Seasonal Music Round-Up — Autumn / Winter 2021

So here we are folks; 2021 is finally coming to a close. This means two things; the first, is that I have a lot of work to do, to round-up everything we’ve been fortunate enough to listen to this year, into my usual series of lists. Secondly, this will be the final seasonal round-up of 2021.

Given the aforementioned wave of work that I am about to endure, as well as the common fact that the final quarter of the year is more of a scarce time for new music to arrive, this particular round-up will be somewhat shorter than what I would typically write. Essentially, I will be revisiting my favourite albums and singles in smaller portions. But as for the other musical tidbits of autumn and winter, they will remain the same in regards to quantity.

This round-up will be covering my musical highlights of October, November, and December. If you would like to check out what I thought for the other three quarters of the year, I have listed links to those articles below.

My Summer/Autumn round-up (July, August, and September)

My Spring/Summer round-up (April, May, and June)

My Winter/Spring round-up (January, February, and March)

Now that my token intro is out of the way, we can finally dive in to the marvellous musical highlights that 2021’s final quarter had to offer.

Top 5 Favourite Records of the Season

[in no particular order]

Sam Fender — Seventeen Going Under

After indie rock singer-songwriter Sam Fender blasted onto the scene with his debut album Hypersonic Missiles, it is great to see that the lockdown-induced delays and creative blocks that he must’ve faced didn’t affect just how atmospheric and engaging his sophomore album is. It’s easy for any listener to grasp Fender’s lyrics, and enjoy every part of doing so.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes — Sticky

The Rattlesnake’s fourth studio-length project, titled Sticky, is what I would like to call a “butterfly project” (which is essentially my way of saying magnum opus). It really feels like The Rattlesnakes have snuggled nicely into the sound and aesthetic they have been building up towards. And with how awesome it sounds, it is definitely a welcome stylistic change.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Scarlxrd — DeadRising

Scarlxrd strikes again, with what is his second studio album of the year. While his previous project, February’s Dxxm II had more time to build some kind of iconic value, DeadRising still equals that project in intensity and memorability. Scarlxrd is without a doubt one of the most exciting artists that I have discovered this year, and it was great to be so spoiled with so many amazing tunes.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Silk Sonic — An Evening With Silk Sonic

Just in time for the festive season, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak come together to create one of the most feel-good albums of the year. Both of these artists are champions of their own sound. But with this collaboration, they have all listeners feeling and sharing the love induced by all of the vibrant and emotive masterpieces that come with this record.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Richard Dawson & Circle — Henki

Richard Dawson and Circle offer music lovers one more amazing project to top the year off with. Both of the artists respective styles work to compliment and elevate one another perfectly, combining Circles experimental rock sound with Dawson’s top-notch lyrical storytelling. As a result, Henki is an utterly intriguing and artful project, complete with impact, memorability, and charm.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Top 25 Tracks of the Season

[in no particular order]

Pond — Toast

An atmospheric and almost nostalgic sounding conclusion to Pond’s ninth studio album. The depth of this single made it one of the records highlights.

Sam Fender — Mantra

Out of all of the tracks to be found on Sam Fender’s sophomore album, “Mantra” is definitely one of the most beautiful, which is saying a lot.

Don Toliver & Kali Uchis — Drugs N Hella Melodies

Hella melodies indeed; especially with Kali Uchis serving as a featured artist on this one, there’s such a huge level of indulgence and luster that this track provides.

Blu — Blu(e) World

The second time in recent years that listeners have heard The Four Freshmen’s “It’s A Blue World” as a sample, Blu’s heartful lyrics go hand in hand with said sample.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes — Rat Race

Arguably my favourite track off of The Rattlesnakes’ album Sticky without a featured artist, “Rat Race” embodies the band’s awesome stylistic change.

Obongjayar — Message in a Hammer

Just when I thought that Obongjayar couldn’t be any more energetic with his authentic sold sound, “Message in a Hammer” proves me wrong.

JPEGMAFIA — ARE U HAPPY?

To see a more softer side of JPEGMAFIA is a rarer case. But even with how chilled the sound of “ARE U HAPPY?” is, it still carries that signature quirkiness.

Scarlxrd — Cxffins

With just how hard Scarlxrd has gone with so many of his other tracks, it would’ve taken something especially intense to blow me away even more; this is what “Cxffins” managed to do.

Mastodon — The Crux

I must admit, Mastodon’s new album wasn’t the most memorable. However, this track definitely stood out as one that embodied that old-school Mastodon explosiveness.

Limp Bizkit — Dad Vibes

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we’d get to hear new material from Limp Bizkit in 2021, but “Dad Vibes” proved that they haven’t changed a bit.

Kid Cudi & JAY-Z — Guns Go Bang

Part of a soundtrack for a western movie titled The Harder They Fall, these two hip-hop artists create something both unique and aesthetically matching.

