Features Music

Feature: The 40 Best Albums of 2021

The time has come for me to spend a frankly absurd amount of time agonising about not only which albums are worthy of TWP’s acclaim, but exactly where in the table of acclaim said albums should lie. It’s been a hand-wringingly tense experience, but we are finally here. Thank fuck for that.

Of course, the enormous elephant in the room is Traumprinz, or DJ Irini to be more specific. A couple of months back the anonymous producer posted a 3 hour set comprising brand new material on the Planet Uterus Soundcloud. Not quite a mix, definitely not a full album, it doesn’t really qualify for this list. And literally as I was writing this up today they posted another four separate sets of music that so far is amongst the most extraordinary stuff I’ve heard in this or any other year. Sufficed to say, if there had been anything approaching a proper ‘album’ from all these various drops, it would have almost certainly topped this list.

Regardless, once again it’s been yet another incredible year for music, and more specifically the album: a year of highs and lows; of huge artists underdelivering; of previously unknown artists completely blowing me away. Music continues to give me more joy than pretty much anything in my life, and I am continually grateful for its constant presence.

Here, then, are TPW’s picks for the very best albums of 2021.

40. Mint Julep – In A Deep and Dreamless Sleep

39. Medhane – Amethyst of Morning

38. Ora The Molecule – Human Safari

37. Anaiis – this is no longer a dream

36. The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore

35. Carmen Winstead – Acetantina

34. Clark – Playground in a Lake

33. John Moods – So Sweet So Nice

32. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

31. Claire Rousay – a softer focus

30. Dawn Richard – Second Line

29. KMRU – Logue


27. Caro – Heartbeats/Heartbreaks

26. Andy Stott – Never the Right Time

25. Wildhart – His Arrows Won’t Hit Us

24. Ngaiire – 3

23. Paper Dollhouse – Claiming the Sapphire for Liquid Return

22. Grouper – Shade

21. Rochelle Jordan – Play With The Changes

20. Erika de Cassier – Sensational

19. Tirzah – Colourgrade

18. Valentino Mora – Underwater

17. Anna B Savage – A Common Turn

16. HTRK – Rhinestones

15. Corrina Repp – Island

14. Helado Negro – Far In

13. Shirley Collins – Crowlink

12. Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – A Beginner’s Mind

11. MPU101 – MPU101

10. TIBSLC – Delusive Tongue Shifts

09. Cosha – Mt. Pleasant

08. Nation of Language – A Way Forward

07. The Antlers – Green To Gold

06. Kas – Like Sunlit Threads

05. Dean Blunt – Black Metal 2

04. The Weather Station – Ignorance

03. Mariah The Scientist – RY RY WORLD

02. Low – HEY WHAT

01. serpentwithfeet – DEACON

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