The NACC Community’s Top 10

Favorite Records of 2021

the homebucket (aka Matthew Boam)
KGAR 93.23 FM (Metal Mayhem Maddnes)

“2021 has been another great year for heavy and indi rock music. This is just the Top 10 of 30 Heavy albums from the homebucket and KGAR for the year. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.”

Iron Maiden “Senjutsu” (BMG)
Vildhjarta “Måsstaden Under Vatten” (Century Media)
Jinjer “Wallflowers” (Napalm)
Tetrartch “Unstable” (Napalm)
Hypocrisy “Worship” (Nuclear Blast)
Turnstile “Glow On” (Roadrunner)
Ex Deo “The Thirteen Years Of Nero” (Napalm)
Between The Buried And Me “Colors II” (Sumerian)
Gojira “Fortitude” (Roadrunner)
Alien Weaponry “Tangaroa” (Napalm)


Kelli Lynch

“Music is my life.”

A Place to Bury Strangers – Hologram EP – Ded Strange
Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark – Rock Action
Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember – Carpark
Dark Mark vs Joe Skeleton – S/T – Rare Bird
Dinosaur Jr – Sweep It Into Space – Jagjaguwar
The Great Leap Forward – Revolt Against An Age of Plenty – A Turntable Friend
Sincere Engineer – Bless My Psyche – Hopeless
Swansea Sound – Live at the Rum Puncheon – S/R
Turnstiles – S/T EP – Blowtorch
Were Promised Jetpacks – Enjoy the View – Big Scary Monsters


Munsey Ricci
Skateboard marketing Ltd./Metal Contraband


Iron Maiden, Senjutsu
Exodus, Persona Non Grata
Bullet For My Valentine, Bullet For My Valentine
Motorhead, Everything Louder Forever
At The Gates, The Nightmare of Being
Aborted, Mainacult
Archspire, Bleed The Future
Wolftooth, Blood And Iron
Converge, Bloodmoon
Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell/Mob Rules Deluxe Edition


Shine On

Porter Robinson – Nurture – Mom + Pop
Jon Hopkins – Music For Psychedelic Healing – Domino
Green-House – Music For Living Spaces – Leaving
Arca – Kick(s) ii-iiiii – XL
Floating Points – Promises – Luaka Bop
Merk – Infinite Youth – Humblebrag
Masatomo Yoshizawa – Guitar Esquisse Volume One – KAKUBARHYTHM
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou – Fire
Chad VanGaalen – World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener – Sub Pop
black midi – Cavalcade – Rough Trade


Byron David Gonzalez
Latin Alternative/ 88.5 FM


Bahia Margarita
Hay Un Fuego
Llugares Imaginaros
Far In
Una RosaYou thought We Left Because The Door Was Open But We Were Waiting Outside
Hella Love
Flower Moon


Michael Philips

“There was an avalanche of great, innovative jazz releases in 2021, from straight ahead to Latin to avant-garde. Also, there are more and more incredibly talented women advancing in the jazz world. It wasn’t always this way, except for singers. Now six of my top ten are female instrumentalists and composers.”

Helen Sung – Quartet + (Sunnyside)
Dave Holland – Another Land (Edition Records)
Kevin Sun – <3 Bird (Endectomorph Music)
Rachel Eckroth – The Garden (Rainy Days Records)
Pino Palladino & Blake Mills – Notes With Attachments (Impulse!)
Jennifer Wharton’s Bonegasm – Not A Novelty (Sunnyside)
Arturo O’Farrill – Dreaming In Lions (Blue Note)
Alexa Tarantino – Firefly (Posi-Tone)
Songjae Sun Chordless Quartet – Roots To Branches (Bandcamp)
Maria Grand – Reciprocity (Biophilia)


Benoit Poirier
CISM 89,3 FM

Low – Hey What
Myriam Gendron – Ma Délire – Songs of love, lost & found
M. Caye Castagnetto – Leap Second
Album – Album
Constant Smiles – Paragons
Thierry Larose – Cantalou
Vanille – Soleil ’96
pataugeoire – pataugeoire
Colleen Green – Cool
Rosie Lowe & Duval Timothy – SON


Amy Presley

Modest Mouse “The Golden Casket”
Arlo Parks “Collapsed in Sunbeams”
Dayglow “Harmony House”
Holly Humberstone “The Walls Are Way Too Thin”
Pip Blom “Welcome Break”
Joe P “Emily Can’t Sing”
Run River North “Creatures in Your Head”
Kills Birds “Married”
Brandi Carlile “In These Silent Days”
IDLES “Crawler”


Chris “Roin Dig” DeRoin
KRBX Radio Boise / Forces Of Obvious Luck

Sidewalk Chalk x Sam Trump – Sun Filled Sky (digital single)
Raw Poetic – Big Tiny Planet
Damu the Fudgemunk – Conversation Peace
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Aesop Rock x Blockhead – Garbology
Afro Cluster – The Reach
Skyzoo – All the Brilliant Things
Kota the Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill a Sunrise
David Begun – The PharTribe
Mega Ran – Live ’95


Ed Zeitz
WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland

“every year is a good year for music, and so was this one.”

