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2021 Album of the Year

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member


What an incredible year for music. There were so many amazing releases this year that I had to keep track midway through the year so I would not forget the albums that were already out against the onslaught of albums yet to come.

Like many, this year was a continuation of COVID life. I actually found myself listening to music less while working from home somehow. I never realized how much I used music in the office just to drown out the noise pollution that comes with open office layouts. I began traveling a bit more for work so I did a ton of my listening this year in airports and on airplanes. Not exactly a great environment if one wishes to actively listen. This is all to say, whatever combo of circumstances 2021 brought, it made me realize I miss blogging/writing about music so I plan to (re)launch a place online for me to jot out my thoughts on various music-oriented topics.

And to the meat of the topic at hand: my AOTY this year is by the insanely talented Leon Bridges and his release Gold-Diggers Sound. Something about the sound of this album just resonates down into my bones. I love that Leon makes typically taboo subjects or feelings for men into topics that should be discussed and without any fluff. Highlights of the album, for me, are: Motorbike, Why Don't You Touch Me, Sho Nuff, Don't Worry, Blue Mesas. While The last track, Blue Mesas, is the personal favorite of mine for tackling depression & not sharing those feelings, the penultimate track, Don't Worry, really steals the show on this album. Telling the tale of a happy couple who split and meet later down the road, the track is both a great composition and story. It's duration requires some patience for those unaccustomed to longer music. Though with T Swift having the longest track hit #1 makes me hopeful that the larger music audience will accept Tool-length songs in the mainstream.

If I mix around the order of the remaining 4 albums in the top 5, I would be happy. They are all absolutely killer, start-to-finish. Hell, even the last 5 are bangers from beginning to end. Each is well worth a listen if those genres interest you.

My personal Top 10 list:​

10. Parannoul - To See the Next Part of the Dream
Stand-out track: Analog Sentimentalism
9. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
Stand-out track: Catching Smoke
8. Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life
Stand-out track: Plant Life
7. Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz
Stand-out track: Ain't Nice
6. Amyl & the Sniffers - Comfort to Me
Stand-out track: Guided by Angels
5. Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
Stand-out track: Posing in Bondage
4. Middle Kids - Today We’re the Greatest
Stand-out track: Stacking Chairs
3. Manchester Orchestra - Million Masks of God
Stand-out track: Angel of Death
2. Wet - Letter Blue
Stand-out track: Clementine
1. Leon Bridges - Gold-Diggers Sound
Stand-out track: Don't Worry


I also want to shout out the album Year of the Horse by the Canadian band Fucked Up. This would have been on my list but I didn't get the LP in the mail until last week so it's too early-on to say whether it edges out the competition.
The entire album is about a horse named Percival and is amazing start-to-finish. If art/hardcore is your thing, give this band a listen.

Similar topics:​



Con-Z-epT Con-Z-epT : Artificial Ignorance by Gandhabba​
ParaSeoul ParaSeoul : Donda by Kanye West & Screen Violent by Chvrches​
ManaByte ManaByte : Senjutsu by Iron Maiden​
Jennings Jennings : too many to list​
Corpsepyre Corpsepyre : The Ruins of Beverast by The Thule Grimoires​
Loke Loke : Oxidized by Frontierer​
p_xavier p_xavier : The Greater Light to Rule the Night by Armin Van Buuren & Rank 1​
teezzy teezzy : 2-way tie: Wild Type Droid by Failure & Nitrous by Chevelle​
Lionel Richie Lionel Richie : Sinner Get Ready by Lingua Ignota​
OmegaSupreme OmegaSupreme : If I can't Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey​
Richard Packer Richard Packer : Boldy James by Bo Jackson & Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf by Westside Gunn​
T8SC T8SC : God Save the Rave by Scooter​
Winter John Winter John : too many to list​
Kagey K Kagey K : DEMIDEVIL by Ashnikko​
DonJorginho DonJorginho : Donda by Kanye West and And Evening With Silk Sonic by Silk Sonic​
I intheinbetween : too many to list​
marcincz marcincz : Today We're the Greatest by Middle Kids​
MastAndo MastAndo : Kid A Mnesia by Radiohead​
It's all in the wrist It's all in the wrist : OK Human by Weezer​
Mossybrew Mossybrew : Once Twice Melody by Beach House​
chris121580 chris121580 : top 5 listed below​



