Okay, so 2021 didn’t provide the relief, the respite, and the redemption from 2020 that we were all hoping for. It was a very strange year, to put it mildly. But through all of the craziness, the ups and downs of 2021, music was there to hold up a mirror to the world, and to offer us an escape from it.

Some of the most reoccuring themes that came up time and again from artists throughout the year were those of longing, escapism, hopefulness (and hopelessness), love and loss… And with concerts and festivals still not fully back in full swing because of the ongoing pandemic, artists continued to find new and exciting ways to get their music out there.

Of course, like any year-end rundown, this Best Albums of 2021 is incredibly subjective. It’s just me, and what I thought was the most interesting, stylistically diverse, well-written, and best-performed music of the year. And while there are a great many interesting, stylistically diverse, well-written, and well-performed music out there, these are the albums I found the most enjoyable to listen to.

Many of the albums below you’ll find on a lot of other year-end rundowns; some, you’ll only find here. My hope is that you’ll find some new and interesting music you’ve never listened to before.

And now without further ado…

The Most Noteworthy and Best Albums of 2021

(these albums can be found on my Spotify playlist HERE)

Arlo Parks: Collapsed in Sunbeams Album Review | Pitchfork

50.

Arlo Parks

Collapsed In Sunbeams

Yola: Stand for Myself Album Review | Pitchfork

49.

Yola

Stand for Myself

Remi Wolf: Juno Album Review | Pitchfork

48.

Remi Wolf

Juno

Prioritise Pleasure by Self Esteem Reviews and Tracks - Metacritic

47.

Self Esteem

Prioritise Pleasure

Call Me If You Get Lost - Wikipedia

46.

Tyler, the Creator

Call Me If You Get Lost

Saint Sister - Where I Should End Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

44.

Saint Sister

Where I Should End

Wild Pink: A Billion Little Lights Album Review | Pitchfork

43.

Wild Pink

A Billion Little Lights

Faye Webster: I Know I'm Funny haha Album Review | Pitchfork

41.

Faye Webster

I Know I’m Funny haha

Kacey Musgraves: star-crossed Album Review | Pitchfork

40.

Kacey Musgraves

star-crossed

Low: HEY WHAT Album Review | Pitchfork

38.

Low

HEY WHAT

Gruff Rhys – Seeking New Gods (2021, Cream, Vinyl) - Discogs

37.

Gruff Rhys

Seeking New Gods

Adult Mom: Driver Album Review | Pitchfork

36.

Adult Mom

Driver

Reason to Live | Lou Barlow

35.

Lou Barlow

Reason to Live

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

34.

Joy Crookes

Skin

Afrique Victime” by Mdou Moctar Review | Pitchfork

33.

Mdou Moctar

Afrique Victime

Helado Negro: Far In Album Review | Pitchfork

32.

Helado Negro

Far In

Songs From Another Life | The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness | Bobo  Integral

30.

The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness

Songs from Another Life

Deafheaven: Infinite Granite Album Review | Pitchfork

29.

Deafheaven

Infinite Granite

Billie Eilish: Happier Than Ever Album Review | Pitchfork

28.

Billie Eilish

Happier Than Ever

Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales Album Review | Pitchfork

27.

Jazmine Sullivan

Heaux Tales

Clairo: Sling Album Review | Pitchfork

26.

Clairo

Sling

Smiling With No Teeth by Genesis Owusu Reviews and Tracks - Metacritic

25.

Genesis Owusu

Smiling with No Teeth

Outside Child | Allison Russell

24.

Allisson Russell

Outside Child

Kanye West – DONDA Album - RealHypeGH.Com

23.

Kanye West

Donda

Julien Baker: Little Oblivions Album Review | Pitchfork

22.

Julien Baker

Little Oblivions

Celeste – 'Not Your Muse' review: soul hero comes good on the hype

21.

Celeste

Not Your Muse

Snail Mail: Valentine Album Review | Pitchfork

20.

Snail Mail

Valentine

Indigo De Souza: Any Shape You Take Album Review | Pitchfork

19.

Indigo De Souza

Any Shape You Take

Courtney Barnett: Things Take Time, Take Time Album Review | Pitchfork

18.

Courtney Barnett

Things Take Time, Take Time

girl in red: if i could make it go quiet Album Review | Pitchfork

17.

girl in red

if i could make it go quiet

The Weather Station: Ignorance Album Review | Pitchfork

16.

The Weather Station

Ignorance

If Words Were Flowers | Curtis Harding

15.

Curtis Harding

If Words Were Flowers

The War on Drugs: I Don't Live Here Anymore Album Review | Pitchfork

13.

The War on Drugs

I Don’t Live Here Anymore

SOUR - Album by Olivia Rodrigo | Spotify

12.

Olivia Rodrigo

SOUR

Lightning Bug: A Color of the Sky Album Review | Pitchfork

11.

Lightning Bug

A Color of the Sky

Katy Kirby's Debut Album 'Cool Dry Place' Is Simple And Stunning: Review

10.

Katy Kirby

Cool Dry Place

Lucy Dacus: Home Video Album Review | Pitchfork

9.

Lucy Dacus

Home Video

Japanese Breakfast: Jubilee Album Review | Pitchfork

8.

Japanese Breakfast

Jubilee

Flock of Dimes: Head of Roses Album Review | Pitchfork

7.

Flock of Dimes

Head of Roses

The Million Masks of God | manchester orchestra

6.

Manchester Orchestra

The Million Masks of God

Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under | Reviews | Clash Magazine

5.

Sam Fender

Seventeen Going Under

Brandi Carlile - In These Silent Days - Amazon.com Music

4.

Brandi Carlile

In These Silent Days

The Antlers: Green to Gold Album Review | Pitchfork

3.

The Antlers

Green to Gold

Laura Mvula - Pink Noise - Amazon.com Music

2.

Laura Mvula

Pink Noise

Inside (The Songs) - Album by Bo Burnham | Spotify

HONORABLE MENTION:

Bo Burnham

Inside (The Songs)

Cassandra Jenkins: An Overview on Phenomenal Nature Album Review | Pitchfork

1.

Cassandra Jenkins

An Overview on Phenomenal Nature

What were YOUR best albums of 2021? Contact me, or enter a comment below!

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