Laura Dean’s Albums of the Year 2021 1

Laura Dean’s Albums of the Year 2021

It’s that time of year again, where people and publications start sharing their favourite albums of the last twelve months – I know a lot of people find it tedious, but I absolutely live for it. I mean, who doesn’t want album recommendations? It turns out that there’s quite a lot of stress involved when it comes to compiling your own list though, particularly when it comes to choosing who’s in that all important number one spot – this list would never have been finished if I hadn’t decided to let Self Esteem and James share it.

10. Manic Street Preachers – The Ultra Vivid Lament

In comparison to their previous albums – with the exception of Rewind The FilmThe Ultra Vivid Lament is surprisingly mellow, which I wasn’t sure about until I caught the band at Manchester Apollo a couple of months back. For me, the tracks came to life in a live setting – especially ‘Still Snowing in Sapporo’, which I firmly believe is one of the best tracks that they’ve ever written. I’m a huge James Dean Bradfield fan, but I have to say, it’s Nicky Wire in who shines on this album, with lyrics that dive deep into his insecurities, grief, existential doubt and both frustration with and alienation from the modern world.

9. The Maine – XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time

The Maine succeeded in delivering the chilled, Summer vibe that we were all pining for this Summer with XOXO: From Love & Anxiety In Real Time – touching on the various emotions that come with love and anxiety. The band have always presented themselves as a family and I love how that comes across throughout the album. Also, the appropriately titled ‘Sticky’ has been stuck in my head since the very first time that I played it.

8. Girl In Red – If I Could Make It Go Quiet

I will be forever thankful to Taylor Swift for posting about Girl In Red’s debut, If I Could Make It Go Quiet because I was blown away when I checked it out. Girl In Red has been making waves over the last few years with her bedroom pop sound, but she hit the jackpot with If I Could Make It Go Quiet – demonstrated by opening track ‘Serotonin’, it’s a melancholic yet uplifting album that revolves around the themes of mental health, loneliness and sexuality.

7. Angels and Airwaves – Lifeforms

When the new Angels and Airwaves album finally came out, I had already mentally placed it in my albums of the year list as they’d already released six tracks from it – all of which were synth laced and crammed full of catchy hooks. They still get a lot of stick from some Blink-182 fans, which is totally unjust as not only is their production incredibly slick, but the majority of the tracks – particularly ‘Rebel Girl’ and ‘Kiss & Tell’ – are so infectiously catchy that they’re unshakeable.

6. Twenty One Pilots – Scaled and Icy

I was a bit of a come lately with Twenty One Pilots as I only started listening to them when I became obsessed with Trench in 2018, but i’ve had their new album, Scaled and Icy on repeat since its release in May – especially ‘Formidable’, which has the sweetest melody and harmony. Though it’s a lot more pop based than Trench, a lot of the lyrics have dark undertones which makes it a really interesting listen and they deserve all of the praise in the world for their ability to deliver a new sound with every album.

5. Sea Fever – Folding Lines

Having already made their mark in the North West with their retrospective bands – Johnny Marr, Haven, New Order and Section 25 – it’s pleasing to see that Sea Fever have created a path and fresh sound of their own on their effortlessly exciting and equally timeless ten track debut, Folding Lines. I’m continually impressed by the eccentric array of sounds throughout the album – from driving electronic cuts ‘Le Coup’ and ‘De Facto’ to ‘The Finder’ and ‘Afterthought’, which are more guitar infused.

4. The Vaccines – Back In Love City

I become more in love with The Vaccines each time they release a new album and they didn’t let me down with Back In Love City. Despite mixing things up with a concept album – written about a fictional city in which escapism, safety and solace are its foundation – they’ve delivered another collection of indie stompers on what might be their purest album yet.

3. Lucy Spraggan – Choices

Reaching #5 in the UK Album Chart, Lucy released her sixth album, Choices back in February. One of her many great qualities is that she’s not afraid of exploring new genres and several tracks on Choices see her delve into the unknown – my favourite two tracks (‘Wild’ and ‘I Spent The Night In The Desert’) for example see her experiment with a Western vibe that would be right at home in a Tarantino movie.

2. James – All The Colours Of You

Produced by Jacknife Lee, James’ sixteenth album, All The Colours Of You boasts some of the freshest and most personal tracks of their almost four-decade-long career. Tackling real-life issues with lyrics of both a sensitive and personal nature, it reflects the talents of each member and it’s great to see them explore a more electronic sound through keyboard extraordinaire, Mark Hunter.

1. Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure

My album of the year is Prioritise Pleasure by Self Esteem – a total pop masterpiece. With lyrics that address difficult topics such as consent, putting yourself first and the objectification of women, it’s safe to say that i’ve never felt so empowered by an album! Believe the hype when you see her dominating the #1 spot of both ‘Albums of 2021’ and ‘Tracks of 2021’ lists.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.