Weakened Friends”Quitter”
Cheekface”Emphatically No.”
Ratboys”Happy Birthday, Ratboy”
illuminati hotties”Let Me Do One More”
Lucy Dacus “Home Video”
Hit Like A Girl “Heart Racer”
Tamar Berk “The Restless Dreams of Youth”
Bad Bad Hats “Walkman”
Hurry “Fake Ideas”
Julia Bardo “Bauhaus, L’Appartamento”


Art Menius
WHUP/The Revolution Starts Now

Jackson Browne – Downhill From Everywhere
The Connells – Steadman’s Wake
The Beatles – Let it Be (Super Deluxe)
Robin & Linda Williams – Better Times A-Coming
Corey Harris – Resurrection Blues
John McCutcheon – Bucket List
Laura Love – Uppity
Reggie Harris – On Solid Ground
Son Volt – Electro Melodier


Greg Harness
KRBX / Ramblers’ Retreat

“Another great year with a ton of outstanding releases to wade through”

HANNAH JAMES & TOBY KUHN “Sleeping Spirals”
SPIERS & BODEN “Fallow Ground”
DEVIN HOFF “Voices From The Empty Moor”
JOHN FRANCIS FLYN “I Would Not Live Always”
LEWIS BARFOOT “Glenaphuca”
OLD BLIND DOGS “Knucklehead Circus”
SAM KELLY & THE LOST BOYS “The Wishing Tree”
STICK IN THE WHEEL “Tonebeds for Poetry”


Rusty Roberts
The Planetary Group

Dry Cleaning “New Long Leg”
Lady Dan “I Am The Prophet”
The War On Drugs “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
Ryley Walker “Course In Fable”
Cheekface “Emphatically, No”
Wild Pink “A Billion Little Lights”
Illuminati Hotties “Let Me Do One More”
Arlo Parks “Collapsed In Sunbeams”
Geese “Projector”


Domenic Paolo
Pirate! Promotions

A Great Big Pile of Leaves “Pono”
Pom Pom Squad “Death of a Cheerleader”
Sydney Sprague “maybe i will see you at the end of the world”
Twenty One Pilots “Scaled and Icy”
Lunar Vacation “Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp”
Olivia Rodrigo “Sour”
Chloe Moriondo “Blood Bunny”
Zeph “Scared of Everything [EP]”
PinkPantheress “to hell with it”
Juice “Boy Story”


Meredith Tarr
MPress Records

Grace Pettis – Working Woman
Poetica – Poetica
Seth Glier – The Coronation
Rachael Sage – “Cave (Don_Cerati Remix)”
Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue”
Dar Williams – I’ll Meet You Here
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
Flock Of Dimes – Head Of Roses
The Joy Formidable – Into The Blue


Lavender Cohen-Henneberry
WXCI-91.7 FM

“Excellent year in music!”

Courtney Barnett “Things Take Time, Take Time”
Snail Mail “Valentine”
Sleater-Kinney “Path of Wellness”
Damon Albarn “The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows”
St. Vincent “Daddy’s Home”
The Front Bottoms “Voodoo Magic”
Curtis Harding “If Words Were Flowers”
They Might Be Giants “Book”
Parquet Courts “Sympathy For Life”
Various Artists “I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico”


Peter Chapman
Fallen Tree Records

“Without too many live shows, it felt like the way people discovered, and subsequently listened to their music wasn’t quite like it was before. Old habits of audio listening were disrupted, and this filtered into the music that was being produced. So some highlights come from either those releases who had everything near enough in the bag before lockdowns, adapted and embraced the challenges, or who dove in quickly to make art very much from this time. Deep emotions were hard to avoid.”

T. Buckley – Frame by Frame (album)
Joe Nolan – Scrapper (album)
Bùmarang – Echo Land (album)
Vivienne Wilder – Ricky (Heart) (single)
San Holo – bb u ok? (album)
Ocie Elliott – Slow Tide (EP)
Joe Nolan – Riverbends (single)
LUWTEN – Draft (album)
Low – Hey What (album)
Aisha Badru – Rebirth (single)


daniel “kid” yoshida
KRBX, Radio Boise

“Another killer year in music, at least for the people looking in the right places.”

Sawtooth Monk – Peregrination (self-released)
Adia Victoria – A Southern Gothic (Atlantic)
Sunny War – Simple Syrup (Hen House Studios)
Charlie Parr – Last of the Better Days Ahead (Smithsonian Folkways)
Cedric Burnside – I Be Trying (Single Lock)
Secnd Best – No Indigo (self-released)
Psychic Graveyard – Veins Feel Strange (Fat Beats)
Though Partner – Work Cake (Wild Ambitions/Crass Lips)
Lilac – Lilac (self-released)
IDLES – Crawler (Partisan)


Trevor Morrison

“2021 was hell. At least the music was good. Here are my favorite non-work albums in alphabetical order.”

Cassandra Jenkins “An Overview On Phenomenal Nature”
Dry Cleaning “New Long Leg”
Erika de Casier “Sensational”
For Those I Love “For Those I Love”
Grouper “Shade”
Katy Kirby “Cool Dry Place”
L’Rain “Fatigue”
Mdou Moctar “Afrique Victime”
Ovlov “Buds”
Sufjan Steves & Angelo De Augustine “A Beginner’s Mind”


Marissa Mele
Not Your Mother’s Tongue

“So much amazing music came out. Counting down my top 50 on my shows in December.”

Jamire Williams “But Only After You’ve Suffered”
Numa Gama “Memorias de Oneyda”
Oui Ennui “L’esprit de l’escalier”
Beverly Glenn-Copeland “Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined”
Saint Abdullah “To Live A LA West Vol. 1 & 2”
Various Artists “Nahma: A Gulf Polyphony”
JJJJerome Ellis “The Clearing”
Madlib “Sound Ancestors”
Moor Mother “Black Encyclopedia of Air”
Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble “Now”


Luke Phillips
Planetary Group

“2021 had so many good releases it was hard to settle on picks! Really happy to see so many different favorite records from everybody.”

