Best of ‘ERS: A Year In Review

Best of 'ERS A Year In Review
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

The nominations are in! To celebrate all of the great local songs, local shows, live mixes and more that were a part of 2021, our music writing team helped put together a list of what we’re calling “The Best of ‘ERS.” Click through the dots under each category to see our picks.

BEST SONG OF THE YEAR, LOCAL:

Coral Moons - “Like We Used To”

“A breakup song with a cool pop finish, this track is perfect for any chill event this summer, like a sunset or a late-night hangout. Not only is it musically refined, it's a song that gets stuck in my head all the time, and I hope it lovingly worms itself into your brain like it has for me…” (continue reading here)

 - Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

Future Teens - “Guest Room”

“As a self-proclaimed “bummer pop band,” this tune stays true to that title. From the first line, the melody sounds instantly lovable and recognizable. It’s an upbeat earworm that lyrically explores feeling uncertain and scared of the future…” (continue reading here

- Megan Doherty, Staff Writer

Slothrust - “Once More for the Ocean”

“Starting with a musical punch of energetic electric guitar, Slothrust’s track “Once More For the Ocean” is guaranteed to hook any first-time listener. The lively track praises self-reliance and similar themes…” (continue reading here)

Erin Norton, Staff Writer 

PRONOUN- “I WANNA DIE BUT I CAN’T (CUZ I GOTTA KEEP LIVING)"

PRONOUN’s latest single is full of honesty and angst. Berklee grad Alyse Vellturo sings about picking apart her past and stressing about the future Between the punchy electric guitar and pop rock drum beat, the song shows off a fun and percussive sound.…” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Staff Writer

Barrie - “Frankie”

“Instrumentally, “Frankie” is defined by the entrancing repetition of the synthesizer which drives the track forward. It leaves listeners feeling either empowered or discouraged— taking on different meanings for everyone…” (continue reading here)

- Grace Clendening, Staff Writer

Tall Heights - “Hear It Again”

“If someone had to ask me what the music scene is like here in Boston, I would play "Hear It Again" by Tall Heights. It's a beautiful and rhythmic song about being lost and the nostalgia of lost love told through the story of a long road trip…” (continue reading here)

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

Kaiti Jones - “Getting Around to It”

Kaiti Jones is one of my favorite local artists; two years ago she came to Wicked Local Wednesday with some of the most loving ballads I'd ever heard. Now she's back with a scorcher about wasting time and going easy on yourself…” (continue reading here)

- Phil Jones, Afternoon Host 

Juliana Hatfield - “Mouthful of Blood”

“Her latest slightly melancholic alt-pop tune, "Mouthful of Blood,” serves as our introduction to [Juliana Hatfield’s] upcoming record .. Despite [the title’s] gory image, bubbly vocals and upbeat drums take center stage on the track…” (continue reading here

- Megan Doherty, Staff Writer

Alissa Amador - “Timing”

“Local artist Alisa Amador stuns listeners with her smooth voice and groovy vibe in her new song, "Timing." … Keep an ear out for a lovely horn section that truly elevates the track…” (continue reading here

 - Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

Clairo - “Amoeba”

“Clairo has come a long way from making DIY indie-pop songs from her childhood bedroom in Carlisle, Massachusetts. “Amoeba,” off of her sophomore album Sling, is the perfect song to showcase this growth.” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Staff Writer

BEST LOCAL CONCERT:

Arlo Parks at Brighton Music Hall

“From one song to the next, a wave of positivity washed over the crowd as Arlo joyfully danced around the stage and shared her angelic voice. In songs like “Cola,” the lyrics were filled with small anecdotal details, but I could hear people singing along, having memorized every word.” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

Mt. Joy at the Leader Bank Pavilion

“Mt. Joy filled their short-but-sweet set with all of their hits, making sure the audience was on full alert throughout their time on stage. Numbers such as “Silver Lining” and “Lemon Tree” were clear favorites, reducing many around me to puddles of tears...” (continue reading here)

- Mason Standish, Staff Writer

Caroline Rose at the Sinclair

“The crowd's response wasn't just limited to "Cry," though. Caroline’s spunk throughout the night was endearing and not one body wasn’t moving during the show...” (continue reading here)

- Amber Garcia, Staff Writer

Wolf Alice at Paradise Rock Club

Coming from their sophomore album Visions of A Life, “Don’t Delete the Kisses” had the audience belting out the catchy lyrics. Couples, friends and perfect strangers danced along with one another, the dreamy electronic soundscape the ideal way to close the night...” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

Mayer Hawthorne at Big Night Live

Comments from the suave musician such as, “it’s been two years, you have no idea how much I’ve missed putting this on for you guys!” helped signify to the eager audience that Hawthorne wasn’t just going to put on a show, he was a wound-up toy ready to let loose and rock Big Night Live’s roof off.” (continue reading here)

