Andrew Stewart Poop 2021

BEST: 2021

Buy Tyler the Creator / Call Me If You Get Lost New or Used via Amazon
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1. Tyler the Creator / Call Me If You Get Lost: Deep, complex and sparkling with energy, the songs here veritably leap out of the speakers as if in three dimensions. Here Tyler dials back the soul-vamp sound he favored on Igor and presents a more measured, serious set dominated by his meta-commentary on the life of Tyler, by Tyler. Touching on the high-low nature of wealth and fame and his own identity as a young gay black man, here he’s produced a true tour de force that sets its own standard and, at moments, channels the spirit of Marvin Gaye’s best work. (playlist: “Massa”)

Buy Angel Du$t / ”Yak”: A Collection of Truck Songs New or Used via Amazon
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2. Angel Du$t / ”Yak”: A Collection of Truck Songs: This indefatigable pop-punk trio only writes great songs, and this collection of new and old tunes is crushingly good, feathering an upbeat dance-track sensibility into their party house sound. (playlist: “Never Ending Game”)

Buy Porches / All Day Gentle Hold! New or Used via Amazon
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3. Porches / All Day Gentle Hold!: This long-time-favorite, perennially-underachieving band finally puts all the pieces together, delivering a near-perfect, short-but-sweet synth-pop gem that is guaranteed to make you smile, and almost guaranteed to make you move. (playlist: “Lately”)

Buy IAN SWEET / Show Me How You Disappear New or Used via Amazon
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4. IAN SWEET / Show Me How You Disappear: Tour de force album full of powerful confessionals that repeatedly build from quiet acoustic-electronic sounds to soaring, explosive arena-worthy sing-alongs; the best pure emotional release on any album this year. (playlist: “Drink The Lake”)

Rent UV-TV / Always Something via Amazon
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5. UV-TV / Always Something: More pleasing pop-punk, this one is just sheer joy, every song a burst of flavor in your brain; this self-produced Queens trio kick out the jams on a simple, spare album that never stops rocking. (playlist: “Back To Nowhere”)

Buy Colleen Green / Cool New or Used via Amazon
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6. Colleen Green / Cool: She’s nearly irresistible, jamming hard throughout this album of clean, melodic pop-rock songs that put a psychedelic twist on a classic ‘90’s sound. For her, dialing back and letting the guitar ring out adds a certain shimmer that means everything. (playlist: “Posi Vibe”)

Buy Brockhampton / ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE New or Used via Amazon
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7. Brockhampton / ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE: Straight-up fucking amazing, this album explodes from the first beat and never loosens its grip, full of songs that are propulsive, powerful and personal. (playlist: “What’s The Occasion?”)

Buy Illuminati Hotties / Let Me Do One More New or Used via Amazon
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8. Illuminati Hotties / Let Me Do One More: Brash and edgy and occasionally annoying, here she tempers her punk sound with a sweeter tone and solves the riddle, balancing things beautifully. (playlist: “Knead”)

Buy Cory Hanson / Pale Horse Rider New or Used via Amazon
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9. Cory Hanson / Pale Horse Rider: The dude from Wand trims the sails and crafts a beautiful, weird set of songs saturated with sadness, but just trippy enough to keep you chasing the buzz. (playlist: “Another Song From The Center of the Earth”)

Buy Vince Staples / Vince Staples New or Used via Amazon
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10. Vince Staples / Vince Staples: Full of skeletal head-up-chest-out stories of paranoia and isolation laced with sadness, this album was wildly underrated and, like Vince, probably misunderstood. (playlist: “Take Me Home”)

