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The Best Music of 2021 … So Far

Your favorite team at For The Punks wants to celebrate the half way mark of the year with a collection of our favorite music so far. Including DE’WAYNE, VanJess, Olivia Rodrigo, Manchester Orchestra, Måneskin, HAIM, and more, this list of the perfect representation of 2021 favorites so far and what we are looking forward to for the second half of the year. We hope you are just as excited as we are! Enjoy!

'The Best Of 2021 ... so far' graphic by Sad Sour Design

SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo was a top pick from two of our team members, Kailyn Lunn and Olivia Marie. Kailyn says her favorite song from the album is “Favorite Crime” because, in her opinion, it is the most relatable track and has been her go-to song every time she gets in the car. Olivia Marie says her favorite track is “Brutal” because she loves the energy, the lyrics, and the different styles Rodrigo does.

Along with loving Olivia Rodrigo’s album, Kailyn loved WILLOW’s single “Transparent Soul” and can’t wait for Lorde’s upcoming new album in August.

Just like Kailyn, Olivia Marie is also excited for the new album from Lorde. Olivia Marie would also like to recommend everyone to listen to Hobo Johnson’s track “Song Nine” from his recent album The Revenge of Hobo Johnson.

Olivia Rodrigo for 'Sour Prom' now streaming on YouTube

Past For The Punks contributor Hannah Michelson loves Women In Music Pt. III, the indie-pop album from HAIM. Her favorite track from this album is “Don’t Wanna”. Hannah says, “It’s [Women In Music Pt. III] such a well put together album and I love the experimentation that they’ve tried on this album, it’s growth from their last album. I never get tired of their music, I think they’re a classic and this album is full of bangers and chill bops.”

Along with HAIM’s album, Hannah really recommends listening to Hayley Kiyoko’s track “Chance” and the new albums from Lucy Dacus and Faye Webster. Hannah is also excited for albums from Silk Sonic, WILLOW, Rihanna, Lorde, H.E.R., and a possible new album from Haitus Kaiyote.

Hannah would also like to add, “I’ve been obsessed with Blood Orange this year also Mac Ayres, Faye Webster, and the Free Nationals. I also feel like I keep going back to 60s and 70s music more than anything.”

HAIM for "Women In Music Pt. III"

Gisselle’s top release of the year so far is the nostalgic indie-pop EP called A Fever Called Living by 1990nowhere. 1990nowhere is a collaboration between three different musicians with their own respective sounds but manage to work incredibly well.

She loves the song “Picasso” because she loves songs with sad lyrics but an upbeat – make you want to dance – sound. Gisselle says, “Sometimes when we’re in relationships we make homes out of people. That’s what Picasso reminds me of. Like houses and relationships we try our hardest to fix what’s broken for the sake of making it look brand new.”

Along with this new EP from 1990nowhere, Gisselle loves the track “Heaven is a Place in My Head” by Bad Suns and Doja Cat’s album Planet Her. Gisselle is also excited for Bleacher new album Take the Sadness Out Of Saturday Night, set to release on July 30 and the Blink-182 album that drummer Travis Barker supposedly confirmed on Instagram.


For The Punks graphic designer Luna loves the album Teatre D’Ira by rock band Måneskin. Luna says, “Because I am European and it is refreshing to see rock artists win. I missed guitars in the competition [Eurovision]. It is also an album with great, heartfelt lyrics that speak to everyone. There are not only angry classical rock lyrics based on anger with the current state of the government and the nation [“Zitti e Buoni”] but also love letters to ex-partners like “Coraline”.”

Along with this album from Måneskin, Luna also recommends listening to the debut single “At What Cost” by In The Mourning.

Our other graphic designer, who goes by Sad Sour Design on social media, loves the alternative album Stains by DE’WAYNE, specifically the track “I Know Something.”

STAINS is DE’WAYNE’s debut album and it perfectly wraps up everything that makes DE’WAYNE a unique, stand out artist! It’s exciting, honest, and fun. “I Know Something” really highlights what DE’WAYNE does best: a fun beat, catchy as hell hook, and a point of view that is so often overlooked in the scene. “I Know Something” demands your attention.

Along with DE’WAYNE’s debut album, Sad Sour is excited for the new and upcoming albums from Adore Delano and The Maine and truly recommends listening to the song “Magnetic” by Waterparks, which is track fourteen from their 2021 album Greatest Hits.


Our owner Karalyn, we are sure like many other members on our team, had trouble recommending her favorite music of the year. Let’s be honest: 2021 has been a fantastic year for music and there is so much more amazing music to come.

Karalyn has marked Fiddlehead’s second album Between The Richness as her favorite album of the year so far. The track “Million Times” is one of her favorites from the album. In recent interviews, Fiddlehead said this album wasn’t really supposed to happen but we are glad it did. It’s an amazing album and perfect for anyone who loves hardcore music and/or light rock and punk music.

Along with Fiddlehead’s album, Karalyn loves the releases from VanJess, Manchester Orchestra, and Kaonashi. She is beyond excited that the French post-hardcore band Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! is back with new music, including an album set to release at the end of this month.

Karalyn also shared that she is excited for the upcoming releases from The Maine, Silk Sonic, M.A.G.S., fallfiftyfeet, Wayne Snow, Spiritbox, One Step Closer, and WILLOW.

In addition to these 2021 releases, she is happy to see that non-white men are filling up more playlists. Karalyn says if you need recommendations on musicians to listen to in the punk or pop-punk genres, check out Pinkshift, Magnolia Park, Meet Me @ The Altar, Kaonashi, Buggin’, Baby Storme, The Linda Lindas, Action/Adventure, This Is Your God, Jhariah, and DE’WAYNE.

Photo of Buggin' by Olivia Johnson

Enjoyed hearing about our favorites of the year? Be sure to check out the playlist that we put together of 35 songs, including all of the artists and songs mentioned above! We hope you can find a new favorite artist and/or album to take with you to the second half of 2021. Keep updated with For The Punks on social media to get daily music and art recommendations! We will be doing a large recap of music and art favorites at the end of the year as well.

Want to share your favorite 2021 music with us? Want to send us more recommendations? Comment below or send us an email

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