Alfie Templeman — 3D Feelings

In typical Alfie Templeman fashion, he has managed to bless us with another summer vibe. Only this time, it has listeners looking forward to the upcoming summer of 2022.

Ocean Grove — Cali Sun

Speaking of summer vibes, Ocean Grove seemingly teases an upcoming 2022 project with a track that carries all of the amazing qualities that made their 2020 album so phenomenal.

Rejjie Snow — Arigato

Rejjie Snow continues to display his uniqueness through this multi-phased track. Each of these phases are borderline-bewitching to listen to.

IDLES — Crawl!

I definitely think that “Crawl!” is a case of sometimes familiarity being the better quality. While the album ot features on is more stylistically different, this track is unmistakably IDLES.

Silk Sonic — Smoking Out the Window

While An Evening With Silk Sonic in its entirety showcases exceptional vocal talents, this track undoubtedly shines brightest in that regard.

Code Orange — Out For Blood

Code Orange give listeners a more anthemic sounding track than what we heard on Underneath. Nevertheless, it is still an entirely badass tune.

Slipknot — The Chapeltown Rag

In more recent years, Slipknot have definitely been more hit and miss than they used to be. However, “The Chapeltown Rag” definitely stands as a hit.

KAYTRANADA & Thundercat — Be Careful

The wondrous and almost spacey atmosphere of this track proves that KAYTRANADA is very good at stylistically complimenting featured artists, especially the likes of Thundercat.

R.A.P Ferreira — Gemilut Hashadim

The best quality that R.A.P Ferreiras newest album carries, is how especially artsy it is. As for “Gemilut Hashadim”, this track definitely carries that sentiment through.

Earl Sweatshirt — 2010

It looks like Earl Sweatshirt is back, and seemingly teasing an upcoming project in 2022. And with the dynamic weirdness of “2010”, Earl begins this teasing cycle brilliantly.

Richard Dawson & Circle — Lily

A shining example of Richard Dawson’s lyrical storytelling. The story behind “Lily” is perfectly complemented by the somber and almost spooky atmosphere provided by Circle.

Khalid & JID — All I Feel Is Rain

A somber and soulful single, “All I Feel Is Rain” sees Khalid and JID stand as a match made in heaven, and the powering force behind this accessible and memorable tune.

Bakar — Build Me a Way

With the minimal production behind “Build Me a Way”, Bakar comes through with one of the most raw singles he’s put out in 2021, while still carrying memorable lyrics.

Blue Lab Beats, KillBeatz & Fela Kuti — Motherland Journey

While Blue Lab beats served as a driving force behind an energetic summer vibe, they show that they can keep this energy alive in the winter too.

My Favourite EP of the Season

Delaire The Liar — Eat Your Own

The very last project I had written a full review of this year, Delaire The Liar’s new EP was truly a marvellous way to end things off in 2021. Not only do the band tackle an incredibly tricky subject effortlessly, but they display their almost nostalgic musical style loud and clear. It really does go without saying, that Delaire The Liar are a band to keep your eyes and ears on moving forward.

Music Video of the Season

IDLES — THE BEACHLAND BALLROOM

It should come as no surprise that IDLES know how to make some of the most interesting music videos in recent years. But with the first teaser track for their new album CRAWLER, the band actually made two music videos for, displayed as parts 1 and 2. Part 2 especially, reflects the darker and more personal narrative behind the entire album perfectly.

Album Cover of the Season

Richard Dawson & Circle — Henki

I always love an album cover that has a lot of things to look at, without being overly chaotic or messy. Henki’s album cover is exactly that. Along with this, the minimal colouration and hand-drawn design plays in to the almost archaic charm that this album has stylistically. Lastly, the versatility of the “towers” that this cover art has reflects the versatility of the singles we get in Henki.

And that concludes my seasonal round-ups. Below is a calendar for all of the lists I have lined up for the end of the year. I hope you have enjoyed the musical year of 2021 as much as I have.

Sunday 26th December: Last Minute Album Reviews — 2021 Edition

Monday 27th December: Top 10 Live sets of 2021

Tuesday 28th December: Top 15 EPs of 2021

Wednesday 29th December: Top 50 Albums of 2021

Thursday 30th December: Top 100 Tracks of 2021

Friday 31st December: End Of Year Review — 2021 Edition

--

--

--

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Twenty One Pilots — Scaled And Icy — Album Review

Erykah Badu But You Caint Use My Phone Download

Lane 8 Releases Summer 2020 Mixtape

Let Me Score Your Pretentious Indie JRPG

Good Times: A Conversation With DoM

Hungry for…Conviction

Music Producer Sauceman Keys Announces “The Art Of Trap” Beat Album

Unknown Artist — Nanel005

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

More from Medium

The Environmental Benefits of Adoption

To The Family We’re Born With

You and I — Can We Create a Better World?

Cult Fiction, Writing, and Healing: Seven Questions for Kenneth Gordon Neufeld