(1) Telethon - "House Of The Future, Pt. 4"
Starting this mix with my three favorite albums of the month, led by Telethon's Swim Out Past The Breakers. It's just a remarkable album start to finish, though by using an iconic 90s alt-rock lyric as their album title, they have ensured that Ilana and I will spend zero time talking about the album itself and hours trying to think of other good album titles in a similar vein. Favorites so far range from Man It's A Hot One to Ambition Makes You Look Pretty Ugly, but we would love to hear your suggestions.
(2) Alien Boy - "Dear Nora"
Alien Boy's Don't Know What I Am is equally great and well worth your time. I have heard them described as "Galaxy 500 meets Blink-182" and also "Guided By Voices meets Gin Blossoms" and somehow both of those comparisons are roughly accurate.
(3) Dazy - "The Perfect Crime"
My third favorite album of the month is Dazy's MAXIMUMBLASTSUPERLOUD, a collection of big loud fuzzy songs that some guy just recorded in his house.
(4) Phoebe Bridgers - "Kyoto" (Glitch Gum Remix)
I expected the novelty to wear off almost immediately, but it hasn't in the slightest.
(5) Charli XCX - "Good Ones"
Technically a September release, but why wait?
(6) Kacey Musgraves - "Justified"
A good song that will be forever overshadowed in my mind by Shay incredulously telling a boat full of people that she's charging $550 for floor seats for her upcoming LA show. Truly a woman of the people.
(7) Strand Of Oaks - "Jimi & Stan"
As frontman Tim Showalter explains it, "my sweetest buddy/cat Stan sadly passed away, and the only way I could describe my love for him was imagining Stan and Jimi Hendrix hanging out in heaven together smiling and going to shows and having the best time." This is the sweetest, purest, most heartwarming song I have ever heard.
(8) Fortitude Valley - "All Hail The Great Destroyer"
Somehow this is also a song about a cat, though this one is still with us.
(9) Church Girls - "Separated"
Strong Hold Steady vibes here.
(10) Kitner - "Beth Israel"
Sort of a lo-fi Get Up Kids, which weirdly checks a lot of boxes for me.
(11) Big Thief - "Little Things"
It makes me a little bit sad to say this, but Big Thief is really teetering on the line between "music I actually like" and "music I know I'm supposed to like." It wouldn't hurt them to write, like, one chorus at some point.
(12) Laura Stevenson - "Don't Think About Me"
Laura Stevenson's voice has such a unique texture to it. Sadly I am no closer to explaining exactly why I find it so interesting.
(13) Sturgill Simpson - "Juanita" (feat. Willie Nelson)
There are very few people in the world who get to do whatever they want all the time, and I'm pretty sure Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson are two of them.
(14) Silk Sonic - "Skate"
I want to know what happened in the meeting where they decided that "Leave The Door Open" was a better first single than this one. Just objectively wrong.
(15) Chvrches - "Final Girl"
New album Screen Violence is an encouraging new direction for Lauren and the boys. It's not perfect, but at least their EDM phase seems to be behind them.
(16) Katy B - "Under My Skin"
Singles Jukebox really undersold it.
(17) Dave - "Clash" (feat. Stormzy)
This one has been out for awhile but the video of the two of them performing together at Reading Festival really pushed it over the top for me.
(18) Turnstile - "Mystery"
If nothing else, they have given us maybe the weirdest music-related headline of 2021.
(19) Meet Me @ The Altar - "Brighter Days (Are Before Us)"
(20) Low - "More"
Consistent Minnesota excellence.
(21) Halsey - "I Am Not A Woman, I'm A God"
Given Trent Reznor's involvement, I was hoping for something darker and weirder but, my misplaced expectations aside, this is a pretty solid album.
(22) Kim Petras - "Future Starts Now"
It's possible I've been a little too harsh on her lately.
(23) Lizzo - "Rumors" (feat. Cardi B)
(24) Lorde - "Mood Ring"
(25) Kanye West - "Hurricane"
He can do ... actually no, this is probably about the best we can expect from him at this point.