Summer 2021 let most of us down in many ways. There were still many COVID-19 restrictions to abide by, blaring heat that made going outside painful, and it was full of many surprising storms. However, these conditions did not stop many artists from releasing their studio albums, some of which broke incredible records and proved to be their best work. From Billie Eilish to Doja Cat, Tyler, The Creator, and even to Lorde, many artists dropped their well-anticipated projects. They filled the summer with new beginnings and new opportunities to show off their talents. Here are the highlights of Summer 2021’s best albums:
Call Me When You Get Lost – Tyler, The Creator
His ninth studio album, Call Me When You Get Lost, was both well-anticipated and well-received. After Igor, released in 2019, Tyler took a two-year break to look into his music and find the sound he wanted to produce. He teased the album when he released his first single in almost three years, “LUMBERJACK”. He followed the song with a music video and short clips representing other songs that would soon be known to be on the album. Similar to his other albums, Tyler created a character to play throughout his album: Tyler Baudelaire. The album goes through the story of Mr. Baudelaire, who travels on a train and comes across different people. His songs focus on travel, love, patience, and some heartbreak.
Author’s Top Song: “WUSYANAME”
Planet Her – Doja Cat
After her songs rose to fame through TikTok, Doja Cat released her third studio album, Planet Her. Coming off of the high of her previous album, Hot Pink, there was a lot of pressure for Doja to top the charts. She definitely lived up to the expectations and topped charts with songs like “Kiss Me More” featuring SZA. The album was a huge player throughout the summer and had at least three singles circulating every radio station at all times. Planet Her included some of the best songs for summer and was released at a great time. The album may sound a bit like rap, but the electro-pop sound makes it fun to listen to.
Author’s Top Song: “Woman”
Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
Coming off of the amazing success yielded by her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? in 2019, Billie Eilish shocked the world with her second album. Happier Than Ever’s era started back with her release of the single “my future” in 2020, and shortly afterward released her second single that would be on the album, “Therefore I Am.” She didn’t tease anything further until after the 2021 Grammy Awards when she debuted her new blonde hair, which would symbolize the beginning via theguardian.com
of a new era. Along with the release of her third single of the album “Your Power,” Billie released the date of when her second album was set to be released and its tracklist. Fans everywhere were intrigued, and this album did not disappoint the crowd. The album feels like a new beginning, starting with “Getting Older,” a very introspective song that looks back on her primitive youth. It then gets into some electro-jazz-influenced pop, each song heavily focusing on its instrumentals and background vocals. Towards the end, the album has a more rock influence, featuring its title track “Happier Than Ever” as a rock ballad starting with soft acoustics. This album, although different from her previous releases, feels more personal and is an excellent representation of self-discovery and growth within Billie’s career.
Author’s Top Song: “Billie Bossa Nova”
Sling – Clairo
Her sophomore album, Sling, is a grounding example of Clairo’s folk sound as an artist. Her previous hit, Sofia, gave a preview of the feel of the upcoming album. As the album continues, each song reveals certain new sounds, feelings, and crafted lyrics that resonate with each listener. Each song presents a fresh feel with sounds that go along with it perfectly. This album was highly anticipated by Clairo’s fans, and it was a staple piece of the summer. The album had a summer to autumn vibe, perfect for its release time in mid-July.
Author’s Top Song: “Partridge”
Honorable Mentions –
Blue Banisters – Lana Del Ray
Solar Power – Lorde
Vince Staples – Vince Staples
Erin Erturan ’23