The Best Music of 2021, According to Songtrust's Staff

In 2021, Songtrust’s staff onboarded hundreds of thousands of works, processed tens of millions of lines of royalty data, and signed on countless new clients to global publishing administration collection. We wrote and updated hundreds of blog and help center posts, we held our first-ever client summit, and we updated our logo and entire visual design system

Whew! It was a lot of work. Everyone at Songtrust is inspired by our mission of supporting musicians, songwriters, and the creative work they do because we’re all massive music fans. So we wanted to share some of the new music that we listened to during the highs, lows, and in-betweens this year.

You can check out everyone’s favorite tracks on this playlist, but meanwhile, here are some highlights from Songtrust staff’s comments about their 2021 years in music.

America’s sweetheart Lil Nas X made a lot of appearances on staff lists with his tour-de-force MONTERO. As Manager of Mechanical Licensing Diana Mathangani put it:

“The polished production grabs you in, but the lyrics really make you think about his perspective and issues he's dealt with and still does with his sexuality, with being a black man, with being in this industry as a Gen Z artist.”

 

So many artists from all over the world, of widely varying genres and styles, are represented in our staff favorites, but in addition to Montero, a handful of other artists made repeat appearances on many lists: Tyler, The Creator, Kacey Musgraves, Silk Sonic, Arlo Parks, and Bo Burnham.

Manager of Business Development Alex Gershwin loves “Wilshire” from Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost:

“Tyler is incredibly frank and vulnerable here, and it's almost like a lucid stream of consciousness (something like 8 minutes long). I just love the production and the story he tells.”

 

“2021 is a year for badass females releasing incredible music!” Gina Marasigan, Publishing Specialist, Client Acquisition commented, with a faves list that includes Liz Cooper, St. Vincent, and Mereba.

“I just love the sound coming out of the London art-punk scene right now from Squid / Dry Cleaning / Black Country, New Road / Black Midi. Guitar music that actually feels like it's moving forward.” Duncan Lindsay, Royalties Coordinator, who also cited albums by Tuareg guitar legend Mdou Moctar and Sons of Kemet on his end-of-year wrap-up.

For many, the pandemic and associated global turmoil made music more important than ever, with Copyright Coordinator Brooke Underwood saying of Sam Evian’s “Knock Knock,”

“The lyrics express the same frustration I feel with the U.S. at the moment, yet also make me want to dance in the kitchen while I cook dinner.”

 

And as Sales Coordinator, Sophia Eras, explained about her fave albums by Remi Wolf, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and Boyish:

“These albums helped me keep my sanity and have fun with my best friends during an unprecedented two years.”

 

We all hope you’ll find some added sanity, fun, inspiration, and maybe kitchen dance moves as you check out the Songtrust staff’s favorite songs of 2021.

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