Mo Troper – Dilettante
Iceage – Seek Shelter
The Laughing Chimes – In This Town
Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR
The Armed – ULTRAPOP
The Weather Station – Ignorance
Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
Lady Dan – I Am The Prophet
Pino Palladino & Blake Mills – Notes With Attachments
Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams


Devin Castaño
Planetary Group

Nate Smith – Kinfolk 2: See the Birds
Vince Staples – Vince Staples
Spirit Of The Beehive – ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH
Andrian Younge – The American Negro
NOV3L – Non-Fiction
Bachelor – Doomin’ Sun
Badbadnotgood – Talk Memory
Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
Every Time I Die – Radical


David May
WHFC 91.1 FM/Desert Island Jazz

“There were so many great recordings this year, choosing only 10 is tough!”

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, “First Flight to Tokyo”
Harold Mabern, “Mabern Plays Coltrane”
Christian McBrid & Inside Straight, “Live at the Village Vanguard”
Oscar Peterson, “A Time for Love”
Joe Farnsworth, “City of Sounds”
Nicholas Payton, “Smoke Sessions”
Jim Snidero, “Live at the Deer Head Inn”
Alex Collins, Ryan Berg, Karl Latham, “Together”
Wolfgang Lackerschmid, “Summer Changes”
John Hasselback III, “Entrance”


Bud Johnson
“Acoustic Accents”

Nefesh Mountain “Songs For The Sparrows”
Tim O’Brien “He Walked On”
John Smith “The Frey”
Craig Cardiff “All This Time Running”
Billy Strings “Renewal”
Bela Fleck “My Bluegrass Heart”
Eli West “Tapered Point of Stone”
The Foreign Landers “Put All Your Troubles Away”
Watchhouse “Watchhouse”
Humbird “Still Life”


Bill Lupoletti
WRIR 97.3 FM Richmond Independent Radio / Global A Go-Go

“Great year for Latin music and especially music from Colombia, a country with an amazingly broad and deep music scene. And rock ‘n’ roll may be perceived as past its sell-by date in the USA, but it certainly isn’t in the developing world.”

Nkumba System (Colombia-Cameroon) “Bailalo Duro!”
Money Chicha (USA-Peru) “Chicha Summit”
Delgrès (France) “4:00 AM”
La Mambanegra (Colombia) “Los Ultimos Buses De Colores”
Fat Freddy’s Drop (New Zealand) “Wairunga”
Frente Cumbiero (Colombia) “Cera Perdida”
Hamdi Benani, Mehdi Haddab & Speed Caravan (Algeria-France) “Nuba Nova”
Oliver Nayoka (Nigeria) “Aja Wele Wele”
Los Chapillacs (Peru) “Lo Bueno, Lo Malo, Lo Feo Y Los Alarcosos Chapillacs”
Meridian Brothers & Conjunto Media Luna (Colombia) “Paz En La Tierra”


Rob Sloane
WBGU, 88.1 FM, Bowling Green, OH/Music Director, host of “Spirits in the Material World,” co-host of “Something Stupid”

“Women continue to dominate indie music!”

Horsegirl, “Ballroom Dance Scene”/”Sea Life Sandwich Boy” 7″
Japanese Breakfast, “Be Sweet”
Bachelor, “Doomin’ Sun” (album)
Dry Cleaning, “Scratchcard Lanyard”
Slothrust, “Once More for the Ocean”
Hatchie, “This Enchanted”
Ducks Ltd., “Modern Fiction” (album)
Big Red Machine, “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” (album)
Pom Pom Squad, “Death of a Cheerleader” (album)
Lucy Dacus, “Home Video” (album)


Douglas DuPont

“Great Year for Ears Everywhere”

King Woman – Celestial Blues
Nick Shoulders – Home On The Rage
Night Beats – Outlaw R&B
Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort To Me
GOJIRA – Fortitude
Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz
Turnstile – GLOW ON
Shannon & the Clams – Year of the Spider
The Heritage Orchestra, Jules Buckley & Ghost Note – The Breaks
Molly Lewis – The Forgotten Edge


Maddie Schwappach
The Syndicate

“beyond grateful to be experiencing live music again!!”

Japanese Breakfast “Jubilee”
Playboi Carti “Whole Lotta Red”
Lingua Ignota “Sinner Get Ready”
Cassandra Jenkins “An Overview on Phenomenal Nature”
Spellling “The Turning Wheel”
Arca “KiCK series”
Amyl & the Sniffers “Comfort to Me”
Black Country, New Road “For the First Time”
Genesis Owusu “Smiling with no Teeth”
Pink Pantheress “to hell with it”


Crystal Bunch
KZMU Moab Community Radio

Laura Jane Grace- At War With The Silverfish
Melvins- Five Legged Dog
Shane Morgan Raps- Journal Entries
SOJA- Beauty in Slience
The Elevator’s- Castles
Charlotte Cornfield- High in the Minuses
Iain Howie- Patterns
The Raging Nathans- Waste My Heart
Tyler the Creator- Call Me If Your Lost
Tune-yards- Sketchy


Jason Pulaski
KUCI 88.9FM / Innamissions Radio

“list below in no particular order”

