My favorite records from 2021

The covers of my top 20 albums of 2021 arranged in a grid

Here are my top 20 albums of 2021, in alphabetical order:

  1. A Winged Victory for the Sullen — Invisible Cities
  2. Akira Rabelais — À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu
  3. Balmorhea — The Wind
  4. Biosphere — Angel's Flight
  5. Dustin O'Halloran — Silfur
  6. El Michels Affair — Yeti Season
  7. Enfant Sauvage — Petrichor
  8. Jay-Jay Johanson — Rorschach Test
  9. José González — Local Valley
  10. Kazuya Nagaya — Microscope of Heraclitus Reworked
  11. Keaton Henson — Fragments
  12. Meitei — Kofū II
  13. Mogwai — As the Love Continues
  14. Saint Etienne — I've Been Trying To Tell You
  15. Sebastian Plano — Save Me Not
  16. Slow Meadow — Upstream Dream
  17. Sofia Kourtesis — Fresia Magdalena
  18. The Weather Station — Ignorance
  19. Various Artists — @0
  20. WhoMadeWho — Live at Abu Simbel, Egypt

More great albums released this year:

  1. Alex Somers — Siblings and Siblings 2
  2. Altın Gün — Yol
  3. Alva Noto — HYbr:ID I
  4. Amandra & Karim — Sqala
  5. Andy Stott — Never the Right Time
  6. Angel Olsen — Aisles
  7. Arushi Jain — Under the Lilac Sky
  8. Bicep — Isles
  9. Big Red Machine — How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?
  10. Blanck Mass — In Ferneaux
  11. Blawan — Woke Up Right Handed
  12. Bleachers — Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night
  13. Burial + Blackdown — Shock Power of Love
  14. Burial — Chemz / Dolphinz
  15. Cassandra Jenkins — An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
  16. Caterina Barbieri & Lyra Pramuk — Knot of Spirit
  17. Colleen — The Tunnel and the Clearing
  18. Daniel Avery — Together in Static
  19. DARKSIDE — Spiral
  20. David Walters — Nocturne
  21. Deafheaven — Infinite Granite
  22. Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson — Refuge
  23. Driftmachine — Spume & Recollection
  24. El Michels Affair — The Abominable EP
  25. Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou — The Helm of Sorrow
  26. Fabrizio Paterlini — LifeBlood
  27. Flying Lotus — Yasuke
  28. GAS — Der Lange Marsch
  29. Godford — I YOU SHE
  30. Godspeed You! Black Emperor — G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!
  31. Grouper — Shade
  32. Haiku Salut — The Hill, The Light, The Ghost
  33. Hammock — Elsewhere
  34. Hania Rani — Music for Film and Theatre
  35. Heinrich Köbberling, Laurel Halo, Moritz Von Oswald Trio — Dissent
  36. Helado Negro — Far In
  37. Jean-Michel Jarre — Amazônia
  38. Jon Hopkins — Music for Psychedelic Therapy and Piano Versions
  39. Jóhann Jóhannsson — Gold Dust
  40. Jónsi — Obsidian
  41. kangding ray — Branches
  42. Lana Del Rey — Chemtrails Over the Country Club and Blue Banisters
  43. KMRU — Logue
  44. Laurent Garnier & The Limiñanas — De Película
  45. Library Tapes — Dusk
  46. Lisa Gerrard & Jules Maxwell — Burn
  47. Lonely Guest — Lonely Guest
  48. Marianne Faithfull — She Walks in Beauty (with Warren Ellis)
  49. Murcof — The Alias Sessions
  50. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis — CARNAGE
  51. Nightmares On Wax — Shout Out! To Freedom...
  52. Nils Frahm — Old Friends New Friends
  53. Ólafur Arnalds — When We Are Born
  54. Perfume Genius — IMMEDIATELY Remixes
  55. Perila — How Much Time it is Between You and Me?
  56. Radiohead — KID A MNESIA
  57. Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Toop — Garden of Shadows and Light
  58. Sarah Davachi — Antiphonals
  59. Slow Meadow — Happy Occident Reworks
  60. Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine — A Beginner's Mind
  61. Sufjan Stevens — Convocations
  62. Sunn O))) — Metta, Benevolence
  63. The Black Dog — Music For Photographers
  64. The Jungle Giants — Love Signs
  65. The War on Drugs — I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  66. Tindersticks — Distractions
  67. Vanishing Twin — Ookii Gekkou
  68. Viagra Boys — Welfare Jazz
  69. Vladislav Delay — Rakka II
  70. Xiu Xiu — OH NO

Timeline: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

Other 2021 lists: Rough Trade UK, Rough Trade US, Bleep, The Quietus, Boomkat, The Wire.