Albums I've heard from 2021 - ranked

OVER 500! I can't believe it.

*A lot of these are just first impressions and are subject to change*

Arca - KicK iii
1.
God damn!

WOW

Arca absolutely delivered on this one.

This album is a dizzying and stunning hard hitting deconstructed insanity. Everything I loved from Kick i and more. There is no way to describe this other than the music of the future. THIS IS JUST SO GOOD. This is everything I love about Arca's music in one album, it's unapologetic, unique, forward thinking, indescribable, euphoric, and it makes me LOOSE MY MIND. But what makes this particular LP so effective is that you can hear her having fun - there is a constant sense of joy and love for this project throughout it's run time, it was very infectious as I was smiling in disbelief the whole way through. My jaw dropped in disbelief as it just kept coming, this thing is ridiculously consistent. She really gets to flex her production skills with the otherworldly 'itch scratching' sounds (both abrasive and euphoric) and unpredictable song structures. The overbearing beats are so adrenaline inducing and engaging, honestly everything is just SO effective. This truly is a mind blowing listen which I will be coming back to A LOT.

So yeah, best Kick album, in fact the best Arca album so far.

This is the eleventh album I've heard from this year that I would happily call amazing.
Kanye West - Donda
2.
What a wild ride this rollout has been. Such a crazy and stressful experience, but enjoyable nonetheless. There were so many iconic moments and images that I will look back on fondly.

This feeling is mirrored in the LP's disjointed tone. I was excited to see the JIK sound pushed forwards - this feels like a side step. But this sound REALLY works.

Main themes are dealing with your past - the acknowledgement of difficulties and loss, 'rebirth' - the idea of it never being too late, and Kanye's unconditional love for his family and religion.

This is A LOT to put in one album, it tries to be a lot of things and often gets confused, but that only makes me like it more.

I think Donda's genius and here's why - it's a reflection of Kanye's life, warts and all. Sure he goes off the rails, but that's due to both the nature of Kanye and the media's prying eyes. The LP has these 'Kanye moments'. But ultimately, he never loses sight of his roots and values and that's what shines through on this project. It's disorienting and varied just like life inevitably is. A long, consistent, and engaging experience.

It was exciting to be 'in on' his process and see that feature of the rollout become a part of the album. The livestream of the stadium studio's inclusion in the listening party was genius.

Donda is incredibly personal to him - we just throw the phrase around casually. That word is someones life. Just as this album has been kanye's life for the past few years. Him being forced to reflect on the darkest parts of his life in order to move forward. And it is a treat to hear him do this through amazing music.

I still think he should've released the LP2 version but I'll trust his judgement.

Currently the 2nd best Kanye project (KSG No 1. obviously).

This is the seventh album I've heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Emile Mosseri - Minari (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
3.
This is so beautiful. The well paced simplistic and concise arrangements are filled with contemplative bittersweet spaciousness that completely hypnotised me. I loved the recurring motifs. It’s incredibly moving and atmospheric. This release sent shivers down my spine and almost made me cry. I don’t need to see this film because it already played in my head. Thank you for a beautiful experience.

(I've now seen the film and it was really good. It hasn't changed my feelings towards the music.)

This is the third album I have heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Ill Considered - Liminal Space
4.
MY GOD THIS IS GOOD! The grooves are so catchy and visceral. The whole LP is reminiscent of spiritual jazz classics like 'Karma'. Everything is so strong, solid, and complimentary. As 'music' as music gets. Their strong groove based foundation allows for satisfying exploration of whatever they feel like without it ever loosing your attention. This album gets me physically engaged for the whole run time. The music just flows from their instruments. Fantastic stuff. Highly recommend.

This is the fourteenth album I've heard from this year that I would happily call amazing.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
5.
EDIT: I CAN'T STOP LISTENING!!!

The boys are back!

This reminded me of why I listen to Gizz.

I'm loving this new sound SO much, its the perfect blend of electronics, psych, chill energy, FUN energy, pop, synth-pop and rock all put through a Gizz filter. This is one of those albums that fits a very specific mood incredibly well. I see myself coming back to this one A LOT. I love the flow of the album, the aesthetic, and its effectiveness as a full project. It has some truly great tracks, and I honestly feel like if I'm going to come back to it in any form, I'm going to come back to the whole LP. I think that says a lot about the success of this project. I need more time to digest this, and will no doubt be returning to it again and again to do just that.

