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Sowing's 2021

I already did my awards ceremony here (, but I also want to keep up with my annual list format. Per tradition, here are my top 20 of the year!
20Marissa Nadler
The Path of the Clouds

Mystical and ethereal; campfire ghost stories for nights or rainy days.
19Lightning Bug
A Color of the Sky

Shoegazey dream pop with divine vocals and heavenly synths. You'll feel like you're levitating.
18Wolf Alice
Blue Weekend

Late-90s/early-00s grunge influenced indie-rock that sounds bigger and brighter than ever.
17Anna Leone
I've Felt All These Things

A slowly unfolding emotional trainwreck, illustrated in hushed, timid folk-pop melodies.
16Biffy Clyro
The Myth of the Happily Ever After

Anxious, riffy alternative rock exploding with infectious choruses.
The Act of Forgiveness

Your tour guide to all things pop, this overlong album ranges from lush romantic folk to soul/R&B all the way to classical and hip-hop.
Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath

Dark, twisted, gnarly blackened death metal with creepy synths and snarling demonic growls.
13So Hideous
None But a Pure Heart can Sing

Avant-garde blackened post-hardcore with rich orchestral flourishes.
12Between the Buried and Me
Colors II

Recklessly creative prog/death-metal(core) with as many unexpected turns as a nighttime roller coaster ride.
Etemen Ænka

Heavy post/sludge metal with a preference for epic riffs/solos/breakdowns; will satisfy any possible metal craving.
10Lord Huron
Long Lost

Lush, highly melodic indie-folk that feels like a warm summer afternoon spent hiking in the woods.
9Sloppy Jane

Sprawling, grandiose avant-pop which sees its narrator become unhinged across a series of long, morbid ballads.
8Ethereal Shroud

Emotionally profound black metal with some of the best intros, screams, and lyrics I've ever heard from the genre.
7Manchester Orchestra
The Million Masks of God

Perfectly flowing, thematically unified indie-rock with intimate lyrics and a flair for the dramatic.
6The Killers
Pressure Machine

A jarring statement album from the ghosts of alt-rock past, this Americana record is a sad and beautiful observation of rural decay in the United States.
5Leon III
Antlers in Velvet

Proggy, guitar-driven, psychedelic country rock? Sign me the hell up. This thing is structurally elaborate and stunningly gorgeous - another breakthrough for a genre that's been buzzing in recent years.
4The Felice Brothers
From Dreams to Dust

Rustic folk/country with a timeless feel. The brilliant blend of humor and morbidity makes these melodic gems enjoyable and emotionally profound in equal measures.
Hushed and Grim

Hushed and Grim brings a "classic metal" feel to the table with its emphasis on melodies/choruses and guitar work. This double album has zero filler, and every song is a contender for one of Mastodon's best. A career achievement, this is.
2The World Is a Beautiful Place...
Illusory Walls

Prog-emo to save the day? TWIABP evolve, mature, and flourish across this magnum opus, blending their trademark emo/post-rock with winding prog, post-hardcore, and even some metal influences. One of the most experimental and simultaneously enjoyable releases of the year.

One of the darkest and most unsettling releases I've ever heard. The atmosphere swirls with shadowy, ritualistic ambience, terrifying post-industrial beats, and progressive electronics. Throughout the entire two hour experience, it somehow manages to be thoroughly engrossing and immersive. Swans meets Radiohead. AOTY.
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