10 of ’21 | The Best Songs This Year (So Far) Part II

Three quarters through 2021 we continue to stumble through uncertainty but we continue to assess what we’ve accomplished so far, all the while allowing those pied pipers to lead the way at some points. Maneuvering through the remains of 2021 does still, in fact, has shown its difficulties but has allowed for fewer restrictions than the previous year. Artists have been able to dive back in, offering fans live performances and continue to release new music that astounds. Here we take a look at a few more artists that have released exceptional songs.

“Schatze”-Ohtis (ft. Stef Chura) Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A little over two years ago we were witnesses to one of the most personable albums to
be released in recent memory. Curve of Earth explored in vivid detail stories and
haunting memories of lead singer’s Sam Swinson period of drug addiction. “Schatze”
propels Ohtis into the next step of their journey with fuzzed-out guitars and lo-fi vocals.
Stef Chura’s involvement hurls the single into a punk ethos that is hypnotic. I can’t wait
to hear what Sam and company have in store.

“Arthur Is At A Shiva”-St. Lenox Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Behind the fluid keyboard sounds and drums comes some of the most explorative
narration of singer-songwriter Andrew Choi. Going under the moniker St. Lenox, “Arthur
Is At A Shiva” delves into three individuals that Choi engages in conversation with. The
underlining topic of religion reigns in these characters in various ways. The delivery in
Choi’s vocals are emotionally moving and striking throughout the single and the album
that it’s associated with – Ten Songs Of Worship and Praise For Our Tumultuous Times.

“Locust Laced”-Sleigh Bells Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Easily one of the top five singles of the year and I will fight anyone who disagrees here.
All kidding aside, Sleigh Bells returned with news of Texis and dropped this slamming
track down with authority. Equipped with their punishing guitar riffs and indie-pop
vocals, “Locust Laced” feels different than previous Sleigh Bells tracks. Once Alexis
Krauss and the backing vocals belt out, “I feel like dynamite/I feel like dying tonight”
come in, you get an instant rush of pure adrenaline, and dancing ensues.

“Country”-Good Morning Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

From start to finish, “Country” encapsulates this description within my mind each and
every time: The Smiths take the bold leap towards being indie-rockers. The uneven
layers of guitars that take the lead, following by the snare drum are perfectly bestowed on
us. The lyrics are what stand out most of all; Liam Parsons mentioned to another outlet
that the song centers on the struggle with nostalgia and the future. “And you know that
I’m incapable of changing/Some people just get stuck in their ways/Never thought it’d be
me like this/Yeah, I was meant to be brave.” Oh, how most of us have thought that at
one point.

“Canaries”-Cuffed Up Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

I hope that I can catch this quintessential banger in a crowded venue that has the
humidity bumped up to maximum levels. Only then will I feel that the quality of the song
is reached its perfect state. The give and take of Sapphire Jewell and Ralph
Torrefranca is punishing yet exhilarating. The lyrics center around feeling the weight of
going down paths we know will alter us yet we are drawn to it. The Los Angeles-based
foursome exudes an overwhelming amount of punishment instrumentally and it’s
fucking great.

“Anti-Divinity”-Moontype Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

If you haven’t been noticing the overwhelming surplus of Chicago bands/artists that are
coming out with stellar music, then you are missing out. Moontype dropped earlier this
year Bodies of Water, an album that explodes off the speakers, and the single “Anti-
Divinity” kicks off the triumphant march. The single comes away as being frazzled and
full of energy which is not a knock in the least bit.

“Come Out and Play”-Frances of Delirium Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

When writing this single, 20-year-old Luxembourg-based Canadian Jana Bahrich had
wrapped up the Italian film 8 ½. The ending scene that featured a procession of clowns
performing in a band spoke to Bahrich; the painted faces signified something being
hidden from the audience. To consign with her takeaway from the film, Bahrich created
a track that’s dark and ominous. “Come Out and Play” has a hint of shoegaze which
always brings a smile to my face.

“C’mon Be Cool”-fanclubwallet Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

We can all agree that this pandemic has made a lot of us suffer from some low-key
depression and disappointment. Hannah Judge herself had some unfortunate dealings
with a Crohn’s disease flareup that made her bedridden for a period of time. To cope
with the urge of a breakdown loitering around, the singer-songwriter spun her sadness
into an indie-pop, lo-fi track that features an effortless vibe. Good luck not feeling better
after hearing this jam.

“Silvertongue”-PACKS Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Seemingly a lock to be one of my favorite albums of 2021, Take The Cake’s second
single “Silvertongue” highlights PACKS to perfection. Blitzing post-punk into a heavy
90s grunge influence within the instrumentals, lead singer Madeline Link sings with “no
fucks” attitude. Some would say that this single showcases a slacker façade which I
can’t argue too much. I personally say that I’m totally in from the jump. If you haven’t
immersed yourself with PACKS yet, spin this track a few times.

“Waiting for Your Heart”-Mediocre Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

There are artists/bands that we come across every year and become absolutely
obsessed with. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you Mediocre. Based
out of LA, the duo crafted a high-level, garage rocker that is earworm-inducing to all who
listen. Lyrically, the back and forth of the emotional toll that love makes us feel vibrates
loudly. “I’m just waiting for your heart/You know I’ve been here from the start.” The
successors of bands such as Sleater Kinney should look further than Mediocre.