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TLMT’s Top 50 Songs of 2021

The Last Mixed Tape picks its Top 50 Songs of 2021 including Spotify playlist.

50. Roe feat. Ciaran Lavery – Destroyer

ROE turns the angular edged spike of ‘Destroyer’ around into a contorting atmosphere led by raw songwriting, mood and performance.

49. Elkin – Bodies

A strong stylistic leap from Elkin, the deep dark beat of ‘Bodies’ finds the duo adding a brooding edge to their sound.

48. Louise Gaffney – When I Sing I Drink Wine

Taken from Louise Gaffney’s Not Even Here E.P, ‘When I Sing I Drink Wine’ is a delicate offering that rests on deep atmospherics and Gaffney’s fragile vocal performance.

47. Thumper – The Loser

Thumper continue to build in momentum as their highly anticipated debut looms, with the fuzz-driven, bone-shaking rumble of ‘The Loser’, melding melody and noise.

46. Shiv – Where You Are

The closing track from Shiv’s stellar The Love Interlude, ‘Where You Are’ is a deftly woven tapestry of soaring vocal hormones that showcase the artists captivating presence.

45. Really Good Time – Best Medicine

Angular, sharp-edged indie comes from the jolting ‘Best Medicine’ as Really Good Time build a winding array of guitars around a krautrock core.

44. The Altered Hours – You Are Wrong

A roaring, rumbling offering from the Altered Hours upcoming sophomore Convertible, ‘You Are Wrong’ is tensely set affair that merges rising sounds with brooding backdrops.

43. Pastiche – Paraphernalia

Pastiche continues her ascendancy with the gritty electro-pop of ‘Paraphernalia’. a song bursting with confidence and attitude, the artist latest offering is the perfect follow-up and progression to her previous single ‘Heaven’.

42. Inhaler – My Honest Face

The zenith of Inhaler’s propellant debut album It Won’t Always Be Like This (TLMT’s review), ‘My Honest Face’ pushes their sound forward with giant guitars, big drums and a commanding vocal.

41. Cruel Sister – My Forever

Cruel Sister’s sonically contorting single ‘My Forever’, is an abstracted, dreamlike offering alive with texture, tone and mood that engulfs the foreground and the background.

40. Fya Fox – Sunset

Fya Fox continues a run of stellar singles with the ambitious, building drama of ‘Sunset’. Featuring soaring vocal acrobatics, the production matches the performance every step pf the way.

39. Saige – What Should I Write

What Should I Write’ finds Saige delivering a heartfelt sound and song that rests upon a bedrock of deeply set vocal harmonies, distant textures and subtle atmospherics.

38. CMAT – No More Virogs

CMAT’s music takes a sonic shift via the electro-pop inflections of new single ‘No More Virgos’, taken from the artists forthcoming debut If My Wife New I’d Be Dead.

37. Murli feat. Gemma Dunelavy – Odyssey

Murli and Gemma Dunelavy a stylistic thread on ‘Odyssey’ as the pair contrast and blend perfectly on a track where motion and melody lay at the centre.

36. Villagers – So Simpatico

Coming in at just over seven minutes, Conor O’Brien is at the height of his powers with ‘So Simpatico’, a song so big in scale and ambition that it’s hard not to smile whilst listening.

35. KK Lewis – Petals

KK Lewis latest offering takes shape within the starkly lit minimal pop of ‘Petals’, taken from her debut E.P. Dreaming. Atmospheric and deeply set, the song is woven in weighty performance and sounds.

34. Elaine Mai feat. MayKay – No Forever

A towering offering from Elaine Mai’s Home (TLMT review), ‘No Forever’ features the scene-setting serenity and dynamically woven performance of MayKay at its heart, while Mai produces a track as vivid as it is vibrant.

33. God Knows feat. Senita – Glory

God Knows makes his presence felt on the unrelenting ‘Glory’, a captivating song alive with undeniable movement, meaning and melody.

32. Leah Rose – Dangerous Pink

Set against a neon shimmering backdrop, ‘Dangerous Pink’, the sophomore single from Leah Rose has a widescreen dark cinematic sound that sprawls out of the speakers and expands into a truly compelling sound.

31. Scattered Ashes – Slow Motion

Edged by angular, harshly lit guitars, the pensive post-punk of Scattered Ashes ’Slow Motion’ cuts to the quick.

30. Lyra – Lose My Mind

Swing for the fences epic-pop from Lyra, the grandeur of ‘Lose My Mind’ is a dynamically populated offering led by the artist captivating presence.

29. April – Piece Of Me

High stylization and rich in emotive backbone, April’s latest offering ‘Piece Of Me’ is a depthful slice of atmospheric alt-pop that continues the artists growing momentum.

28. Of All Living Things – If I Go

Atmospherically weighted, the patient slow-burn of ‘If I Go’ comes in dreamlike waves as Of All Living Things weave a captivating, Lynchian spell.

27. GRWL – Facetime

Deeply textural, the melding of lush sounds that surround GRWL’s ’Facetime’ portray a music filled with melody and meaning.

26. Milk – You’re So

Taken from Milk’s sophomore E.P. 2, ‘You’re So’ is a sonically dense and vibrantly presented offering that resides within a deep indie-pop milieu.

25. Halli – Shit I Almost Said I Love You

Twisted, contorting electronic sound of Halli’s ‘Shit I Almost Said I Love You’ creates layers through space, tense performance and sonically warping production.

