Bring Me The Horizon, beabadoobee and more share their favorite music from 2021
Are the winter blues getting you down? Don’t worry, Alternative Press’ end-of-the-year celebration is here to bring you some holiday cheer. If you haven’t heard already, we asked each artist we interviewed for our December 2021 issue of AltPress magazine to answer two specific questions: what was the best thing you heard in 2021, and who should we look out for in 2022? We’ve compiled those answers for your reading pleasure as this year comes to a close.
In this article, we’ll hear from Josh Katz of Badflower, Eyedress and Remi Wolf, on their favorite music from the past year. Remember to keep an eye out for the last two installments of this series, where we will dive into the same artists’ recommendations on who you should look out for as we go into the new year.
Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes and Jordan Fish
OLI SYKES: Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest song “Terrapin Station” is sick. I’ve really liked their last few records, particularly [2014’s] So Long, See You Tomorrow, which is my favorite. But this sounds different to anything they’ve done before. This one is less indie and more like the Beatles and Pink Floyd. It’s really trippy and sounds like three songs in one, which makes sense given that it’s about 16 minutes long. It’s a really cool evolution of their sound and not something I was expecting from them at all.
JORDAN FISH: I like the Underoath song “Hallelujah,” which has a real pandemic vibe to it. I’m a fan of the band and think they’ve really found a way to combine the radio-rock sound they’ve been doing for the past few years with more of their classic sound. I think it’s really cool when a band that’s been around for ages manages to find a way to sound fresh and current, without seeming like they’ve jumped on any bandwagon. They’re a nice bunch of guys, so it’s great to hear such a strong song from them.
No Rome’s new music is frigging amazing! He’s on the label I’m on as well and a really good friend of mine. “When She Comes Around” is such an amazing song, and his new album [It’s All Smiles] is insane. I think it’s really the best music I’ve heard this year.
Josh Katz of Badflower
Ooooh! Badflower came out with this album called THIS IS HOW THE WORLD ENDS. [Laughs.] The Billie Eilish album [Happier Than Ever], it’s great. I am a big fan of hers to begin with, and it was the same old Billie in the ways that I became a fan of in the first place. But it felt like there was a lot of purpose to the content, a lot of important things said, and they were said in ways that were creative and special. Then musically, it was just fantastic.
I think my favorite album this year is the HOMESHAKE album [Under The Weather]. He’s playing with a lot of synthesizers now and has a little bit of guitar. That stuff is crazy. I get inspired the more musicians use synthesizers and go down that path.
toe, "グッドバイ -Album Version-" — I just think it’s fucking beautiful. That was something that stood out the most to me. The music has [a] quote-unquote “high” that I’m talking about; the universal language of [the] heart that some shit has, and some people just fucking know it.
What comes to mind immediately is “Think About Things” by Daði Freyr. That’s my song of choice, my instinct song if you will. It’s very groovy, very Icelandic and just everything to me basically. He was on Eurovision 2019, and that’s how I discovered this song. It’s about his baby, and it’s the best thing in the world. I’m obsessed with him. It was the best discovery this year.
John Famiglietti of HEALTH
Gatecreeper, An Unexpected Reality. [They’re] the Power Trip of death metal. A ripping dog-filled 17 minutes. Like Power Trip, Gatecreeper bring a real sense of good taste and classic sonics paired, but they bring a melodic edge that really resonates and sets them apart.
to hell with it by PinkPantheress! I was hype to hear her album, and she definitely didn’t disappoint. Not one skip. [Also] LXRDMAGE, the joint EP with Ghostemane and Scarlxrd. I fucking love both of them, so them on a project together was so hard. [And finally], my EP PARANOIA! 10/10. You should check it out if you haven’t.
[I’m] trying to get in touch with heavier music and be more comfortable with it because, for a long time, I was scared of it. When I say scared of it, I mean I would get really agitated, and I would feel really uneasy. I’ve been listening a lot to the band Knocked Loose. There is an older record of theirs called Laugh Tracks. I’ve really been loving it. I think it’s been really inspirational to listen to music that’s outside of what I do and outside of what I know how to do.
Tilian of Dance Gavin Dance
Butterfly 3000, the new album from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. We were recording vocals when I first heard it, and it was so completely fresh. It was so unlike anything I would ever think of or do, but at the same time, it was similar enough for me to really catch on to it. Andrew [Wells], Jon [Mess] and I were going to the gym pretty consistently in the mornings, and I would listen to that every day and on the way to the studio, too.
There’s a song called “Many Times” by this artist Dijon. He just released an album called Absolutely. I think he’s very brilliant, and he’s an amazing songwriter, an amazing singer, an amazing storyteller and one of the most emotive artists I’ve heard in a really, really long time. I really look up to him. To anybody who hasn’t heard the album, I would really advise checking it out.
Tamino was my big find going in. He was the last show that I went to. He’s amazing. He’s a bit like Leonard Cohen meets Jeff Buckley. He’s got that legitimacy but stretches it out. I discovered Carla Morrison, too. She’s a Mexican artist who I covered recently. I’m looking forward to working with her soon. Laura Cahen [is] a French artist on the same label as me, and I really love her vibe. I’ve also been listening to Post Malone and the Weeknd, my guilty pleasures!
I really loved [Kanye West’s] Donda. In five years, Donda one them albums that [people] gonna talk about, but you got to talk about the rollout, too. You got to talk about what he did with it. He sold dress rehearsals, and he edited in front each time. Giving the album a backstory without having the story lowkey in the album that much — it was like two stories. It was a story that was recorded, and it was the story that was the rollout. I never thought about giving an album two identities, so it was just crazy.