The Atlantic : New Long Leg by Dry Cleaning​
AV Club : Jubilee by Japanese Breakfast​
BBC Radio 6 : Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz​
Billboard : Sour by Olivia Rodrigo​
Complex : ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’ by Tyler, the Creator​
Consequence of Sound : Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler, the Creator​
Entertainment Weekly : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
The Fader : Nurture by Porter Robinson​
The Guardian : Prioritise Pleasure by Self Esteem​
The Independent : Sometimes I Might be Introvert by Little Simz​
KCRW : Collapsed In Sunbeams by Arlo Parks​
LA Times : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
The Needledrop : Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz​
NME : Seventeen Going Under by Sam Fender​
NPR Music : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
Paste Magazine : Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra​
People Magazine : Montero by Lil Nas X​
Pitchfork : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
Revolver : Fortitude by Gojira​
Rolling Stone : Sour by Olivia Rodrigo​
Stereogum : I Don't Live Here Anymore by The War on Drugs​
Time Magazine : Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra​
Vulture : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
Jeff Bezos : Whole Lotta Red by Playboi Carti​
Wired : Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan​
Yahoo Entertainment : Jubilee by Japanese Breakfast​

Other lists:​

Bandcamp's Top Releases​
NPR's song of the year: Montero by Lil Nas X​
NME's song of the year: Good 4 U by Olivia Rodrigo​
Stereogum's Top EPs​
Worst Album Covers​
Walls by Kings of Leon



So, pray tell Gaf, what is your album of the year?
Lady Gaga Dancing GIF
 
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Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
Not many albums for me this year. Mostly EP's and some stellar singles.


But i would value Gandhabba's new album Artificial Ignorance the most.

With a playtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes together with an experienced producer behind it this has a lot to offer for the dedicated listener and fans of the genre. It does demand a conscious listening from the hearer where you sit down and focus on the experience at hand to even get a chance to comprehend what is going on. If you do so however, and a proper audio setup provided, you will be granted with a dystopian, grotesque and disturbing endeavour that will twist your mind and your expectations.

For an enthusiast like me that is always on the look to expand my horizon on what's possible in regards to sound design, this album provides a wide range of carefully and intricate crafted sounds that are scratching parts of my brain in a satisfying manner.



 
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Jennings

Member
In no particular order:

Evanescence: The Bitter Truth
Gojira: Fortitude
Mastodon: Hushed and Grim
Cannibal Corpse: Violence Unimagined
Archspire: Bleed the Future
Obscura: A Valediction
Jerry Cantrell (of Alice in Chains): Brighten
Jinjer: Wallflowers
Between the Buried and Me: Colors II
Fear Factory: Aggression Continuum
 
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Corpsepyre

Member
My top 40 of the year.

40. Los Males Del Mundo - Descent Towards Death (Blackened Death Metal)
39. Dordeduh - Har (Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal
38. Majestic Downfall - Aorta (Death/Doom Metal)
37. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon I (Experimental Post-Hardcore/Sludge)
36. DVNE - Etemen Ænka (Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal)
35. Thy Catafalque - Vadak (Avante-garde Metal)
34. Timecop1983 - Faded Touch (Synth, Chillwave)
33. Unto Others - Strength (Heavy Metal/Gothic Rock)
32. Hypocrisy - Worship (Melodic Death Metal)
31. Negură Bunget - Zău ( Progressive/Folk/Atmospheric Black Metal)
30. Marianas Rest - Fata Morgana (Melodic Doom/Death Metal)
29. Kayo Dot - Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike (Experimental/Progressive Rock/Avante-garde)
28. Rivers of Nihil - The Work (Progressive/Technical Death Metal)
27. Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum (Industrial/Groove Metal)
26. Bossk - Migration (Atmospheric Sludge Metal)
25. Dream Unending - Tide Turns Eternal (Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal)
24. Maha Sohona - Endless Searcher (Fuzz/Stoner Rock)
23. Dynatron - Origins (Synth, Spacewave)
22. Esoctrilihum - Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath (Occult Black Metal)
21. Cult of Luna - The Raging River (Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal)
20. Kauan - Ice Fleet (Folk/Doom/Post-Rock)
19. Swallow the Sun - Moonflowers (Melodic Doom/Death Metal)
18. Lantlôs - Wildhund (Post-Metal/Rock/Shoegaze)
17. Amenra - De Doorn (Doom/Sludge Metal/Hardcore)
16. Noltem - Illusions in the Wake (Atmospheric Black Metal/Folk)
15. Trigg & Gusset - Black Ocean (Darkjazz)
14. Cognos - Cognos (Progressive Death Metal)
13. Slow Crush - Hush (Shoegaze)
12. Der Weg einer Freiheit - Noktvrn (Post-Black Metal)
11. Deafheaven - Infinite Granite (Shoegaze)
10. Wolves in the Throne Room - Primordial Arcana (Atmospheric Black Metal)
09. Khemmis - Deceiver (Doom/Heavy Metal)
08. Midnight Smoke - Lost Hearts (Darkjazz)
07. Ophis - Spew Forth Odium (Death/Doom Metal)
06. Mastodon - Hushed & Grim (Progressive Metal/Rock)
05. ISON - Aurora (Darkwave/Electronica/Ambient)
04. The War on Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore (Rock/Folk/Americana)
03. Ruin of Romantics - Velvet Dawn (Shoegaze/Dreampop/Synth)
02. Worm - Foreverglade (Death/Doom Metal)
01. The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires (Atmospheric Black Metal/Gothic Doom)
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
Like others, I listened to EPs and singles mostly. DJs not working during COVID made an excellent year of Trance music. This one is my fave, as the old sound of Rank1 is present.


