Dwell music returned in 2021 after the pandemic stifled the music trade for greater than a 12 months. Some artists hung out reflecting and dealing on new materials in the course of the lockdown, which they launched or carried out in entrance of stay audiences this 12 months.
There was no scarcity of thrilling new materials launched—whereas some artists embarked upon nationwide excursions this 12 months, others embraced digital platforms to unfold the phrase about their new tasks.
Amanda Rabinowitz and Brittany Nader every share their favourite native albums and songs of 2021.
Holden Laurence – Floating, Drifting
Cleveland artist Holden Laurence used songwriting in the course of the pandemic to deal with his psychological well being struggles of social nervousness, panic assaults and melancholy. The songs are musically upbeat whereas the lyrics are darkish and deep, addressing points such because the distorted actuality of recent life within the U.S. and environmental issues. Laurence is a lovely songwriter, and the vulnerability of this EP makes his music much more impactful. Favorites embrace “Stunning Mild” and “Recollections and Mud.”
Detention – Patchwork EP
Akron four-piece rockers Detention have grown over the previous couple of years as a gaggle of center and highschool college students studying the ropes of rock stardom to full-fledged, polished performers. Their 2021 EP showcases the band’s progress, with new authentic songs that recall energy pop and pop-punk of many years previous. The band’s sound is the right mix of the younger rockers’ influences and their recent tackle tunes from the angle of at present’s considerate and rebellious youth. A spotlight for the band this 12 months was performing with Fred Armisen and DEVO’s Gerald Casale at Devotional 2021. Favourite observe: “Not To Go.”
Indré – Misfits within the Solar
Singer-songwriter Maddie Indré was on Shuffle when she was simply 20 years previous. She stop school to give attention to her music profession, releasing her debut album “Serenity” in 2019. Now, she’s gone from solo to a five-piece band. Known as Indré, the group launched its debut album in October. The backing of a full band makes Maddie Indré’s voice soar to new heights and generates the power that instructions a stage. Favourite observe: “The Stream.”
Nathan-Paul – Aquarius Lofi DEEZY
Nathan-Paul Davis has been lively in Akron’s jazz and soul scenes for years, enjoying alto sax in Wesley Vivid and the Honeytones and serving as bandleader for Nathan-Paul and The Admirables. We found how prolific this working musician is on Shuffle again in March after the discharge of his solo album, “Aquarius Lofi DEEZY,” which he collaborated on with native drummer and producer HR3 and pianist Joey Skoch. The album explores Davis’ foray into hip-hop beats impressed by the assorted music genres which have touched him all through his life, together with gospel, experimental jazz and downtempo lo-fi hip-hop. A standout observe is “My Love,” which blends mellow beats and jazz. Davis launched a holiday-themed continuation of the album this November known as “Lofi Christmas DEEZY.”
Empty Coats – Hathor
This Akron five-piece of buddies fashioned in 2018, however we simply grew to become aware of them this 12 months after they performed Akron’s PorchRokr music competition in August. They launched their EP, “Hathor,” this 12 months, which immediately caught our consideration. Jim Curtis sings with ardour, and the guitars match the feelings on every observe. Curtis says the album was recorded in the course of the pandemic. The standout observe, “Mercy,” is “about loneliness and discovering peace there. Making an attempt to get somebody to search out that peace with me,” Curtis stated.
Spirit of the Bear – Spirit of the Bear
This band of Youngstown-area buddies deliberate to launch its third album in 2020, however the pandemic delayed the discharge till January 2021. It was well worth the wait. This gifted group of musicians has outlined its guitar and synth-heavy sound on this file. Favorites embrace “The Form” and “No Coronary heart.”
Peachcurls – numerous singles
T.J. Maclin’s artistry takes on many varieties, from raunchy rap to lowkey ballads to curating music for an on-line efficiency video sequence. Performing as Peachcurls, he appears to be continually working and hyping up different Black artists within the Cleveland space. In 2021, he dropped quite a lot of singles that present a softer facet and sonic progress. His 2020 album, “Meadow,” was a peak in his musical journey, and this 12 months’s songs “Unusual” and “Indoors” kick his outputs as much as hovering heights.
Rob Kovacs – Let Go
This album from Rob Kovacs, who’s a classically educated Cleveland pianist, was greater than a decade within the making. Launched in February, the idea album takes listeners by Kovacs’ emotional journey of discovering love, experiencing heartbreak, and finally therapeutic. Every track is so fantastically crafted, from the lyrics to the preparations. Favorites embrace “Attain You” and “Fizzle.”
Free Black! – Black Tuesday!
Free Black! is the Akron hip-hop duo of rapper Floco Torres and beatmaker and producer, Holbrook Riles III (HR3). They launched their third album, “Black Tuesday!” in October. The album explores themes across the economic system and dealing class, and it consists of an assortment of options from native musicians. These two eclectic artists complement one another so properly, and this album solely will get higher the extra you hearken to it. Favorites embrace “Don’t Make Me” and “Bullets!”
