100 Favorite Albums of the Year 2021 – Part Six

Part Seven
Part Five
Part Four
Part Three
Part Two
Part One

Dana Sipos – The Astral Plane (Roaring Girl Records)

We’ll start chapter six with a big new favorite and album that has been a real grower for me. I didn’t know Dana Sipos from Victoria, British Columbia before this album came out and it was actually Rachel Cholst’s No Depression review on the release week that first caught my eye. This is a personal, unique and deeply moving folk album filled with amazing songs.

Michael Feuerstack – Harmonize the Moon (Forward Music Group)

A very loosely astral transition to Michael Feuerstack’s lovely new album Harmonize the Moon. This Montreal-based songwriter has again created great songs are that all sound so warm, beautiful and kindhearted.

The Weather Station – Ignorance (Fat Possum)

Staying in Canada, but moving to Toronto. It’s been wonderful to see the new The Weather Station album ruling the aoty lists even on big music publications. Kind of rare thing to happen to my favorite albums. Thankfully it seems that it can happen. I don’t love this new one as much the self-titled album, but frankly I don’t love anything as much because it’s probably my favorite album of the 20 onechordnet years. So can’t really hold it against her, if she doesn’t reach that high with every album. And yeah Ignorance is a magnificent album and fully worth all the praise its getting.

Quivers – Golden Doubt (Bobo Integral / Ba Da Bing / Spunk)

Next over to Tasmania or maybe it’s Melbourne, Australia these days. Quivers has been a big favorite since I heard the Pigeons few years back and the new album Golden Doubt is one of the best pop records of 2021. This song below for example is such a perfect pop song. “I want to hold you / but I don’t want to hold you back” so simple yet so perfect.

Vanessa Peters – Modern Age (Idol Records)

Our next station is either Italy or Texas depending where Vanessa Peters is located at the moment. What I do know is that she released tremendous new album Modern Age in April and I’ve carried it with me all through this weird year. The Try might not be objectively the best song on the album, but somehow it has been my go to anthem.

Golden and Rust – Golden and Rust

Back in Nashville for one of the loveliest surprises of the year. I’m big fan of Glossary and Joey Kneiser solo stuff, so I was thrilled to find out that he has teamed up with another great songwriter Lew Card and together they will release an album as Golden and Rust. Of course the album turned out to be awesome.

Tre Burt – You, Yeah, You (Oh Boy Records)

Moving on to Sacramento, CA for more folk blues gems from Tre Burt. He has quickly become one of my favorite songwriters and this one is just as great as the first Oh Boy Records album.

Mercy Bell – Golden Child (Bell Records)

And again back in Nashville. I wasn’t really sure will I put this new Mercy Bell in the top 3 of the EP list or in this album list. Even press releases seem to use both EP and album. All that don’t really matter though. What matters is that it’s great 90s country-influenced release full of wonderful songs. Codeine is my big own favorite, but I do love the whole thing.

Riddy Arman – Riddy Arman (La Honda Records)

I was probably first introduced to the music of Riddy Arman by the Western AF youtube channel. Probably the best place on this internet thing. Ever since I’ve wanted to hear her music on a record too and now that is possible thanks to the great La Honda Records. And what a great country record this self-titled debut turned out to be.

Vincent Neil Emerson – Vincent Neil Emerson (La Honda Records)

Another country gem from the La Honda vaults. Texas-based country singer-songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson was already on the list couple of years ago with his debut album, but this new Rodney Crowell-produced album is even better than that gorgeous debut.

Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic

More classic country gold from Canada. This time from Montreal, Quebec by Bobby Dove. Chance in Hell is my big favorite, but the whole record is awesome and it has stayed with me throughout the year.

Rosali – No Medium (Spinster)

Moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and bit more towards folk rock territory. It’s been great to see this Rosali album hitting so many year end lists. Rightfully so, because it’s a wonderful album. She has been looking at you from that right column on this website for months and months. Partly because I’m too lazy to change them, but also partly because I really love this album.

Will Stratton – The Changing Wilderness (Bella Union)

Next Beacon, New York and the remarkable new Will Stratton album The Changing Wilderness. What a beautiful and moving album as a whole and then there’s Infertile Air. There’s a song you won’t easily forget. One of my absolute favorite songs of the year.

Le Ren – Leftovers (Secretly Canadian)

This is a very Montreal heavy chapter, because here we are again and will stay for the remainding two. First the debut full-length from folk songwriter Le Ren. She don’t have that long career, but is already a mainstay on my year end lists. Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay was in my favorite songs list in 2019 and Morning & Melancholia was in my top EPs list in 2020. I’m obviously not going to make this album an exception, because it’s everything I hoped it would be. Le Ren is such a special talent.

