My Favorite Music (and everything else) of 2021

Looking back at my Favorite Albums of 2020 writeup, I realized how the album format was an important part of my relationship with music: albums were mirrors, vehicles, and companions that accompanied me through the confusion and crushed expectations of 2020. While I still love listening to albums, my music consumption took a new direction in 2021. I don’t think I could pull off writing about 10, let alone 50, albums that released this year, because there weren’t enough that resonated that deeply with me. What I do want to write about, though, is what my music consumption has evolved into: a comprehensive monthly reflection of my life experienced as…vibes. 😛

2021 was the most chaotic year of my life. The idea of “normal” was completely shattered and most of the time I couldn’t process all that was happening. This blog post is my attempt to reflect on my 2021 via a journey through music, art, and/or experiences I had at the time. I learned a lot this year and grew in ways I would have never imagined as I navigated life’s twists and turns.

Around autumn of 2020, I started making playlists of music framing my life experience that I can best describe as “sonic journals.” These sonic journals evolved, taking on the format of 1.5 – 2 hour playlists, loosely based around the idea of a radio show or a mixtape with two distinct 45-minute sides. The way this post is formatted shows the journal (framed as “episodes”) for each month of 2021, a description of the vibe, key songs/albums/artists/films/TV shows/books/whatever that formed the basis of the vibe, the episode’s tracklist, and a journal reflection of what I was feeling and experiencing at the time. It’s pretty different from an album of the year list, but ideally more meaningful. My hope is that these sonic journals can provide clarity, comfort, or connection to anyone reading who may relate to any part of it. At the very least, if you discover a song or anything else referenced that you end up enjoying, that would be cool too 🙂

Anyways, here’s my favorite music (and everything else) of 2021.

December 2020/January 2021. Ep008: Pinecore
January/February 2021. Ep009: White Velvet
February/early March 2021. Ep010: LLLLL
March 2021. Ep011: Home
April 2021. Ep012: Receptors
May 2021. Ep013: New York, I ____ You
June 2021. Ep014: Hot Spell
July 2021. Ep015: Head Cheerleader
August 2021. Ep016: The Rise of the Disco Samurai
September 2021. Ep017: Curaga
October 2021. Ep018: The Return of the Disco Samurai
November 2021. Ep019: Fluidity
December 2021. Ep020: The Vast