Pitchfork's 31 Best Rock Albums of 2021

Pitchfork's 31 Best Rock Albums of 2021

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Bachelor - Doomin’ Sun
May 28, 2021
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
The collaborative album by Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner tells compelling and rarely heard stories, but doesn’t reach the same highs as their respective solo work.

Birds Of Maya - Valdez
June 25, 2021
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

Black Country, New Road - For the first time
February 5, 2021
Critic Score
82
29 reviews
Anchored by inquisitive musicianship and the mercurial vocals of Isaac Wood, the London-based group’s debut creates a post-punk haven for unfiltered pretension and paranoia.

black midi - Cavalcade
May 26, 2021
Critic Score
80
31 reviews
The UK band stakes out even more ground on their glorious second album. The chord changes are more elaborate, the rhythms more twisted, the pretty parts prettier, the heavy parts heavier.

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
April 2, 2021
Critic Score
83
32 reviews
The London art-rockers’ outstanding debut is a droll album full of surreal images, bizarre obsessions, and sense memories. The cumulative effect of Florence Shaw’s narration is inexplicably wonderful.

Faye Webster - I Know I'm Funny haha
June 25, 2021
Critic Score
76
10 reviews

There is so much depth to Faye Webster’s dazzling fourth album. It strikes a perfect balance between classic country stoicism and the sound of the saddest person you follow on social media.

Hand Habits - Fun House
October 22, 2021
Critic Score
81
12 reviews

With stark, introspective lyrics and fuller production, Meg Duffy’s latest is a bold foray into poppier sounds. It feels like a fresh start.

IAN SWEET - Show Me How You Disappear
March 5, 2021
Critic Score
73
7 reviews

Jilian Medford’s third album is bigger, brighter, cleaner, and more ambitious. Even when she’s hollering, she sounds dwarfed, standing vulnerable but unafraid amid towering emotions.

Iceage - Seek Shelter
May 7, 2021
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

For many once-unruly rock’n’roll bands, the shift to writing love songs is a tell-tale sign of maturation (if not outright stagnation), but even at its most sophisticated, Seek Shelter retains Iceage’s restless spirit.

illuminati hotties - Let Me Do One More
October 1, 2021
Critic Score
81
14 reviews

With poignant writing and irreverent humor, Sarah Tudzin’s second album as Illuminati Hotties plays like a demonstration in the art of persistence.

Indigo De Souza - Any Shape You Take
August 27, 2021
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
The North Carolina songwriter’s outstanding second album spans grungy rock and colorful, hi-fi pop, illuminating her impressive voice and her ability to wring out every last drop of emotion.

파란노을 [Parannoul] - To See the Next Part of the Dream
February 23, 2021
Critic Score
82
2 reviews
The lo-fi shoegaze project from the Seoul musician is a rare find. The ambitious and alluring music expertly captures the feeling of a sound so uncannily familiar that it truly feels like a dream.

Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
June 4, 2021
Critic Score
86
26 reviews
Michelle Zauner embraces the spotlight and goes for the brass ring on her third album, a stylish and eclectic record that feels of the moment and also steeped in classic indie sensibilities.

Low - Hey What
September 10, 2021
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

On the follow-up to 2018’s astonishing Double Negative, Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk push deeper into abstraction, finding fresh angles on the themes that have animated them since the beginning.

Lucy Dacus - Home Video
June 25, 2021
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

Addressing faith, young love, and nostalgia, the songwriter’s autobiographical third album is empathetic yet unsparing, catchy and finely crafted.

Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime
May 21, 2021
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

The Tuareg guitarist and his bandmates deliver the fullest picture of his gifts yet. Recorded piecemeal during tour breaks, the album captures the group’s easy chemistry and explosive energy.

Mega Bog - Life, and Another
July 23, 2021
Critic Score
77
9 reviews

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - CARNAGE
February 25, 2021
Critic Score
88
30 reviews
Nick Cave’s cinematic work with his bandmate Warren Ellis is a slight departure from last decade’s trilogy of albums. It’s defined by its stark contrasts, at turns brutal, surreal, and romantic.

Snail Mail - Valentine
November 5, 2021
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
Lindsey Jordan’s exquisite second album documents love in all stages, but mostly in disrepair. She takes on a larger and poppier sound while keeping her songwriting dazzlingly sharp and passionate.

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE - ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH
April 9, 2021
Critic Score
78
8 reviews

The outstanding album from the Philadelphia electro-psych trio is reclusive, cryptic, late-night paranoia music. Their oblique songs can evoke an entire landscape of feeling in very few words.

Squid - Bright Green Field
May 7, 2021
Critic Score
85
27 reviews
The English band’s nervy debut blazes through scraps of jazz, funk, krautrock, dub, and punk. More than a canonized style, it’s their level of control that sets them apart.

The Armed - Ultrapop
April 16, 2021
Critic Score
82
10 reviews
The third album from the Detroit collective is an exceptional melding of hardcore, noise, and pop. Abstract concepts aside, the Armed makes thunderous and discordant music move with great finesse.

The War on Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore
October 29, 2021
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

While you could put on I Don’t Live Here Anymore and take comfort knowing that the War on Drugs have Beach House’d their way to another terrific record by simply refining what works, there are a few songs that test the borders of the band’s classic little world.

The Weather Station - Ignorance
February 5, 2021
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Tamara Lindeman’s songwriting has reached stunning new heights. With a full band supporting her, her new album draws upon the natural world to create unforgettable moments of calm and beauty.

Tonstartssbandht - Petunia
October 22, 2021
Critic Score
78
5 reviews

Turnstile - GLOW ON
August 27, 2021
Critic Score
88
18 reviews

The Baltimore band’s spectacular fourth record is all groove, riffs, and passion. It is not a crossover hardcore album that looks to transcend the genre, but one that tries to elevate it to its highest visibility.

Wednesday - Twin Plagues
August 13, 2021
Critic Score
73
3 reviews

Yves Tumor - The Asymptotical World
July 15, 2021
Critic Score
84
2 reviews
Even on a brief EP, Yves Tumor’s prismatic world seems to get bigger as it mutates into certain conventions of goth rock, dream pop, and shoegaze.
Original Source: https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/best-rock-albums-2021/
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