Jane Weaver – Sunset Dreams
L’éclair – Confusions
Fat Freddy’s Drop – Wairunga
DJ Harvey presents The Sound Of Mercury Rising Vol. 3
Bicep – Isles
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band – Expansions
F.S. Blumm & Nils Frahm – 2×1=4
Squire – STOP
DJ Nu-Mark – Pass The Courvoisier / It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop
Wajatta – Do You Even Care Anymore


Nancy Steadle
WRCT Pittsburgh (Electronic Music Director)

ManMadeMan “Emotional Software”
John Tejada “Year of the Living Dead”
Third Attempt “Beats From The Quarantine”
Zeds Dead “Catching Z’s”
Glo Phase “Early Moments”
Tor “Oasis Sky”
Gaspard Augé “Escapades”
Reza Safinia “Yang”
WheelUP “Good Love”
Banco de Gaia “Rewritten Histories, Vol. 4: 2013 – 2017”


Joe McGinnis
The Syndicate

The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
Nation of Language – A Way Forward
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz
Mustafa – When Smoke Rises
Kississippi – Mood Ring
Small Black – Cheap Dreams
Parquet Courts – Sympathy For Life
Twin Shadow – Twin Shadow
Pale Waves – Who Am I?


Dave Blevins

“What a great year for music! If there is a positive to take from the pandemic, it’s that a lot of artists spent time in the studio in 2020 and early 2021 to craft some amazing records. Having been a teenager in the mid-1990s, it was great to see some of my favorite musicians release new music that I could select for airplay – among them Juliana Hatfield, Quicksand, Dinosaur Jr. come to mind. I loved seeing the evolution of Turnstile, having followed them in the early days, they remind of how Beastie Boys evolved on every album with changes to their overall sound. I got into a lot of artists/bands that I had not prior to this year such as Destroy Boys, Japanese Breakfast, girl in red, Babe Club, and many more. It’s extremely hard to pick just 10.”

Turnstile – “Glow On”
Juliana Hatfield – “Blood”
Destroy Boys – “Open Mouth, Open Heart”
Quicksand – “Distant Populations”
Beach Bunny – “Blame Game” EP
Babe Club – “Remember This Feeling”
Dinosaur Jr. – “Sweep It Into Space”
The Connells – “Steadman’s Wake”
Parquet Courts – “Sympathy For Life”
Shad – “TAO”


Jerry Steller
Vitriol Radio Promo

“I don’t even pretend to say this is a definitive list of the year’s best. I know there are a lot of potentially great albums that I didn’t get a chance to check out. But these are 10 albums (some that I had the pleasure of promoting) that I really enjoyed this year.”

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – CARNAGE
Lord Huron – Long Lost
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
Rostam – Changephobia
The Zolas – Come Back To Life
Said The Whale – Dandelion
Chloe Moriondo – Blood Bunny
Laura Mvula – Pink Noise
Chvrches – Screen Violence
Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed


Isha Del Valle
WMNF Community Radio

“After the mess 2020 was it was nice to see so many connect to nature, their roots and explore in new directions.”

Pahua – Ofrenda
Helado Negro – Far In
N.Hardem – Verdor
Juan Wauters – Real Life Situations
Juan Son – Portal
Cola Boy – Prosthetic Boombox
Bomba Estereo – Agua
Ani Cordero – Es Amor
YoSoyMatt – YoSoyMatt
Chango Menas – El Sol


Michael Roark
WXNA/The Friday Afternoon Club

“It’s been a good year.”

Mia Doi Todd “Music Life”
Rose City Band “Earth Trip”
Dean Wareham “I Have Nothing To Say To The Mayor Of L.A.”
Curtis Harding “If Words Were Flowers”
La Femme “Paradigmes”
Styrofoam Winos “Styrofoam Winos”
Silver Synthetic “Silver Synthetic”
Sonny & The Sunsets “New Day With New Possibilities”
The Exbats “Now Where Were We”
Lee “Scratch” Perry & the Spacewave “Dubz of the Root”


Lauree McArdle
Spin Cycle on WERA-LP 96.7FM

“Another fantastic year of music! Tons of albums that could be top 10 and this list could change at any given moment.”

Pip Blom – Welcome Break
Ducks Ltd. – Modern Fiction
Rookin – Infinite Georgia
The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness – Songs From Another Life
Drew Beskin – Problematic for the People
Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade
Juliana Hatfield – Blood
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Enjoy the View
Blunt Bangs – Proper Smoker
Good Morning – Barnyard


tori benes
Tiger Bomb Promo

“my top albums of 2021 (excluding tiger bomb releases) :’)”

Kalbells”Max Heart”
Moontype “Bodies of Water”
Virginia Wing “private LIFE”
Lily Konigsberg “Lily We Need to Talk Now”
Erika De Casier “Sensational”
The Weather Station “Ignorance”
Bernice”Eau De Bonjourno”
Indigo De Souza”Any Shape You Take”
Tele Novella”Merlynn Belle”


Bob Weiser
WOMR Community Radio Cape Cod The Old Songs’ Home

Diana Jones Song to a Refugee
Crys Matthews Changemaker
Reggie Harris Solid Ground
Allison Russell Outside Child
Lula Wiles
John Flynn
Becky Buller
Peggy Seeger
John McCutcheon
Billy Strings

Erin Wolf
91.7 FM WMSE

“2021 had a lot of true gems in it. Putting this list together was easier than I thought it would be! Here are my faves in no particular order…”

Nation of Language, ‘A Way Forward’
Leo Nocentelli, ‘Another Side’
Madlib, ‘Sound Ancestors’
Cold Beat, ‘War Garden’
Kelley Stoltz, ‘Antique Glow (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition)’
Moontype, ‘Bodies of Water’
Black Marble, ‘Fast Idol’
Mdou Moctar, ‘Afrique Victime’
Altin Gün, ‘Yol’


Shil K. Patel
Tiger Bomb Promo

“I actually picked 20 favorites of 2021 that I didn’t promote via Tiger Bomb. You can see the full list on the Merge Records 2021 Year End Lists or on on January 1st! In the meantime here are the first 10 of those 20 in alphabetical order!”

