Jaylan Harrington, Editor-in-Chief: Some incredible music came out this year, and first and foremost I have to acknowledge the greatness of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Banisters,” but also Jessie Ware’s “What’s Your Pleasure (The Platinum Pleasure Edition),” Nothing But Thieves’ “Moral Panic (The Complete Edition),” Moaning Lisa’s “Something Like This But Not This” and cleopatrick’s “BUMMER.” Those albums are some of the best, and more underrated projects of 2021 and deserve more love. My favorite song of 2021 came off Mac Miller’s “Faces,” which came to streaming with the bonus track “Yeah.”
Tristan Tucker, Managing Editor: Unlike 2020, I felt heavily invested in the plethora of albums and songs that dropped this year. I’m gonna give some honorable mentions to Silk Sonic’s self-titled album, Taylor Swift’s "Red (Taylor’s Version)", Kanye West’s "Donda", Isaiah Rashad’s "The House is Burning" and Baby Keem’s "The Melodic Blue", with “family ties” being my song of the year. My favorite album release was undoubtedly J. Cole’s “The Off-Season” though, and seeing it live was surreal. Also, this is cheating a bit, but Mac Miller’s “Faces” and A$AP Rocky’s “LIVE.LOVE.A$AP” came to streaming services this year, and I absolutely love both of those projects, particularly the latter.
Caryl Espinoza Jaen, Managing Editor: Certified slayages in no particular order: Azealia Banks’ “F*** Him All Night,” Kill Alters’ “Eyelid Viewing,” Beach House’s “Pink Funeral,” Mall Grab’s “Love Reigns,” Nanoray’s “SALMON CANNON,” Eartheater’s “Joyride,” Overmono’s “So U Kno”... that part.
Allie Remhof, Copy Desk Chief: Despite the initial backlash, I found myself loving some of Lorde’s “Solar Power.” It wasn’t the sad-girl album like I and many others hoped, but “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)” and “Oceanic Power” make me feel like I’m growing up and getting in control of my life alongside Lorde. What did scratch my melancholic itch was Japanese Breakfast’s “Jubilee.” Highlights on this album for me include “Kokomo, IN” and “Savage Good Boy.”
Ann Salman, Design Editor: I really got into Doja Cat in 2021. My favorite song off her new album “Planet Her” is “Ain’t S***.”
Avery Davis, News Editor: Looking back on all the music that came out this year makes 2021 feel like it was a million years long. I really loved Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR,” especially “favorite crime” and “1 step forward, 3 steps back.” Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” served some amazing songs from the vault, my favorite being “Better Man.” Lastly, Coldplay’s “Higher Power” was also a great release with “My Universe” featuring BTS being a standout track for me.
Sam Overton, Culture Editor: 2021 was the year of Midwest emo. The top four songs on my Spotify Wrapped were by Modern Baseball, a slightly-whiny, mostly insufferable early 2010s band that’s been on indefinite hiatus since 2016. Despite this, the genre infiltrated my earbuds throughout every season, and I’m now in love with songs titled “now THIS is podracing” and “The Soundtrack To Missing A Slam Dunk.”
Myra Bari, Asst. Culture Editor: I’ve been listening to Magic City Hippies since their first EP. They have a Gorillaz-esque feel, albeit a bit sunnier and a lot less grunge. Their overall discography is amazing, but my absolute favorite in 2021 was one of their singles, “Queen.” I’m a sucker for indie-pop darlings LANY and more than a couple songs from their newest album “gg bb xx” were featured on my Spotify Wrapped this year.
Mariana Fabian, Asst. Opinion Editor: I really got back into Taylor Swift in 2021. With her release of “Red,” (Taylor’s Version, of course), I couldn’t stop listening to “Nothing New,” which features Phoebe Bridgers for the ultimate coming-of-age tearjerker.
Wade Bowman, Asst. Sports Editor: Last year was a fantastic one for so many genres, with big and small artists alike dropping an assortment of impressive releases. Of all the fantastic works that found their way to the public throughout 2021, my favorite track has to be “RUNITUP” from Tyler, The Creator’s latest masterpiece; “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST.” The song remains my personal favorite from what I consider to be the album of the year and definitely deserves a listen if you haven’t heard it yet.