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The Best of 2021: Music Staff Picks

20. Snail Mail – Valentine “Snail Mail retains the same wounded lover ethos and hazy, scorned vocals but with a noticeably more pop-inspired instrumental palette. Indie rock guitars and peppy drums provide a sturdy melodic base, while additions of piano or dreamy synths give this album a sometimes danceable effect.” –Sydney Sjobakken 19. Lingua Ignota – Sinner Get Ready “Lingua Ignota has always incorporated a regal and grandiose instrumental palette, but SINNER GET READY shows a slightly softer side to her work with elements of religious hymns and neofolk. Yet, despite drawing back a bit from her more abrasive tendencies, she still … Continued

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Written contributions by Jaden Amjadi, Derek Tate, and Jake Bisson Jeff Rosenstock – N O D R E A M Throughout his career, though especially the last decade of it, Jeff Rosenstock has done more than possibly any artist to remove the stigma from pop-punk. His earworm melodies, impassioned shouts, and nervous energy consistently produce cathartic listening experiences. His newest effort, the surprise-release N O D R E A M, is no exception to this rule. Acting as a soundtrack to yet another anxious breakdown, songs respond to perceived personal inadequacies (“Old Crap”, “Beauty of Breathing”) and political helplessness (“Scram!”, “N O D R E A M”). While many tracks aren’t more than four minutes, most have a tremendous sense of pacing and dynamism, never wearing out a melodic or sonic idea before moving onto the next. The title track’s different musical phases cover a … Continued

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