December 28, 2021

HCTF's best of 2021 (20-16)

HCTF's annual list of the 20 albums that will be in regular rotation for many years to come. As per usual many genres are represented. Here Comes The Flood covers a lot of ground and it shows in this eclectic, final tally.

Today: countdown from number 20 to 16.

Please shop at your local record store. Most of them have a website where you can order your stuff. Buy directly from the artist, attend live shows when it's safe to do so again. Tell your friends. Word-of-mouth can't be beat as the prime source to discover new music.

Prime Alone: The Essence Lies In The Depth

20 Prime Alone: The Essence Lies In The Depth

Top shelf post-rock project from Russia.

All those who want to travel in darkness should consider using The Essence Lies In The Depth as the accompanying soundtrack. (...) Petr Gidulyanov (...) is a versatile composer and ace guitarist, who can conjure up moods with either a handful of notes or multi-layered textures. Taking cues from prog-metal and the classical composers he has constructed an eight-part suite about making his way through a forest that offers towering riffs (Darkness) and pastoral musing (Such A Distant Spring)

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Soda Sun: Stay Here

19 Soda Sun: Stay Here

Folk-tinged Americana meets indie rock music.

Setting up shop in their home studio they captured the songs on a 35-year-old reel-to-reel 8-Track Tascam 388, a cherished piece of recording equipment with superb specs. This is a band that allows the songs to breathe. There won't be many albums where 12th Century German mysticist St. Hildegard of Bingen rubs shoulders with a song about Junkies or looks back on growing up in South Dakota (Horse and Home). The common ground on Stay Here is that each song is a story that needs to be told

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Tautologic: Wheels Fall Of

18 Tautologic: Wheels Fall Off

Genre-hopping ensemble keeps it all together and then some.

Few albums come full circle without dropping the ball a few times along the way, but Wheels Fall Off by Chicago based progressive art rock sextet Tautologic is one of them. After a short intro/slash nursery featuring the band's songwriter Ethan Sellers kids they are off for a visit to a musical candy store, touching base with ska (Memo To Yourself), Zappa-esque instrumentals (Rocket Surgery) and breakneck speed folk (Fat, Dumb, and Happy, High School Reunion).

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The World Of Dust: True Sound

17 The World Of Dust: True Sound

Touching lo-fi tribute to the enduring influence of grandparents.

Death and life are treated as two sides of the coin, and as long as there are people to share memories the dead are still an integral part of the family. Breuer and Tobias meet each other halfway with their love for noise, avant-garde, and jangling psychedelic shoegaze. Accessible underground music that will be embraced by anyone who is serious about music and has had his share of loss and love.

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Anton Barbeau: Oh The Joys We Live Fo

16 Anton Barbeau: Oh The Joys We Live For

Idiosynchractic lyrics wrapped in catchy pop songs.

The underground psych-pop maestro offers a collection of songs about life, love, death and beer on his new [album], Oh The Joys We Live For. He is in fine form - some artist are just not capable of making a shit album - with his sharp eye and ear to find inspiration, and it doesn't matter if it is mundane or highbrow. The tender I Love It When She Does The Dishes, with lovely backing vocals by Julia VBH and Sharron Kraus, sits comfortably to the barely contained anger of It's Alright Rosie - apparently Barbeau can run out of patience after all - and the horror of Three Days The Death Enigma. His knack for surrealistic lyrics is allowed to roam free in Salt Lick (spoiler: it has to do with tears, minerals, and there is a bucket involved).

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