Hello everybody! Happy New Year! It has been a while. School and work kept me very busy this year. It prevented me from writing a lot of blogs this year. With that said, nothing will stop me from telling you all my top 50 albums of the year. Even though no one asked. This year has been an amazing year for music. In my list, I have a mix of the biggest releases and some underground gems. Every album here is great in my opinion. Check out these albums if you haven’t done so already.
Without further ado here are my top 50 albums of the year for 2021!
50) Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
49) Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
48) CHAI – WINK
47) Chief Keef – 4 NEM
46) J. Cole – The Off-Season
45) Shelley FKA DRAM – Shelley FKA DRAM
44) Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson
43) Vince Staples – Vince Staples
42) Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
41) Tony Allen – There Is No End
40) Adele – 30
39) EXUM – Xardinal Coffee
38) Zack Fox – shut the fuck up talking to me
37) IDK – USEE4YOURSELF
36) Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise
35) Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep
34) Pink Siifu – GUMBO’!
33) serpentwithfeet – DEACON
32) Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs)
31) St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
30) Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
29) Clairo – Sling
28) Nas – King’s Disease II
27) Conway The Machine – La Maquina
26) Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS
25) Your Old Droog – Time
24) Porter Robinson – Nurture
23) Lil Nas X – MONTERO
22) Blu – The Color Blu(e)
21) CZARFACE & MF DOOM – Super What?
20) James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
19) GRIP – I Died For This!?
18) Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram
17) Turnstile- GLOW ON
16) Weezer – OK Human
15) slowthai – TYRON
14) McKinely Dixon – For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her
13) JPEGMAFIA – LP!
12) Black Country, New Road – For the first time
11) Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
10) Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth
9) Magdelena Bay – Mercurial World
8) BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW ROAD
7) Kanye West – DONDA
6) Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix
5) Backxwash – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES
4) C. Tangana – El Madrileño
3) Spellling – The Turning Wheel
2) Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
1) Silk Sonic – An Even with Silk Sonic
Let me know what you think?
P.S. Just like last year, I have a Spotify playlist for my top 50 songs of 2021. Check it out! I also started list week on my YouTube channel (FancyMemo), if you are interested.
Hello everybody! Happy March! Even though February is the shortest month of the year, this past month was packed with a lot of great music. Especially in the singles department. I added more singles than usual in the honorable mentions, but I did leave two tracks. I did this because Daw has already written two great articles about them. I really recommend reading Daw’s articles on “Gang Signs” by Freddie Gibbs featuring ScHoolboy Q and “So.Incredible.pkg [Robert Glasper Version]” by Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats, Smino, and Robert Glasper. Those two tracks are amazing. Give it a listen. With that being said let’s dive into my monthly favorites.
Song Honorable Mentions:
Cakes Da Killer & Proper Villain – What’s The Word: Let’s start off with some straight-up fire. This hip-house track is very energetic. Cakes Da Killer is coming at you with these speedy flows. I really like how expressive he is when he delivers each bar. Proper Villain kills it on production. It has everything you want from a good hip-house beat. What’s not to love?
Big Freedia – Platinum: This song is by far one of the most fun and entertaining songs I have listened to this month. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I can totally see this song pumping people up at a club. I love how powerful and bold Big Freedia’s voice is. It pairs well with this fast-paced southern hip hop beat. I guarantee this song will have you on your feet, so if you want to have a mini dance party give this song a listen.
Genesis Owusu – Gold Chains: Genesis Owusu is probably my favorite discovery so far this year. This song was so close to becoming my favorite song of the month. This is mostly because of his singing. The chill lowkey production is great, but his voice is incredible. He doesn’t have a crazy singing performance, but everything he says sounds smooth as fuck. Especially when he is melodically rapping. This track is a must-listen.
Tkay Maidza – Kim (with Yung Baby Tate): After releasing my favorite EP of 2020, I became a giant fan of Tkay. So you better believe I am hyped for her upcoming EP. Especially after listening to “Kim”. That shit is crazy. This track is an aggressive, unapologetic, attitude-filled ride. Both Tkay Maidza and Yung Baby Tate sound so badass. They have amazing chemistry. I really love how this song references famous Kim’s including Kim Possible. I genuinely don’t know how someone can hate this song.
