Gravity – Palace
Palace return in 2021 with their highly anticipated third album. “Shoals”, a 12 track record about “confronting our own fears and anxieties”, says frontman Leo Wyndham. Written during the first lockdown back in 2020, Wyndham was faced with confronting his own mental health struggles and not having the ability to run away but to fight this head on. “The album is an outpouring of these feelings we go through and how you deal with them, learning to love certain things and learning to appreciate having certain anxieties and fears. In a sense they make you feel real and human.” he continues. “Shoals” comes out on 1/21/22. Until then enjoy “Gravity” and don’t forget about “Lover (Don’t let me down)”.
Cop Car – Hak Baker
“Misled” is the newest EP by East London’s Hak Baker. The 6 tracks give a personal front seat to growing up in poverty, in London. From simple guitar backing tracks about selling drugs while evading police, to helping his mother to pay for a car to get work to help make ends meet. It’s a sobering reminder of the troubles many face that go unheard. It is a beautiful musical tale of Baker’s past that shows how no matter how hard life can be, you can create beauty to let go with the past that brought so much pain and put you in a position to do something that had so much risk. Other notable singles are “Conundrum” and his album “Babylon”.
Smooth – Cro
Now I have to admit I don’t know a lick of german, but that doesn’t stop me one bit from enjoying Carlo Waibel or more commonly known as Cro and his newest album “Trip”. This German rapper/pop singer has come out with his fifth album in 2021.
Taking Inspiration from the likes of Daft Punk, this album features electronic and funky rhythms. Tracks like “Alles Dope” and “Smooth” will give you a crash course in being fluent in german as it’s catchy enough to make you want to sing along with the pop-like hooks over the unique sounding instrumentals.
Before Growing Old – Keaton Henson
Get your tissue boxes out, Keaton Henson has a new EP. The king of sad indie folk has released his latest work, written alongside his 2020 album “Monument”. Seven heartfelt tracks, filled with his fragile voice, expressing the sorrow one feels losing their father is the focus of “Monument”. His calm guitar picking matched with the vulnerability of his pure heart filled emotion feels like you are next to him, feeling and trying to heal alongside Henson. A great tracklist for those days that make it feel like getting out of bed is the hardest thing to accomplish. If heartbreak was a person, it would definitely be listening to Keaton Henson on loop.
I Got Love – Mother Mother
A Canadian favorite of mine, Mother Mother has released their eighth album “Inside”. Taking sounds reminiscent of their 2011 album “Eureka” and finding a surge in popularity from Tik Tok in 2020, this album reminds the rest of the world what great Indie Rock the Canadian music scene can produce.
With tracks like “I got Love” and “The Knack”, these are the anthems to making any moment kickass. The inner teenage angst in me wished this album was around when I was walking the halls of my high school. Hit after hit, this is a must listen to album.
I Don’t Wanna Talk – Glass Animals
Glass Animals, the UK indie/Pop band have found a much deserved rise in popularity due to their most recent 2020 album Dreamland. It features singles such as “Tangerine” and the more widely known “Heat Waves” thanks to its rise in the popular social app Tik Tok. The boom in popularity has also nabbed them a Grammy nomination in the ‘Best New Artist’ category which is quite ironic for a band that has been making amazing albums since their debut “Zaba” in 2014.
Better late than never…
Savage Good Boy – Japanese Breakfast
This is my favorite track of 2021.
The highly anticipated third album “Jubilee’ couldn’t have come sooner and does disappoint. Passion project, ‘Japanese Breakfast’ started as Michelle Zauner took the risk of turning her passion for making music into her whole career after losing her mother to cancer. Michelle also spent her time alongside writing for her new album by turning her relationship with her mother into an autobiography book which has become a New York Times best seller and made the list of former President Barack Obama’s list of favorite books of 2021. “Crying in H Mart” can be found in most bookstores and as an audiobook. Be sure to also check out the music video for Savage Good Boy.