Simply the best
Turn Up The Volume‘s 20 best
of all the best knockouts of 2021.
All together on Spotify…
Knockout by knockout right here…
1. ‘Stay’ by ONISM E (San Antonio, Texas)
This impassioned stunner kept growing on me the past few months. Why?
Because frontwoman Angeline Chavez‘s voice balances somewhere between
the ones of a young Tina Turner and a flaming Aretha Franklin, because the
guitar play is overwhelming and because Stay is a superb tune.
The glorious 2021 No 1 hit in my book.
The opener of this year’s excellent debut album Survivors. Wanna learn more
about this Texan 4-piece? Read the interview with Turn Up The Volume here.
Don’t go away, stay …
2.’Lout’ by THE HORRORS (Southend-On-Sea, UK)
A stand-alone single from the (lazy) synths driven post-punks that
shocks and rocks with bulldozing force. An industrial slam dunk all
Play this lout, folks…
3. ‘Miami Lounge’ by PEEPING DREXELS (London, UK)
I saw this amazeballs post-punk turbo in action for the first
time at an indoor festival in Amsterdam, last November.
These motherrockers slash and trash with a burning vehemence and
a flabbergasting fervency. Miami Lounge (from their Bad Time EP) is
a perfect example of their mind-blowing mania.
Go for it, ladies and gents…
4. ‘Ded Würst’ by DITZ (Brighton, UK)
Early last month I discovered this dynamite hit team from Brighton
when they blew all punters away with their blistering performance
in my hometown Ghent (Belgium).
They razzled and dazzled with ebullient exertion,
bewildered British bluster, and a fuck Brexit fierceness.
Their newest cut Ded Würst is nothing less than
a nasty and filthy sledgehammer. Hallelujah!
Release the bats…
5. ‘And This Next Song’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)
A sharp-cutting stonker from this Dutch collective’s
ace debut longplayer We… Are Doomed .
It rattles like crazy around a rip-roaring-riff while frontman
Joshua Baumgarten raps and rips and tells us who the song
Find out here if you’re in the song too…
6. ‘The Prophet’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (UK)
Samara and Manimal already scored Turn Up The Volume’s
best debut LP of 2021 with Full Spectrum.
This raw rollercoaster single came afterward. A slow-burning torch with
hellish flare-ups of Rammstein‘s Götterdämmerung hysterics and manic Manimal
riffage combined with Samara‘s spoken-word ode to the legendary American
confessional poet/writer Sylvia Plath hypnotizes and magnetizes.
Welcome to the terrordome…
7. ‘Hertz’ by AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS (Australia)
A beserk blast from the Aussies second smoking LP Comfort To Me with
peppy punked-up punkette Amyl, as we know her, on an adrenalin rush.
Join Amyl’s wild ride…
8. ‘Night Is Mine’ by ULTRA SUNN (Bruxelles, Belgium)
This Belgian body-activating rave duo causes an instant flush of excitement with
booming beats, nightmarish resonance, murky dynamics, and ominous vocals.
When you mix D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes, Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and doom and
Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir thrills, the final result is a dancefloor hit.
Turn it up…
9. ‘Soap And Cigarettes’ by NUN HABIT
This queer five-piece from London dropped a notable full-length this year with
their brisk Hedge Fun LP where pop, rock and garage meet for a vitalizing feast.
My absolute favorite track is this energising earworm with phenomenal vocals
that make the hair in the back of my neck stand up. Just irresistible!
Go bananas here…
10. ‘La Novia’ by RICH GIRLS (New York City)
What can I say? Sad or happy song, Rich Girls make me always feel good
when they come on. Luisa Black‘s mesmerizing midnight vox is totally
glamorous and sensual and the band’s pop-noir melancholia is soul-stirring.
All New York City’s night bars without a Rich Girls track
on their Wurlitzer Jukebox should be closed. Immediately.
Get seduced here…
11. ‘New Fragility’ by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH (Brooklyn, NY)
Mastermind Alec Ounsworth released CYHSY’s
best album since their self-titled debut in 2005.
And the title track accentuates Ounsworth’s outlandish voice again.
Add sparkling guitar lines and you sense a touch of magic.
12. ‘Wherever It Takes Us’ by JAMES (Manchester, UK)
Remember them? Remember their massive hit ‘Sit Down’? James has never been really away since they hit the scene 40 years ago. And with this year’s All the Colours Of You album they prove why they still deserve attention. It’s an all ecstatic-pop killers, no silly fillers longplayer.
This is one of the highlights…
13. ‘Nike Soldier’ by ALAN VEGA (USA)
From the late great Suicide hero’s Mutator lost album that comes from a very dark place, from the deepest corners of Vega‘s soul, creating a pitch black and Kafkaesque chill-out atmosphere.
Enter the darkness here…
14. ‘Magic Medicine’ by DEAP VALLY (Los Angeles)
From these utterly cool L.A. Amazons’ third album, called
Marriage celebrating the duo’s 10-year blues-rock
Single Magic Medicine is a full-on-sound mid-tempo jackhammer
with an intense impact. Always love you, ladies.
15. Not Alone But Not With You’ by ARXX (Brighton, UK)
A rollicking rocker from start to finish. These two frisky Brighton popsters know
how to make your head spin 360°. Fire your shrink, listen to this crackerjack two
times in the morning, twice in the evening, and on repeat in between and you’ll
feel euphoric. So much cheaper than therapy.
Get heated here…
16. ‘Better Than Life’ by GLASS SANDS (London, UK)
The title track of one-man-London-band’s debut longplayer
(one of TUTV’s 2021 favorites) is a guitar-driven riff-hook-and-lick
belter. A swirling bang-on stroke. Absobloodylutely.
Catch the fire here…
17. ‘Traps’ by BLOC PARTY (London, UK)
Talking about a comeback! Holy Moses! Traps is a steaming
stormer, a whopping whirlwind. New album Alpha Games
out in April 2022.
Sing it, Kele…
18. ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ by CHATEAU CHATEAU (Tucson, Arizona)
Charismatic front queen Bleu sparkles on this jangly jive that sticks as first-class glue and reaches an aural orgasm every time the chorus pops up. Her vox adrenalizes and vitalizes. Her vivaciousness is contagious. This pumped-up pop gem is contagious. You don’t need vaccination against this castle of a song.
Get up, stand up and fight for your right to dance yourself dizzy…
19. ‘Faze Out’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (UK)
Faze Out is a slash and smash rant. An angry spit and sneer storm, a Sturm und Drang firestarter, 143 seconds of furious frustration is what you get. Retro organs clatter like if Doomsday is just around the corner, but Domestic sizzles like he’s a determined survivor who will not go down just like that.
‘Sucked into the vortex / it’s a Faze out /
you feel just like you’ll fade out …
20. ‘His Ilk’ by BRONSOM ARM (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
This rumbling steamroller bulldozes its way in slow motion, forth and back, while
a haunting vocal brouhaha causes a creepy noise experience. Whatever the song’s protagonist’s ilk is, it doesn’t sound like you want to be friends.
Hit the start button here…
Have all a pumped-up end of 2021 and a turned-up-volume 2022, music junkies!