With 2022 right around the corner, we’re looking back at the music released in 2021. Here are some country albums from the past year that you may have missed.
1. Wary + Strange by Amythyst Kiah
There wasn’t an album as haunting and moving as Amythyst Kiah’s release Wary + Strange which dropped in the summer of 2021. Filled with twangy vocals and instrumentals paired with haunting background vocals and poetic lyricism, Amythyst Kiah has blasted herself to new heights with a deeply vulnerable and open record that garnered mass critical acclaim. Kiah also speaks intimately about each track when performing live. Read our review of her live show here.
2. Reckless by Morgan Wade
Morgan Wade’s debut effort Reckless found itself appearing on Rolling Stone‘s list of “The Best Albums of 2021” list. Lead single “Wilder Days” made TIME‘s “10 Best Songs of 2021” ranking. The album, which was released in March of 2021, is rustic country perfection with Wade’s warm and comforting vocals. Standouts include the softer sounding “Matches and Metaphors,” the self-soothing “Don’t Cry,” and the catchy “Last Cigarette” where Wade confesses her feelings for a fleeting love interest. After one listen, it’s easy to see why this album has become unforgettable for so many.
3. Girl to Girl by Tenille Arts
Although Tenille Arts had a massive impact with her smash hit “Somebody Like That,” the Canadian country singer released a beautiful album titled Girl to Girl in October. The lead single for the record, “Back Then, Right Now” is a catchy earworm that acts as both a nostalgic look into the past as well as a backyard barbeque soundtrack. Other highlights include the vivid “One Bedroom Apartment,” the optimistic yet bittersweet “Life Goes Like That,” and the masterful closing track “Growing Old Young,” about the loss of childhood and maturing faster than those around you. Girl to Girl is luscious, airy, and reads like a diary.
4. Stand For Myself by Yola
English musician Yola released her second full-length album on July 30th, 2021. Stand For Myself features honest and introspective songwriting with a vibrant spectrum of different sounds. Yola also collaborated with Brandi Carlile on the track “Be My Friend” where Carlile’s unmissable vocals can be heard in the background. Natalie Hemby also helped write track eight: “Now You’re Here.” Stand For Myself also earned Yola a Grammy nomination for “Best Americana Album.”
5. American Siren by Emily Scott Robinson
Released at the end of October 2021, Emily Scott Robinson’s album American Siren was deemed better than Adele’s 30 by NPR. Filled with delicate acoustics and soft yet determined vocals, Emily Scott Robinson gets thoughtful on tracks like “Things You Learn the Hard Way,” “Hometown Hero,” and “Lost Woman’s Prayer.” Each track on the 10-song LP was written solely by Robinson making them feel intimate and raw. This album deserves all ears and is well-deserved on the praise it’s received.
6. A Southern Gothic by Adia Victoria
Singer-songwriter Adia Victoria wrote her celebrated 2021 LP while working in an Amazon warehouse. Victoria’s airy, wispy vocals shine on each of the 11 tracks. The album also has features from Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Matt Berninger, Stone Jack Jones, and Kyshona Armstrong. One of her songs from the record “Magnolia Blues” made it onto former President Barack Obama’s “Favorite Music of 2021” list.
7. Stronger Than I Am by Lily Rose
After going viral on TikTok with her song “Villain,” Big Loud recording artist Lily Rose cemented her rising country music star status with her debut, seven-song project Stronger Than I Am. Lily Rose’s raspy, deep vocals shine on tracks like “I Don’t Smoke,” “Whole Lotta Hometowns,” and the standout title track which acts as a heartbreak anthem “Stronger Than I Am.”
To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, and don’t miss our brand new newsletter!