We’ve somehow made it through another year.
2020 was a year of change and growth. We adopted Poppy, I turned 40, welcomed in our seventh nephew, I changed jobs, and we’ve started on phase 2 of our home renovations. For someone who likes routine and normalcy, that’s a lot of change.
I’ve seen a lot of shows this year when things started opening back up in September (even though things probably shouldn’t have?). I saw Bully, Lucy Dacus, Modest Mouse, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, Julien Baker, Destroy Boys, Beach Bunny, and Toadies. I have at least eight more lined up through May of 2022 if things don’t go sideways with the Covid variants.
2022 also means that Downbeat.fm is starting its third year. This little project started as an idea in January of 2020, and it’s something I’ve loved doing - discovering and sharing music. This project helped keep me occupied and busy during the most challenging days of the pandemic and quarantine and has been a blast the whole time.
I hope you like it as much as I like doing it every month. If you wouldn’t mind, share the link with your friends. Maybe they’ll dig it too.
As 2021 winds down, here is my list of favorite albums (in no particular order). It’s a bit short but full of good tracks.
It’s been a good couple of years for the emo revival, and this group of kids from Florida put out one hell of an album.
I’ve loved Snail Mail since I first heard her song Heat Wave on her 2018 album Lush. Valentine is a great follow-up that I spun a lot when it came out.
Worst Party Ever’s EP Here, Online was on my 2020 list, and they followed it up in 2021 with Dartland that I can’t get enough of.
I was excited when I heard that Remember Sports was putting out a new album. They are one of my favorite bands that I’ve discovered in the last three years or so.
This album came out in early January of 2021. I listened to it a lot when it came out and then forgot about it until I started looking at my 2021 albums list. Hospital Blanket is a pop-punk that lives up to the label.
This month’s playlist features songs from and much more.
Listen to this month’s playlist on
Like at the end of 2020, I compiled a playlist for all songs featured. You can check them out here:
Other Listening and Quick Links
Did you watch The Beatles documentary Get Back on Disney+? If you’re a fan of the band, you should check out the three-part, eight-hour doc.
A video was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of George Harrison’s (the best Beatle) album All Things Must pass, featuring the song My Sweet Lord.
Pom Pom Squad did a fantastic cover of Nada Surf’s Popular and even made a shot for shot remake of the video. The song is on this month’s playlist.
Obama tweeted out his favorite music of 2021. This year, nothing on his list made it to a Downbeat.fm playlist.
Sadly this one is a Spotify-only playlist, but here is a list of 100 great emo, hardcore, pop-punk, and indie songs of 2021.
And since we’re talking so much about emo here, Brooklyn Vegan put together a list of the best 20 emo albums of 2001, an excellent year for emo music. New Jersey’s own Thursday tops the list with their great album Full Collapse, which I was lucky enough to see them perform in its entirety a few years ago.
Enjoy the playlist, and stay safe and be good in 2022.