Coco – Coco (First City Artists/AWAL)
Grouper – Shade (Kranky)
Hand Habits – Fun House (Saddle Creek)
Helado Negro – Far In (4AD)
IAN SWEET – Show Me How You Disappear (Polyvinyl)
Indigo De Souza – Any Shape You Take (Saddle Creek)
Mia Joy – Spirit Tamer (Fire Talk)
Ki Oni – Indoor Plant Life (Sound As Language)
Katy Kirby – Cool Dry Place (Keeled Scales)
L’Rain – Fatigue (Mexican Summer)


Mike Saffran

“It was a decent year for some very good new releases by a few established alternative-radio bands (The War On Drugs, Pale Waves and Chvrches, for instance). But, especially for alt radio, it was also nice to hear (and give radio spins to) some really good releases by lesser-known, up-and-coming artists/bands (such as Sophie Powers and Test Subjects). Plus, “honorable mention” goes to what’s possibly my favorite single of 2021: Portugal. The Man’s incredibly catchy “Steal My Sunshine” (ft. Cherry Glazerr)!”

The War On Drugs | I Don’t Live Here Anymore
Pale Waves | Who Am I?
MNDR | Hell To Be You Baby
Chvrches | Screen Violence
Test Subjects | Study
FXRRVST | Dear Friend; Pt. 1 & 2
Willow | Lately I Feel Everything
Sports | Get A Good Look Pt. 1
Portugal. The Man | “Steal My Sunshine” (ft. Cherry Glazerr)
Sophie Powers | “Life Goes On!!


Aaryn Reynolds
KZSC 88.1 FM

“Overwhelmed with good music”

Spellling “The Turning Wheel”
St. Vincent “Daddy’s Home”
Smerz “Believer”
Faye Webster “I Know I’m Funny haha”
Dean Blunt “Black Metal 2”
L’Rain “Fatigue”
Hildegard, Helena Deland, Ouri “Hildegard”
meetka “Lateen – EP”
Samuel Organ “A Safe Place in Cyberspace”


Gareth Sturrup
102.7 CHOP FM

“Another very weird year. You can still hear how COVID has affected each one of the albums that came out this year. Lots of truly great music, but it does feel like I’ve been listening to everything while having a hangover. It was nearly impossible to rank albums 3 – 10 on my list since I keep going back and forth. This was where it stood the moment I hit submit.”

Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
Adjy – The Idyll Opus
Dltzk – Frailty
Stars Hollow – I Want To Live My Life
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
Me Rex – Mega Bear
Foxing – Draw Down The Moon
Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny Haha


Chloe Beebe

Esperanza Spalding “Songwrights Apothecary Lab”
Sons of Kemet “Black to the Future”
Brandee Younger “Somewhere Different”
Cktrl “zero”
Theon Cross “Intra-I”
R+R=NOW “R+R=NOW Live”
Nubya Garcia “Source We Move”
Floating Points “Promises”
Sam Gendel “AE-30”


Miranda L. Tarrow
Freeform Portland

Lingua Ignota – Sinner Get Ready (Sargent House)
Low – HEY WHAT (Sub Pop)
Black Country, New Road – For the First Time (Ninja Tune)
Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador)
Dolphin Midwives – Body of Water (Beacon Sound)
Raja Kirik – Rampokan (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
Marissa Nadler – The Path of the Clouds (Sacred Bones)
Sarah Mary Chadwick – Me & Ennui Are Friends, Baby (Ba Da Bing!)
Nous Alpha – A Walk in the Woods (Our Silent Canvas)
Sermon of Flames – I Have Seen the Light, and It Was Repulsive (I, Voidhanger)


Sharan Sethi
KZSC Santa Cruz

Jigsaw Youth “Attacks”
Sasami “Skin A Rat”
Citizen “Life in A Glass World”
The Oozes “Bitchboy”
Surfbot “Happy Happy Halloween”
Banshee “I Was Never Yours”
Sprints “Modern Job”
SHLUG “The Scent Of Roy Keane”
Pleasure Venom “Fascist”
Split Persona “On Your Own”


Jeff Szczesniak

Lantlos – Wildhund
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
Stargazer – Psychic Secretions
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Olhava – Frozen Bloom
Indigo De Souza – Any Shape You Take
The Chills – Scatterbrain
Deerhoof – Actually, You Can
Bachelor – Doomin’ Sun
Turnstile – GLOW ON


Valentino Petrarca
WSOU 89.5 FM

“We had some incredible releases! I could easily make a top 50 list.”