Myriam Gendron – Ma délire – Songs of love, lost & found

Wrapping this second to last chapter with the exceptional new Myriam Gendron album Ma délire – Songs of love, lost & found. I definitely would like to squeeze this one into the top 10, but even with my lousy math skills I’m not able to put eleven into ten slots. So even though this is the end of the unranked part, this beauty probably would be the 11 and on another day even further up. This one has both beautiful renditions of traditional songs and wonderful originals. My personal favorite is actually Myriam’s own song called Farewell. Oh and extremely high recommedation for this SuoniTV live performance at youtube. Not sure will it stay there forever so I recommend watching while you still can. The magic starts around 15 minutes of the video.

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100 Favorite Albums of the Year 2021 – Part Five

Part Seven
Part Six
Part Four
Part Three
Part Two
Part One

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings – The Incredible Heat Machine (Mama Bird Recording Co)

This whole chapter is an incredible heat machine, so let’s begin with all that. TK & The Holy Know-Nothings from Portland, Oregon are the culprits and responsible for creating such a damn great album.

Chris Acker – Odd, Ordinary & Otherwise (Gar Hole Records)

Next we pack our bags and move from Washington State to New Orleans just like folk-rock songwriter Chris Acker did some years ago. He was one of my favorite finds in 2020 and kept the level insanely high in 2021 as well.

The Deep Dark Woods – Changing Faces (Six Shooter Recordings)

Back to Canada where a long time favorite The Deep Dark Woods released another marvellous folk rock album. I highly recommend also checking out the music video for How Could I Ever Be Single Again?, because it’s so great and adds another level to this gorgeous song.

Caleb Stine – Life and Times of a Handyman

Moving on to Baltimore, Maryland. A new Caleb Stine album was a lovely late 2021 surprise, because I didn’t knew about it before the release date a month ago. What a beautiful poetic folk album once again. Also includes a song that you might have heard first time on the OCTA18 online festival few years ago.

Huck Notari – Strange and Beautifully

Folk songwriter Huck Notari is still criminally unknown in the bigger scheme of things, but I’ve loved his records for a decade or so. And I’m far from the only one. A new album was a pleasant surprise and full of gorgeous songwriting. My personal favorite was this beauty called Blizzard on the Freeway.

K.C. Jones – Queen of the In Between

K.C. Jones from Lafayette, Louisiana is one of the new finds of the year for me. I think I owe this one to Angela Backstrom, because I think I first picked the Heat Rises single from her FB feed and instantly loved it. Soon after the full album arrived and my feelings towards her music stayed the same. What a beautiful album.

Jesse Aycock – Jesse Aycock (Horton Records)

Travelling to Tulsa, Oklahoma to meet up with Jesse Aycock and his self-titled album. I really enjoyed the 2014 album back then, but then he got all busy with Hard Working Americans etc and the solo stuff was put on hold for a little while. 2021 brought a new and what a beauty it is. A lot of variety too. There’s that warm folk rock sound, but also mighty good pop songs. Marvellous all-around.

Rose City Band – Earth Trip (Thrill Jockey Records)

Rose City Band is not so surprisingly from Portland, Oregon. They only have the singles streaming, which is an ok way to work around the streaming services. Worked for me at least, because I did buy the vinyl from the local store (of course I try do that as much as I can with my close to minimum wage factory job anyway). Oh yeah and it’s an exceptional album full of laid-back cosmic country treasures.

Daniel Romano – Cobra Poems (You’ve Changed Records)

Back in Canada for the latest Daniel Romano adventures. I think it was a rather slow year for him. There was this awesome studio album Cobra Poems plus a live album and that excellent Kissing the Foe album on Bandcamp. Seems little though. There was probably more. Anyway, it’s all damn good as always.

Dakota Theim – Tangled Heart

Next we have a couple of fabulous pop albums that you can listen after you’ve binge watched Get Back during the holidays. First Dakota Theim from Portland, Oregon with his excellent second album Tangled Heart.

Andrew Gabbard – Homemade (Karma Chief Records / Colemine Records)

And next the new Andrew Gabbard album that was the final last minute entry to this playlist. It came out just a week ago, but I knew I was going to love so I left a spot open for it (in case wondering I did cruely left out everything that came after Dec 3, so no Neil Young, Michael Hurley or Ryan Pollie for example). But yeah, while Colemine Records might be more known for the soul treasures, its Karma Chief imprint does deliver other kind of gems too. This one is a beautiful pop album with some alt.country vibes. Ends in a Emitt Rhodes cover too. What’s not to love.

Adeline Hotel – The Cherries Are Speaking (Ruination Record Co)

Next a super lovely warm-hearted beautifully arranged folk album from Adeline Hotel. It’s only about 15 minutes, so one might question whether it’s a full-length or not. You can’t get question the magic of it though. I love every second of it. Oh and Adeline Hotel also released a rather remarkable instrumental album earlier in the year. Not to be missed either even though this one is more my cup of tea.

