Almanac Music: Luke Reynolds’s Top Albums of 2021


Judas Tree – Gretta Ziller


The second album from Gretta Ziller shows a more diverse, rockier sound than her 2017 debut record ‘Queen of Boomtown’, her incredible voice and songwriting backed up with a fantastic guitar-driven band. Raw lyrics full of emotion. This is an album that captivates from start to finish. My top album of 2021.


Songs to add to your playlist: Stockholm, Unlikely Believer, Damage Done, Cinder Ash & Ruin




Simulation Ride – Merpire


The debut album from Merpire (real name Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt) is a colourful, interesting journey all the way through. Well put together indie pop/rock with strong stories. I was introduced to Merpire through her work with Melbourne band Rat!Hammock and can’t wait to see what this talented singer/songwriter/guitarist comesup with next in her solo career.


Songs to add to your playlist: Village, Dinosaur, Habit




Dreamers Are Waiting – Crowded House



The first Crowded House album in 11 years, with multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart (a session musician in 1991 then a full time member since 1993) and drummer Matt Sherrod jettisoned in favour of Neil Finn’s sons Liam (guitar & vocals) and Elroy (drums and vocals) and Mitchell Froom, who produced the first Crowdies album in 1986, on keyboards. While sad to see Hart go, I like the inclusion of the younger Finn’s, bringing younger energy and hopefully longevity to the band. ‘To The Island’ is an instant, catchy CH classic, ‘Whatever You Want’ and ‘Playing With Fire’ were also strong single releases while for mine the highlight was ‘Sweet Tooth’, a song that wouldn’t have been out of place on the 1993 album ‘Together Alone’ and highlights the guitar prowess of Liam Finn. I can’t wait to see the new lineup in Melbourne in April.



Songs to add to your playlist: To The Island, Sweet Tooth, Whatever You Want, Playing With Fire




The Lives Of Others – You Am I


A very strong return from You Am I. Lead single ‘The Waterboy’ is an anthemic stadium crowd pleaser to open an album that rocks all the way through. The Davey Lane contributions are always a highlight on any You Am I record, ‘We All Went Deaf Overnight’ continues this tradition. Thoughtful Aussie rock at it’s best.


Songs to add to your playlist: The Waterboy, We All Went Deaf Overnight, Rosedale Redux





Everything Is Tenuous – Luca Brasi


The greatest band to come out of Tasmania. This is their fifth and best album to date. Ten excellent tracks in their unique style, track 10 ‘Sea Sick’ a superb finish, featuring Hobart singer/songwriter Kat Edwards in a wonderful duet with lead singer Tyler Richardson.


Songs to add to your playlist: Tangled; Content, Sea Sick, Never The Right Time, Remiss of Me





Bittersweet Demons – The Murlocs


As with Luca Brasi, this is the fifth Murlocs album and also their best. A smooth bluesy/piano rock album. Frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith has vocally never sounded better and nails the harmonica. Kenny-Smith and bassist Cook Craig are also members of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, this release far outstripped the two King Gizzard albums released in 2021. The title track is my song of the year.


Songs to add to your playlist: Bittersweet Demons, Dangerous Nature, Francesca





Provlepsis – Tori Forsyth


A mid year text from Almanacker Smokie Dawson (read his top 10 albums of 2021 HERE) urged me to listen to the new Tori Forsyth album. Was blown away on first listen. A rock album of the highest quality and an incredible voice, which is interesting when going back into Tori’s earlier work which turned out to be more country music orientated.


Thanks Smokie!


Songs to add to your playlist: Be Here, All For You, Last Man Stands




I’m a Stupid Moron With An Ugly Face and a Big Butt and My Butt Smells and I Like To Kiss My Own Butt – Dr Colossus


Doom metal has never been my go to, but as a massive fan of The Simpsons I was inspired to check out Melbourne band Dr Colussus and their Simpsons themed songs. Extremely well written, each track relates to an episode of the long running comedy. ‘So Long Stinktown’ is a particular favourite, based on the Season 8, Episode 2 ‘You Only Move Twice’, pretty much my favourite episode of The Simpsons. ‘Hummingbird Of Bengal’ is a humourous ode to Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilion. The songs are of high enough quality that you don’t need to be a Simpsons fan to enjoy them. But all the better if you are.


Songs to add to your playlist: So Long Stinktown, Hummingbird of Bengal, Pickabar





Reverse Light Years – Even


Double albums are rare in this day and age, yet Even have pulled off the most listenable 80 minute effort imaginable. Ash Naylor has never sounded or played better. Narrowing down to a few recommended tracks has been the hardest part of reviewing this album. Nearly every song is single worthy. These guys should be international superstars in a just world.

Songs to add to your playlist: Cherry Afterglow, Be Still, Six Monkeys, Silver Rain, Lifetime, Gold Sunday




Been Doin’ It For A Bit – Ruby Fields


It feels like Ruby Fields has been around forever, yet we only got to enjoy her debut album in 2021. Lyrically raw and honest, but a rocking album too. A star on the rise.


Songs to add to your playlist: Song About A Boy, Bruises, Pokies




Best Gigs of 2021: Insert sad emoji face. For the first year of my adult life I attended no gigs in 2021.



Best music podcast of 2021: ‘Only The Shit You Love. The Podcast’ by Damian Cowell. A wonderful insight into the music influences and early career of the former TISM frontman, as well as what shapes his current project- Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine. There’s actually very little TISM content but that’s OK, Damian’s thoughts on music through the years and shaping his current band is hugely interesting. I couldn’t recommend these 18 episodes more. Do yourself a favour.



Find all my recommended 2021 tracks here:




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About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Great stuff Luke, a couple of artists I haven’t really listened to on here, but the ones I do know I really like and will give the others a RHG on the power of your list alone.

  2. Excellent list, Crackers. And thanks for the shout out.
    It is interesting to note that, like a Venn diagram, our lists crossed over at certain points (Tori F, Even, Ruby F).
    I completely forgot about You Am I, possibly because it was lost deep in lockdown.
    A couple there that I also need to look into further.

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