Albums of the Year 2021: Ellis Heasley

1.Arab Strap – As Days Get Dark

Much of the success of Arab Strap’s first album in 16 years rests on the vividly dour lyricism of the Scottish duo’s frontman Aidan Moffat. Whether it’s the street cleaner-turned-guardian angel of ‘Kebabylon’, or ‘I Was Once A Weak Man’’s “minging Michael Jackson”, or the lonely passenger we follow through album highlight ‘Sleeper’, the characters on this record feel strikingly real, all of them united in a painfully believable misery and mundanity. Multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Middleton’s contributions are similarly captivating, providing gloom, beauty and even danceability over a mesmerising 47 minutes which insist on their listener’s constant attention.

2.Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage

3.Sugar Horse – The Live Long After

4.Every Time I Die – Radical

5.Backxwash – I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses

6.Converge – Bloodmoon I

7.For Your Health – In Spite Of

8.Employed To Serve – Conquering

9.Dvne – Etemen Ænka

10.Trivium – In The Court Of The Dragon

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