Also ABBA's Voyage might be their best album, amazing after 40 years. Late 70s/early 80s mood is all in.

 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
I got a "new" Sony ES receiver (damn you Sony with no 8K ones) and plugged my Hi-Res LP player and there's something about manipulating your music physically that makes it so intense. I had about 30 LPs still sealed and started discovering again. Any recommandation of your fave album in that format would also be appreciated.

 
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Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
I got a "new" Sony ES receiver (damn you Sony with no 8K ones) and plugged my Hi-Res LP player and there's something about manipulating your music physically that makes it so intense. I had about 30 LPs still sealed and started discovering again. Any recommandation of your fave album in that format would also be appreciated.


I'm glad more and more vinyl is being sold but the downside is that I feel like the quality of mixes has come down on vinyl. It used to be that is you wanted the than-compressed-to-hell-and-back version, you'd get the vinyl format. Seems more and more that the Spotify/Streaming mixes are also making their way to vinyl. I use Discogs quite heavily to see user feedback on different pressings whenever it's available.

Maiden Voyage Maiden Voyage

Think I misunderstood the thread

Not really a 4 way tie

Chevelle and Failure are the clear winners for me this year 🏆

Also God that new Gojira was unexpectedly boring
Updated!
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Lol you screwed it all up, at least you tried

Seriously give that new Failure a listen. I think you'll dig
I corrected the correction :p

I added this album to my 'Listen' playlist and will let you know how much better Crosses is once I finish listening to it.
 

teezzy

Fantastik Tuna
I corrected the correction :p

I added this album to my 'Listen' playlist and will let you know how much better Crosses is once I finish listening to it.

😄😄😄

Did that new Crosses come out??

You like Chevelle at all? You messed that one up too! 😄😄😄
 

teezzy

Fantastik Tuna
I’ve seen Chevelle live 3 times and only wanted to 1 of those times. They aren’t terrible just too, I dunno, generic (?) for me I guess.


The new album slaps. They're Tool with butt rock time signatures. I love it.

Tell me about new Crosses, all I heard was that weird but with Chino singing like homeboy from Depeche Mode
 

Dream-Knife

Member
My top 40 of the year.

40. Los Males Del Mundo - Descent Towards Death (Blackened Death Metal)
39. Dordeduh - Har (Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal
38. Majestic Downfall - Aorta (Death/Doom Metal)
37. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon I (Experimental Post-Hardcore/Sludge)
36. DVNE - Etemen Ænka (Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal)
35. Thy Catafalque - Vadak (Avante-garde Metal)
34. Timecop1983 - Faded Touch (Synth, Chillwave)
33. Unto Others - Strength (Heavy Metal/Gothic Rock)
32. Hypocrisy - Worship (Melodic Death Metal)
31. Negură Bunget - Zău ( Progressive/Folk/Atmospheric Black Metal)
30. Marianas Rest - Fata Morgana (Melodic Doom/Death Metal)
29. Kayo Dot - Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike (Experimental/Progressive Rock/Avante-garde)
28. Rivers of Nihil - The Work (Progressive/Technical Death Metal)
27. Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum (Industrial/Groove Metal)
26. Bossk - Migration (Atmospheric Sludge Metal)
25. Dream Unending - Tide Turns Eternal (Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal)
24. Maha Sohona - Endless Searcher (Fuzz/Stoner Rock)
23. Dynatron - Origins (Synth, Spacewave)
22. Esoctrilihum - Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath (Occult Black Metal)
21. Cult of Luna - The Raging River (Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal)
20. Kauan - Ice Fleet (Folk/Doom/Post-Rock)
19. Swallow the Sun - Moonflowers (Melodic Doom/Death Metal)
18. Lantlôs - Wildhund (Post-Metal/Rock/Shoegaze)
17. Amenra - De Doorn (Doom/Sludge Metal/Hardcore)
16. Noltem - Illusions in the Wake (Atmospheric Black Metal/Folk)
15. Trigg & Gusset - Black Ocean (Darkjazz)
14. Cognos - Cognos (Progressive Death Metal)
13. Slow Crush - Hush (Shoegaze)
12. Der Weg einer Freiheit - Noktvrn (Post-Black Metal)
11. Deafheaven - Infinite Granite (Shoegaze)
10. Wolves in the Throne Room - Primordial Arcana (Atmospheric Black Metal)
09. Khemmis - Deceiver (Doom/Heavy Metal)
08. Midnight Smoke - Lost Hearts (Darkjazz)
07. Ophis - Spew Forth Odium (Death/Doom Metal)
06. Mastodon - Hushed & Grim (Progressive Metal/Rock)
05. ISON - Aurora (Darkwave/Electronica/Ambient)
04. The War on Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore (Rock/Folk/Americana)
03. Ruin of Romantics - Velvet Dawn (Shoegaze/Dreampop/Synth)
02. Worm - Foreverglade (Death/Doom Metal)
01. The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires (Atmospheric Black Metal/Gothic Doom)
Thank you. I haven't been listening to new music in a while. Honestly I haven't been paying attention to metal for the last several years aside from Blut Aus Nord.
 

