#New Music Friday: Year In Review

Happy 2022, I guess.

Days, weeks, months, years—do they even exist during a pandemic? We feel the passing of time in different ways. At the grocery store, my cart overflowing with organic toddler snacks, I stood six feet from the shopper ahead of me for an eternity. When my time finally came, I mentioned to the cashier that these days seem like months, months seem like decades, yesterday seems like a year ago. I can’t remember anything.

“Huh,” she replied.

This time of year, over at AudioQuest and GoldenEar, we like to prepare for our dealers and business partners a sort of summary of events, accomplishments, and other news items—particularly positive product reviews and other “big wins,” as the sales guys like to say—that we want to properly acknowledge, or, at the very least, not forget.

So, I thought I’d do the same here, filling this “New Music Friday” space with a few short lists of albums that I especially enjoyed, wrongly neglected, or somehow completely missed.

Five Especially Enjoyed Albums of 2021

Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (4AD)
Idles: Crawler (Partisan Records)
Black Midi: Cavalcade (Rough Trade)
The Goon Sax: Mirror II (Matador)
Japanese Breakfast: Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

Five (of Many, Many) Wrongly Neglected Albums of 2021

Low: Hey What (Sub Pop)
Dean Blunt: Black Metal 2 (Rough Trade)
Arlo Parks: Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive Records)
Arooj Aftab: Vulture Prince (Verve)
Sons of Kemet: Black to the Future (Impulse!)

Five (of Still Many, Many More) Somehow Completely Missed Albums of 2021

Lucy Dacus: Home Video (Matador)
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, & The London Symphony Orchestra: Promises (Luaka Bop)
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble: NOW (International Anthem)
Irreversible Entanglements: Open the Gates (Don Giovanni)
Cleo Sol: Mother (Forever Living Originals)

There’s always next year, we hope. Love, health, and happiness to us all.