It was a thrilling year to be a deep listener. The musical richness seemed to spring from every genre. For most of the year, I was presenting new releases on my streaming music show, Box of Visions. It’s currently on hiatus, but the sounds that rang through it the past 12 months loom large.

Here’s my rundown of top albums and songs for 2021:

ALBUMS

  • Arooj Aftab – Vulture Prince
  • Black Keys – Delta Kream
  • Connells – Steadman’s Wake
  • I See Hawks in LA – On Our Way
  • Ìxtahuele – Dharmaland
  • Joan as Police Woman, Tony Allen, Dave Okumu – The Solution is Restless
  • Max Richter, Baltic Sea Philharmomic – Exiles
  • Pat Metheny – Side-Eye NYC
  • Portico Quartet – Monument
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – Where the Streets Lead
  • Sons of Kemet – Black to the Future
  • Steven Wilson – The Future Bites

 

SONGS

  • All India Radio, Yin – Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun
  • Arooj Aftab – Last Night
  • Connells – Really Great
  • Don Letts – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Full Vocal Dub)
  • James McMurtry – Canola Fields
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Amanda Shires – Cross Bones Style
  • Kamasi Washington – Sun Kissed Child
  • Kramer – The Crying
  • Nubya Garcia – Boundless Beings (Georgia Anne Muldrow Remix)
  • Omar Coleman – Strange Times
  • Slowly Rolling Camera – Illuminate
  • Wax Tailor, Mark Lanegan – Just a Candle

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