Welcome to Horrorwood by Ice Nine Kills
For Those Who Wish To Exist by Architects
Nowhere Generation by Rise Against
American Noir EP by Creeper
Life In Your Glass World By Citizen
Below By Beartooth
Horizons/East by Thrice
In The Court of the Dragon by Trivium
Kin by Whitechapel
Salem II EP by Salem


Zack Stiegler

John Carroll Kirby – Septet
Kills Birds – Married
Jon Batiste – We Are
Chelsea Carmichael – The River Doesn’t Like Strangers
Chris Potter – Sunrise Reprise
Deap Vally – Marriage
Vels Trio – Celstial Greens
Kenny Garrett – Sounds from the Ancestors
Garage a Trois – Calm Down Cologne
Sons of Kemet – Black to the Future


Juliana McCullen

“lotta big names out this year, and a lot of small ones too. some I think, should be given high praise, and others not. everyone did their best. sometimes their best is not good enough.”

Orquesta Akokan “16 Rayos”
Kikagaku Moyo “Deep Fried Grandeur”
Arooj Aftab “Vulture Prince”
Owiny Sigoma Band “The Lost Tapes
Kasai Allstars “Black Ants Remixes”
Henryk Debich “Zblizenie”
Phuong Tam “Magical Nights: Saigon Surf, Twist & Soul (1964-1966)”
KOKOKO! “Donne Moi”
Altin Gun “Yol”
Hannah Lee “Cosas Finas”


Zac Clement
KVCU Radio 1190

Julien Baker “Little Oblivions”
Tasha “Tell Me What You Miss the Most”
Japanese Breakfast “Jubilee”
Lucy Dacus “Home Video”
Dijon “Absolutely”
Injury Reserve “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”
Little Simz “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”
L’Rain “Fatigue”
McKinley Dixon “For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her”


Chris Heim
KMUW/Global Village

“It has been humbling to see how artists (and stations!) have adjusted to the challenges of Covid, continuing to give us inspiring music – yes, shaped by, but rising above these times. It’s an honor to be able to point to just a few of the many remarkable releases of 2021 and a joy to share them here and on air.”

Warsaw Village Band “Uwodzenie/Waterduction”
L’Alba “A’ Principiu”
Dr. Lonnie Smith “Breath”
Jenny Klukken “Color in Motion”
Adam Schultz “Soulful Distancing”
Sue Foley “Pinky’s Blues”
Justin Adams & Mauro Durante “Still Moving”
Joe Fiedler “Fuzzy and Blue”
Bob Corritore & Friends “Spider in My Stew”
Vaev “Vaev”


Wes Flexner

“2021 started correctly with the reissue of Jeff Chang’s “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” reminding us of the entire history of Hip Hop.2021 results:Hip Hop decided KRS-1, and the Lox would headline MSG. Griselda said: ‘we told y’all raw rap was still running things. Y’all ever heard Marshall Mathers. He sold some rap records.’Common, Rhymesayers, and RTJ keep proving 90’s CMJ events saw potential. Tyler, the Creator was like: ‘I will rap over Roy Ayers.’Hip Hop’s music said: ‘Hip Hop dealt with the 500 Years of racism, the Crack Epidemic, the LA Riots, 911, George Floyd and COVID. People can listen to rap, and realize sometimes the world doesn’t work correctly.’Turnstile released the year’s most exciting rock album….Turnstile likes rap….2021 was a really good year to like Rap.”

Turnstile- Mystery
KRS – One – Knock Em Out
Conway the Machine ft. Ludacris + JD – Scatterbrain
Styles P and Havoc – Nightmares 2 Dreams
Tyler, The Creator – Sir Baudelaire
Evidence – Where Do We Go From Here
Aesop Rock + Blockhead – Garbology
Atmosphere w AesopRock w MF Doom- Barcade
RZA + DJ Scratch – Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater
Grafh + Sheek Louch + Ransom – Valid


Troy Lemberg

“I didn’t delve deep into records this year with limited to no live shows!”

Turnstile “Glow On”
Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders, and London Symphony Orchestra “Promises”
Dry Cleaning “New Long Leg”
Nala Sinephro “Space 1.8”
Slant “1”
Tunic “Quitter”
Lorde “Solar Power”
The Weather Station “Ignorance”
Julie Doiron “I Thought Of You”
the body “I’ve Seen All I Need To See”


Jesse Stensby
Vitriol Radio Promotion

Rostam Changephobia (Matsor Projects)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Carnage (Goliath)
Arlo Parks Collapsed In Sunbeams (PIAS)
The Zolas Come Back to Life Deluxe Edition Light Organ
Mother Mother Inside (Warner)
Snail Mail Valentine (Matador)
The War on Drugs I Don’t Live Here Anymore (Atlantic)
Japanese Breakfast Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Low Hey What (Sub Pop)
Said The Whale Dandelion (Everything Forever)


Mean Willie Green
WUSM – Bloody Nose (heavy)


Knocked Loose – A Tear in the Fabric of Life
Alien Weaponry – Tangaroa
Every Time I Die – Radical
A Pale Horse Named Death – Infernum in Terra
Mastodon – Hushed and Grim
Gojira – Fortitude
Full of Hell – Garden of Burning Apparitions
Turnstile – Glow On
Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon
Cradle of Filth – Existence is Futile


Jack Catlin

Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders – Promises
Abstract Mindstate – Dreams Still Inspire
Gilligan Moss – Gilligan Moss
Sad Night Dynamite – Sad Night Dynamite
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Anchorsong – Mirage
Bicep – Aisles
Nation Of Language – A Way Forward
Parcels – Day/Night
Jungle – Loving In Stereo


Ra’keem Simmonds
CKDU 88.1 FM

“This was a great year for music truly, so much music was dropped and I thank all the artists that have sent music to CKDU in the last year. As the Music Director this is my personal TOP 10. CKDU has made a top 30 recordings of 2021 for the station itself as well but these are my personal picks. You should defiantly check some of them out. I have gone with 10 recordings, this singles singles, EPs, and albums. Just recordings that had a lasting effect on me and that I enjoyed immensely. I will say that above all else there was one record that Amazed me this year and it was Come Back to Life by The Zolas. If you check out one
record from my life it should be that one.”

