounds still surprises me

1 Like

The Armed - ULTRAPOP

A collaboration between either hundreds of people, or none, or Kurt Ballou on his own. Art-hardcore with swathes of electronica and stealth pop melody. Heavy and intense and danceable and fun. Reference points are bands like late-era Dillinger Escape Plan, Nine Inch Nails, Genghis Tron, Rolo Tomassi, Daughters. My album of the year without a shadow of a doubt. Brilliant and exciting.

Their live video Live At The Masonic is also incredible, showcasing the revolving lineup with about 25 collaborators in and out at any one time. The Stop Making Sense of modern hardcore.

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2 Likes

Have you read Crying in H Mart? Just started it now - seems like it could provide some good context for all three of her albums

Fuck’s sake, that’s two albums I was going to do (and likely two of my top 3 records of the year) taken :smiley:

I don’t have time to be doing 100s of posts again this year so I’m glad that some other people are picking my favourite albums and I can just hit 10

Great choice. Feels like a force of nature

1 Like
Fightmilk - Contender
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They’ve always been a favourite of mine. Seen them countless times and have had a couple of pints with some of the band members.

Their second album is easily in my top 3 of the year. They’ve got a perfect mix of fun indie rock and more subtle dream pop. This track is one of the best of the year for me. Great band.

2 Likes
The Reds, Pinks and Purples - Uncommon Weather
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I’ll go for a couple of choices that might not make many others top five of the year but Fightmilk and this band definitely will be in mine.

Absolutely love the slacker dream pop style of the album. I’ve had it on very often on the earphones and looking at Last.fm and all the Scrobble data this and Fightmilk are my top two albums and artists of the year.

This track is pretty representative of most of the album which is a brilliant hidden gem.

(I’m such a huge fan that I got their name wrong twice, hence the edits :slightly_smiling_face:.)

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Agree with every word of this. AOTY for me. Loved it since the day it dropped.

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Wanted to like this more than I did. It was alright I think something else came out around the sametime and this fell through the cracks.

This is astounding isn’t it? On my first listen now.

I had a bit of a weird year music-wise. A combination of pandemic ennui and 3 kids under 6y/o based exhaustion just made me feel a bit numb and everything new bounced off me for 6 months or so. Everything seems to work again now though, thankfully.

1 Like

Absolutely. One of the most memorable “first listen” experiences I had this year

R.A.P. Ferreira - Bob’s Son

The artist formally known as milo brought out this hip-hop tribute to beat poet Bob Kaufman on New Year’s Day and it was immediately for me a front-runner for album of the year. His style is abstract, thoughtful, good-humoured and very wordy. It’s a hazy, almost ambient record with jazzy production that brings to mind the more reflective moments of Endtroducing… with an Aesop Rock style of hyper-lyrical rhyming. Extremely mellow but it’s engaged me hugely all year with its woozy dreamlike qualities.

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Juçara Marçal - Delta Estácio Blues

I think this is the album I’d most like to share here as I think it might have the highest ratio of (How much I think DiS would like it:How much I think DiS will have heard it) of all of the albums in the running for my album of the year. Maybe I’m wrong and I know we have a small but strong Brazilian contingent but I suspect this is still a bit of a sleeper in Europe.

Juçara is the 59 year old Brazilian singer of experimental group Metá Metá, and she says she made this album whilst replicating the working style of Danny Brown, by fully fleshing out unconventional beats and tunes before improvising the lyrics on top. The music is hugely diverse in styles, with synths, guitars, keys and drums spanning everything from IDM to punk, bossa nova to industrial noise-folk, and her voice seems to suit every style.

The only reason I can see this album not being absolutely massive everywhere is the fact it is not in English, but if you are a fan of all or any of Bjork, Scott Walker, The Knife, Mr Bungle, Gazelle Twin then I urge you to check this record out.

Whole album live:

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3 Likes

1 Like

Arooj Aftab - Vulture Prince

Links

Spotify

‎Vulture Prince by Arooj Aftab on Apple Music

Vulture Prince is an enthralling mix of musical styles from across the globe, including both Hindustani and Western classical music, jazz, folk, ambient, and (on one occasion) reggae. It’s an intricate reflection of a life lived in both Pakistan and the USA, as well as Arooj Aftab’s journey from an entirely self-taught female guitarist to a multi-talented composer, singer, and instrumentalist.

The attention to detail in these delicate compositions is astonishing, certain flourishes or harmonies briefly transforming the repetition-based foundations before disappearing as quickly as they arrived. One of this year’s truly great albums.

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1 Like

Pom Poko - Cheater

Streaming Links

Spotify

‎Cheater by Pom Poko on Apple Music

A wondeful second album from the Norwegian indie rockers that’s scrappy, energetic, and brimming with youthful ethusiam. The entire band are on top form, equally capable of producing moments of skittish delicacy as well as hugely satisfying rackets. But it’s the eccentrically-delivered vocals and inventive guitar playing that separates Pom Poko’s from the pack. The latter in particular is an absolute masterclass, the kind of guitar-hero performance that has become increasingly rare in post-2010 indie. On occasion it sounds like Pixies or Bloc Party to me.

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1 Like

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg (Post Punk)

Streaming links

Spotify

‎New Long Leg by Dry Cleaning on Apple Music

New Long Leg | Dry Cleaning

“The last thing I looked at in this hand mirror is a human arsehole”

It was a very pleasant surprise that New Long Leg not only matched the unanimously positive hype but arguably surpassed it. Whilst it’s understandable that the spoken-word vocals and lyrics are getting so much attention, the music is equally brilliant. This is one of the most obviously hook-laden post punk albums I can remember since maybe Priests’ debut (RIP).

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
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1 Like