This is a HUGE grower and will no doubt be a personal favourite album of mine to be released in 2021.

This is the fifth album I've heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
6.
How do you follow up one of the greatest electronic albums ever made? You make one of the most hypnotic, atmospheric free-jazz inspired epics of course. There are so many beautiful climaxes that made my jaw drop. This is such a magical experience. It transported me to another dimension. I love how it blurs genres and makes it challenging to tell what instrument is playing. I LOVED ‘movement 6’ onwards! However, I’m still not sure how I feel about the repetitive chords and odd ‘scat singing’. (Although I’m sure I’ll warm to these elements). I definitely need more time to appreciate this album. I will be coming back to this A LOT.

This is the second album I’ve heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Squid - Bright Green Field
7.
Which one of y’all upset David Byrne? 😳

This is the album I was most excited for this year, and it didn’t disappoint. MY GOD THIS IS GOOD. Everything is executed to MASTERFUL perfection here. The INCREDIBLE grooves, eclectic math rock roots, and their warped interpretation of Talking Heads esque guitar sensibilities are SO effective and enjoyable. This is the Radiohead of punk rock. Sign me up. The longer songs allow for the tracks to evolve, live their full life and use all of their potential, and explore as many interesting ideas as possible, it adds to the overall atmosphere of the album. It works so well as a full LP. If this isn’t the popular choice for AOTY, then nothing is. My only complaint is that the singing occasionally gets on my nerves and that some of the tracks are just ok outside of the context of the album. I definitely need more time to further appreciate this album. I will be coming back a lot.

This is the fourth album I’ve heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Lyra Pramuk - Delta
8.
Best remix album I've ever heard.

I heard their album last year and found the unique purely vocal textures both incredibly intriguing and engaging. The way they reimagined voice as an instrument was very well done. Initially, I couldn't stop coming back to it but found it to be more of an artistic experiment that I could appreciate than something I would listen to more casually. Obviously that changed over time and after listening more... I was curious to see what they would do next as I LOVED the textures and harmonies but wished the forms were more varied and defined. The foundations were so strong and full of possibilities. Maybe the music would benefit from new perspectives and styles...?

And she took my advice.

This INCREDIBLE remix album is an amazing brilliantly produced listen and tour between the lines of experimental, A capella/vocal manipulation, and electronic music. Jumping seamlessly between moods, styles, and instrumentation, but never going overboard or sticking out too much to the point of ruining it's cohesive aesthetic.

It's an otherworldly experience with a plethora of unique tracks all stemming from the same LP so full of interesting qualities. It's so cool to hear how different each artists reinterpretations were. There could easily be 100 more completely different tracks. A good comparison I can give is that it has big Sigur Rós vibes.

It left me speechless and confused as to how I went through so many emotions so quickly.

I can't wait to listen to this more and have it grow on me!

This is the tenth album I've heard from this year that I would happily call amazing.
Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
9.
GOD DAMN 2021 has been a good year for music!

This important and forward thinking Hip Hop album starts off with a very 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' sound via grand strings etc. This barely prepares you for this EPIC and deceptively low key album. The lyrics on here are INCREDIBLE and allow for a very interesting and ever changing dynamic between artist and listener - they can be casual and profound just seconds apart (or both at the same time). The beats and samples are SO ENGAGING and generally BRILLIANT - it really had me feeling the music, I was awestruck at times. I LOVE THE GRAND BRASS AND STRINGS SOUNDS! They contrast so satisfyingly with their laid back flow and more spacious songs. I'm going to be replaying this A LOT to really soak in this music. There are just so many moments of pure genius on here - it's enjoyability is undeniable.

This is the eighth album I've heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Midnight Sister - Painting the Roses
10.
Funky and atmospheric art pop with clever and effective instrumentation. The album has just the right amount of quirkiness. It sounds like a lazy day. I LOVE the horns, bass, strings, pacing and production. This album celebrates the joyful side of music before taking on a darker mood in the second half. It reminds me a little bit of David Byrne and The Flaming Lips. There are some truly transcendental and beautiful songs here. My only complaint is the breathiness of the vocals. I will be coming back to this a lot.

This is the first album I've heard from 2021 that I would happily call amazing.
Jonny Greenwood - Spencer
11.
This is VERY good.

