Best of 2021 – Last year we missed doing our annual “Best Of.” This year we present it after a year of quarantine albums galore. Tours didn’t start until May but new music was flowing from the start of 2021. 2022 is already aiming to be a busy year. Here are our choices for the Best of 2021.
We’ve evolved from Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion and others of last year to a new crop of artists.
Best Label – Fire Talk Records – Home to Bnny, Mamalarky, Packs and more this boutique label is setting up to be the next Saddle Creek Records.
Secretly Group @secretlygroup, Saddle Creek Records @saddlecreek, Fire Talk Records @firetalkrecs, Don Giovanni Records @DonGiovanniRecs
Nest New Artist – “New” is always relative. Georgia Maq has been part of Camp Cope, and Isabella Manfredi was part of The Preatures. Our winner is Ashe who album Ashlyn was hard to put down this year.
Georgia Maq @goldsoundz_, Allison Russell @allisonrussellmusic, S.G. Goodman @s.g.goodman, Ashe @ashemusic, Jillette Johnson @jillettejohnson, Hawxx @hawxxmusic, Noa Kirel @noakirel, Kill Birds @killbirdsmusic, Killboy @killboy , Sloppy Jane @sloppyjanebandd , Ydegirl @ydegirl, The Linda Lindas @the_linda_lindas, Allison Ponthier @allisonponthier, Isabella Manfredi @isabellamanfredi, Pom Pom Squad @pompomsquad
Best Local (Colorado) Artist – Local artists can often be touring or even national acts. This category was very competitive with the amount of quarantine albums that came out. Our winner is Companion who mesmerized us in the Spring. They will quickly become a national act.
Companion @companiontheband , Wellington Bullings @wellingtonbullings, Jenny Shawhan @jennyshawhan, The Velveteers @thevelveteers , Grand Alliance @LeGrandAlliance, Bunny Blake @bunnyblakemusic, Ellsworth @ellsworththefolksinger, Stop Motion, Lvdy @lvdy, Lolita @lolitaworldwide
Best Dance – Dance is also electronic and electro pop. Magdalena Bay & Sofi Tukker are the 800 lb gorillas in this category. Kito is our winner for surprising collaborations.
Magdalena Bay @magdalenabay, Sofi Tukker @sofitukker, Kito @kito
Best Pop – Pop like Indie is often open to interpretation. It is often what dominates at venues. Our winner is Charlotte Cardin whose Phoenix album was one of the best albums this year.
Hana Vu @hanavuuu, Lucy Dacus @lucydacus, Japanese Breakfast @jbrekkie, Baby Queen @queenofthebabies, Charlotte Cardin @charlottecardin, Jess Chalker @jess_chalker_, May-A @mayacumming, Ashe @ashemusic, Girl In Red @girlinred, Angèle @angele_vl, Sloppy Jane @sloppyjanebandd, Nadia Vaeh @nadiavaeh, Olivia Rox @oliviarox, Number One Popstar @numberonepopstar, Bahari @bahari, Noga Erez @nogaerez, Lola Lennox @lolalennex
Best Rock – Rock is often the guitar driven beat that keeps you going. Kill Birds, who have been touring with Foo Fighters are our winner.
Royal and the Serpent @royalandtheserpent, Amyl and the Sniffers @amylandthesniffers, Mattiel @mattielworldwide , Upsahl @upsahlmusicl, Self Esteem @selfesteemselfesteem, Kill Birds @killbirdsmusic, Nadia Sheikh @nadiasheikhmusic, Red Hook @weareredhook, Pom Pom Squad @pompomsquad
Best Indie – Indie always means both a sound but also a level of development. These are the artists at the small venues touring to survive. We have a diverse selection this year. Bnny is our winner.
Torres @torreslovesyou, The Beths @lizstokedstokes, Bnny @bnnyband, Madi Diaz @madidiaz, Marissa Nadler @marrisa_nadler, Jillette Johnson @jillettejohnson, Siiickbrain @siiickbrain, Sub*t @subtrules, Killboy @killboy, Cumgirl8 @cumgirl8, L’Freaq @lfreaq, Madelline @i.am.madelline, Anna Smyrk @annasmyrk
Best Experimental – There is always a “flinch” moment when you saw experimental. It involves a great deal of risk as personified by our winner Fifi Rong who is working on her dual album set with one album all in English, and one all in Chinese. She is crowdfunding now.
Insect Ark @insectark, Fifi Rong @fifirong, Sasami @sasamiashworth, Irreversible Entanglements @irreversibleentanglements, Haru Nemuri @haru_nemuri
Best Hip Hop – This is the first year that FEMMUSIC has this category. There may be some arguments as to whether all these artists fit it. Coi Leray is the best newcomer in this area. Ray BLK is our winner.
