Sunday, 26 December 2021

Best of 2021 (part 4)

The final few...

PARQUET COURTS - 'Sympathy For Life'
Another act that eluded me for way too long, at least until I heard Walking At A Downtown Pace played on 6 Music. A variety of sounds permeate the NYC band's eighth album, but it's largely influenced by frontman Andrew Brown's newfound love of dance music and nightclubs. And while their familiar post-punk sound still finds its way to the fore, there's no doubt there's something rather danceable about these songs. They even sound like 'Remain In Light'-era Talking Heads in places.

LUMP - 'Animal'
Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay released their second set of songs and it continued the sounds and themes of their debut collaboration from a couple years back. Some really good songs on this one, and an interesting direction, far from the acoustic folk sounds both are known for in their full-time "jobs".

QUIVERS - 'Golden Doubt'
A lot of really good music coming out of Australia of late, and Quivers is another name to add to the growing list. Imagine taking all the best bits of the Go-Betweens and adding some US West Coast sunshine circa 1967 and you're pretty much there. Obviously our good friend Brian is all over this, and he's a man of impeccable taste.

With the pandemic making it difficult make a record with the Bad Seeds, Nick and Warren - who are practically joined at the hip nowadays - made their first non-soundtrack record as a duo. I have to say, I prefer it over the last two Bad Seeds efforts. Minimalist and electronic, it also sounds as menacing as some of Nick's best work. White Elephant is the highlight for me - laced with references to recent political and social events and concluding with a rapturous epiphany.

Honorable mentions well worth checking out (in alphabetical order):

DJANGO DJANGO - 'Glowing In The Dark'
FOO FIGHTERS - 'Medicine At Midnight'
GOAT GIRL - 'On All Fours'
ICEAGE - 'Seek Shelter'
JAMES - 'All The Colours Of You' (recommended by MrsRobster)
PIP BLOM - 'Welcome Break'
SQUID - 'Bright Green Field'

And to round off, a song that has proven to be the biggest surprise hit of the year. With only four songs released to date, this lot will likely take over the world when their self-titled debut album is released in 2022. So if you haven't heard this already, you're probably dead. It's brill.

I'm off to my burrow again. There will be a few sporadic pieces cropping up here from time to time throughout the next 12 months, but a full return is certainly not imminent. See you whenever, have a good 2022.


  1. Apart from The Goon Sax, 2021 was an uncharacteristically lean Australian music year for me, though until today I hadn't bumped into Quivers - further investigation is required methinks.
    Thanks for these and your previous recommendations Robster. I need all the help I can get at the moment, I'm hopelessly out of touch these days.
    Take care and don't be a stranger.

  2. I'm taking a deeper look/listen to The Quivers too.
    And that Wet Leg track - salivating for the album now. Pre-ordered from Amazon - my first official 2022 product.

  3. We had a quick chat about Quivers a while back, and your description of the band is spot on. Methinks would have just about made my top 10 for the year. Just catching up with your roundup. Great bunch, my friend.

  4. Lots in here that had passed me by......despite supposedly having more time than ever to devote to leisure, I'm finding it impossible to stay on top of new music, so thanks for the tips.

    I'll give them all a listen....except the Cave/Ellis effort which I do know and haven't taken to. Agree it's better than the recent solo albums, but that's damning with faint praise. I really do miss the pre mega-fame Nick Cave...