2021 has been another strange year because of the pandemic, despite the rise in live shows, the constant change in restrictions keep forcing bands/artists to cancel or postpone their performances. However, nothing have stopped them to continue creating, producing and releasing, so thanks to their inspiration and work we got some great albums to keep us going through the many ups and downs of the last 12 months. We hope things will get better next year and wish the bands/artists the very best of all.

With nearly 400 great records to choose from, we have managed to pick the 100 albums that defined this year (as usual, the selection caused breakups, divorces, fights, hostilities, layoffs, resignations and deportations among the Kool Rock Radio staff LOL 🙂

Here are Kool Rock radio’ staff 100 favorite albums of 2021, listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Absolutely Free ► ‘Aftertouch’ [astro-beat/psychedelic/avant-garde rock]
  2. Acid Dad ► ‘Take It from the Dead‘ (Greenway Records / RAS) [psych-punk]
  3. Actors ► ‘Acts of Worship‘ (Artoffact Records) [cold wave/post-punk/synth pop]
  4. Afflecks Palace ► ‘What Do You Mean Its Not Raining‘ (Spirit Of Spike Island) [indie guitar/psych pop]
  5. Amiture ► ‘The Beach’ [synthpop/electronic/new wave]
  6. Art d’Ecco ► ‘In Standard Definition‘ (Paper Bag Records) [glam-rock]
  7. Autogramm ► ‘No Rules‘ (Nevado Records) [power pop]
  8. Balvanera ► ‘Course of Action’ (DKA Records) 
  9. Beige Banquet ► ‘Beta’ (Swish Swash Records / Just Step Sideways) [art punk/post punk]
  10. Black Marble ► ‘Fast Idol‘ (Sacred Bones Records) [synth-wave/post punk]
  11. Bleib Modern ► ‘Afraid To Leave‘ (Black Verb Records) [post-punk/cold wave/shoegaze]
  12. Blue Livingroom ► ‘For Keeps‘ (FarOff Records) [new wave/post punk/shoegaze]
  13. Breeze ► ‘Only Up‘ (Hand Drawn Dracula) [psych-pop/indie disco]
  14. Cathedral Bells ► ‘Ether‘ (Spirit Goth) [dream pop/shoegaze]
  15. Clan of Xymox ► ‘Limbo’ (Trisol Music Group) [darkwave]
  16. Closed Mouth ► ‘Before the Dream Faded’ (Icy Cold Records) [post punk/coldwave]
  17. Cosey Mueller ► ‘Interior Escapes’ [synthpunk/synthwave/electronic]
  18. Creux Lies ► ‘Goodbye Divine‘ (Freakwave) [post-punk/new wave/dark wave] 
  19. Croc Shop ► ‘Perpetual Sequence’ [post-electro/synthpop]
  20. Crystalline Stricture ► ‘Pristine Gardens’ (TONN Recordings) [cold wave/minimal synth/electronic]
  21. Curses ► ‘Next Wave Acid Punx – Compilation’ (Eskimo Recordings)
  22. DAS DAS ► ‘Leben in Bildschirmen‘ (Detriti Records) [electro garage/minimal synth/punk]
  23. DETECTS ► ‘Conditions‘ (Way-Off Records) [post punk/shoegaze/darkwave]
  24. Dlina Volny ► ‘Dazed‘ (Italians Do It Better) [post punk/new wave/cold wave]
  25. Doric ► ‘Great Dead Cities‘ (Young & Cold Records) [minimal wave/new wave/synth punk]
  26. Double Echo ► ‘’ (Fabrika Records!)
  27. Dry Cleaning ► ‘New Long Leg‘ (4AD) [post punk]
  28. Ducks Ltd. ► ‘Modern Fiction‘ (Carpark Records / Royal Mountain Records) [jangle pop]
  29. Echoberyl ► ‘Mother Solitude and Other Dark Tales‘ [coldwave/post punk/synthwave]
  30. Ex-Heir ► ‘GLIMPSES & MURMURS’ [coldwave/minimal/darkwave]
  31. Fluid Ghost ► ‘Homeclubbing/Photophobia’ (Mother Solitude) [electronic/minimal wave/dark]
  32. Flyying Colours ► ‘Fantasy Country‘ (Club AC30) [psych/shoegaze]
  33. FRAGRANCE. ► ‘Salt Water‘ (Synth Religion) [synthpop/darkwave]
  34. Geese ► ‘Projector‘ (Partisan Records/Play It Again Sam) [indie rock/post punk]
  35. Gel Set ► ‘Tone Invasion‘ [electronic/electro-pop/minimal synth]
  36. Girlfriends and Boyfriends ► ‘Fallacy of Fairness’ (Oraculo Records)
  37. Gustaf ► ‘Audio Drag For Ego Slobs‘ (Royal Mountain Records) [art-punk/post-punk]
  38. Ian Deaton ► ‘Moon Howler’ (Deanwell Global Music) [synth punk/new wave/synthpop] 
  39. Inhaler ► ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This‘ (Polydor Records) [rock n roll]
  40. Johnny Dynamite & the Bloodsuckers ► ‘Sleeveless‘ (Born Losers Records)
  41. Justine Forever ► ‘𝐹𝐿𝐴𝑆𝐻’ (Her Majesty’s Ship) [electro/synth pop/synthwave]
  42. L.F.T. ► ‘Salz‘ (Mannequin Records) [electro/wave]