Bia @bia, Tones and I @tonesandi, Doja Cat @dojacat, Sza @sza, Cardi B @iamcardib, Megan Thee Stallion @theestallion, Coi Leray @coileray, Ms Banks @msbanks, Ray BLK @rayblk, Remi Wolf @remiwolf, Tinashe @tinashenow
Best Jazz – We will admit to not hearing as much jazz this year. Laufey is the winner with original interpretations of classics.
Laufey @laufey, Nnenna Freelon @officialnnenna
Best Country – Brandi Carlile is a favorite in this category and will take home more GRAMMYs. Allison Russell wins for being new and original.
Brandi Carlile @brandicarlile, Allison Russell @allisonrussellmusic, Yola @iamyolaofficial, CMAT @cmatbaby, Jackson & Sellers @jacksonsellersmusic, Ingrid Andress @ingridandress
Best Heavy Metal – Infected Rain is a former winner in this category. Jinjer, Halestorm & The Pretty Reckless dominate. The Velveteers are this year’s winner.
Hawxx @hawxxmusic, Edge of Paradise @edgeofparadise, Jinjer @jinjer_official, The Velveteers @thevelveteers, Infected Rain @infectedrain_official, The Pretty Reckless @theprettyreckless, Halestorm @halestormrocks
Best R & B – This category includes powerhouses like Arlo Parks and Dawn Richard. Alewya is our winner for new and original music this year.
Muni Long @munilong, India Shawn @indiashawn, Dawn Richard @dawnrichard, Alewya @alewya11, Arlo Parks @arloparks, Tkay Maidza @tkaymaidza, Danielia Cotton @danieliacotton, Saleka @saleka
Best Surprise – A “surprise” for us is that unexpected performance when it was not expected. It includes some risky performances such as LVXURI and Big Klit. S.G. Goodman is our hands down winner. We caught her as an opener and she garnered as much reaction as the headliner. She is a blunt, and emotive songwriter.
S.G. Goodman @s.g.goodman, Kiesza @kiesza, LVXURI @mx_lvxuri, Big Klit @klitoriusmaximus
Best Comeback – This has been a surprisingly competitive category. Whether it’s the return of ABBA after a long time to Adele’s new album. The big surprise this month is Taylor Swift taking the world with the longest song. She is our winner.
Kylie Minogue @kylieminogue, Avril Lavigne @avrillavigne, Deborah Gibson @debbiegibson, Liz Phair @LizPhairOfficial, Taylor Swift @taylorswift , ABBA @ABBA, Adele @adele, Lorde @lorde
Posted in Previews Tagged with: ABBA, Alewya, Allison Ponthier, Allison Russell, Amyl and the Sniffers, Angele, Anna Smyrk, Arlo Parks, Ashe, Avril Lavigne, Baby Queen, Bahari, Beach Bunny, Best of 2021, Bia, Big Klit, Bnny, Brandi Carlile, Camp Cope, Cardi B, Charlotte Cardin, CMAT, Coi Leray, Companion, Cumgirl8, Danielia Cotton, Dawn Richard, Deborah Gibson, Doja Cat, Don Giovanni Records, Edge of Paradise, Ellsworth, Fifi Rong, Fire Talk Records, GEORGIA MAQ, Girl In Red, Halestorm, Hana Vu, Haru Nemuri, HAWXX, India Shawn, Infected Rain, Ingrid Andress, Insect Ark, Irreversible Entanglements, Isabella Manfredi, Jackson and Sellers, Japanese Breakfast, Jenny Shawhan, Jess Chalker, Jillette Johnson, Jinjer, Kiesza, Kill Birds, Killboy, Kito, L’Freaq, Laufey, Liz Phair, Lola Lennox, lolita, Lorde, Lucy Dacus, LVDY, LVXURI, Madelline, Madi Diaz, Magdalena Bay, Marissa Nadler, Mattiel, May-A, Megan Thee Stallion, Ms Banks, Muni Long, Nadia Sheikh, Nadia Vaeh, Nnenna Freelon, Noa Kirel, Noga Erez, Number One Popstar, Olivia Rox, Phoebe Bridgers, Pom Pom Squad, Ray BLK, Red Hook, Remi Wolf, Royal and the Serpent, S.G. Goodman, Saddle Creek Records, Saleka, Sasami, Secretly Group, Self Esteem, Siiickbrain, Sloppy Jane, Sofi Tukker, Stop Motion, SZA, Taylor Swift, The Beths, The Grand Alliance, The Linda Lindas, The Preatures, The Pretty Reckless, The Velveteers, Tinashe, Tkay Maidza, Tones and I, Torres, UPSAHL, Wellington Bullings, Ydegirl, Yola
The Underground Music Showcase
August 27-29, 2021
For over 20 years this music festival has brought big names to Denver while also showcasing the local scene. This year over 170 artists will appear on 15 stages over 3 days. Last year the festival was a virtual 3 hour event. This year’s showcase includes Pinegrove, Remi Wolf, Shannon & The Clams, Sofia Valdes among its 13 headliners. Local acts include returning artists of Bellhoss, Slow Caves, Wildermiss, Izcalli and more. There are also new faces including Lnlygirl, The Grand Alliance, Deadluv and more.