The dark, experimental, and gothic atmosphere this score creates is distinctively Jonny Greenwood's. Through odd instrumentation, MASTERFUL swells and dynamics, unique production choices, and his classic tense strings, the musical elements combine to create yet another cohesive and distinct sonic world that stands on its own without it's visual accompaniment. There is some of his best work EVER on here. This is easily one of his best soundtracks. The textures on this thing are UNREAL - just listen to 'Delusion / Miracle' for an example. It's gorgeous moody beauty is so captivating and unpredictable. I love how varied it manages to be whilst having nothing feel out of place. This project is a direct build on his more experimental work and I LOVE this direction he's going in. I'm excited for what he does next!

Needless to say, I'll be coming back to this a lot!

This is the twelfth album I've heard from this year that I would happily call amazing.
Injury Reserve - By the Time I Get to Phoenix
12.
Unique.

The raw emotion on these tracks is enough to break the music and the listener. The first thing I did after finishing this album was immediately put it back on. I can already tell that this will get even better on future listens. The thematically connected cluttered and stuttering tracks are guaranteed to capture your full attention. It does this in such a way that is addicting, disorienting, and gets under your skin. It's relentlessly powerful and never slows down from the instant it starts. This left me happily confused and wanting more in a way that few projects have. There are so many AMAZING songs on here that sent shivers down my spine or had me energetically grooving along or both! 'Knees' almost made me cry. I can't really think of any more words to describe this - and I think that's a surprisingly good way to describe the project. I had only heard their feature on the 'Wicked City' EP before (which I really enjoyed), but this was my proper introduction to the group. This album has me intrigued and looking forward to diving into their past work.

This is the thirteenth album I've heard from this year that I would happily call amazing.
Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime
13.
High quality Blues Rock always hits different.

I LOVE THIS!

This has ENDLESS enjoyability and replay value. I love it's simple bare beauty, noting is too fancy and EVERYTHING works. It's filled with tight grooves, INCREDIBLY impressive musicianship, infectious warmth, and the perfect amount of variation across it's tracklist. The drums, guitar, singing, and bass guitar are all so complimentary. The subtle yet constant drive of the drums and bass guitar ensured I never lost interest across the whole run time. This solid foundation made for a perfect platform for the guitarist to BLOW ME AWAY which they did, constantly. And then weaving the music together was beautiful singing that matched the emotional tone of the music perfectly. It was the icing on the cake. Listening to this brought a smile to my day. It was one of those listening experiences where I was able to take a step back and get lost in the beautiful atmosphere and sounds. It reminded me a lot of another album I love called 'Ishumar' by Toumast.

ALSO, the second half of the title track is ABSURD. I still can't get over how GOOD THIS LP IS.

This is the ninth album I've heard this year that I would happily call amazing.
Demiser - Through the Gate Eternal
14.
WHAT A DEBUT. These grooves are INCREDIBLE and the drumming is AWESOME. I love how heavy this thrash metal LP is whilst staying engagingly tuneful and accessible. This is SO energising! It continuously unfolds in the most satisfying way giving everything you want in an LP from this genre. If something is hinted at happening, it happens whilst still maintaining an element of surprise. Also, THE GUITAR SOLOS!!! This LP is an unstoppable and consistent force with a 'go crazy go stupid' atmosphere to match. It even has a slow song! I'm not kidding when I say that this is easily in my top 5 favourite metal albums I've ever heard just because I had so much fun listening to it. This LP had me smiling in disbelief whilst losing my mind to the music. I will be playing this A LOT. My only complaint is that it got a bit samey around the middle which frustratingly took me out of the atmosphere for a bit. I'm excited to see how this grows on me.

