20 for 2021 - Your post(ish)-lockdown year top tracks


Desperately looking for a title
Apr 26, 2008
3 of them
With the blessing of @Dr_Grip and by initiative of @public, let's give this a go once again! Post your end-of year-playlists here and tell us about them.

This post is just to start the thread, I will share my personal top 20 in a later one.
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Most of mine is the same/similar to last the year before last year I've noticed, so I've tried to find some new songs that made it into my playlist this last year.

Evanescence - The Chain
A cover that has more energy than the original. Amy Lee has always been my girl crush. Nothing has changed there.

Voices from the Fuselage - Vestibule of Hell
Ex-Tesseract vocalist Ashe O'hara's original band

VIMIC - Fail Me (My Temple)
One of the late great Joey Jordison's post-Slipknot bands. There's a whole album recorded somewhere that's never seen the light of day.

Paradise Lost - Permanent Solution
The Host and One Second era of PL was SO GOOD!

Roadrunner United (the Joey Jordison Sessions) - Tired N Lonely
Written by Joey, and not at all what people expected of him

Helmet - Wilma's Rainbow
A band that were part of the soundtrack to high school for me. Page Hamilton is underrated as a guitarist

Phantogram - You Don't Get Me High Anymore
Occasionally I listen to things that aren't metal...

Junge Junge - I Don't Love You (I'm Just Lonely)
Great summer roadtrip song

Slipknot - Vermillion
Written mostly by Joey and Paul Gray, this gets me right in the feels. Slipknot haven't been the same since The Nine became 7, (and then 6)

The Last Dance - She's Dancing
I'm a recovering goth. TLD were the band that I first fell in love with in the scene.

Stabbing Westward - Lies
See a previous post in the "Song stuck in my head" thread for a story about this band. Glad to hear they've reunited, and there's new music coming our way soon.

Ratcat - That Ain't Bad
Aussie pop-rock royalty. Video features a very young Naomi Watts

Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit
This song still hurts. Chester's voice..

The Killers - Electric Blue (Icehouse Cover)
Big international band cover an iconic Aussie song (which never received any recognition outside .au), and do it to perfection.

Karnivool - New Day
Ian Kenny's voice is still great. Still waiting on a new album though

Dorje - Catalyst
Sad to see that they announced the band were calling it quits at the end of last year. Luckily the middle-aged white guy shaved the dreads off long ago. Wasn't a good look, when he was balding as well. The bass player pulls it off though.

Murderdolls - Summertime Suicide
Joey Jordison's horror-punk side project. Tacky, but fun.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Anastasia
Great song, good story, Myles' voice is great, and Slash isn't bad at playing guitar...

Within Temptation - Somebody That I Used to Know (GOTYE Cover)
Another song that is better than the original. It had potential, but there was something missing, it was too whiney, and never really went anywhere. This is what it should have sounded like to start with.

Vilma Alina - Rikollinen
Once again, had to add something non-English. Had Finnish radio on in the background at some point, while doing other things, and this ended up on my playlist.
I didn't think I really had anything to speak of this year, but I realised that a number of tracks stand out when looking through songs I marked as liked in Spotify in 2021. Once again my choices are probably ones that only I like and I don't care. :p

What lies below is down to having a Spotify subscription, there's no way I would've discovered (or re-discovered in some cases) all of these without having access to basically everything on demand. I highly recommend it. If I want to keep something I can just download the audio from these YouTube videos.

Kavinsky - Pacific Coast Highway (Jackson Remix)
First is one I knew about before but didn't really appreciate until 2021. I prefer this remix to the original.

Starcadian - Pompey Pirate
One I stumbled across by mistake when Spotify in the Tesla went off and did its own thing, didn't think much of it until it gets going about three quarters in and I just learnt to appreciate the entire track.

GUNSHIP & Tyler Bates - Berserker (feat. Dave Lombardo)
I had to look back to see if I was in to GUNSHIP last year. Apparently not. This played after the track above when Spotify went wandering, I had already been listening to GUNSHIP.

GUNSHIP - Tech Noir (Carpenter Brut Remix)
I got into GUNSHIP through Carpenter Brut, this remix was my introduction.

GUNSHIP - Woken Furies
More GUNSHIP, this is my favourite of Dark All Day.

GUNSHIP - The Mountain
Another GUNSHIP track (you bored yet?) from their first album. They also have instrumentals for all tracks, which is nice. This is a pretty cool lyric video too.

