Montage cover image for playlist

Another year has come and gone — which means it’s time for the third installment of my new annual tradition (can a tradition be new?), a playlist of some of my favorite new-to-me songs of the year. As with previous versions, the only rules are (1) I can only include one song per album, and (2) it has to been added to my iTunes between January 1 and December 31, 2021.

Like with other installments, most of these songs can be found at Freegal or Bandcamp. Some of it’s sad, some of it’s scary, some of it’s hopeful—a lot like our experience of 2021. Hats off to the Isley Brothers for making the playlist for the third year running. A few are old, old favorites from the cassette era that never made it into my music library until this year. There’s a lot of instrumental and TV music here, which I suppose makes sense for the soundtrack to another year spent largely interacting with the world through screens. One has a goofy title, which was most of the reason why I listened to it in the first place. Track 9 is the one I’ve listened to the most times out of all of them, by a wide margin. If this exercise accomplishes nothing more than getting one more person to discover Tralton Dumbo or Monroeville Music Center, then I will be satisfied. I hope you enjoy.

“Memories” — A Playlist for 2021

  1. Main Title – Tangerine Dream (The Park is Mine Original Soundtrack, 1985)
  2. World of Forest – Monroeville Music Center (Cave & Castle, 2015)
  3. Fire and Rain – The Isley Brothers (Givin’ It Back, 1971)
  4. FACE BLASTER – Alphonso Johnson (Spellbound, 1978)
  5. The Whale – Electric Light Orchestra (Out of the Blue, 1977)
  6. Moon – Kid Francescoli (Play Me Again, 2017)
  7. If She Knew What She Wants – The Bangles (Different Light, 1986)
  8. Valerie (Remix) – Steve Winwood (Chronicles, 1987)
  9. Dinosaur Ghosts – Peter Rodgers Melnick (The Dinosaurs! 1993)
  10. The Perfect Planet – Monroeville Music Center (Choose Your Own Adventure, 2013)
  11. Come Running to Me – Herbie Hancock (Sunlight, 1977)
  12. I’m a Ram – Al Green (Gets Next to You, 1971)
  13. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? – Prince (Prince, 1979)
  14. Mediterranean – Somos (Prison on a Hill, 2019)
  15. Hope is Not Lost – Synth Kid (Elsewhere, 2019)
  16. Candy – Jan Hammer (Miami Vice – The Complete Collection, 2001)
  17. Seven Seas – Echo & The Bunnymen (Killing Moon: The Best of Echo & The Bunnymen, 1984)
  18. An Unnatural Event 11:00pm – Tralton Dumbo (Tracy Swamp OST, 2021)