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Live music was an up-and-down affair as pandemic waves continued through 2021, but Austin acts continued recording new material all the while. Here’s a list of our favorite albums and EPs, plus 20 more high-profile Austin records and another 20 noteworthy releases from the past year.

Top 10 albums


Erin Ivey, “Solace in the Wild.” In a streaming age when singles are king, “Solace” stood out because its songs were so consistently strong from start to finish. In a January review, we called the album “Grammy level stuff”; Ivey didn’t get a nomination, but “Solace in the Wild” is no less deserving of national recognition.

Nobody’s Girl, self-titled. It’s hard to imagine a stronger one-two opening punch than “Kansas” and “Rescued,” catchy pop tunes that quickly make it clear this trio of Rebecca Loebe, Grace Pettis and BettySoo are reaching beyond the acoustic-based common ground they found when bonding at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Producer Michael Ramos deserves credit for extraordinarily clear and crisp arrangements that never get in the way of the women’s vocals.