The Constructing – Indianola Pizza Dough
Acknowledged for his work with for world-renowned rock band The Battle on Medication (who launched the wonderful observe, “I Don’t Dwell Right here Anymore” this 12 months), Anthony LaMarca’s solo mission The Constructing is private, intimate and paints a sonic portrait of the artist’s life. LaMarca has joined us on Shuffle twice, first to debate his album “PETRA,” which was each impressed by his canine and coping with his personal critical medical points. This 12 months’s album is a love letter to his household, his hometown of Youngstown and the realm’s wealthy historical past placing polka music on the map. Your entire album is an aural collage of sound clips captured from inside a pizza store, LaMarca’s household and different bits and treasures supposed to sound like a radio present. Key tracks embrace “The Ballad of Indianola Ave.” and “Stunning Ohio.”
The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound
This was one other album that was delayed due to the pandemic. The Cleveland rockers determined to launch it on the finish of January. It was the long-awaited follow-up to their wonderful debut album, “Fashionable Feminine Rockstar.” Willow Hawks’ vocals (and lyrics) are a power. Favorites embrace “Crying is Cool” and “The Brink.”
Uno Woman – Grounded
Christa Ebert is greater than a musician—she’s an artist whose experimental output is boundless. Her 2021 launch, “GROUNDED,” was recorded at her dwelling in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It options recordings from her backyard, guided meditation from LaToya Kent, mantras and different mindfulness workouts. It’s been skilled alongside Ebert’s accompanying video sequence for these desirous about meditation or just to expertise the wonder and surreal imagery that’s an Uno Woman mission.
Elijah Bisbee – Remedy
Cleveland ambient musician Elijah Bisbee could be very lively within the music scene. Earlier than the pandemic, he hosted common concert events at his dwelling. He’s additionally launched a sequence of songwriting retreats for aspiring musicians. This 12 months, he additionally discovered time to launch his EP, “Remedy,” in October. The eight tracks characteristic some well-liked artists within the area, together with Emily Keener and Jenna Fournier. The standout observe on the album, “Collectively,” options his new facet mission, “wldrnss.” It’s a young, reflective track that completely captures the feelings and desperation we’ve all been feeling in the course of the pandemic.
ZOD1AC – Yesterday & Tomorrow
ZOD1AC has been making beats within the Akron space for a number of years, however “Yesterday & Tomorrow” is way more than simply 15 tracks of “vibes.” The album is the private story of Val Murray’s gender transition, going down over the course of three acts. The tracks start with self-revelations Murray skilled in the course of the onset of the pandemic to summer time 2021 when she reached self-acceptance. The producer collaborated with Floco Torres, oxela, Mirrorish, floridomi and CLWDWALKR on tracks all through the album, leading to a various, deep and introspective assortment of glistening, ambient and triumphant songs. Highlights embrace “Dysphoria Sunshine” and “The Lady within the Mirror.”
Terrycloth Mom – Terrycloth Mom
This can be a comparatively new Cleveland rock band that popped up on our radar after they performed Akron’s PorchRokr music competition in August. The band assembled in the course of the 2019 Lottery League, by which greater than 150 Cleveland musicians had been damaged into about 40 bands that made music collectively for 2 months. They launched their debut LP Oct. 15. This can be a group of fantastic musicians who placed on an excellent present by their wealthy soundscapes. Favorites embrace “King of the Wasteland” and “The Dancing Plague.”
Mo Turk – The Storm
Collaborating with Mimar Sinan on 13 uncooked, chopping hip-hop tracks, Akron’s Mo Turk doesn’t let up on power, circulate or lyrical prowess. The album’s opening observe “The Storm Forecast (Intro)” is a chaotic mesh of stories broadcasts and voices that ease into the starkly sincere and relatable “They Not Trying For Me and I Don’t Need To Be Discovered,” which cleverly and seamlessly references the intro. Merely put, Turk’s model of rap is related, essential, recent and thrilling. Standout observe: “Hope My Soul Don’t Change.”
Ben Gage – Now You Know
Ben Gage has been the spine of the native music scene for fairly a while, internet hosting intimate concert events at his home. Throughout the pandemic, he launched his Gage Home Classes on-line, investing in cameras and gear to provide native artists a strategy to carry out safely. In November, Gage shifted a little bit of the main target to his personal music, releasing the 17-track album, “Now You Know.” Gage says all of the songs had been recorded stay in a church, with no monitoring. These stripped-down people songs are merely attractive. Favorites embrace “Want Me Effectively” and “Florida Sand.”
Jeff France is a multi-instrumentalist and runs the cassette label Imperial Emporium Sound Choices in Akron. Often called Fej, he’s recorded and put out music by HR3, Stems, Precise Kind, Talons and others. He lately launched his solo album, “Holidays for Heathens (The 12 Beats of Christmas),” however earlier this 12 months it appeared as if the entire music scene in Akron was buzzing a few video mission he dropped this previous spring. “For Buddies and Cherished Ones” is an bold piece of visible artwork that’s greater than half-hour lengthy and is accompanied by an audio model damaged into seven ambient, experimental tracks. The mission can also be accessible in a VHS HIFI model. Every model was recorded in another way and carried out stay. It’s greatest skilled in its full audio-visual type.
Shuffle’s favourite native music of 2021