As we come to the end of another year, it’s tradition that we take a look back at the music that has graced our airwaves (and our services) over the last 12 months.
It’s been another very different and, at times, difficult year, when even the ‘New Normal’ was replaced by a newer normal but musically it’s been a good year, with some great new tracks released. Our Head of Music, Nick Bewes, looks back at some of our favourites…
2021 started with Wham finally getting to number one with their eighties classic Last Christmas but even that isn’t the strangest number one of the year. Go on, admit it, no-one could predict that a bloke from Airdrie in Scotland (Nathan Evans) would get the top spot with a sea shanty song!
Breakthrough artist of the year must be Olivia Rodrigo. She burst onto the scene in January with driver’s license which topped the charts for 9 weeks followed by another 4 weeks at the top spot with second hit Good 4U later in the year.
From a new artist to the Comeback of the Year. Was it Ed Sheeran? He returned with 3 number one singles – Bad Habits, Shivers, and Merry Christmas with Elton John, who in turn topped the charts for the first time in 20 or so years with Cold Heart featuring Dua Lipa.
Or was it ABBA, returning with new music for the first time in 40 years with the album Voyage? All good contenders, but the Comeback of the Year is of course Adele. Her single Easy on Me spent 7 weeks at number one, while her album 30 sold 261,000 copies in it’s first week and has been at the top of the album chart ever since! It was a massive success in the USA as well, which is where she is heading next year as she takes up a residency at the 4,100-seat Colosseum theatre at the world-famous Caesars Palace.
Live performance of the year belongs to the wonderful Wolf Alice. They appeared on Later with Jools Holland in March with their new single The Last Man on Earth, and it’s a thing of beauty.
Video of the Year comes from February. During Lockdown, Gemma Arterton was able to walk around a deserted London for a short film to accompany the wonderful new single Remember Where You Are from Jessie Ware.
Our Most played track of the year is Black Magic by German DJ Jonasu. Released right at the end of 2020, we added the track in January. However, it wasn’t until it was featured in an episode of ITV’s Love Island in the summer that it finally took off and made it into the Top 10.
And finally, to our tracks of the year.
Starting things off with James Blake with Say What You Will. We have been fans of his music for years and this single was fantastic.
At number two, Bruno Mars & Anderson.Paak created the superb Silk Sonic. Their first single Leave the Door Open is a modern soul track with a classic sound.
The song that we’ve picked as our Single of the Year was released in April. It’s not often that a song comes along and stops us in our tracks, but when Little Simz released Introvert and it landed in our inbox, it did just that. Whether it’s the production, the lyrics or the video, everything about this single is spot on. Amazing and perfect.
There you have it, the KVH Studios Music review of 2021. Here’s to even more amazing music for 2022!