Noname – Rainforest: Noname is back with another impressive single. She just continues to amaze me. Her poetic lyricism is packed with a lot, and I mean a lot, of deep content. In the hoof alone she talks about depression, exploitive billionaires, and deforestation. “Because, because a rainforest cries, Everybody dies a little”, is one of my favorite lines I have heard all year. I can’t emphasize enough how well written this song is. Plus the jazzy calm instrumental makes for a perfect backdrop for this song. For crying out loud, NONAME DROP AN ALBUM! I NEED IT!
JID – Skegee: JID really did something special with this track. Like other JID tracks, he goes in a conscious direction. As always his lyrics are well written. What makes this song special in my opinion is what JID actually raps about. He shines a light on the Tuskegee experiments. Before this track, I didn’t know those disgusting and dehumanizing experiments actually happened. I appreciate JID for spreading more awareness to historical moments like these because I for sure did not learn about this in my public high school.
EP Honorable Mentions:
MAVI – END OF THE EARTH: Although I am not absolutely in love with this EP, I do see its appeal. Mavi shows flashes of potential throughout this entire EP. On the first track, he is rapping with so much emotion. He truly sounds like he in a lot of pain. I love how Mavi raps when the trap drums come through on “METHODS”. His depressing lyricism is on point. I just hope he continues to improve and finds his own sound.
Luna Li – jams EP: There’s no clickbait here. This EP is filled with jams. In this 10 minute and 10 track EP, Luna Li soothes the listener with her talent. It’s crazy how Luna produced every single one of these lushes beats on her own. Every instrument played was done by her. The guitar, bass, violin, keys, and even the fucking harp were all her. What instrument can’t she play? If you want to relax I highly suggest putting this EP on.
Album Honorable Mention:
Luke Banter – Pucker Up: In this album, Luke provides several love-sick, yet upbeat pop tracks that are perfect for this past Valentine’s day. Luke does an impressive job at making catchy hooks. With tracks like “Nelly Bly”, “Pucker Up”, “Allergic”, and “Witchcraft” I can see the potential in what Luke is doing. This album is far from perfect. There are definitely several flaws and duds in the tracklist. With that said I am genuinely excited to see what Luke does moving forward.
Conway The Machine & Big Ghost Ltd – If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed: Man, Conway continues to amaze me. Conway has single-handedly turned me into a bigger Griselda fan. Don’t get me wrong Benny and Westside Gunn are cool, but Conway is on another level. Just like From King to a God, If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed differentiate himself from his contemporaries with his pen game. I absolutely love how badass Conway can be, but he can also be very vulnerable. Big Ghost Ltd kills it with the gritty production. Although this is not my favorite Conway album, I think this album is awesome. Don’t sleep on this album!
slowthai – TYRON: It was a tough choice putting TYRON on the honorable mentions list. Although this isn’t my favorite album of the month, so far this is definitely my favorite hip hop album of the year. Slowthai really impressed me with this album. The reason why I am a fan of slowthai is because of his aggressive bangers. In the first disc, we get those bangers, but the second disc is depressing and moody. Again I love those bangers, but slowthai really shined like he never has before on the second disc. Slowthai proves once again why he is one of the best rappers in the UK.
Favorite Song of The Month:
Kero Kero Bonito – The Princess and the Clock: As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of great singles released this month. It was honestly very hard to choose my favorite song of the month. I ended up picking this song because of how extravagant it is. This song sounds like an evolution of a track from Bonito Generation. It’s cute and upbeat, but they experiment a bit more on the production. This track has several different phases. It can be explosive and crazy, but then turn soothing in a blink of an eye. I am so hyped for the upcoming EP!
