WVFS Tallahassee’s Top 50 Albums of 2021 (& Top 25 Albums of 2020, Too!)

2021 was a fantastic year for music! Here are our Top 50 Favorite Albums of 2021, as voted on by our V89 DJs:

  1. Dry CleaningNew Long Leg (4AD)
  2. black midiCavalcade (Rough Trade)
  3. Lingua IgnotaSINNER GET READY (Sargent House)
  4. Japanese BreakfastJubilee (Dead Oceans)
  5. Black Country, New RoadFor The First Time (Ninja Tune)
  6. SquidBright Green Field (Warp)
  7. Injury ReserveBy The Time I Get To Phoenix (self-released)
  8. Little SimzSometimes I Might Be Introvert (AGE 101)
  9. SpelllingThe Turning Wheel (Sacred Bones)
  10. Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders, and the London Symphony OrchestraPromises (Luaka Bop)
  11. Amyl and the SniffersComfort To Me (ATO)
  12. LowHEY WHAT (Sub Pop)
  13. Courtney BarnettThings Take Time, Take Time (Milk!/Mom + Pop/Marathon Artists)
  14. King WomanCelestial Blues (Relapse)
  15. ShameDrunk Tank Pink (Dead Oceans)
  16. Xeno & OaklanderVi/deo (Dais)
  17. NYX & Gazelle TwinDeep England (NYX Collective)
  18. Snail MailValentine (Matador)
  19. Emma Ruth RundleEngine of Hell (Sargent House)
  20. Buffalo NicholsBuffalo Nichols (Fat Possum)
  21. St. VincentDaddy’s Home (Loma Vista)
  22. The War On DrugsI Don’t Live Here Anymore (Atlantic)
  23. MogwaiAs The Love Continues (Temporary Residence Ltd.)
  24. Sufjan Stevens and Angelo de AugustineA Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty)
  25. Her New KnifeDestroza (self-released)
  26. Men I TrustUntourable Album (self-released)
  27. The ArmedUltrapop (Sargent House)
  28. Iron & WineArchive Series Volume 5: Tallahassee (Sub Pop)
  29. DARKSIDESpiral (Matador)
  30. TurnstileGLOW ON (Roadrunner)
  31. Joy Orbisonstill slipping vol. 1 (XL)
  32. Madi DiazHistory of a Feeling (Anti-)
  33. Indigo de SouzaAny Shape You Take (Saddle Creek)
  34. DeerhoofActually, You Can (Joyful Noise)
  35. PinkPantheressto hell with it (Parlophone)
  36. Alicia WalterI Am Alicia (Sooper)
  37. Kangaroo CourtMasque (self-released)
  38. Lucy DacusHome Video (Matador)
  39. My Morning JacketMy Morning Jacket (ATO)
  40. AudiobooksAstro Tough (Heavenly/PIAS)
  41. Kero Kero BonitoCivilisation (Polyvinyl)
  42. Spirit of the BeehiveENTERTAINMENT, DEATH (Saddle Creek)
  43. Magdalena BayMercurial World (Luminelle)
  44. Julien BakerLittle Oblivions (Matador)
  45. Arlo Parks Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive)
  46. La Luz La Luz (Hardly Art)
  47. illuminati hottiesLet Me Do One More (Snack Snack Tracks/Hopeless)
  48. The Mountain GoatsDark In Here (Merge)
  49. CHAIWINK (Sub Pop)
  50. Cloud NothingsThe Shadow I Remember (Carpark)

Honorable Mention: Molly BurchRomantic Images (Captured Tracks)


Since we missed most of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also voted on our top 25 albums from 2020 (most of which were featured in rotation in 2021):

  1. Yves TumorHeaven To A Tortured Mind (Warp)
  2. Adrianne Lenkersongs/instrumentals (4AD)
  3. Fleet FoxesShore (Anti-)
  4. The GardenKiss My Super Bowl Ring (Epitaph)
  5. CaribouSuddenly (Merge)
  6. clipping.Visions of Bodies Being Burned (Sub Pop)
  7. Tennis Swimmer (Mutually Detrimental)
  8. Phoebe BridgersPunisher (Dead Oceans)
  9. Sufjan StevensThe Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty)
  10. Bartees StrangeLive Forever (Run For Cover)
  11. Run The JewelsRTJ4 (Jewel Runners/BMG)
  12. Khruangbin & Leon BridgesTexas Sun (Dead Oceans)
  13. King Krule Man Alive! (Matador/True Panther/XL)
  14. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud (Merge)
  15. Molchat DomaMonument (Sacred Bones)
  16. Denzel Curry & Kenny BeatsUnlocked (Loma Vista)
  17. The StrokesThe New Abnormal (RCA)
  18. Dorian ElectraMy Agenda (self-released)
  19. DestroyerHave We Met (Merge/Dead Oceans)
  20. Cindy Lee What’s Tonight To Eternity (W.25TH)
  21. Cabaret VoltaireShadow of Fear (Mute)
  22. Madeline Kenney Sucker’s Lunch (Carpark)
  23. Dan DeaconMystic Familiar (Domino)
  24. Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCravenWe’re New Again: A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven (XL)
  25. IDLESUltra Mono (Partisan)

Honorable Mention: Epic GaneshEpic Ganesh (self-released)


Additionally, here are the album superlatives for 2021 as voted on by our DJs:

Best Album Art: black midiCavalcade (Rough Trade)

Worst Album Art: Modest MouseThe Golden Casket (Epic)

Worst Band Name: illuminati hotties

Best Region/City For Music: London, UK

Most Annoying: Hippo CampusGood Dog, Bad Dream (Grand Jury)

Most Disappointing: Modest Mouse The Golden Casket (Epic)

Best Club Convergence (Electronica): Joy Orbisonstill slipping, vol. 1 (XL)

Best Artist Comeback: Arab StrapAs Days Get Dark (Rock Action)

Best Compilation: Various ArtistsDark Nights: Death Metal (Loma Vista)

Best Debut: Black Country, New RoadFor The First Time (Ninja Tune)

Best DJ(s): All of the WVFS alumni DJs who helped keep the station running during the pandemic by providing tracks and creating pre-recorded DJ sets for automation! Special thanks to: Matt Kimmel, Glen Torbert, Alex Buckalew, Tom O., Matt Peck, Dirty Digits, Bones (Steve B.), Christopher Lee, Meg Matthews, Erin Kohler, Rachel, Casey C., Abbie G., Mick P., Noah H., Lisa B., Ryan Cha, and Aslan Shirey

Best EP: Her New KnifeDestroza (self-released)

Best Hip-Hop: Little SimzSometimes I Might Be Introvert (AGE 101)

Best Jazz: Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders, and the London Symphony OrchestraPromises (Luaka Bop)

Best Label: Dead Oceans

Best Latin: José GonzálezLocal Valley (Mute)

Best Legacies: Faye WebsterI Know I’m Funny haha (Secretly Canadian)

Best Local: Her New KnifeDestroza (self-released)

Best Metal: Lingua IgnotaSINNER GET READY (Sargent House)

Best Punk: Amyl and the SniffersComfort To Me (ATO)

Best Reissue: GrauzoneGrauzone (40 Years Anniversary Edition) (WRWTFWW)

Best Show: A. Savage (Word of South)

Best Soul: Arlo ParksCollapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive)

Best Specialty Show: World Music Show (Sundays from 4 to 6 PM)

Best Staring at the Sun (Experimental): Injury ReserveBy The Time I Get To Phoenix (self-released)