This is the sixth album I've heard this year I would happily call amazing.
RamonPang - Nature System
15.
I was very excited for this album after hearing ‘Thin Sand’ (which I REALLY ENJOYED). I love their combination of plinky organic instruments and trap production that draws heavily from IDM. This is an INCREDIBLE combination. The final product is uniquely engaging, phenomenally textured and brilliantly produced. The highlights are amazing and are even better in the context of the album. I will no doubt be coming back to this a lot. The album is very consistent in quality and jumps seamlessly between danceable to thought provoking and atmospheric. This whole album is just so clean. It sounds like it would be too fractured and scattered to get into, but the grooves stay remarkably intact and unpredictable. The album feels like a psychedelic oversaturated magical waterfall washing over your brain and commanding you to dance. I would bet money that Four Tet is vibing to this right now. What a great listen.
Melchior Sultana - Perfect Place
16.
Well produced INCREDIBLY effective and consistent minimal house music with very good catchy and repetitive groves that somehow never seem to grow stale. On top of these groves are meandering almost jazzy synth melodies. It’s all of these features combined that makes this album such an engaging and enjoyable listen. I love it’s icy and spacious atmosphere. It is so hypnotising. The airy drones and long notes add a lighter hazier quality to more intense melodies and rhythms. I love how the album opens up more the longer you listen to it and continuously evolves through the track list. The electronic tones are nothing spectacular or unique, but it’s the way it’s combined that makes it SO GOOD. It’s like an acclaimed chef has cooked you an amazing meal with average household ingredients. And MY GOD it’s tasty. This is like the missing accompaniment to Floating Point’s shadows EP.
CV Vision - In Time
17.
Warm mini experimental lofi bluesy psych rock album. This is SO charming! They sound like long lost classics wandering between late Beatles and early King Gizz. I love it's transitions and completeness as a project. This whole LP has a surreal yet familiar bittersweet atmosphere that will have me returning again and again. I would have loved this to be longer, but at the same time, I don't want to take away from it's cohesion.
Merope - Salos
18.
STUNNINGLY beautiful atmospheric mostly acoustic folk/ambient inspired music that feeds your soul. I feel like I just had a magical encounter with forest nymphs. I will be coming back to this a lot.
Zurich Chamber Singers / Christian Erny - Stabat Mater
19.
THE TEXTURES AND OVERLAPPING SOUNDS (IN PARTICULAR THE VOCALS) ON THIS ARE SO GOOD. Outstanding brilliantly mixed recordings of a cool composer. It's a constant emotive flow of voices with a subtle atmospheric instrumentation. Truly magical. Genuinely hard to fault this. It absolutely accomplishes what it sets out to do and does so with style. I particularly enjoyed how the slight suspense kept me engaged. I also loved the endings of the songs. It's all just so consistent and concise. I will be coming back to this a lot!
New Age Doom & Lee - Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe
20.
This very psychedelic dub is GREAT! It's so trippy and the bass really pops. The unique spoken vocal delivery is otherworldly, soothing, and incredibly captivating. This works SO well as a full album - the transitions are seamless! The stretched out spacious reggae beats are coated in layers of warm sound that's constantly churning away and on the cusp of being indistinguishable. So yeah, the production is absurdly good. This is more of an experience than an album. When I come back to this, I will be listening through the whole thing with a smile on my face. It's just SO cohesive! It drew me in right from the start with it's hypnotic quality and took me on an amazing journey that transported me somewhere else and felt a lot shorter than it actually was. What an awesome time, I will definitely be checking out his other work - I've been missing out!
Lingua Ignota - SINNER GET READY
21.
Well... guess I died.

This is dark. Dark dark. DARK. DARK DARK.

IMMACULATE aesthetic.

The sounds on here are INCREDIBLE.

Hopeless and DARK relentless portrayal of hell that demands your attention and is genuinely TERRIFYING. It maintains a slight unpredictability that made my skin crawl. I wanted it to end while also being morbidly fascinated and unable to turn it off.

Words cannot describe the feelings this album evokes. It left me as wordlessly disturbed as albums like 'Soundtracks For The Blind' and 'A Promise'. I will need to prepare myself for when I return to this hellish experience.

