A Roundup of New Music to Get Your 2021 Playlists Started

There is something special about the turn of a new year. When all the dust has settled from the hectic holiday season and the resolutions are in full swing, it feels necessary to rid your music library of last year’s feelings and update your playlists with equally exciting new music. Here are some songs and albums that are deserving of your attention:

  1. The first song comes from Chicago’s very own dream popstar, Claude. Her newest single, “Everything’s Great,” speaks to Gen Z and Millennial existential dread. “It’s fine,” we often say to ourselves as the world burns around us. The singer songwriter narrates the apocalyptic year of 2020 we leave behind us; with phone addiction, unease, and the unknown future ahead. “You’ll get through life faster / if you’re a good liar” is the lyric that hits the hardest. The production feels like a synthy ballad to lay under the stars to.

2. Pansy is another band hailing from the Midwest, with roots in both Detroit and Chicago. Their latest single, “Buried,” is a soft and jangly song with poetic overtones. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Mat Hagger, bassist Ben Abid, drummer Cam Frank, and guitarist Danny Sein, pansy is gearing up for another single release. Recommended for fans of Anna Burch, Andrew Starr, and Bedouine. 

3. UK psych band Landshapes guide listeners to a new realm with the new album Contact, released on Bella Union Records. Electronic and math rock elements are consistent throughout, which brings a layer of complexity to songs like “The Ring” and “Dizzee.”  The experienced quartet have honed in on their creative approaches, resulting in a renewed sound. Vocalist Luisa Gerstein explained the album’s title and themes of isolation, “Contact with each other; contact with the wider world amidst its unravelling; music feels like a really essential part of that right now.” 

4. Following up on the success of their 2018 debut album, Street Worms, the gritty post-punk band Viagra Boys are back with a new album to tide us over for the year. Welfare Jazz plays off the band’s classical training in jazz music and adds a bit of flare, profanity, and vigilantism to the mix. Songs like Girls & Boys are spastic and indicative of the loneliness with oneself, while the final track is an outerspace country-style duet. Lots of variety here. 

5. Good Times Rock n Roll Club is a New York-based label that distributes and curates punk music with split 7” vinyl. Their latest release (Issue #3) features singles from DIY-veterans Fun Time Objects and Carlitos Guey. “Hey! Joey” comes from Fun Time Objects, who also released C20/20 – Go Go! on Good Times this month. The band’s general sound, perfectly encompassed on their track, is fast-paced and playful punk with ripping guitars. Guey’s contribution. “Drive You Wyld” is the type of song you could imagine playing in a sexy red convertible circa the 1970s. The unhinged glam punk rock song was recorded at Wylwood Studios, with layered harmonies from Shannon Shaw. Check out the vinyl and support the label here


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