Fiddlehead members tell us about their favorite albums of 2021

Fiddlehead (ex-Have Heart, Basement, etc) released their excellent sophomore album Between The Richness on Run For Cover earlier this year, and with the year coming to a close, we asked the band what their favorite albums of 2021 were. Band members Pat Flynn, Alex Henery, Shawn Costa, and Alex Dow all picked two albums each, and the list includes Spirit of the Beehive, Glitterer, Ovlov, Floatie, Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine, and more. Check out the full list and the commentary on each pick below.

For more on Fiddlehead, read: Fiddlehead discuss 8 albums that influenced their new LP ‘Between The Richness.’

Fiddlehead's Favorite Albums of 2021

Spirit Of The Beehive - Entertainment, Death
Openings and transitions between songs are always important to us. From first listen I was hooked. The record pulls you in and so thoughtfully takes you for a wild ride. Eases up when it needs to and pumps the gas when you least expect it. One of my top records released this year, no question. (Alex Dow)

Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud +3
I know this was technically a 2020 release, but that year doesn’t count. Also I discovered it later 2021 AND this was a 2021 re-release with 3 additional tracks. Not only is it the best Waxahatchee material put out, I think it is one of my favorite releases in the past 5 years. The melodies and guitar parts are so familiar yet elevated and original. The lyrics are moving. I have listened to it hundreds of times. (Alex Dow)

Downtalker - Selfish Millenial Single Father Field Notes
I’ve always loved stories of desperation and despair. But when they’re told with a spirit of hope and by those who have endured life’s hardest punches, I look to them when life is crushing down like a light in the sky. This Downtalker record plays like a candid recording of a soul in solitary confinement on the eve of their liberation, and it’s been on repeat for months now. (Pat Flynn)

Glitterer - Life is Not a Lesson
Ned’s a GOAT and these songs are catchy. I look forward to every release to see where the boundaries have now been pushed to. A lot of good stomping and bopping to be done to this record. (Pat Flynn)

Ovlov - Buds
This record has a very unique sheen and quality to it, when compared to the bands previous offerings. It appears more placid and docile upon first listen, however there is a world of gorgeous nuanced layers beneath just about every track (which instantly makes repeat listens a rewarding experience). Hartlett has an undeniable knack for crafting timeless melodies, and this album ultimately serves as his finest moment in displaying his proficient pop sensibilities. (Shawn Costa)

Floatie - Voyage Out
Angular and gorgeously layered guitar melodies permeate this wonderful debut album. Odd time signatures, and tasteful jazz-inspired drumming keep the listener from ever truly feeling certain as to what lies around the musical bend. The music throughout the entire record has a stirring and oddly emotionally evocative bent to it. Just excellent, high level riffage abound here.(Shawn Costa)

Mini Trees - Always in Motion
I’m pretty sure this is one of the best sounding records I’ve heard this year. The production by John Jospeh (not the singer of Cro-Mags) is amazing, lush textures with so much clarity. Some of my favourite songs on the LP like “Spring” and “Doomsday” have such great rhythm. Somehow mixing a dancy upbeat tempo with a melancholy feel. If you’re a fan of David Bazan, Porches, Phoebe Bridgers, or Death Cab I think you’ll dig this record. (Alex Henery)

Sufjan Stephens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginners Mind
Finally the follow up to Carrie and Lowell I’m sure many have been waiting for. Beautiful sounding guitars, ethereal harmonies. It’s so nice to hear another voice harmonizing with Stephens on this record. The songs have a cinematic feel which makes sense since this whole LP is based on movies the duo would watch together. Only Sufjan could write such a beautiful song about Hellraiser III. (Alex Henery)