My only complaint is that the music being consistently slow and 'samey' occasionally and frustratingly took me out of the album.
Otzeki - Now Is a Long Time
22.
This well produced spacious and sparse indietronica with a minimalist approach has A LOT of PHENOMENAL moments. It feels like a less surreal and more urban version of Thom Yorke’s ‘ANIMA’. Unfortunately, it does have a very slight issue with consistency which made me more aware of the album’s length. But the moments that worked, I LOVED, they will have me coming back to individual tracks a lot. It’s beats are SO on point and the grooves are REALLY tight. The diverse range of 90’s UK electronic inspired synth tones drew me into the world of the album and helped create a unique nostalgic, reflective, and slightly sad atmospheric experience.
Yola - Stand for Myself
23.
DAMN. The POWER. What a warm, smooth, and comforting album. I love it's classical soul feel and that voice is to die for!!!!!! The aspects of country are VERY complementary to the sound. I love how it maintains a laid back easy going atmosphere whilst simultaneously reaching incredibly dramatic heights both lyrically and musically. This is a constant joy to listen to. This album makes me want to dance alone - not caring what I look like. This succeeds in every possible measure. It is not a 'blow me away' kind of album, but in away it kind of is as choosing to stick to it's sound plays to its authentic feel and in turn makes it more emotionally resonant. It's consistently masterful execution makes for a truly great LP that is guaranteed to be a defining one of the year. 'Starlight' is such a great track!
Bajram Bili - Detuning Euphoria
24.
Amazing high quality, atmospheric, and glitchy IDM that’s constantly on the verge of being difficult to follow. This release is an incredibly solid well packaged selection of some of what the genre has to offer. It feels like it has a track, moment, or idea that will match my current mood no matter what it is. There is a lot to like here. I will be coming back to this a lot.
CHANCE デラソウル - CHANCE デラソウル
25.
I’m a sucker for future funk. I love how well this flows, especially in the first half. This is SO FUN and VERY danceable. Enjoy the party!
Li Yilei - δΉ‹ / OF
26.
This is the sort of thing that I would wake up to at 3AM if I left YouTube auto play on. This is so dreamy, hazy, sleepy, and surreal. Also, the production on this is amazing! This minimal ambient electronic/experimental album utilises birdsong and field recordings of nature's ambience to create it's own unique world. Once you enter it, you can't help but stay to explore. The longer you stay, the further you fall down the rabbit hole. It is incredibly effective as a full album as each track seems to take you to a different location. It feels like a collage of sound and it's just beautiful. This album is very good at slowing down the pace of a day.
Otay:onii - ε†₯ε†₯ Míng Míng
27.
These songs are experimental, post-industrial, atmospheric, and noisy epics. I love the layering of textures here. For some reason this album makes me feel like I’m dying... There are some astonishingly beautiful and unique moments (like the switch up in ‘Child No.22’) on here that make it stand out from other releases. 'Intentions and Emotions' is an INCREDIBLY good song and easily one the best songs of the year.
JVNUS - YEARBOOK
28.
WOW. What a powerful and honest rap release. It feels like an insight into this guys life. This is so smooth. I love the lyrics. The beats are PHENOMENAL. It reminds me of old Kanye. It’s honestly hard to fault this release.
For Those I Love - For Those I Love
29.
Irish guy talks very personally about loss, life, and love over less interesting Jamiexx instrumentals. A combination with inconsistent success.

It’s high points are gorgeous and contain a James Blake esque warmth which has had me coming back a lot. It’s low points are not as good... but still have some merit. I see why this is such a divisive album.