“After 20 years of Underground Music Showcase, we were thrilled to be able to carry-on our tradition virtually last year by raising $75,000 for independent musicians” shares Casey Berry, owner of the festival. “With that said, we couldn’t be happier to be in-person for 2021 to not only support live music and local bands, but to support more than a dozen independent bars and restaurants on Broadway!”
UMS is working closely with city and state officials to make sure we rage safely in 2021. This might include reduced capacity (especially at indoor venues), and potentially limiting ticket sales to ensure proper distancing as required. UMS has every intent to become a good example of how to return to in-person, live music festivals in a safe and celebratory manner, and will be monitoring health directives in real time as the big weekend approaches.
Posted in Previews Tagged with: 303 Magazine, A-Mac & The Height, Adiel Mitchell, All:Lo Collective, Allah-Las, Altos 100% Agave, Amazing Adventures, Any Immerman & Garrett Hooper, Audible, Augustus, Average Jonny, Azon, Baere Brewing Company, Banded Oak Brewing, Bear and the Beasts, Bellhoss, Big Dopes, Big J Beats, Bison Bone, Bleak Mystique, Bobby Amulet & The Scream Queens, Brothers of Brass, Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers, Bun Bun, Bury Mia, Capyac, Casey Berry, Cat Evans, Cities in the Sky, Citra, Civil Engineer, Claire Heywood, Cochino Taco, Colorado, Corsicana, Cous, Creekbed, Crl Crrll, Dam-Funk, Dandu, Dante Elephante, Dawn Safari, Deadluv, Denver, Despair Jordan, Digg, Dlzmksbts, Dogwalker, Don Chicharron, Down Time, Doze, Duke Justice, Ekkstacy, El Javi, eldren, Elektric Animals, Emerald Siam, Erin Stereo, Esperas, Esther Rose, Fire Motel, Firstimers, float like a buffalo, Fred Nancy, Funk Hunk, Future.Exboyfreind, Gabriel Valentine, Gestalt, Ghostpulse, Glass Cases, Goodwill, Goth Babe, Green Druid, Griffith James, Grim & Darling, Heated Bones, Heavy Diamond Ring, Hellgrammities, hi-dive, Holdfast, Honey Blazer, HQ, Ianxsolo, illegal pete's, Immigrant's Child, Import Mechanics, Indie 102.3, Ipecac, Isadora Eden, Izcalli, Jaay Michael, Jelie, John Lensing, Joshy Soul, Julian St. Nightmare, Kahlil Cezanne, Kaitlyn Williams, Kamauu, Kayla Marque, Kellindo, Kenny Cornbread, Kiltro, King Cardinal, Kingdom Jasmine, Lando Burch, Levi Double U, Little Trips, Lnlygirl, lolita, Los Mocochetes, Manycolors, Meanteam, Messiahvore, Metropolis Coffee, Midnight Petroleum, Mike, Mile High Soul Club, Mlday, Molly's Spirits, Monk Gyatso, Moon Pussy, Motion Trap, mutiny Information Cafe, n3ptune, Native Daughters, Navy, Neil Francis, Neoma, Neon Local, No Special Occasion, No-Fvce, Oli McCracken, One Flew West, Oregon Space Trail of Doom, Oskar Blues, Panther Martin, Paul Dehaven, Peer Review, Pinegrove, Pink Fuzz, Pout House, Pretty Loud, Ramakhandra, Ray Reed, Record Thieves, Remi Wolf, Retrofette, Rootbear Richie and The Revelle, Rubedo, Schama Noel, Shad Buxman and The Graveyard Shift, Shady Oaks, Shannon + The Clams, Shovelin Stone, slow caves, Smirk, Smokestack Relics, Sofia Valdes, Specific Ocean, Sputnik, Strange Americans, Street Cats Making Love, Tarantula Bill, Terrapin Care Station, The Andersons, The Barlow, The Denver Distillery, The Fey, The Gaines Brothers, The Grand Alliance, The Greenhouse Band, The Heavy Hours, The Hornet, The Irish Rover, The L, The Mananas, The Milk Blossoms, The Sacred Souls, The Savage Blush, The Sickly Hecks, The Still Tide, The Whimsy of Things, Toussaint Lorenz, Two Parts, Uncle Lame Bake, Underground Music Showcase, Venues Cruz & Super Distant Boyfriend, Voight, Vynyl, Waxcat, We Are Not A Glum Lot, Weir, Wes Watkins, Wessyde, Wild Basin, Wildermiss, YaSi, Yoke Lore, Yugs, Zembu, Zoe Berman & The Loveseats