Kasabian - ALYGATYR
In October I had a random Kasabian binge. I went through some of their old stuff but some of their recent music hasn't clicked with me. Then they released this at the perfect moment and it felt like old times.

Kasabian - Underdog
Then from their old catalogue, my favourite of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

As last year, I've been supporting LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER on Patreon. He released 4 tracks in 2021 but only two really clicked with me. My favourite of the two is the most recent Mind Over Matter.

Followed by Stupid Me. Sometimes Sam just hits the spot with these music videos and this one is brilliant. If it isn't obvious, he's wearing a full green suit for the bits where he's just a floating Holly head.

Val Bennett - The Russians Are Coming
2021 saw the return of Tim Hunkin with his remastered Secret Life of Machines and new series Secret Life of Components. The theme music for the former stuck with me all year. Versions on YouTube are pretty crap.

The Firm - Star Trekkin'
There has to be a daft one, I just had the urge to listen to this during the year.

Saliva - Spyhunter (2021 Version)
Maybe more daft, Saliva re-released some tracks in 2021, including Your Disease (which has memories from its use in the first Colin McRae: Dirt trailer). They also did the slightly embarassing Spyhunter theme from the old PS2 game. As crappy as it is I love it anyway as I loved the game so much.

Saliva - Your Disease
I actually prefer the old version of Your Disease, so have been listening to that instead.

CHVRCHES - Good Girls
The Forza Horizon games have taught me to enjoy Chvrches so I've occassionally checked for new tracks. This is a good one. I also like the way Lauren's Scottish accent is prominent in Killer and even more in Asking For a Friend. I might have a thing for girls with Scottish and Irish accents.

Gorillaz - The Valley of The Pagans ft. Beck
I discovered Song Machine by Gorillaz pretty late in the year despite it being released last year. Valley of The Pagans is my favourite but The Lost Chord and Désolé are close second. This is the proper music video but Rockstar originally took it down.

Alestorm - Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship
Alestorm had a new album out in 2020 but I didn't see it until 2021, some great tracks on there so I'll post two. This is Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship.

Alestorm - Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening)
If you haven't heard the original Wooden Leg then it's here.

Synthwave Goose - Blade Runner 2049
Another random one that I just enjoyed listening to after stumbling across it. I don't think I would've ever gone looking for Synthwave Goose, none of their other tracks have grabbed me like this one. Yet.

The Cardigans - Hanging Around (Nåid Remix)
Finally an old track that I have on vinyl but found myself listening to more often this year via Spotify, the B-side to the Faithless remix of My Favourite Game that was used on Gran Turismo 2.
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This year was quite interesting to me. In fact, i may make the argument that it was more challenging and with a lot more changes than 2020. As someone who craves stability in life, 2021 was about as stable as a small ship in the ocean in the middle of a hurricane. Exciting, but sometimes a little bit too exciting.
The previous sentence is indeed just a protracted excuse to justify my horrible taste in music.

The Hooters - Satellite
Starting off with a song I was already inordinately fond off. This was apparently my top played song this year. Just a great solid song shitting on televangelists and prosperity gospel. Lord knows we need more of those anyway.

Eric Clapton - She's waiting
From that weird Eric Clapton point between rocking Cream-era Clapton and bearded acoustic Tears in Heaven Clapton. It was written around the time he was separating from Pattie Boyd and produced by a certain Phil Collins. The slower pace and background vocals make me prefer it over the lead single of the Album, Forever Man.

Daft Punk - Voyager
On last year's list, I mentioned that Daft Punk produced the one album on which I really liked every single song. Needless to say, their announcement of disbandment back in February came as a small blow. I had to put something in here. And, let me just say it, the reason I took so long to post my list was literally just choosing what I think was my favorite Daft Punk song. It took literal days, devolving into nitpicking some of my favorite songs of all time (Verdis Quo goes for just a little bit too long, Giorgio by Moroder starts off a bit too slow, the break in Short Circuit is just a little bit too disjointed. Touch should be two songs, Robot Rock is probably destined to be better known as a sample...)

To make a long story short, it became a four way battle between Verdis Quo, Instant Crush (!), Voyager, and Around the World. Voyager won despite the fact it also starts a bit too slow, but ultimately to me it is the zenith of the sound associated with the band. Au Revoir Daft Punk, you are already missed.

Danny Elfman - Happy
This is odd, as this is a song that I don't actually like all that much. Released in 2020, Happy was the opening salvo of Danny Elfman's return to non-soundtrack music since 1995's Oingo Boingo farewell concert. It seems a pandemic was enough to get his creative juices flowing in that direction. I had high expectations from the song. It was a bit heavy for my taste, but I could see the evolution of his sound and looked forward to it.

