Best albums of 2021

To kick things off, here is a list from Double / Triple J of the best albums released between 1/12/20 and 30/11/21.

Of the 50 I’ve heard tracks from about 10 but haven’t listened to any of them completely. Definitely got some homework over the summer.

What are your best albums of the year ?


Apparently I think it’s 2019! Well, I guess 2020 and 2021 have been pretty much a sinkhole of time!

I shall try again!


This is the biggest surprise for me this year.
There are a few others but if I had to pick one, this is my nomination.


This actually was released this year!

I’m a big Antlers fan anyway, but this change of pace to a softer, more folky kind of vibe really suits them too.

It’s just a delightfully chilled listen, full of beautiful textures, melodies, and man can the guy sing!


This was a big surprise for myself, it has definitely grown into a strong contender for my best 2021 album.

Going to have to make it a top three as can’t decide :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Big Red Machine is essentially a collaboration between Aaron Dressner (The National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) but this second album features a bunch of excellent collaborations-as some stunning duets with Vernon, my highlights being with Anais Mitchell on the opening track, and Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) on track 3 Phoenix (which also features Mitchell).
There are a ton of other great collaborations here. And also Taylor Swift. But even Taylor is growing on me, though for me her tracks are weaker than Aaron Dressner’s 3 which mark his debut as a lead vocalist.
This is well worth a spin!


Final one (for now anyway!).
The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are better known for funky/jazzy uptempo stuff-at least to me! This is a reimagining of something I have never heard, nor had ever heard of-Saphie by Richard Youngs.
It really is an amazing piece of work-hypnotic, beautiful arrangements of brass and guitar, with 3 stunning guest vocals from Moses Sumney, Perfume Genius, and Sharon van Etten.
This is a mindfulness drill is not kidding-it’s a genuinely magical thing!


Stole two of mine there Kevin, especially with Shenjitsu really impressed me and the Dream Academy is a real return to form as well.

But these have been among my favourite and most listened to albums this year…

And the surprise additional album.


Interesting. These are the only ones I have purchased from the listed top 50. 80% are female vocalists!

  1. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club
  2. Torres – Thirstier
  3. Julia Stone – Sixty Summers
  4. Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
  5. The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You

Haven’t had time to think about my list for this year, but it will defo include - Aimee Mann, Bevis Frond, Nils Frahm.

I saw saw Iron Maiden live during their Killers Tour many, many years ago. They were so loud plaster fell from the ceiling. The next day I saw in the local newspaper that they had been find for exceeding local noise ordinances!! Probably why, at the age of 54 I am loosing my hearing. :rofl:
Personally I don’t enjoy there new stuff as much and haven’t listened to them in years - but great memories.


Great story!
Possibly give Senjitsu a spin, it may surprise you!

I only saw them once about 98 I think in Seville, Spain…I was working there and they were drinking in the bar of my hotel before the show!!
Got to chat with all of them, really nice guys, no pretensions at all.
A terrific night all round.


That’s a pretty cool story too. So often we here stories of the rich and famous being…less than appreciative of their fans, great to see the other side. I’ll give Senjitsu a listen. Cheers.


Ha ha I saw them on the number of the beast tour and make the same complaint about my hearing never being the same again :grin:
I was about 15 at the time

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I have a couple of later in the year albums to add.

First off what a great release from Aimee Mann

And somehow I managed to forget to add this toy original list. It’s just phenomenal and I have enjoyed it many many times this year.


I must have been around the same age - thought I (and my hearing) was invincible. :grinning:


I learnt my lesson with AC/DC in about 77.
Right up against the LH speaker stacks.
For days had loud ringing and whistling noises continuously.
Skeered me!


I saw Brian Wilson a few years ago. It was the loudest show I have ever been to.
I think HE couldn’t hear so it was LOUD.
Everyone was screaming the same.

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I’m not saying this is THE best but it will be in my top ten. (more to come later)


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These albums are very likely to end up in my 2021 list. In alphabetical order:

1914 - Were Fear and Weapons Meet

Archspire - Bleed the Future

First Fragment - Gloire Éternelle

In Mourning - The Bleeding Veil

Liquid Tension Experiment - LTE3

Ninkharsag - The Dread March of Solemn Gods

Obscura - A Valediction

Stortregn - Impermanence

Thy Catafalque - Vadak

Witherfall - Curse of Autumn