Natalie Jane Hill – Solely (Dear Life Records)

Then a couple of magical releases from the Dear Life Records vaults. First the remarkable sophomore album from songwriter Natalie Jane Hill. I strongly considered this even on that top 10, because it just feels so complete and beautiful from first note to last.

Wes Tirey – The Midwest Book of the Dead (Dear Life Records)

And then a long time blog favorite Wes Tirey from North Carolina gives us a remarkable double called The Midwest Book of the Dead. Listening to it all at once might be a bit too hefty one time dose, but damn if this isn’t one of the most impressive works of the year.

Belaver – Lain Prone (Niles City Records)

One of the new finds of the year for me can wrap up this fifth chapter of the year end story. Only two more to go (did I heard a sigh of relief). I first found the advance singles, because it was produced by Robert Ellis, but the songs of Belaver were the reason why I stuck around. Here It Comes, 70’s Adventure, Mount Misery, Bad Word Turn. Well too many gems to list. Often sad, always great.

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100 Favorite Albums of the Year 2021 – Part Four

Part Seven
Part Six
Part Five
Part Three
Part Two
Part One

Drew Beskin – Problematic for the People (Super Canoe)

A bit more pop start for the fourth chapter and kicking it off in Atlanta, Georgia with Drew Beskin’s excellent new album. You may know him from The District Attorneys, Purses, Party Dolls etc, but lately he has released great pop/rock albums under his own name. This one might be best of the bunch.

Tuns – Duly Noted (Murderecords)

Next the Canadian pop supergroup Tuns. Matt Murphy, Mike O’Neill, Chris Murphy have again created a slice of melodic pop heaven. In Another Life is especially a gem and one of my big favorite songs of the year.

Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade (PeMa)

Then the usual Scottish suspects and one of my all-time favorite bands Teenage Fanclub. How could anyone not love Back in the Day for example. That singing just sounds heavenly good.

Layten Kramer – Dear Apathy (Oscar St Records)

Next stop Alberta, Canada where we enter into Layten Kramer’s weird psych pop western or whatever you may want to call it. It sounds damn good. That’s for sure.

Icarus Phoenix – No Tree Can Grow To Heaven Unless Its Roots Reach Down to Hell

I’m kinda ashamed I slept a bit on the first Icarus Phoenix album that was a cassette only release last year. I listened it a lot this year when it became more widely available. So this entry can kind of covers both the debut and this 2021 follow up. Both are wonderful and best stuff that long time blog favorite Drew Danburry has ever created.

Mark Fredson – Nothing But Night (Soundly)

This new one from Nashville-based songwriter Mark Fredson could be a good soundtrack for that 80s dance party Drew was singing above. Such a great record again from mr Fredson. Especially Sorry Johnny and Long Shot are absolutely magnificent.

Dillon Warnek – Now That It’s All Over

Staying in Nashville for the debut full-length from singer-songwriter Dillon Warnek. Last year I included him on the EP list and now we finally have an awesome album too.

James McMurtry – The Horses and the Hounds (New West Records)

From Good Man to Decent Man. Another awkward song transition. Anyway, James McMurtry is one of the finest American songwriters and if he releases an album, you probably will find it from most rootsy eoty lists. Mine is not an exception. Wonderful songwriting and storytelling.

Charlie Marie – Ramble On (Soundly)

More Nashville artists and more artists that was on the EP list few years back and now hits the album list with a debut album. What a great classic country album from Charlie Marie. El Paso is my big favorite but I do love the whole album.

Sierra Ferrell – Long Time Coming (Rounder Records)

This sure has been Long Time Coming and plenty of folks who’ve had those GemsOnVHS videos on repeat have been dying to hear this one. Well good things to come those who wait and now Sierra Ferrell’s Rounder album is finally here. And it’s mighty good one as expected.

Charles Wesley Godwin – How the Mighty Fall

Charles Wesley Godwin stormed into the americana / country world with a wonderful debut album Seneca a few years back and now follows it up with an equally impressive How The Mighty Fall.

John R. Miller – Depreciated (Rounder Records)

A new album from country-folk songwriter John R. Miller is always a big deal and Depreciated is not an exception to the rule. Awesome roots album all-around.

Allison Russell – Outside Child (Fantasy Records)

This next is one of the most powerful and deeply moving albums of the year. Outside Child by Canadian songwriter Allison Russell makes a lasting impression.

Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren (Oh Boy Records)

A new Emily Scott Robinson is again filled with some amazing songwriting. Hometown Hero for example. Now that’s a song. Just wow.

Libby DeCamp – Westward and Faster

Wrapping this fourth chapter with a big favorite of mine. This Libby DeCamp album would be very high even on a ranked list. Kind of a same story here as with Sierra Ferrell. Had seen some GemsOnVHS and other videos some years ago and had been eager to hear more ever since. Now there’s a full album and it’s so wonderful.

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