24. Trophy Wife – Good Love

The hazy indie-pop of ‘Good Love’ covers a spectrum of sonic vibes as the dreamy core and sharp edges of Trophy Wife’s music make for a refreshing listen

23. Let’s Set Sail – Toledo

The slow-burn pulse of Let’s Set Sail’s ‘Toledo’ makes for a deeply atmospheric listen wrapped around a pensive mood and distant tone.

22. Erica Cody – Back to Basics

Erica Cody makes a stylistically lush sonic leap with the slick new single ‘Back To Basics’. Resulting in Cody’s most compelling work to date.

21. Soda Blonde – Holy Roses

Lyrically hard-hitting and raw, musically angular and spacious, ‘Holy Roses’ finds Soda Blonde adding a layer of thematic edge to their sound found within their stellar debut Small Talk.

20. Maria Kelly – Martha

Bookended by the critical thematic thread of voice messages from supportive friends, ‘Martha’ reveals Maria Kelly’s debut The Sum Of The In-Between (Read TLMT’s full review) as an album with no distance between audience and artist

Photo credit Bekah Molony

19. Celaviedmai feat. Alan McKee – Upset

Celaviedmai returns with the highly-stylized R&B of ‘Upset’. Slick in its performance, beat and delivery, the track plays out perfectly with the artists own defined sense of self.

18. David Keenan – Peter O’Toole’s Drinking Stories

Kaleidoscopic in its form, dreamlike in its shape and abstract in its temper, David Keenan bustling comeback single ‘Peter O’Toole’s Drinking Stories’ finds the artists weaving his twisting prose around a bombastic sound.

17. Bobbi Arlo – Fever Thoughts

Bobbi Arlo continues to be one of the most exciting prospects on the Irish scene with the weighty sonic contorting and singular voice of new single ‘Fever Thoughts’.

16. Girl For Sale – Like Me Like That

Taken from Girl For Sale’s Seaspeak E.P, ‘Don’t Ask How I Am (I’m Fine)’ buzzes with lofi edges that surround the alt-pop melodies supporting the nuances around GFS’s songwriting.

15. Aonair feat. Caoi De Barra – Think Twice

Unstoppable vivd music fills ever corner of AONAIR’s latest retro-pop offering ’Think Twice’ featuring Caoi De Barra, melting under a rich array of slick production.

14. Saint Sister feat. Lisa Hannigan – The Place That I Work

Saint Sister have made their return with the truly captivating sophomore album Where I Should End, and at its core is the lowlight offering ‘The Place That I Work’, featuring Lisa Hannigan. Breathtaking from start to finish, the affecting atmospherics on display makes for a genuinely captivating listen. A masterclass in harmony weaving, the track lasts long after listening. 

13. Pretty Happy – Sudocream

Unrestrained feral punk comes blasting out of the speakers with Pretty Happy’s ‘Sudocream’. A primal scream of a song, the track is as expressive as it is aggressive.

12. Jackie Beverly – Temporary State

The expansive air of ’Temporary State’ finds Jackie Beverly crafting a softly set song surrounded in surefooted serenity.

11. Orla Gartland – You’re Not Special, Babe

Orla Gartland gives us another glimpse into her forthcoming Women On The Internet, ‘Your Not Special, Babe’ moves to a precise pop pulse that moves Gartland’s emotionally honest lyrics forward.

10. Denise Chaila – Return of the King

Taken from Denise Chaila’s brand new E.P. It’s A Mixtape, the incendiary ‘Return of the King’ is a statement making track wherein Chaila imposes her sheer sense of personality musically and lyrically.

9. Kynsy – Mr. Nice Guy

‘Mr. Nice Guy’ finds Kynsy opening up the sonic scope with a far-reaching production that adds vivid colour to the artist indie-pop inflections as the song wraps itself around warping musicality.

8. Pixie Cut Orchestra – Empty Envelope

Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra return with the jangled gem ‘Empty Envelope’. Set against a hazy, abstracting mood, the track has pointed sense of direction and tone.

7. New Pagans – Christian Boys

Taken from New Pagans’ upcoming debut album  The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All, the brislting, unrestrained energy of ‘Christian Boys’ finds the band honing their angular post-punk to a sharpened point both musically and lyrically.

6. Just Mustard – I Am You

Serving as our first glimpse into Just Mustard’s forthcoming sophomore album, the flickering, brooding lowlight undercurrent of ‘I Am You’ casts a powerful shadow.

5. NewDad – Ladybird

Set across a dreamlike tangled bedrock, the swaying slow-burn of NewDad’s ‘Ladybird’ melds melody into malaise in equal measure.

4. Sprints – Modern Job

Sprints’ ‘Modern Job’ finds the group furthering the snarl, gnarled punk core of their sound with a track that pushes against the edges lyrically and musically.

3. For Those I Love – Birthday / The Pain

There can be no doubting that For Those I Love is one of the countries most exciting new voices, the artist’s latest track ‘Birthday / The Pain’ contrasts a vivid production with hard-hitting lyrical rawness.

2. Kojaque – Town’s Dead

Built on a jagged foundation, featuring a sample of Girl Band’s ‘Going Norway, Kojaque delivers his most biting, spikes work to date with the grizzled sound of ‘Town’s Dead’.

The Last Mixed Tape’s Song of the Year 2021

Sinéad O’Brien – Girlkind

“Eternity is so much less than I had thought, a long withstanding single moment, an unacknowledged act”


‘Girlkind’ is a tangled web of interlocking wordplay as post-punk poet Sinead O’Brien wraps a spiky delivery around a backbone of jagged guitars and beats. Moving at an unrelenting build and speed, ’Girlkind’ serves as O’Brien most visceral work to date. A singular artist and work.

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