Edit: Bonus points for making a good emotional short film / extended music video to accompany it.
Shai Maestro, Jorge Roeder, Ofri Nehemya & Philip Dizack - Human
30.
This is IMPRESSIVE. This release is some very effective jazz with AMAZING piano and drum work and an improvisational tone that has just the right amount of structure. This is an incredibly cohesive LP that I enjoyed a lot. I love how good it is at creating a world and creating many different moods and settings within that world by maintaining its interesting and dynamic features. This is a piece that feels very much alive. There are some INCREDIBLY beautiful moments on here that will have me coming back a lot.
Jaubi - Nafs at Peace
31.
This is SO smooth! The grooves on this jazzy genre blending LP are infectiously headbobbing. The instrumentation is very unique, engaging, and varied. Everything works so well together. The journey the album takes you on is so beautiful. So cohesive and satisfying. Very warming music which I'll be coming back to a lot.
Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
32.
This BEAUTIFUL country - folk psychedelia is so warm. I love the slidy gliding tone of the guitar it contains so much emotion. This album reminds me a lot of ‘Obscured By Clouds’ by Pink Floyd. This has some truly gorgeous ‘open’ moments like ‘Angeles’ and ‘Another Story From the Center of the Earth’ (which is INCREDIBLE) that evoke a fuzzy warm feeling that transports you to the warm summer night outside the small town hotel in a deserty American state depicted on the cover. I love the odd sounds that the album puts low in the mix for you to discover, it adds so much depth to the music. This has a very desirable chill atmosphere that I will no doubt be coming back to again and again. It gives you the feeling of not having a care in the world whilst contemplating the big questions of life and the universe. It’s strengths are apparent in the full listening experience. It accomplishes what it sets out to do, and does it in style. For example, this had two ambient tracks that would sound comparatively uninteresting outside of the album, but they almost brought me to tears in the context of the LP. This is not without its flaws however, as the second half is so similar to the first half that it starts to become slightly boring. It’s high points more than make up for it though.
Jesco - Bored Or Sad
33.
Rocking bluesy and folky bluegrass. This really hits the spot. I especially enjoyed the percussive grooves. The aesthetic is deceptively casual (although the lyrics and themes can be pretty serious), the release is concise and engaging for the full run time, and the musicianship is of great quality. I love how some of the songs use an accordion to give it a bouncy sound inspired by klezmer music - it constantly drives the music forwards. This sidesteps a lot of the genre’s cliches and makes for a very enjoyable experience.
John Francis Flynn - I Would Not Live Always
34.
Gorgeous folk music with a hunger for story-telling. The subtle details in the production add a layer of mystery to this LP which had me entranced. Overall I found this to be very enjoyable and memorable. I can't wait to listen to it more!
Attacca Quartet - Real Life
35.
HOLY CRAP THIS IS MASSIVE! The aggressive strings, overblown beats and electronics make for addicting, hard-hitting, and energetic ear-candy. I enjoyed how it kept the already incredibly unique sound new and interesting by including a diverse range of soundscapes ranging from the club, Jonny Greenwood's soundtracks, the end of the world, and a meditative state not too dissimilar to 'Cosmogramma' (they do a GREAT cover of the opener). It's ability to put all of this into one cohesive LP speaks volumes about it's success.
Atli Örvarsson - Wolka
36.
I LOVED their work last year. They are SO talented at creating emotive soundscapes. The arrangements and combinations of electronic and organic instrumentation is something this artist has MASTERED. It gives their music a unique style that sets it aside from other modern composers and soundtrack artists. This particular release is icy, tense, and dramatic through unsettling and menacing electronics and well paced melodic piano and strings that really take their time. The world setting is SO cohesive. It's so satisfying, consistent, and concise. The motifs are the icing on the cake. Had me engaged the whole time. This musician has gained my complete trust. It is a joy to listen to their work.
Samba Touré - Binga
37.
High quality bluesy acoustic music from Mali. Its repetitive riffs, quality guitar playing, and great percussion pairs with good singing to create an effective atmospheric sonic translation of the landscape, architecture, and soul of the country. I really liked how the songs slowly built on themselves yet maintained clean and uncluttered. It’s so easy to get lost in the mood of these simplistic songs. What a pleasant listen. I particularly enjoyed the songs with harmonica. I will definitely be coming back to this a lot.
Nubiyan Twist - Freedom Fables
38.
Afrobeat, R&B, and electronic production are a match made in heaven. The grooves on this are insane. I love the trumpet work.
Jusell, Prymek, Sage, Shiroishi - Yamawarau
39.
This is so lovely. It feels even more free and serene than their previous one released this year. This one doesn’t even care if it’s an album or not. It just slowly and gently guides you on a pleasant, refreshing, and calming walk over some small hills. It’s still a little jazzy, laid back and organic - just like ‘Setsubun’. This is perfect background music and greatly relieves stress. The song structures are packed with room to breathe. There’s a lot to like.
Rojuu - Roku Roku
40.
Quality modern fresh sounding Spanish stuff. It’s hard to describe this release, but I’ll try... this is a great eclectic mix of influences and styles (ranging from trap to electro pop, hyperpop?, and much more) that makes for a beautifully slightly dark atmosphere (the release’s strongest feature). There are some great melodies and some talented songwriting on here, it’s simplistic yet mesmerising. It works SO WELL as a full album. I love the use of vocal effects and auto tune on here it just really clicked with me for some reason. I can definitely see the sleepy Gec analogy.
Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett - Her
41.
Arcade Fire's knack for melody and atmosphere translates beautifully into this warm and inviting simplistic score. A very pleasant and enjoyable experience. 'Morning Talk / Supersymmetry' and 'Photograph' are amazing moments on the album. (Weirdly enough, this is my favorite release I've heard from them!)
Toumani Diabaté & The London Symphony Orchestra - Kôrôlén
42.
I really enjoyed this. It's breezy calm atmosphere provided by traditional 'plinky' African instruments had a unique incredibly emotive and improvisational tone. It is so easy to get lost in the album's world. I laughed at the bit in 'Cantelowes Dream', Its moments like this that adds to the music's laid back and informal aesthetic. This is a very solid release.
Kim Oki - Strange, true beauty
43.
Smooth well textured Jazz. I REALLY liked the trumpet playing and the soothing tracks like the self titled one. It's so atmospheric. I am looking forward to listening to this again before I go to bed, it's just so beautiful and calming. The infectiously soothing mood it creates will have me coming back again and again.
Bruno Pernadas - Private Reasons
44.
Psych pop is fun, and so is this exceptionally bright and eclectic interpretation of the genre. I love its similarities to world music.
Feu! Chatterton - Palais d'argile
45.
Impressive is the best way to describe this worse, brighter, and more fun version of Radiohead. All of the tracks are good, but this feels kind of clunky as an album and its aesthetic gets kind of tiring. If I’m being honest though, I can’t really fault this. It’s just about personal preference. There are some legitimately stunning moments on here, it has a great emotional range and a compelling journey through the tracks as they gradually get sadder. Definitely one of the better releases of the year so far.
Animal Collective - Crestone (Original Score)
46.
This sounds like a much needed next step in AnCo’s career. They have built on the enchanting ambience of Tangerine Reef by making it less alien and allowing Deakin and Geologist to focus on making it spacious and dream-like. It reminds me a lot of Sung Tongs and Feels. The album itself is more about the mood it puts you in and less about the individual track quality. I’m glad that AnCo are finally moving away from the very chaotic Centipede HZ / Painting With sound. Hopefully they explore this new sound more, and Avery Tare and Panda Bear are involved in the next release.
Arca - kiCK iiiii
47.
This was an INSANE album run!