The Zolas “Come Back to Life”
Joywave “After Coffee”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra “That Life”
LDN “Skipping Classes”
Vix 20 “Orla the Octopus”
Franky Fade “Contradictions”
Favours “Left Behind”
Monowhales “Out With The Old”
Unimerce, Lil Berete “Life”
Wavves “Hideway”


MarySue Twohy
SiriusXM The Village

“Lot of good albums this year! Hard to choose. Yasmin Williams, Debi Smith, Charlie Parr would be in my top 20!”

Chris Pierce – American Silence
Emily Scott Robinson
Amythyst Kiah – Wary & Strange
Allison Russell – Outside Child
Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley
Billy Bragg – The Million Things That Never Happened
Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi – Calling Me Home
EmmyLou Harris & The Nash Ramblers – Ramble in Music City – Th eLost
Flock of Dimes – Head of Roses
Staves – Good Woman


adrian lugo
WEFT Champaign | sync soundsystem | DJ 3345

“As is usually the case there is lots of good music being released. It just takes time and effort digging thru all the nonsense. On a personal note the best thing to happen musically this year was my discovery of Phoebe Bridgers. Her music is glorious and has changed my life. I haven’t had music hit me this hard since I was a teenager. Here’s my top ten for 2021 in no particular order. xoxo adrian xoxo”

Phoebe Bridgers “That Funny Feeling”
San Holo ‘bb u ok”
The Halluci Nation “One More Saturday Night”
OCTUBRXLIBRV “Negro in Negro”
Park Hye Jin ‘Before I Die; Ninja Tune”
Bicep “Isles”
Keya Nemesis “Lala Salama”
Dabow “Weird Music of All Kinds”
Sun-El Musician “African Electronic Dance Music”


Steve Woodward
KWVA – Metal Madness

“2021 was a good year and I think 2022 will be even better!”

The Pretty Reckless – Only Love Can Save Me Now
Architects – Animals
Rob Zombie – King Freak
System of a Down – Protect the Land
Five Finger Death Punch – Living The Dream
Seether – Bruised and Bloodied
Evenescence – Better Without You
Foo Fighters – Waiting on a War
Mammoth WVH – Don’t Back Down
Papa Roach – Kill the Noise



“I miss live music. Please wear a mask and get vaccinated / get your booster shots. These albums are in no particular order.”

The Armed – Ultrapop
Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine of Hell
Full of Hell – Garden of Burning Apparitions
Cartel Madras – The Serpent & the Tiger
Snotty Nose Res Kids – Life After
PONY – TV Baby
Ikoqwe – The Beginning, The Medium, The End, and The Infinite
Park Hye Jin – Before I Die
Gustaf – Audio Drag For Ego Slobs
The Body & Big Brave – Leaving None But Small Birds


Jenn Misko
The Band Mom

“Oh no!! I spent a lot of my music listening time in 2021 catching up on stuff that did not come out in 2021. I did a lot of Bandcamp Friday purchases that had been on my wishlist for years (what was I waiting for?). Most of the 2021 releases I listened to were Band Mom artists, which I consider unethical to pit against each other to include on lists like this, but I do love all them the most. But here’s a real loose shooting-from-the-hip lineup of ten 2021 releases by (non-Band Mom) artists I love, and I hope to spend a lot more time with them and many others in the coming weeks and months!”

Idle Ray “Idle Ray”
Fishboy “Waitsgiving”
Julien Baker “Little Oblivions”
The Mountain Goats “Dark In Here”
Bachelor “Doomin’ Sun”
Lucy Dacus “Home Video”
Helado Negro “Far In”
Julie Doiron “I Thought Of You”
Mega Bog “Life, And Another”
Sloping “Completed Songs”


Joltin Joe Pszonek
Radio Nowhere & The Train Wreck Show. Folk Music Notebook

“Whoa! More releases than any human could handle this year!”

James McMurtry The Horses and The Hounds
Side Pony Lucky Break
Ally Venable Heart of Fire
Mickey Dolenz. Dolenz Sings Nesmith
Jackson & Sellers. Jackson & Sellers
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Georgia Blue
Gawain and The Green Knight. A Sleeping Place
Dave McMurray. Grateful Deadication
Ben Walker and Kirsty Merryn Life and the Land
Rigby Summer. Geography


Sal Espana

Bill Nelson – Dazzlebox
Ciccada – Harvest
Colin Rayment – Polyphonic Memories
Jim Ottaway – Threshold Of The Universe
Sensitive Chaos – Closer To Home
Gary Numan – Intruder
Transponder – Terminae Space
Padilla/Allen – Strange Gravity
Jon Durant – Vista
Arjen Schat – Manifolds


Richard Gordon (aka

“Lots of great music in lots of genres this year! My quick list from the “folk” side of the family. Reviewed my plays this year to help compile this list…..”