teezzy

Fantastik Tuna
You know what else I dug this year? That new Monster Magnet album, A Better Dystopia



Hell yeah, Monster Magnet

wow didn't even realize this was a covers album lmao. i dont know any of these bands


“The Diamond Mine” (Dave Diamond)
“Born to Go” (Hawkwind)
“Epitaph for a Head” (JD Blackfoot)
“Solid Gold Hell” (The Scientists)
“Be Forewarned” (The Macabre)
“Mr. Destroyer” (Poobah)
“When the Wolf Sits” (Jerusalem)
“Death” (Pretty Things)
“Situation” (Josephus)
“It’s Trash” (The Cave Men)
“Motorcycle” (Table Scraps)
“Learning to Die” (Dust)
“Welcome to the Void” (Morgen)
 

Winter John

Member
The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You. I haven't liked any of their stuff since their first record, but this has a real nice uplifting vibe. It's a perfect Saturday night record

Purple Disco Machine - Exotica. Another great uplifting record. This one is way more 80s based. I swear to God there's tracks on here that sound like real disco classics. I checked the stereo at one point because the songs sounded so familiar I thought my wife had put one of her old records on.

The Bug - Fire This is probably what the apocalypse sounds like. Angry hobbits snarling over dark, heavy dub beats.

Deadbeat - Deadbeat Meets The Mole. Deadbeat is my favorite dub producer. He's put a bunch of classic records. This one's a bit more upbeat than his usual stuff.

Madlib - Sound Ancestors. Madlib teamed up with Four Tet for this one. It's real good. I hope they do more together because Four Tet is a great producer.
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
User lists & 3 new outlets added to the OP: NME song of the year, Consequence of Sound, & Stereogum. I did notice an error when trying to direct link via text so I alternated to embed those external sites as bookmarks.

Edit; Also listening to that Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders album and it's very nice so far. I added it to my 'Music for Airports' playlist that is album after album of tranquil music.
 
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There goes my list:

Manchester Orchestra - The Million Faces of God
Fiddlehead - Between the Richness
Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend
Sleigh Bells - Texis
King Woman - Celestial Blues
Turnstile - Glow On
Trophy Scars - Astral Pariah
The Armed - Ultrapop
The World Is A Beautiful Placw And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Illusionary Walls
Every Time I Die - Radical
 
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Days like these...

Poonani should have a ph balance of 0


What an incredible year for music. There were so many amazing releases this year that I had to keep track midway through the year so I would not forget the albums that were already out against the onslaught of albums yet to come.

Like many, this year was a continuation of COVID life. I actually found myself listening to music less while working from home somehow. I never realized how much I used music in the office just to drown out the noise pollution that comes with open office layouts. I began traveling a bit more for work so I did a ton of my listening this year in airports and on airplanes. Not exactly a great environment if one wishes to actively listen. This is all to say, whatever combo of circumstances 2021 brought, it made me realize I miss blogging/writing about music so I plan to (re)launch a place online for me to jot out my thoughts on various music-oriented topics.

