NPR Music 2021 Staff Picks: Suraya Mohamed : The Best Music Of 2021: NPR Staff Picks NPR Music's senior manager shares her favorite albums and songs of 2021.

Suraya Mohamed

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Amy Sussman/Getty Images


Amy Sussman/Getty Images

The NPR Music team listened to a lot of excellent music this year and unfortunately, some of it didn't make any of our lists. Here are a few of my favorites that don't appear anywhere in our Best Music of 2021 compilations. There is no theme or order to this list. These songs and albums aren't ranked; it's just good music that speaks to me in a powerful way.

Top 10 Albums of 2021


• Artifacts, ...and Then There's This
• Greentea Peng, Man Made
• H.E.R., Back of My Mind
• Vijay Iyer Trio, Uneasy
• Sons of Kemet, Black to the Future
• Native Soul, Teenage Dreams
• Nubya Garcia, SOURCE ⧺ WE MOVE
• Emma-Jean Thackray, Yellow
• Tirzah, Colourgrade
• Caetano Veloso, Meu Coco

Top 10 Songs of 2021


• BTS, "Permission To Dance"
• Jacob Banks, "Found"
• John Glacier, "Platoon"
• Omar S, "Heaven Knows"
• Genesis Owusu, "Waitin' on Ya"
• The Paper Kites (feat. Julia Stone), "Without Your Love"
• Portico Quartet, "Terrain: 1"
• Skepta (feat. J Balvin), "Nirvana"
• Tonstartssbandht, "What Has Happened"
• Julia Wolf, "Villain"