The McDadess: The Empress
Various Artists: Dolly & The Devil — Festival Season
Tim O’Brien: He Walked On
Sinner Friends: Bad News Gospel
Shane Cook & The Woodchippers: Be Here For A While
Amythyst Kiah: Wary + Strange
Della Mae: Family Reunion
Peter Keane: Blues Ballads Cowboy Songs
Corey Haris: Insurrection Blues
EllaHarp: Screaming Into The Void


David Sommerstein
North Country Public Radio’s The Beat Authority

Little Simz “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”
Mon Laferte “Seis”
Arlo Parks “Collapsed in Sunbeams”
IFE “0000+0000”
Okuté “Okuté”
Fimber Bravo “Lunar Tredd”
Jon Batiste “We Are”
Altin Gun “Yol”
The Allergies “Promised Land”
Silk Sonic “An Evening With Silk Sonic”


Jenny Inzerillo
High Plains Morning / High Plains Public Radio

“Thanks to all the dedicated artists & industry professionals keeping their focus on the creative process, we had enough excellent music this year to help us survive it and maintain a good mood. GRATEFUL FOR EVERYONE & honored to be able to spin so many fabulous new albums.”

Hayden Pedigo – Letting Go
Ana Egge – Between Us
Bronwynne Brent – Undercover
Parker Millsap – Be Here Instead
Dori Freeman – Ten Thousand Roses
Jaimee Harris – The Congress House Sessions
Jackson Grimm – Sober Again
Jesse Aycock – Jesse Aycock
Dallas Burrow – Dallas Burrow
KC Jones – Queen of the In-Between


Kim Tracy
WHPC 90.3

The Mountain Goats – Dark in Here
Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life
Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time
Bleachers – “Stop Making This Hurt”
Fruit Bats – The Pet Parade
Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember
Idles – Crawler
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
Turnstile – Glow On
Geese – Projector


David Sanford
Distiller Promo

“Tons of great music to get us through the year!”

ALLERGIES, THE “Promised Land” (Jalapeno)
MARGO CILKER “Pohorylle” (Fluff & Gravy)
KASAI ALLSTARS “Black Ants Always Fly Together, One Bangle Makes No Sound”
(Crammed Discs)
BAD BAD HATS “Walkman” (Don Giovanni)
STR4TA – Aspects (Brownswood)
TOMMY GUERRERO “Sunshine Radio” (Too Good)
EVOLFO “Site Out of Mind” (Royal Potato Family)
JUANA MOLINA ‘Segundo (Remastered)’ (Crammed Discs)
DOM LA NENA “Tempo” (Six Degrees Records)
CEU “Um Gosto de Sol” (Urban Jungle)


Aaron Scholz

La Luz – La Luz
Dr. Lonnie Smith – Breathe
Silver Synthetic – Silver Synthetic
Black Midi – Cavalcade
Michael Hurley – The Time Of The Foxgloves
Cool Ghouls – At George’s Zoo
The Fall – Live at St. Helens Technical College
Elvis Costello – Spanish Model
Barry Gibb & Various – The Gibb Brothers’ Songbook Vol. 1
Amyl & The Sniffers – Comfort To Me


Brian Robb

“Who would have ever thought an exchange between Cady and Jason would become the greatest lyric of the year?”

Snail Mail “VALENTINE”
Turnstile “GLOW ON”
Flock Of Dimes “HEAD OF ROSES”
Illuminati Hotties “LET ME DO ONE MORE”
Japanese Breakfast “JUBILEE”
Pinkpanthress “TO HELL WITH IT”
Dry Cleaning “NEW LONG LEG”


Andrew Wieler

“A year filled with live, acoustic, or covers records, 2021 feels like the equivalent of a Netflix feature movie: a couple parts that stick with you, but largely, once you’re no longer looking at it it instantly fades from your memory.”

Every Time I Die – Radical
Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole
Sleep Token – This Place Will Become Your Tomb
The Lion’s Daughter – Skin Show
Sermon of Flames – I Saw the Light and it was Repulsive
Amigo the Devil – Born Against
Vitrail – Les Pages Oubliées
Grale – Agitacion
Bridge Burner – Disempath
Cvlt ov the Svn – We Are the Dragon


Russ Slaten, KRUA Loud Rock Director
KRUA 88.1FM, Anchorage, Alaska –

“Riotstarter Russ’ Top 10 Metal Albums of 2021”

STORTREGN ‘Impermanence’ Artisan Era
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM ‘Primordial Arcana’ Relapse
ARCHSPIRE ‘Bleed The Future’ Season Of Mist
SCALAR PROCESS ‘ Coagulative Matter’ Transcending Obscurity
CYNIC ‘Ascension Codes’ Season Of Mist
RIVERS OF NIHIL ‘The Work’ Metal Blade
GRIMA ‘Rotting Garden’ Grima
Soen ‘Imperial’ Silver Lining


Oscar Zubia Jr.
Nettwerk Records

“Great music in odd numbered years makes for great music festivals in even numbered years!”

Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over the Country Club (Interscope/Polydor)
Another Michael – New Music and Big Pop (Run For Cover)
Playboi Carti – Whole Lotta Red (AWGE/Interscope)
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)
SPELLLING – The Turning Wheel (Sacred Bones)
Charlie Hickey – Count the Stairs (Saddest Factory/Dead Oceans)
Alien Boy – Don’t Know Who I am (Get Better)
Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Columbia)
Matt Maltese – Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow (Nettwerk)
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence (Glassnote)

 NACC WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS : Listen here on Spotify

Complete new charts are available to paid subscribers.


To receive the free NACC 200 in your inbox weekly, please enter your email address and info here:

* indicates required