11. Parquet Courts / Sympathy for Life: Polyrhythmic and psychedelic, this new sound channels Remain in Light-era Heads in the best way. (playlist: “Walking At a Downtown Pace”)
12. Bill Callahan & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy / Blind Date Party: Eclectic, bold and gorgeous set of covers. Stirring vocals and inventive arrangements yield a near-masterpiece. (playlist: “O.D.’d in Denver”)
13. Claud / Super Monster: They’re having a moment, and it’s all sticky-sweet, candy-apple anxious doom. A study in contrasts, sounding bright and shiny while going deep. (playlist: “Soft Spot”)
14. quickly, quickly / The Long and Short of It: Invest some time in this home-brew synth-pop project out of Portland and you’ll unearth groovy, soulful gems throughout. (playlist: “Come Visit Me”)
15. Japanese Breakfast / Jubilee: Earning a spot on every year-end list, this is packed with heartbreaking songs arranged beautifully, and jams. So many jams. (playlist: “Posing For Cars”)
16. La Luz / La Luz: This is the best they’ve ever sounded, their easy, appealing, throwback surf-rock sound improved by a saturated, near-cinematic production quality. (playlist: “Goodbye Ghost”)
17. Faye Webster / I Know I’m Funny haha: A comedown from her last album, this one is seeping with a bemused, end-of–the-night languor; and she’s still insanely appealing. (playlist: “Cheers”)
18. Nervous Dater / Call In The Mess: Dark-horse Brooklyn band may not be doing anything groundbreaking, but beat out Snail Mail this year simply by staying desperate. (playlist: “The Dirt”)
19. The Mountain Goats / Dark in Here: John Darnielle fatigue is NOT A THING; he just can’t miss, cranking out another complex, novelistic, unique, funny, fantastic album. (playlist: “Lizard Suit”)
20. Juan Wauters / Real Life Situations: Call it street-level Tower-of-Babel cinema-verité, this one’s got a funky attitude and a great soul sound, but remains laid back and mellow. (playlist: “Presentation”)
21. Black Country, New Road / for the first time: The best of the British post-prog Midi-Squid gang this year, this album is clean and digestible but also super fucking weird. (playlist: “Track X”)
22. Scott Hirsch / Windless Day: Funky country blues with gospel overtones from an original member of Hiss Golden Messenger, this one’s enjoyable and really well-crafted. (playlist: “Spirits”)
23. Indigo DeSouza / Any Shape You Take: She’s got something special here, fusing an R&B-pop sound with lyrics that repeatedly twist your brain (and heart) into knots. (playlist: “Late Night Crawler”)
24. Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird / These 13: These two old friends and original Zippers sing traditional folk songs in a hauntingly soulful modern style. (playlist: “Sweet Oblivion”)
25. Shannon & the Clams / Year of the Spider: A retro-rock album referencing classic sounds without ever sounding old; could have been a Bloodshot record from the ‘90’s. (playlist: “I Need You Bad”)