kiCK iiiii is ambient sparse Arca. The emotion here is unreal! It is emphasised through the bareness of the music and the use of piano. It's just so beautiful and subtle. Arca's trademark alien aesthetic is still here but with gaps to breathe and reflect where the music soaked up the bittersweet yet peaceful emotion she conveys. Comparisons of C418 and Aphex Twin came up whilst listening. This project so successfully tapped into everything that I was feeling and really moved and calmed me. This is amazing 'close your eyes music'. It feels like a more fully realised yet more ambient version of her self titled LP.

final KiCK ranking - KiCK iii > KicK iiiii > KicK i > Kick iiii > KicK ii
Mama Longhorn - Let It Run
48.
High quality, consistent, well paced, groovy, and well instrumented jams with VERY good bass, horn, drums, and guitar work. I REALLY enjoyed this. This is a seamless blend of a lot of things (primarily 70’s rock supergroup jam sessions, jazzy tendencies, and horn and sax features). It’s surprisingly tight and tied down for something that is able to maintain an improvisational tone. What a beautiful musical journey this was.
Tobias Lilja - Little Nightmares II
49.
This is a very high quality, effective, well produced, simplistic scary score. Nothing is too flashy, and although being comparably unique in it’s sound, unfortunately it does sometimes fall into its genre’s cliches, but somehow that doesn’t affect my enjoyment of it. It has a great use of dramatic timing. The mood setting is SO GOOD on here (it actually gave me chills). I love the dark and ominous bassy swells. It’s just a tense selection of tracks with some beautiful moments, great builds, and some enjoyable ‘plinky’ instruments that show up occasionally. I REALLY want to play this game.
νŒŒλž€λ…Έμ„ [Parannoul] - To See the Next Part of the Dream
50.
Very high quality well paced Korean shoegaze. It has such a beautiful atmosphere that can make you cry and smile at the same time. It has PHENOMENAL drumming and contains gorgeous walls of sound that are trademark to the genre. What makes this release stand out from others is it’s simplistic bittersweet melodies. It makes it easier to enjoy. My only complaint is that it’s a bit ‘samey’.
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9mo
great shit damn
9mo
Dang these are nice. Love the effort that went into this.
1y
Holy crap you got everything on here
1y
Damn you've been listening

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