  43. Laddermen ► ‘Special Kind of Violence‘ (Waterfall of Colours) [indie rock/alt]
  44. Low Hummer ► ‘Modern Tricks For Living‘ (Dance To The Radio) [post punk/alt]
  45. LURVE ► ‘Lurve’ (Library Group) [dream pop/noise pop]
  46. Luxury Furniture Store ► ‘Bedrot’ [coldwave/darkwave/synthwave]
  47. Male Tears ► ‘Male Tears’ / ‘Trauma Club‘ (Starfield Music Van) [electro pop/new wave/synthwave]
  48. Massage ► ‘Still Life‘ [indie pop/jangle pop]
  49. Maximo Park ► ‘Nature Always Wins‘ [indie rock]
  50. Motorama ► ‘Before The Road’ (dream pop)
  51. Nation Of Language ► ‘A Way Forward‘ [post punk/new wave/synth-pop]
  52. New Candys ► ‘Vyvyd‘ [shoegaze/dark/new wave]
  53. NOV3L ► ‘NON-FICTION’ (Flemish Eye) [new punk/post-punk]
  54. Odonis Odonis ► ‘Spectrums‘ (Felte Records) [experimental/industrial/post-gaze]
  55. Peppy Pep Pepper ► ‘Forced Distance’ (Modern Tapes) [minimal synth/synthwave/post punk]
  56. Pink Turns Blue ► ‘Tainted‘ (Orden Records) [post-punk/alt rock]
  57. Ploho ► ’Фантомные Чувства’ (Artoffact Records) [post punk/new wave]
  58. Potochkine ► ‘Sortilèges’ [electronic/darkwave/techno]
  59. Raskolnikov ► ‘Don’t want to die of boredom today’ [coldwave/darkwave/post punk]
  60. Robert Görl ► ‘Nur Noch Einer‘ (Groenland Records) [electronic]
  61. Roosevelt ► ‘Polydans‘ (Greco-Roman / City Slang) [electro-pop]
  62. Rosegarden Funeral Party ► ‘Take Cover‘ [new wave/post punk]
  63. S Y Z Y G Y X ► ‘(Im)mortal‘ (Cold Transmission) [electro/synth]
  64. Saccades ► ‘Flowing Fades‘ (Fuzz Club Records) [psych pop/post punk]
  65. Sam Fender ► ‘Seventeen Going Under‘ (Interscope Records) [indie rock]
  66. Same Eyes ► ‘Parties To End‘ [synthpop]
  67. screensaver ► ‘Expressions of Interest‘ (Upset The Rhythm/Heavy Machinery) [post punk/synth wave]
  68. Sculpture Club ► ‘Worth’ (Funeral Party Records) [indie rock/alt]
  69. Scyr ► ‘So Sad’ [post punk/new romantics/synthpop]
  70. Sei Still ► ‘El Refugio‘ (Fuzz Club) [post punk/krautrock]
  71. Sexual Purity ► ‘Beautiful Scar of Society’ [coldwave/darkwave]
  72. Shame ► ‘Drunk Tank Pink‘ (Dead Oceans) [post punk/indie rock]
  73. Snapped Ankles ► ‘Forest Of Your Problems‘ (The Leaf Label) [art wave/post punk/krautrock] 
  74. SPECTRES ► ‘Hindsight‘ (Artoffact Records) [post punk/cold wave/goth]
  75. SPINN ► ‘Outside Of The Blue‘ [indie pop/dream pop/jangle]
  76. Submotile ► ‘Sonic Day Codas‘ (MotileRev Records) [shoegaze/pop/noise-rock/drone]
  77. The Black Veils ► ‘CARNAGE’ (Icy Cold Records) [post punk]
  78. The City Gates ► ‘Age of Resilience‘ (Velouria Recordz/Icy Cold Records)
  79. The Institutes ► ‘Colosseums‘ (42 Records) [indie rock/britpop]
  80. The KVB ► ‘Unity‘ (Invada Records) [psychedelic/shoegaze/dark wave]
  81. The Lipschitz ► ‘Chevron‘ [garage punk/garage rock]
  82. The Lucid Dream ► ‘The Deep End’ (Holy Are You Recordings) [experimental/psych]
  83. The Polyphonic Spree ► ‘Afflatus‘ (Good Records)
  84. The Trims ► ‘Through the Years’ [indie rock/alt]
  85. The Vaccines ► ‘Back In Love City‘ [indie rock]
  86. The Violent Hearts ► ‘Everything and Nothing‘ [post punk/indie rock]
  87. The Zephyr Bones ► ‘Neon Body‘ (La Castanya) [beach wave/psych pop]
  88. The Zolas ► ‘Come Back to Life‘ (Light Organ Records) [indie rock/pop]
  89. TRAITRS ► ‘Horses in the Abattoir‘ (Freakwave Records) [post punk/darkwave]
  90. Transistor ► ‘Maybe in the Summer‘ [indie rock]
  91. True Faith ► ‘They Can Always Hurt You More‘ (A La Carte Records) [coldwave/post punk/darkwave]
  92. ULTRA SUNN ► ‘Body Electric‘ (Cold Transmission) [coldwave/EBM]
  93. Valuemart ► ‘Underground Alice‘ (Detriti Records) [post punk/goth]
  94. Veda Rays ► ‘Crucial Fictions‘ [post punk/dream pop/indie rock]
  95. Veil of Light ► ‘Landslide‘ (Avant! Records) [cold wave/dark wave/synth]
  96. Vision Video ► ‘Inked in Red‘ (Kindercore Records) [post-punk/goth/new wave]
  97. Vitalic ► ‘DISSIDÆNCE‘ (Citizen Records)
  98. W. H. Lung ► ‘Vanities‘ (Melodic Records) [psych/post-punk]
  99. We Were Promised Jetpacks ► ‘Enjoy the View‘ (Scary Monsters) [alt/pop]
  100. Wingtips ► ‘Cutting Room Floor‘ (Artoffact Records) [new goth-pop/post punk]