Despite the destructive effects of COVID-19, 2020 was a very good year for music. 2021, with lots of new releases as well as releases held over from 2020, has been even better. And it is with that in mind that I have come up with a shortlist of the best AKA my favourite albums of the year.

In the coming weeks, I’ll whittle down my nominations to a top ten albums list, but in the meantime, here, in no particular order, are the runners and riders for the best album of 2021.

  1. Collapsed in Sunbeams by Arlo Parks.
  2. Gold-Digger by Leon Bridges
  3. Late Night Tales by Jordan Rakei
  4. Flat White Moon by Field Music
  5. Going Going Gone by Mild High Club
  6. Local Valley by Jose Gonzalez
  7. My Morning Jacket by My Morning Jacket
  8. Daddy’s Home by St Vincent
  9. The Nearer The Fountain More Pure The Stream Flows by Damon Albarn
  10. Dalya by Ouzo Bazooka
  11. Prioritise Pleasure by Self Esteem
  12. Endless Arcade by Teenage Fanclub
  13. Back To The Future by Sons of Kemet
  14. Loving In Stereo by Jungle
  15. For Free by David Crosby
  16. Animal by Lump
  17. How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last by Big Red Machine
  18. What We Call Life by Jordan Rakei
  19. Lindsey Buckingham by Lindsey Buckingham
  20. Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett
  21. High Season by Poolside
  22. Sketchy by tUnE-yArDs

I’m really looking forward to listening to these albums over and over again before making the decision the nation is waiting for (is this right? – ed).

Trust me, there’s plenty of great new music out there, enough to convince you, I hope, that we are in a golden era. And when the Big Day arrives, I’ll link some tunes from the top ten albums.

Now, try to contain your excitement for a few short weeks…