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2021 January Singles: 1

1. “An Opening” – Fog Chaser. The beginning of every year is an exciting one for me, as I get to see afresh what sorts of things my ears are attuned to. This year it seems like I’m ready for upbeat, warm, slightly woozy sounds, as Fog Chaser’s “An Opening” was one of the first things that really caught my ear in 2022. If you’re looking for some electro with Teen Daze / Ulrich Schnauss vibes, look no further. Highly recommended

2. “Motherland Journey” – Blue Lab Beats feat. Killbeatz and Fela Kuti. This exciting track has afrobeat, Caribbean, and low-key electro vibes all working together for the greater good. It’s a lovely cut.

3. “Host” – Jogging House. Hazy, fuzzy, snowy ambient that sounds the way a warm blanket feels.

4. “B-Side” – Khruangbin and Leon Bridges. Khruangbin and Leon Bridges teaming up was just so much fun (for everyone) that they did it again. Khruangbin is funky, Bridges is soulful, everybody here is doing what they’re great at, this is just awesome.

5. “The World I Remember” – Lights and Motion. 2020 and 2021 weren’t jubilant years, and neither did I lean toward jubilant sounds. Lights and Motion, ever enthusiastic, has released another soaring post-rock track, and it’s just what I’m looking for now. Soar on, Lights and Motion. Soar on.

6. “Pull Your Pants Up” – Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. Did someone say jubilant? DLO3 are back with more funky, soulful, rays-of-sunshine party music. Love the lead organ melody here.

7. “Love on a real train” – students at Eskilstuna Kulturskola. This is a Tangerine Dream cover by a student orchestra. How can you not love this?

8. “lost found 2001 rare” – eevee. Lo-fi hip-hop from a master of the craft, this time with mellotron-esque keys leading the way.

9. “Cloud Jam (feat. Joel Ross & Marquis Hill)” – Greg Spero. Ratatat drumming, languid vibraphone, delicate piano, and celebratory trumpet come together into a jazz tune that shouldn’t work (due to too many things pulling in different directions) but does beautifully.

10. “Sweeping up breadcrumbs for my lord” – Droneroom. Nine and a half minutes of elegant, stately ambient country: ghostly wind noises accompany the lonesome-sounding solo acoustic guitar. The energy picks up around four minutes but the piece never loses its sense of “being out there by yourself”.

11. “Sisyphus” – Martin Ruby. A beautiful, lonesome, Western guitar piece accentuated by nature sounds and other gentle foley. The animated video sells the vibe beautifully.

12. “Euphemia” – Robin Guthrie. A dreamy, woozy, smooth trip through the space between post-rock, dream-pop and shoegaze.

13. “Norwegian Dream” – Oslo Tapes. Churning, groove-heavy post-rock laden with buzzing synths. It’s full of nervous energy that never explodes in any sort of release, creating a liminal experience of almost-there-but-not.