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Val Woj writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2021: Val Stokowski

CHIRP Radio Best of 2021

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2021. Our next list is from DJ Val Stokowski.

With how much great music we’ve been gifted in 2021, I knew crafting this year’s best-of list would be an undertaking. I present to you the most excessive year-end list I’ve ever made: starting with overall top 10 albums, followed by 15 honorable mentions (in alphabetical order), favorite albums from Chicago-based artists, then top 10 EPs.

*Note: Arthhur’s Occult Fractures was in the top spot for my Chicago list, but anything less than #1 overall didn’t seem fair. It’s my favorite album of the year.

My 2021 resolution was to stay organized…2022 will be to simplify.



#1 Occult Fractures by Arthhur (self-released)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Arthhur Occult Fractures











#2 Cavalcade by Black Midi (Rough Trade)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Black Midi Cavalcade











#3 The Turning Wheel by Spellling (Sacred Bones)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Spellling The Turning Wheel











#4 Glow On by Turnstile (Roadrunner)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Turnstile Glow On











#5 Dawn of Chromatica by Lady Gaga (Streamline; Interscope)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Lady Gaga Dawn of Chromatica











#6 Radical by Every Time I Die (Epitaph Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Every Time I Die Radical











#7 Empathetically No by Cheekface (New Professor Music)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Cheekface Empathetically No











#8 Audio Drag for Ego Slobs by Gustaf (Royal Mountain Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Gustaf Audio Drag for Ego Slobs











#9 Bloodmoon: I by Converge, Chelsea Wolfe (Epitaph Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Converge, Chelsea Wolfe Bloodmoon: I











#10 Bright Green Field by Squid (Warp)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Squid Bright Green Field











Honorable Mentions

Alien Nosejob – Paint it Clear
Angel Du$t – YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs
Cimafunk – El Alimento
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
Foxing – Draw Down the Moon
HARD FEELINGS – Hard Feelings
Jeff Rosenstock – Ska Dream
Joy Orbison – Still Slipping vol. 1
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000
Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise - Kəˈmyo͞onədē
Lucy Dacus – Home Video
Ninajirachi, Kota Banks – True North (Delux)
Orla Gartland – Woman on the Internet
PinkPantheress – To Hell With It
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raise the Roof

Liam Kazar – Due North
Spread Joy – Spread Joy
Dream Version – Dream Version
Dos Santos – City of Mirrors
RP Boo – Established!
Floatie – Voyage Out
Mother Nature - SZNZ
Neptune’s Core – Evolving
Eris Drew – Quivering in Time
oddCouple – Reflections

Beach Bunny – Blame Game (local)
FINGY – Taste Test (local)
Jessica Winter – More Sad Music
Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II
Knocked Loose – A Tear in the Fabric of Life
Mannequin Pussy – Perfect
Meat Wave – Volcano Park (local)
NNAMDI, Lynyn – Are You Happy (local)
Penelope Scott – Hazards
Stuck – Content That Makes You Feel Good (local)

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2021

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