Unfortunately, Big Mess didn't quite turn out how I expected. Happy ended up being my favorite song from it and probably the only one I would choose to listen. We'll see if he decides to keep recording non-comissioned music in future. At the very least, I remain expectant.

Frank Sinatra - Luck Be A Lady
So, as I said, my year was much less stable than the last couple of ones, so this turning up on the playlist every now and then was somewhat amusing and comforting.

Celebrate the Nun - Don't You Go
It wasn't a single and the band split in 1992. Their entire catalog disappeared from shelves until we didn't need them anymore and reappeared in iTunes in 2009. I discovered it through an AMV when those were a thing that people used to do and wouldn't be immediately claimed to oblivion. It's the little song that could on this list

Breakwater - Say you love me girl
Or is it this one? Breakwater's music is nowadays mostly sample fodder, but one day listening to internet radio this came up on the playlist and found it refreshingly chill. Imagine my surprise when I discover the album it came from also has the sample that would later be used for Robot Rock, that song I said would be doomed to be a sample itself.

Chicane feat. Moya Brennan - Saltwater
A Trance song? On my list? It's more likely than you think. Especially if it is the shorter radio edit.

Romeo Void - Never Say Never
I actually discovered the Julien K version of this song first. And it was fine. However, a cursory search told me that it was a cover. And when I listened to the original, I had to conclude that the original was better.

Bee Gees - If I can't have you
I was watching a documentary on the Bee Gees the other day, and when this song came on. I realized that I not only hadn't heard it in a while, but it's actually one of the better ones from their catalog (More than a woman may top that list, I'm not sure). Bring on the chest hair and the crazy cool medallions.

Hanson - Penny and me
Yes, indeed. Turns out the mmmBop kids eventually did music that you would actually choose to listen. Puberty helped immensely.

Icehouse - Electric Blue
I don't have an explanation of this one. I like it. The song was also inordinately popular in Honduras much in the same way Designer Music was strangely popular in Mexico.

Aztec Camera - Jump
It's like a Richard Cheese song that you can enjoy unironically.

David Lindley - Mercury Blues
A late entry on the list, I was only made aware of it when I was discussing compiling a list of older music for my sister, who seems to have an ever-expanding music interest list. It showed up, I liked it so much I put it on my rotation.

Bobby Brown - On Our Own
Stories tell about a time when the movie singles were likely to outshine the movie itself. This is a product of that time. And with the new Ghostbusters movie out, it seems like the music algorithms picked up the buzz and began presenting this song to me. It's one of the rare cases where I had no problem with it.

The Church - Under the milky way
You know that song that you like, then repetition means you find it okay, then you stop hearing it for a while, and then it comes back better than it was when you first listen to it? That's this one.

Weezer - Island in the Sun
Island in the Sun is wonderfully chill. To me, it achieves a strange feat in managing to be the perfect song for its title. Listen to it on a negative mindset and it may help you relax. Listen to it on a positive one and you may indeed be transported to a place without any problems, where the sea breeze is cool and the sand is hot and the phone is on Airplane Mode.

Weird Al - Everything you know is wrong
Do I really need a reason for this one? It's Weird Al and the song absolutely *leafs through zoomer dictionary* slaps.

Hall and Oates - Adult Education
Does anyone know why the songs are now credited as "Daryl Hall and John Oates" on most streaming services? Anyway, this was actually the A-side to the much more popular Maneater (or Can't Go for That on the UK), and when it was dropped on a compilation album, it was overshadowed by Say it Isn't So, Kiss on My List, You Make My Dreams, and Private Eyes. But it's a good song on its own right.

Alphaville - Big in Japan
So, funny story, I had never actually heard this song before this year. I heard the remasters, which seem to have been mixed on some misguided loudness wars attempt to make them cleaner, reduce the reverb, and remove an entire synth line, but clearly it was all for naught as this version is far superior.

Honorable Mention: "Definitive Daft Punk" by Cameron Adams. You know how hard it was to pick a single one of their songs? Do you want to hear most of their pre-2013 output distilled into an excellent mix? Click the link for it on glorious HTML5 visualization form
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Started building this list thinking I didn’t listen to anything specific this year, only to end up excluding 1/3 of what I wanted to include, even with one song / artist. According to Spotify Ayreon was once again my most played artist (888mins and that’s still excluding all youtube play) and still didn’t fit on this list. Many of these had a short lifetime in heavy rotation, but did stand out when they did. The list is in approximately chronological order like last year, but this time the songs selected didn’t have as deep an attachment to events around me. For some reason my main interest in music this year was technical I ended up watching a lot of technical breakdown and playthrough videos to have someone explain why I like songs that I like. Music videos were also bigger part of this year and here songs without music videos are just youtube links, to lessen browsing effort.

