Two spectacular birthday presents are the inspiration behind my 2021 end of year list. My husband surprised me by commissioning Jen Lemasters to create Trish Keenan and Laetitia Sadier action figures. These thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts are the highlight of a year otherwise filled with tedious monotony. I began the pandemic channeling my stress into genuine productivity. I flourished for a spell, however the one note feeling of chronic emptiness crept in late summer and stayed. I realized only recently that I have been quietly grieving for the death of our collective loss of life. Not just the very real people who have passed away during the pandemic, but for all of our own lives that evaporated in March of 2020. In truth, this year was hard.
Miraculously, music has continued to offer me a meaningful connection to the world at large and create a bridge to my prepandemic self. Music and friendships forged over the past two years, remind me that there is still plenty of good in this world. This has made a hard year, gratefully much softer.
Circling back to my end of year theme, I wanted to share 10 artists (in no particular order plus a playlist of even more music) that I as a fan of Broadcast and Stereolab, have really enjoyed this year. Opalescent with their rainbow array of influences from around the world and multiple decades, 2021 was a VERY good year for fans of retro-futuristic pop.
Wishing you all love, joy, kindness, great music, and good health in this year.
Astral Brain – The Bewildered Mind (Shelflife)
Beautify Junkyards – Cosmorama (Ghost Box)
Cobalt Chapel – Orange Synthetic (Klove)
Kit Sebastian – Melodi (Mr Bongo)
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou (Fire Records)
Dummy – Mandatory Enjoyment (Trouble in Mind)
Tara Clerkin Trio – In Spring (World of Echo)
The Mind – Open Up the Window and Leave Your Body (Lumpy)
KCIDY – Les Gens Heureux (Vietnam)
Tracy Wilson runs bi-weekly new music newsletter Turntable Report and the online shop Courtesy Desk. Also check out her series on RecordCollectHER insta account!