The Best Music Of 2021: NPR Staff Picks

LaTesha Harris


Doja Cat.
Daniel Boczarski, Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Doja Cat.

In a year saturated with excellent releases — luminous false starts idling in the shadow of this never-ending global tragedy — projects that maximized ferality won me over. Identifying and rejecting restrictions to embrace innate curiosity, overwhelming desire and the love of connection. I wanted to drown in someone else's emotion, to be reminded that I wasn't the only well in the world. This year, my favorite feral sounds to get lost in were a melancholic sax bursting through to joy; cicadas chirping in the night; glass shattering; dogs barking; and, of course, the feverish warped glitching of a "yuh."

Top 10 Albums of 2021


1. Jazmine Sullivan, Heaux Tales
2. Little Simz, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
3. Summer Walker, Still Over It
4. WILLOW, lately I feel EVERYTHING
5. Doja Cat, Planet Her (Deluxe)
6. Remi Wolf, Juno
7. Yola, Stand for Myself
8. The Marías, CINEMA
9. Isaiah Rashad, The House Is Burning
10. Helado Negro, Far In

Top 10 Songs of 2021


Support comes from

1. Lucy Dacus, "Thumbs"
2. Noname, "Rainforest"
3. Japanese Breakfast, "Slide Tackle"
4. Olivia Rodrigo, "brutal"
5. Mitski, "Working for the Knife"
6. SZA, "I Hate U"
7. MUNA feat. Phoebe Bridgers, "Silk Chiffon"
8. PinkPantheress, "Just for me"
9. Taylor Swift, "All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)"
10. Lorde, "Oceanic Feeling"

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The Best Music Of 2021: NPR Staff Picks
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