Unleash the Archers - Northwest passage
Started powerplaying this in 2020, but that did carry over to 2021.

Trollfest - Kjettaren mot strømmmen
Their style is odd to start with, but discovering their music videos added a new layer of fun to this. Once again something I listened to a lot in 2020, but music videos brought them to 2021.

Igorrr - Spaghetti forever
Same story. After going through the latest album thoroughly, older production followed suit. Not as odd as Very noise, but their drum sound and mixing of genres are My Brand.

S3rl - Not alone
Ever since discovering this, it has been my go to for happy hardcore. S3rl comes up on shuffle and I often end up queuing several other songs as well.

In this moment - The fighter
Not that the vocal performance wouldn’t be enough, but the very simple video brings a lot to the song for me.

Devin Townsend - Regulator
“Attended” the stream concert of his first album, Ocean machine in May, which of course lead to playing that album often. Both before and after the show. Many favourites on this album already, but some live versions added new things to listen to. Regulator sounded very different to both album and other recorded live versions.

Jess and the ancient ones - Shining
This was thrown at me from a FM radio station. I mean who listens to those and why would they play something outside commercially approved playlists..? :mrgreen:

Niviro - The return
As is typical for me, a random song from years back started playing in my head at some point in the summer, so on to the most played list it goes.

Missy Elliot - 4 my people
Don’t remember where, but I remember either hearing some discussion or reading something about her success and album sales. That got me listening through several albums that were part of my youth. And since I’ve been watching a lot of music videos this year, I went through a fair few of her music videos as well.

Zombie girl - Creepy crawler
Spotify enforced powerplay. Didn’t seek to play this too many times, but shuffle threw it at me throughout the year. Found some good vibes from it towards autumn.

Kamelot - Elisabeth I, II & III live
Strangely enough for someone who listens to a lot of music, I’m not a big fan of live performances (neither at gigs or recordings), but seeing this dissected on one of reaction channels made me appreciate this version over the recorded album version.

Jinjer - Wallflower
One of my most played artists ever since I discovered them a few years ago. Several songs (with videos) were released this year, and while this wasn’t the most played, the subject hits home the most.

Wintersun - Sons of winter and stars (live studio)
Like with Kamelot, discovering this studio live version brought new life to all songs from that session. I’ve heard and read stories about creation of Wintersun albums and the mix seems rather different to the album version and on many fronts this does sound much better.

Xerath - I hold dominion
A random Spotify suggestion. I still haven’t figured what was so special with this (probably rather S.Y.L.-esque vocals), but as soon as I heard this, it instantly ended up on the powerplay list.

Infected mushroom - More of just the same
Like Xerath, nothing too special behind this. One of many Spotify recommendations that I ended up replaying a lot.

Feuerschwantz - Ding
For some reason I watched a lot more music videos than just listening to music later in summer. Youtube started pushing Feuerschwantz at some point. And after a few music videos I ended up here, which I find an excellent combo of many things, to recommend the band to people.

Finntroll - Blodsvept
Autumn also brought along some older stuff. Don’t remember why, but a lot of Finntroll was listened to towards the end of year.

Beast in black - One night in Tokyo
On the theme of music videos, Beast in black happened to release two new videos while I was still more actively watching music, rather than just listening. I like the direction where they are going and I would guess both videos also factored into the initial experience.

Fleshgod apocalypse - The fool
Something this heavy is a rather new addition for me. Took a long time and several playthrough videos of all the instruments to “get” this band, but orchestral elements with metal is my thing, so I kept coming back. This was the most played track for me and it’s too bad it doesn’t have a music video, as I really like their style on that front as well.

Archspire - Drone corpse aviator
Speaking of playthrough videos, Following technically skilled drummers and demanding drum tracks lead me here eventually. I’m still not sure if I even get their music, but just the speed of everything that’s going on keeps me going back to this, trying to understand what’s happening.

Infected rain - Orphan soul
One of those bands where I’ve added one song to my lists years ago and which I rediscovered again this summer. But looking more into them kicked in somewhere around November/December after I saw this video. It does bring more depth to the lyrics.
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