Sonic Journeys Beyond 2020: Must-Hear Albums for Music Producers

The world of music is ever-evolving, and as we transitioned into the post-2020 era, artists have continued to push the boundaries of sound. For music producers seeking inspiration and a glimpse into the forefront of sonic innovation, here’s a curated list of albums released after 2020 that stand out for their exceptional production quality.

**1. “Chemtrails over the Country Club” by Lana Del Rey (2021): A Cinematic Masterpiece**

Lana Del Rey’s 2021 release is a sonic journey, blending vintage aesthetics with contemporary allure. “Chemtrails over the Country Club” is not only a testament to Del Rey’s lyrical prowess but also a showcase of intricate arrangements and atmospheric production that captivates from start to finish.

**2. “Collapsed In Sunbeams” by Arlo Parks (2021): Minimalism Meets Emotional Depth**

Arlo Parks’ debut album is a study in simplicity and emotional resonance. “Collapsed In Sunbeams” is a minimalist masterpiece, demonstrating how stripped-down production can elevate poignant lyrics to create a deeply moving and memorable experience.

**3. “Spaceman” by Nick Jonas (2021): Pop-R&B Fusion for the Future**

Nick Jonas takes a bold step into futuristic pop-R&B with “Spaceman.” The album boasts catchy hooks, modern sound design, and a versatile sonic palette that will undoubtedly resonate with producers looking for inspiration in genre-blending.

**4. “Scaled and Icy” by Twenty One Pilots (2021): Genre-Defying Energetic Innovation**

Twenty One Pilots’ “Scaled and Icy” is a testament to genre fluidity. The album seamlessly blends pop, rock, and electronic elements, showcasing energetic and innovative production that challenges traditional boundaries.

**5. “Justice” by Justin Bieber (2021): Polished Pop with Dynamic Flair**

“Justice” marks a milestone in Justin Bieber’s career, displaying polished pop production with dynamic flair. Collaborations with diverse artists contribute to an album that explores various styles within the pop genre, demonstrating Bieber’s growth as an artist and producer.

**6. “Promises” by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra (2021): Ambient Jazz Exploration**

“Promises” is a collaborative masterpiece that brings together electronic producer Floating Points, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra. This ambient jazz album is a testament to intricate and immersive production that transcends traditional boundaries.

**7. “Daddy’s Home” by St. Vincent (2021): Innovation in Pop and Rock Fusion**

St. Vincent’s “Daddy’s Home” is a sonic adventure, blending pop, rock, and electronic elements. The album showcases innovative production, featuring skillful guitar work and synthesizer arrangements that push the boundaries of contemporary sound.

**8. “Collapsed in Sunbeams” by Black Country, New Road (2021): Experimental Post-Rock Odyssey**

An experimental post-rock journey, “Collapsed in Sunbeams” by Black Country, New Road, offers a sonic landscape characterized by unconventional instruments and dynamic structures. The album’s production is both daring and thought-provoking.

**9. “Tyron” by slowthai (2021): Bold Hip-Hop Innovation**

“Tyron” by slowthai is a bold exploration of hip-hop that combines gritty beats with experimental sounds. The album’s production is both daring and socially conscious, making it a compelling listen for producers seeking to push boundaries within the hip-hop genre.

**10. “Shore” by Fleet Foxes (2020): Folk Harmony and Intricate Arrangements**

Fleet Foxes’ “Shore” is a masterpiece of folk harmonies and intricate arrangements. Released in 2020, the album’s warm and inviting production creates a unique listening experience that lingers long after the last note.

**11. “The Greng Jai Piece” – ‘Phum Viphurit’: funky, colourful pop grooves that kick against cultural norms**

Sure enough, his recently released second LP ‘The Greng Jai Piece’ – titled after the last portion of shared food people decline to eat out of courtesy – is a refreshing deviation from his past material. The typically mellow Viphurit takes on thorny topics, spiking his sunny, laid-back rhythms with stories of substance addiction and suicide (‘Healing House’) and reflections on social standards that breed fake empathy (‘Greng Jai Please’).

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