Join me, won’t you, in bidding farewell to another tumultuous and confusing year. These pandemic years have been challenging at their best, and musicians are a group who understand the unending stream of difficulties far too well. So much that I said last year at the start of 2021 is still very much applicable now, if not more so.
While I do long for the year where I can highlight the creativity, ingenuity, and artistic achievements of our indie musicians alone, I cannot overlook the fact that these attributes were found over and over again in individuals and groups among us despite the constant struggles of adaptations, cancellations, and realignments that have occurred over the past 24 months. Art – music in particular – has continued to be a shining beacon in a dark and uncertain time.
I am extremely proud of the seat I hold in this community, small as my role may be. I have a first-class ticket to musical achievements on the rise, watching the genius of artists around me be realized and brought into this world. Furthermore, I have the distinct pleasure of taking pen to paper in regards to these exceptional works and highlighting the moments of brilliance. It’s a fulfilling and gratifying task, and I am extremely grateful for each and every artist who has found their way into our inbox this year.
So here’s to another year of unknowns – I wish you all insightfulness and inspiration as we all continue to tread water out here in the deep. But for now, take a listen below to some of 2021’s highlights. I’ve truly enjoyed every project I’ve been fortunate enough to lay ears on, but these few are particular standouts that I suspect each and every one of you will find enjoyment in as well. Here are our Top 10 Albums and Singles, as well as a handful of honorable mentions. If you’re unfamiliar with these artists, go stream their music, buy their albums, and follow their socials – thank them for continuing on with their art the rest of us can enjoy, no matter what each day brings.
Be well, and Happy New Year!
— Jess Chizuk & The Ark of Music team