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Year in Review 2021: What’s Happened with our Music this Year?

So, 2021. As another year passes in a blink of an eye, we decide to look back at all things that were presented to us in 2021 in terms of music.

Newsworthy Moments in Music

It was a colossal moment for women in music. Encompassing powerhouses from the popular – soloist debuts for the ages with Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR, charting global history with Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa taking the throne at the Brit Awards with Record of the Years’ Future Nostalgia – to the indie and underrated with Arlo Parks work.

… Not to mention the unruly return of Adele with ’30’, an album showing strong promise with Easy On Me – which has seen become the fastest streamed song in the year – but fell short somewhat the mark. Unforgiving or not, Adele has returned to the world of music and we love her for it. Nostalgia entwined in one, the work of female artists has been empowering and gratifying to an industry that is often quite the opposite for gender equality.

From Olivia Rodrigo’s rise to dominance … to the boycotting of the Grammys from our favourite plastic-surgery star, The Weeknd (who also had a triumphant year as usual) … to our queen of Taylor Swift re-recording her albums … to Foo Fighters ushering in the return of arena shows entering the summer … the work of Ye’s tinkering with Donda that took half a year .. and .. finally the momentous occasion of Adele’s and ABBA’s resurrection to the world of music, what a year it’s been.

Following on from the fanatical favourites throughout the year, we thought it be best to delve into some Man v Music’s favourites of the year.

Albums to Talk About …

Tyler, The Creator emblazoned in emphatic fashion by jettisoning off to paradise with ultimate summer sizzler, CALL ME WHEN IF YOU GET LOST. Charting the course of revolutionising how we perceive mainstream rap and hip-hop with artistic alternative evolution, it topped my ratings with its review.

Another noteworthy album to mention was IDLES‘ composed stifling of CRAWLER that saw the mad punk pack diverting into avenues of understanding and emphatic storytelling – as opposed to an all-out of war of anger.

On to the next with Easy Life‘s life’s a beach – an album that was on constant repeat since its initial release in the Summer. An ultimate lo-fi beat-bop of cult classics in the coming years, Easy Life rise to its debut demands and reach indie peaks. More to come next year!

A surprise entry to the albums of 2021 is MOD SUN‘s Internet Killed the Rockstar which saw the once-mainstream rapper charting into the unknown with pop-punk. Redeeming an otherwise lost genre, MOD SUN joins the entrails of other punk colleagues to revitalise the shaping and shifting of the pop-punk genre .. which has been a sight to see in itself!

2021 as a year … THAT pandemic.

Among the impressive quality of music on show throughout the year – to the young and hopeful, to the simply expected and underwhelming – the year had its restrictions. More specifically, the restrictions with the COVID pandemic. It temporarily hindered the development of the live music sector since the initial panic in 2020 from the pandemic, and more disappointment was to follow. As many events and gigs were postponed again – with no assurance of the insurance guaranteed for either this time around. Despite this, those brave ones among us managed to catch a glimpse of summer festival music with the likes of Tramlines and Reading + Leeds going ahead as usual – with reduced attendance – this year which, was quite overwhelming to see again after so many departed fields across the spectrum of UK over the summer period. However, deja vu struck again with postponements, as winter came and sought to take out as much live music entertainment as possible. With this in mind, 2022 sees more opportunity with activity in the live music sector almost reaching a full year as we see gigs return in January 2022.

For patches in 2021, it was a normal year for the music industry. Hopefully 2022 will see us within the industry follow a more consistent pattern with creating albums and being able to tour thereafter with confirmation – and no hesitations in the near future.

HERE’S TO MORE WONDERFUL MUSIC IN 2022 – AND HERE IS TO US BLOGGERS DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK AND SHARING THE LOVE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL – THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT OVER THE YEAR OR SO. Here’s to 2022!

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New Year, New Music: What’s in Store for Music in 2022?

As we bypass the festivities of Christmas and chart a course to New Years, it is ample opportunity to think ahead into the new year of 2022 and see where we are at with music and our industry.

WITH NFTS AND TIKTOK ABOUND in amenities and rife pipelines for artist directory and workflow, live music will plan a course back to its 2019 numbers and regain momentum again as we ramp up to the summer season with festivals stretching far and wide across the UK.