Aeon Station / Observatory: A depressed and depressing semi-Wrens follow up that still flies.
Bachelor / Doomin’ Sun: Supergroup of Jay Som + Palehound sounds great, can’t quite find a footing.
Julien Baker / Little Oblivions: Notable for moments of stunning power and clarity, but it drags a bit.
Beach Bunny / Blame Game EP: A short and shiny offering from these purveyors of sharp pop-punk.
Black Midi / Cavalcade: Another weirdo-genius album from these self-indulgent post-prog Brits.
Blair / Tears to Grow EP: Brief Brooklyn epic sounds like Doug Martsch fronting a slowcore Pavement.
Boy Scouts / Wayfinder: Sweet angst and warped harmonies pull you in through the looking glass.
Camp Trash / Downtiming EP: One of the most appealing song sets of the year, throwback alt-country.
Lucy Dacus / Home Video: Somewhat too polished to really love, the craft is top-notch, but it lacks soul.
Dinosaur Jr. / Sweep It Into Space: Yet another surprisingly great latter-day album from J Mascis.
Dry Cleaning / New Long Leg: Her spoken words echo King Krule’s style, and she’s got plenty to say.
Tim Easton / You Don’t Really Know Me: Our old friend from Nashville is locked down, but blowing up.
Billie Eilish / Happier Than Ever: Impressions are no substitute for listening, and this sounds amazing.
Ethel Cain / Inbred EP: One of the absolute best of the year, a stunningly original and powerful work.
Fake Fruit / Fake Fruit: Fuzzy jangle-rock from Oakland with a hard edge and a debt to A. Savage.
Fiddlehead / Between the Richness: Boston emo band is great, just a little too smooth to rise above.
Fruit Bats / The Pet Parade: True love and loyalty don’t allow for fair judgment. A down year? Dunno.
Geese / Projector: These Brooklyn kids must love Squid, diving deep in search of their own sound.
Hand Habits / Fun House: A puzzle: a quantum leap in sophistication, but are they trying too hard?
The Hold Steady / Open Door Policy: Back to form with top-notch songs…but their time has passed.
Jay Gonzalez / Back to the Hive: Drive-By Trucker surprises with a classic Beatles-influenced sound.
José González / Local Valley: Quiet guitar maestro breaks your heart like a Swedish Elliott Smith.
Home Is Where / I Became Birds EP: Sit-up-straight Florida band hits the bullseye with this indie gem.
Hovvdy / True Love: Almost-perfect set of gentle folk-inflected tunes suffers from a too-soft center.
Iceage / Seek Shelter: Bizarre amalgam of American rock and European metal influences, from Denmark.
Katy Kirby / Cool Dry Place: Hook-laden sweetness, with far more substance than at first listen. Love it.
Kiwi jr. / Cooler Returns: They’re having more fun than anyone on this new set of bouncy party tunes.
Mannequin Pussy / Perfect EP: Like a quick punch to the throat, they’re telegraphing bad intentions.
Jesse Marchant / Antelope Running: He continues his run of quiet, understated and beautiful songs.
Nation of Language / A Way Forward: Another synth-heavy 80’s homage, less than their last, still great.
Palberta / Palberta 5000: Bard-cum-Brooklyn trio are weird for weird’s sake, but their charm shines on.
Pink Sweat$ / PINK PLANET: Not sure why this wasn’t more lauded, but this is great R&B, á la Khalid.
Ratboys / Happy Birthday, Ratboy: New and old takes from this fantastically talented Chicago band.
Jeff Rosenstock / SKA DREAM: Sometimes stupid is just smart: an all-ska cover of last year’s No Dream.
Samia / Scout EP: You might expect less than a fully-formed, gorgeous EP from this Hollywood kid.
Ty Segall / Harmonizer: This doom-prog set is a little monotonous, despite moments of sheer power.
Snail Mail / Valentine: I prefer the desperate, afflicted, heartbroken Snail to this more cerebral sound.
Starflyer 59 / Vanity: Somewhere between a 70’s horror soundtrack and Timber Timbre, this rules.
Laura Stevenson / Laura Stevenson: Soulful Saugertiesian sings sad, sweet, serious songs.
Squid / Bright Green Field: Brilliant, but simply too much to digest at once, no matter your appetite.
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy / Superwolves: Too maudlin, doesn’t measure up to the original.
Tigers Jaw / I Won’t Care How You Remember Me: Sneaky-great indie-folk album from Scranton, PA.
Tonnstartssbandht / Petunia: A shambling, rambling, psychedelic homage to the American Primitive.
Trace Mountains / House of Confusion: More buttery-smooth lost-love folk songs, out of Kingston.
Tune-Yards / sketchy.: Sneaky-good, though not as weird as past offerings; she’s still got it.
Turnstile / Glow On: Insanely slick, cranked-up, ass-kicking band that remind me of peak Incubus.
War On Drugs / I Don’t Live Here Anymore: I really wanted to get into this, but I kept falling asleep.
Wavves / Hideaway: Underrated power-pop, with too few great songs to flesh out an entire album.
Jane Weaver / Flock: Uncategorizable British art-pop album is truly appealing, and out of left field.
Wild Pink / A Billion Little Lights: Sweet best-friend folk-pop album is full of stunning moments.

The Armed / Ultrapop
Lana Del Rey / Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Blue Banisters and everything else
Low / When You Found Me

Spotify playlist here: (Opens in new tab)

Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY