Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Top 10 Shoe Gaze / Post Rock Albums of 2021

 Post rock is about atmosphere, much like shoe gaze just less narcotic and more cinematic place. Thus, making them a good fit for another on this list. As much like in years past sort through the genre lists before making the overall top ten of the year list. I know many of you are ready for 2020 to be over with. Hate to break it to you but nothing is getting better next year.  most. The fact these artists made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are, so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more. After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure, you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However, I listen to five new albums a day so yes, I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No, I do not care what you think about it. I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list and have included links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 Shoe gaze and Post-rock albums of 2021 

10- Midwife - "Luminol" 

Droning shoe gaze dream pop with smart lyrics, Less is more here as melody and ambiance are given enough room here so when the pulse comes in it all works together. The lyrics are pretty clever as well. 

 9-Doused- "Murmur" 

Shoe gaze if it is dark enough to cross over into goth, but th focus here is more on atmosphere than the darkness.  It opens much darker with an instrumental than when they kick into their more standard songs; The muffled vocals against the sonic wall they kick up is brighter than most post punk, but you can hear how the Cure has influenced this genre of the years.

Abysmal Hymns: Gothober - doused : "Murmur"

8-Candelabre -"For to have time is to have wings" 

 This collection of sounds swirl around in such a way that it might take a few listens to catch what is going on. . Shimmering guitar and manic siren vocals. The drums are mixed into the background. This sounds like a combination of a lot of female fronted indie bands from the 90s run through a filter of mushrooms 

Abysmal Hymns: Gothtober- CANDELABRE : "For to have time is to have wings"


7-An Autumn For Crippled Children - "As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes"

These guys bust them out pretty quick, been a year since their last one. Their 9th album overall. Their last album saw them returning to more of a black metal sound, this one only flirts with that but is the most aggressive album on the list even if it is not metal, the only dark and angry element is the vocals, aside from that is atmospheric enough to fit here. 

Abysmal Hymns: An Autumn For Crippled Children : "As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes"


6-Bruit -"The Machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again "

Post rock is the version of prog for coffee swilling hipsters. This band from France, veers from the normal sounds and expectations of what this sub-genre can be. Lots of band's could learn from what goes down here. Yes, there is plenty of atmosphere but it has an excellent beat so the song has a sense of movement, so it is ok to listen to after your first cup of coffee rather than just drone you to sleep They have an excellent grasp of dynamics here as well.

Abysmal Hymns: Bruit : " The Machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again


5-Godspeedyoublackemperor! - "G_d' Pee - AT STATE'S END!"

You cannot mention post rock or any of its sub-genre's without mentioning these guys. Sometimes they are more song oriented than others. There is always more of a cinematic quality to what they do. After a few minutes of bubbling ambiance, they do kick into some along the lines of Early Pink Floyd that glides along with more of a prog rock majesty than what might first come to mind when trying to gauge your expectations with this band.

Abysmal Hymns: Godspeedyoublackemperor! :"G_d' Pee - AT STATE'S END!

4-Comatose- "A Way Back" 

 This band is comprised of guys from Chrome Waves and Fall to Decay. Melodic with a narcotic pulse and a more 90s rock like vibe with Catherine Wheel like moments shining through, though they are also capable of summoning, Jesu inspired pulses of woozy wonder.  

Abysmal Hymns: Comatose :" a Way Back"


The sugary vocals that glaze the otherwise downtrodden haze of this rainy take of dream pop, give you a focal point. As the singer's meds wear off so sharpens the keen focus on hooky song writing,

 Abysmal Hymns: Svarts- ' Geography"

2-Chrome waves -"Rain Will Cleanse" 

Further stepping away from metal has forced the vocals to improve, which strengthened the songwriting even when the mood is more the more uniform.  Not as dark as the previous album, but not upbeat either, moody, but shy of sullen. The vocals are a little lower and more droning which is also a nice touch. The melodies are subtle

Abysmal Hymns: Chrome Waves : "Rain Will Cleanse"

1-Deafheaven - "Infinite Granite" 

If you are shocked that this band has crossed over and made a total shoe gaze album, then you have not been paying attention. George Clark is a better singer than he was a screamer, as with a few exceptions while emotive his scream was always more of a one trick pony. More melodies than the normal breathy cooing along with more drive and dynamic than your average shoe gaze band

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