With uncertainty among variants emerging in the winter months, time will tell if Glastonbury is going to be held this time at Worthy Farm. With Glastonbury emerging as a necessary funding asset to the funds of our industry and our artists – aswell as our worthy charities, many are hoping that the festivals alike will return next Summer.

As more and more licensing deals are made and more and more artists begin to sell their catalogues in one swift swoop, would you hedge a guess that they know something that us as the general public do not?

If it’s any year to take the plunge and strive forward with your music, it’s this one. With prevalent artists like Arctic Monkeys and Machine Gun Kelly confirming a return to form – but no date set – we look to those artists that should really be on your radar come the first quarter of 2022:

Audacious indie-rock trio of The Wombats return with their sickle album, Fix Yourself, Not The World in January. The likes of Band of Horses and Billy Talent follow shortly after with Things Are Great and Crisis of Faith respectively. Bastille bring up the rear leading the forefront of a electro-synth wave pop cacophony with Give Me The Future and Korn’s Requiem sees the hard metal eyeglass in February. For fans alike, Alt-J‘s The Dream and Frank Turner‘s FTHC sees excitement build as the three-year hiatus for both artists come to a wonderful end.

As we enter the Spring season of March, we see familiar favourites with The Stereophonics and Bryan Adams rekindling old flames and charting history into another year of music. April comes and go with Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn and Bloc Party’s Alpha Games, while we start to see the list become shorter and shorter as we near the start of Summer. Undecided and unannounced, there is certainly more to come that we’ve been waiting for from our favourites. Including Liam Gallagher’s third studio work with C’mon You Know in May.

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Let me know what you’re looking forward to most in 2022!

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READING AND LEEDS 2022 LINEUP: Best line-up in years?

The first wave of acts for Reading and Leeds Festival 2022 was announced earlier today in a bid to get all us festival goers excited again for next year.

In what seems like a turning point for the once-mainstream rap/hip-hop festival, it’s shaken itself down and brought up a new line-up for the ages. Is this one of the best line-ups that’s been announced for a few years?

The likes of Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice, Bring Me The Horizon, Rage Against The Machine and Maneskin top the billing with both Arctic Monkeys and Maneskin making an emphatic return to the festival circle in 2022. What are your initial thoughts and feelings on this one? Will you be set to make an appearance among summer festivals next yea – or will you go on holiday instead for the same price?

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Artist Spotlight: Plini

As prestigious from his masterclasses to his independency in artistry and musicianship, Plini is one artist who is a devoted forward-thinker and has created a magnificent blend of instrumental progressive rock.

All hand-crafted and recorded from his own bedroom studio.

FIRST THOUGHTS

Truth be told, instrumental prog rock is never a genre I have tapped into almost entirely during a music session. But, holy hell. What an artist to discover this genre. A mind-bending genre in its own right.

Beautifully harmonic, illustrious in creativity and composure, Plini is a mastermind on the guitar.

Using oh, so many strings and no headstock allowing you as a musician to manipulate its work that little bit more, his craft is a complex cavity of musical brilliance that is flawless and – hard to grasp when you realise its just one Australian fella behind it all.

LISTEN

You can have a listen to his EP from last year named, Impulse Voices below. This most recent display of work shows off the sunset offerings of I’ll Tell You Someday and The Glass Bead Game. Going back further, is the witnessing of 2016’s EP of Handmade Cities. An album that is far more contemplative and reserved than his follow-up, it features Electric Sunrise and Every Piece Matters.

Even if you were not an avid investor of progressive rock similar to myself, I implore you to have a listen. …Even if it’s just for a couple?

Handmade Cities:

Impulse Voices:

For something extra, witness Plini’s mindset as he takes a walkthrough of his song, Pan.

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YOUTUBE MUSIC TOPS 50M SUBS: Is this a sign of the times?

YouTube Music has since become one of the fastest growing music subscriptions out there after passing an impressive score of 50 million subscribers – paying and otherwise – over the past month. This has resulted in 1.8 million subscribers joining the roster of YouTube music since October 2020.

Now, whether it’s the resurgence of staying inside from lockdown, or whether it’s the tarnished reputation the likes of other streaming services are getting, everyone else better watch out. I’m looking at you Elk over there at Spotify.

Let me know your thoughts on this one: is it the sign of the times? Are we started to enjoy music videos again? Is YouTube Music the new MTV?