And to the meat of the topic at hand: my AOTY this year is by the insanely talented Leon Bridges and his release Gold-Diggers Sound. Something about the sound of this album just resonates down into my bones. I love that Leon makes typically taboo subjects or feelings for men into topics that should be discussed and without any fluff. Highlights of the album, for me, are: Motorbike, Why Don't You Touch Me, Sho Nuff, Don't Worry, Blue Mesas. While The last track, Blue Mesas, is the personal favorite of mine for tackling depression & not sharing those feelings, the penultimate track, Don't Worry, really steals the show on this album. Telling the tale of a happy couple who split and meet later down the road, the track is both a great composition and story. It's duration requires some patience for those unaccustomed to longer music. Though with T Swift having the longest track hit #1 makes me hopeful that the larger music audience will accept Tool-length songs in the mainstream.

If I mix around the order of the remaining 4 albums in the top 5, I would be happy. They are all absolutely killer, start-to-finish. Hell, even the last 5 are bangers from beginning to end. Each is well worth a listen if those genres interest you.

My personal Top 10 list:​

10. Parannoul - To See the Next Part of the Dream
Stand-out track: Analog Sentimentalism
9. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
Stand-out track: Catching Smoke
8. Parquet Courts - Sympathy for Life
Stand-out track: Plant Life
7. Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz
Stand-out track: Ain't Nice
6. Amyl & the Sniffers - Comfort to Me
Stand-out track: Guided by Angels
5. Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
Stand-out track: Posing in Bondage
4. Middle Kids - Today We’re the Greatest
Stand-out track: Stacking Chairs
3. Manchester Orchestra - Million Masks of God
Stand-out track: Angel of Death
2. Wet - Letter Blue
Stand-out track: Clementine
1. Leon Bridges - Gold-Diggers Sound
Stand-out track: Don't Worry


I also want to shout out the album Year of the Horse by the Canadian band Fucked Up. This would have been on my list but I didn't get the LP in the mail until last week so it's too early-on to say whether it edges out the competition.
The entire album is about a horse named Percival and is amazing start-to-finish. If art/hardcore is your thing, give this band a listen.


Con-Z-epT Con-Z-epT : Artificial Ignorance by Gandhabba​
ParaSeoul ParaSeoul : Donda by Kanye West & Screen Violent by Chvrches​
ManaByte ManaByte : Senjutsu by Iron Maiden​
Jennings Jennings : too many to list​
Corpsepyre Corpsepyre : The Ruins of Beverast by The Thule Grimoires​
Loke Loke : Oxidized by Frontierer​
p_xavier p_xavier : The Greater Light to Rule the Night by Armin Van Buuren & Rank 1​
teezzy teezzy : 2-way tie: Wild Type Droid by Failure & Nitrous by Chevelle​
Lionel Richie Lionel Richie : Sinner Get Ready by Lingua Ignota​
OmegaSupreme OmegaSupreme : If I can't Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey​
Richard Packer Richard Packer : Boldy James by Bo Jackson & Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf by Westside Gunn​
T8SC T8SC : God Save the Rave by Scooter​
Winter John Winter John : too many to list​
Kagey K Kagey K : DEMIDEVIL by Ashnikko​



  • BBC Radio 6: Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz
  • Complex: ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’ by Tyler, the Creator
  • Consequence of Sound: Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler, the Creator
  • Paste Magazine: Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra
  • Revolver: Fortitude by Gojira
  • Rolling Stone: Sour by Olivia Rodrigo
  • Stereogum: I Don't Live Here Anymore by The War on Drugs

Other lists:​

  • NPR's song of the year: Montero by Lil Nas X
  • NME's song of the year: Good 4 U by Olivia Rodrigo

Similar topics:​




So, pray tell Gaf, what is your album of the year?
Lady Gaga Dancing GIF
 

marcincz

Member
#1 Middle Kids - Today We're the Greatest

The biggest surprise of 2021 for me. Beauty vocal of Hannah and nice songs.

Honorable mention, Scooter - God Save the Rave.
After so many years Hans (almost 60 y/o!) still recording new, great tracks. Amazing.
 

chris121580

Member
My top 5:

Idles - Crawler(their most accessible album yet)
Petey - Lean into Life. Great indie rock album with heavy influence by Modest Mouse. Listen to Don’t Tell the Boys.
Turnstile - Glow Up. Pure unadulterated rock album with hooks all over
The Hold Steady - Open Door Policy. Their best album in years
Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner’s Mind. I’m not a huge Sufjan fan but this one has stuck with me all year. It’s so good with so many catchy tunes

Just one other to note. Typically I can’t get into music without English lyrics but this band’s album completely hooked me and I listen to it all the time. It’s all in French. They have kind of an LCD Soundsystem vibe. If you have an open mind when it comes to music, give it a try

Feu! Chatterton - Palais d’argile

The song to check out is Cristaux Liquides. Probably my song of the year. The change up at the 3:15 mark is so good
 
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