Favorite EP of the Month:
JPEGMAFIA – EP2!: In a short time span, JPEGMAFIA drops another installment of his EP series. Last year, he dropped an EP filled with entertaining experimental mostly rap songs. In this EP he is going into it with a different approach. This EP is darker. It is moodier. Peggy is a lot angrier than he was in EP!. Peggy has been angry in past projects, but he is usually rapping and shouting. In EP2!, he goes into a melodic approach. I wouldn’t even consider this rap. This is an angry experimental R&B project. Even though he is singing, his lyrics is still unapologetically cutthroat. I am not disappointed.
Favorite Album of the Month:
Black Country, New Road – For the first time: I did not expect to like this album as much as I did. I consider myself a hip-hop fan. Although I do give other genres a chance, hip hop is my bread and butter. This experimental rock album is not something I usually would gravitate to, but I am in love with it. The biggest reason why is because of the production. This album has some of the best production I have listened to in a while. I also really love the dramatic singing performances throughout the album. This album has a lot of great qualities that help keep the listener’s attention. This is good because this album has a risky tracklist. It is only 6 songs with each song spanning from 5 to 10 minutes long. Black Country, New Road does an excellent job at keeping the listener engage even with a funky tracklist. If this album is just the beginning, then I can’t wait to see what they do next!
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
This lineup might as well have been curated directly by Indie Pong, very exciting. Now note, this preview is just off of my initial first glance without doing any deep diving (there are like 300 bands, give me a break), I’m sure there are a lot of great young bands that I haven’t heard of yet and I encourage you to check them out for yourself here:
Band from Hotlanta Georgia laying deep soul vocals over modern post-punk with an album coming out on January 17th:
P.S. if you dig this sound check Built On Ashes out by Zeal & Ardor- Indie Pong’s #50 track of 2018!
Fiyah song and album as a whole, can be abrasive at times but as explained in the disclaimer in the below video (NSFW) it’s her way own cathartic way of dealing with the issues that drive her art:
This next song is legitimately one of my favorite songs of the year, absolute lock for best tracks of the year list coming next month. The essential emotion of the vocals mixed with the totally relatable content and accessible pop culture reference to Stephen Malkmus allow us to empathize with this song instantly and use it to bury our own sorrows in and purge:
Black Country, New Road
This song is so awesome, totally original and an exciting new voice from the Speedy Wunderground label (Black Midi). I don’t know when the next release is coming but I can’t wait. Must see.
Sound the alarm: Cadence Weapon was just featured on Indie Pong’s Tracks of the Week LAST WEEK for his and Alice Ivy’s stellar track Sunrise, to read the full article CLICK HERE. Here’s the song:
And here’s another with another former Indie Pong Best New Tracks alum Jacques Greene:
Great album. Me and UndercoverSadGirl both enjoyed. This was my fave, thoroughly enjoyed the tempo change which perfectly mirrored the simple yet both comical and saccharine lyrics:
And this was UndercoverSadGirl’s favorite:
She is one of my absolute FAVES from last year. Her music seems impossible to box into one two or even three genres and thus was probably my favorite album of 2018. Sekaiwotorikaeshiteokure was featured in my top 50 best tracks of 2018 (which I keep referencing, here is the playlist since it was pre-Indie Pong era and there is no post). She’s like an entire country’s worth of electricity compressed into one Japanese person and I love it.
I’ve heard from friends that this show is NUTS and I’m so excited she is finally coming to America. Here are two more of my favorites from the album, eagerly awaiting more:
Netflix stars and Charli XCX formed super band Nasty Cherry are on the brink of absolutely exploding and becoming the next big thing. Don’t miss out on the early show you can brag about for years to come when these gals are YUGE.
This place is packed with pricks – declares the Norwegian introvert as she laments the club she ended up in like I do every time I go to any club ever. I’ll bet this will be one of the best crowds at the fest, mark my words. This song is due for a high profile remix, can’t wait to see this one climb and can’t wait for more tunes.
Pom Pom Squad
Ahh yeah Pom Pom Squad’s album Ow had me ready to run straight through a brick wall like
Seriously though this is a top album of the year for me, can’t miss show for sure. This is one of those situations where the debut album is so good that you must attend and not wait to see this Brooklyn band perfectly collide soul-shattering rock riffs with emotionally draining while also being invigorating lyrics.