The year 2021 was an interesting time period for music. I think the word "diverse" best sums it up. My top tracks of the year are honestly all over the place in terms of style. I find this to be most refreshing in my never-ending goal to be more curious and stretch my musical imagination.
Without further adieu, here are the best tracks of 2021.
21. Mulberry Street by Twenty One Pilots
These Columbus, Ohio lads managed to craft a song that sounds like one I would hear in 1981 on my old AM radio. Nostalgia to the max!
20. Dancing Away In Tears by Yola
Easily one of the most exciting artists of our era. A perfect melange of soul, R&B, and country music. Yola is every bit a massive goddess of music.
19. Rodriguez For A Night by David Crosby
With the help of Donald Fagan, Cros really knocked it out of the park with this Steely Dan-sounding track. Man, I wished they made more music like this these days.
18. How Beautiful Life Can Be by The Lathums
The Lathums are the next great dudes with guitars band from the UK. I can't wait to see their careers blossom.
17. Still Snowing in Sapporo by Manic Street Preachers
The Manics keep making great music and I keep buying it. The Blackwood lads are going from strength to strength after all of these years.
16. Transparent Soul by Willow
This song just kicks ass. I can't express how truly happy I am that someone of Willow Smith's stature is making indie, post-punk music. She and her brother are consistently reverent to those who have gone before them...
15. Osian's Song by Amy Wadge
A good, echo-y folk number always gets to my heart in very deep ways. Wadge did the soundtrack to all three seasons of the UK hit TV show, Keeping Faith. Her best work was in the third and final season which aired this year.
14. Birmingham by Ryan Adams
The best living American songwriter came back with two albums this year. This track is from Wednesdays. It's classic DRA...stories of real people living heartbreaking lives and facing gut-wrenching challenges.
13. Fat Pop by Paul Weller
The Modfather is one prolific dude these days. He's basically on an album a year these days which is just fine by me because he's second only to John Lennon IMHO. This track is just fucking groovy.
12. Billie Bossa Nova by Billie Eilish
I've been a fan of bossa nova music since I was a young child. It simply creates a great vibe. Eilish does an amazing job continuing the genre with this track. I feel like drinking gin and tonics when I listen to it.
11. Worlds Within Worlds by The Chills
Is it 1966? And is psychedelic pop all the rage? Apparently, it is for this New Zealand outfit. Paging the Dukes of Stratosphear...
10. The Game She Plays by The Coral
Speaking of psychedelic pop, Merseyside's returned with a stunner of a record this year. This is the best track on Coral Island and that's saying a lot because all of the tracks are shovel to the head stunners.
9. Summer Sun by Matt Berry
More psychedelic pop! This was a truly great year for fans of this genre. Berry's The Blue Elephant would have made The Yardbirds proud. And, likely, The Doors.
8. The Summer Looks Good On You by Cheap Trick
Talk about a nostalgia rush! It's been years since I was in high school but this track brought me right back to this group's heyday.
7. Babylove by Jam & Lewis
WHAT TIME IS IT?? Time for a Time reunion!! Thank god. This track is from the first volume of Jam & Lewis's latest offerings and collaborations with various artists.
6. Masquerade by Chung Ha
The Queen of K Pop by far. Quake with fear at her power...
5. Just Move by Pixey
Dreamy melody soaked in UK brilliance. Yet another great artist from Liverpool. I really dig how danceable this track is. And the guitar:) It's also a great workout song!
4. Bullshit by X Ambassadors
This track just drips of the swamp. You can practically smell it. It's a great "tell-off" song as well.
3. She's Not Just One Of The Boys by Bill Patten
The Minneapolis native channeled his inner Roger McGuinn and Gary Louris for this gorgeous number. Taken from the soundtrack to the film A Muse in Sunglasses.
I was grinning from ear to ear and singing along straight away the first time I heard this return to form for Duran Duran. An instant classic that ranks right up there with "Girls on Film," "Rio," and "Hungry Like The Wolf."
1. Death By Rock and Roll by The Pretty Reckless
I felt like kicking some ass this year and The Pretty Reckless helped me do it. An absolute banger of a tune and the well-deserved Best Track of 2021!