Whatever else this year was, it was a truly great year for music on the LOUD WOMEN scene.

Our team* were given the tough task of narrowing down their favourite releases (EPs, LPs and everything inbetween) of the year to a list of just 21. The result was an eclectic mix of rock, punk, alt r&b, bedroom pop and everything in between – from all the round the world. Here it is, in (kinda) alphabetical order.

(Tl;dr there’s a playlist of the top 21 here.)

Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

A nominee for this year’s Hercury awards, West London’s Arlo Parks also scooped the Mercury Prize in 2021 for this stunner of an album. Hailed as “the Voice of a Generation”, we demand Arlo for UK Prime Minister.

Amyl & the Sniffers – Comfort to Me

One of LOUD WOMEN’s favorite bands, Amyl & the Sniffers’ latest album is of course amongst our top releases for 2021. Frantic, irreverent, and massive fun – the album is the punk pill we all needed this crazy year.

“This band are making their own legend right now.”

 Live review and interview with Amy and Dec by Cassie Fox.

beabadoobee – Our Extended Play

West London songwriter beabadoobee teamed up with The 1975’s Matty Healy and George Daniel for ‘Our Extended Play’. (And yep, that’s what EP stands for kids, extended player. No, seriously. Ask your parents.)

Desperate Journalist – Maximum Sorrow! 

London hit factory Desperate Journalist used lockdown time to gift us with another belting album. (And if we didn’t already love them heaps already, lead singer Jo Bevan lent her voice to the Loud Women all-stars on our ‘Reclaim These Streets’ single this summer – and what a voice! Head to their Bandcamp for music and merch.

“Jo Bevan’s stunning vocals coupled with late period Duran Duran/REM guitar layers”.

Review of lead single ‘The Victim


Montreal trio DISHPIT‘s grungetastic debut album:

“brings an attitude of feminist absurdism to post-punk/grunge in order to take up as much space as possible in a male dominant genre”.

Review of lead single ‘This Time’ by Julie Riley

FLTY BRGR GRL – Love You Forever

Oslo duo FLTY BRGR GRL have fast become new faves of several of the LOUD WOMEN eds. Check out their goodies on Bandcamp.

Love You Forever is an instant mood booster that creates a fun listening experience.”

Review by Reva May

Garbage – No Gods No Masters

Queen of the 90s Shirley Manson dishes up a fresh, relevant album, hailed as “their best in 20 years”.

girlpuppy – Swan

Atlanta songwriter Girlpuppy (Becca Harvey)released Swan, a strident debut EP.

“storytelling and music that feels like a film soundtrack”

Full review by Reva May

Goat Girl – On All Fours

Goat Girl’s latest release showcases the band’s evolution into Stereolab with a sense of humour. Grab it on Bandcamp.

Hana Vu – Public Storage 

Public Storage takes its rightful place on our top 21 courtesy of LA’s Hana Vu (not to be confused with the no less brilliant Hannah Hu of Bradford).

Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant

Melbourne-based Hiatus Kaiyote released Mood Valiant this summer and the world swooned to this butter-melting voice to end all voices.

I, Doris – I, Doris

LOUD WOMEN house band, Epsom kitchenpunx I, Doris’, dished up a tasty self-titled mini-album this month. Fill your face on Bandcamp.

“blends the power and playfulness of Girls At Our Best, Bikini Kill, The Specials and The Pipettes (remember them?) with a witty and razor sharp narrative on current and ongoing women’s issues.”

Full review by Kimmi Watson

Laura-Mary Carter – Town Called Nothing

Laura-Mary Carter‘s debut solo mini-album provides lush country sounds, straight out of Brighton –. Grab it from Bandcamp.

Little Simz –  Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

A fourth studio album from Little Simz proved that North London’s Simbiatu Ajikawo can do no wrong.

Miller Roberts – All The Things I Could Never Say

Australian talent Miller Roberts released a beautiful EP, All The Things I Could Never Say. This indie/acoustic folk EP was written in one month. The inspiration behind this haunting EP is heartbreak and the chaos of the pandemic. 

“Within five songs, Miller Roberts doesn’t leave anything behind. You can feel the love and loss…under that, a layer of grief and despair. But also through the songs, there’s growth and healing.”

Review by Reva May

Paige Beller – I’ll Be Better

Ohio-based musician Paige Beller’s debut album I’ll Be Better touched us this year.

“Beller somehow captures the feeling of being in a small venue via your speakers.”

Full review by Reva May

Piney Gir – Astral Spectra

A highlight of this year’s amazing LOUD WOMEN Fest 5 was Piney Gir‘s set, featuring many of the songs from this unique, special album.

“like Carol King fronting The Beatles”

review of lead single ‘Voice of the Ages’ by Cassie Fox

She Drew the Gun – Behave Myself

She Drew the Gun‘s Behave Myself is a feminist manifesto in album form, one we’ll be spinning for years to come.

“a collection of fresh new empowering political psych pop songs that will make you want to dance, shout, feed your mind and maybe even misbehave”.

Full review by Kimmi Watson – and see also interview with Louisa Roach by Phoebe Lunny

Sister Lucy – Big Girl Pants

Another new fave of 2021, London’s Sister Lucy  (Abi Sinclair) delivered a dreamy EP and won our hearts (not least for the title, ‘Big Girl Pants’).

“From first listen with her debut single, Dream, Sister Lucy’s unique clash of country-grunge and her straight to the point lyrics pulls you in.”

Review by Reva May

Snail Mail – Valentine 

Snail Mail is Lindsey Jordan of north Carolina and her Valentine is the heartbreak/romance album of the year.

T-Bitch – March of the Othering

Longtime LOUD WOMEN faves T-Bitch’s March of the Othering cheered us all right up this year. Grab a copy from Bandcamp.

“Proper punk – anarchic, irreverent, norm-smashing.”

Review by Cassie Fox

* Big thanks to the Team LOUD WOMEN members who helped compile the list: Reva May, Cassie Fox, Charley Stone, Kimmi Watson, Julie Riley, Hannah Kessler, Elle Cee and Kris Smith