- Mason Standish, Staff Writer

Vagabon at the Sinclair

“While other artists might have used that emotional atmosphere and end with a loud rocking song to bring the energy back up, Vagabon played one more intimate solo song, “Every Woman.” Her beautiful voice and lyrics lingering in the air accompanied by just her guitar, she left us with her most pure form, then thanked us for coming and walked backstage...” (continue reading here)

- Meghan Hockridge, Program Coordinator

CHVRCHES at the House of Blues

The singer came back on stage with fake blood on her arms for the encore, her theatrical acts and costumes coming to an end for the last set. CHVRCHES finished the show with a bang, wrapping up with the songs “Asking for a Friend,” “The Mother We Share,” and “The Clearest Blue...” (continue reading here)

- Amber Garcia, Staff Writer

BEST WERS SPECIALTY DAY

International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day on March 8th, we played music from female artists all day on-air and celebrated women who rock with puzzles and related blog content. (Find the webpage here)

617 Day

Our third annual 617 Day was a huge success! We celebrated local music, local, business, and of course local radio. A number of local artists joined us on air to guest DJ and play their favorite local songs, from Anjimile to Buffalo Tom to Dispatch. And on the blog we profiled the ten local artists you need to know. (Read about this year’s 617 day here and find the blog profiles here)

International Left Handers’ Day

On August 13th, we commemorated international left-handers day by playing sets from some of the greatest left-handed musicians, from Paul McCartney to Jimi Hendrix.

Chrissie Hynde’s Birthday

In celebration of Chrissie Hynde’s 70th birthday on September 7th, we highlighted the best of her musical impact as a solo artist and member of The Pretenders on-air and through a playlist on the blog. (Find the playlist here)

One-Hit Wonder Day

In honor of One-Hit Wonder Day, On September 24th we played all of the best unexpected chart-toppers. Plus, our writers dove deep into what makes 5 of their favorites so good. And to top it off, we played an on-air game where listeners had to identify 10 one-hit wonders from hearing a montage of hooks. (Find the blog article here)

Cozy Covers Day

Just as the weather started to cool down mid-November, we put on Cozy Covers Day. We took listener requests and played beloved covers all day on November 16th. Some of our talented staff even joined in on the fun by sharing their own covers on our social media. (Find our staffs’ covers here)

Unplucked Weekend and Alice’s Restaurant

On Thanksgiving day, we carried on the Boston Radio Tradition of playing Arlo Guthrie’s 18-minute song “Alice’s Restaurant.” (Read about the tradition here)

For the weekend after Thanksgiving (November 26th-28th), we went unplucked! On air and with a playlist on our blog, we showcased all the best acoustic versions and covers of songs, from Radiohead to Foster the People. (Find the playlist here)

BEST LIVE MIX OR AT-HOME CONCERT

The Joy Formidable

"Just a few months ago, The Joy Formidable not only sat down with us for an artist interview, they also blessed us with an amazing at-home concert. [They] truly [bring] the energy on their latest album’s title track “Into The Blue,” and you don’t want to miss it!” (You can find the Joy Formidable’s at-home concert here)


Tall Heights

“On Wednesday, we’re celebrating some of the local talent Boston has to offer, and who better to kick it off than indie-folk duo Tall Heights? The way the two’s voices harmonize and the way the cello and acoustic guitar accent one another in “Spirit Cold” are, simply put, beautiful.” (You can find Tall Height’s home concert here)

The War On Drugs

The War On Drugs just released their fifth studio album I Don't Live Here Anymore today, and tonight you can listen to what it sounds like performed live. Don't miss their performance of the title track, "I Don't Live Here Anymore" which is the perfect fusion of the sounds of the 80s and today.”

Alisa Amador

“Fresh from the vault comes two songs from Boston artist Alisa Amador’s recent live mix. Her session was so good we had an encore session earlier this month. The groovy “Timing” is the perfect track to introduce you to her music.”

Maya Lucia

We loved having Maya Lucia on Wicked Local Wednesday on WERS! Great Boston musician with rocking tunes!” (Find Maya Lucia’s at-home concert performed from her bathtub here)

Evan Greer

“Evan Greer brings back good vibes in the warm weather!” (Find Greer’s at-home concert performed in her backyard last April here)

BEST MUSIC VIDEO:

Wet Leg “Chaise Longue” music video, self-directed

“...But even as they do high-kicks and twirls, their facial expressions don the same disinterest as their vocal delivery. Just like the song, the video radiates a simple coolness, leaving you wanting more...” (continue reading here)

 - Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

Lorde “Solar Power” music video, directed by Lorde and Joel Kefali

“[Lorde] brought the sun to summer in a yellow two-piece dress and a stripped down anthem to the season, blissfully and gracefully introducing us to her new era. Doing a complete 180 from Melodrama – an album defined by its heartbreak – “Solar Power” burst through the scene as a symbol of fun and healing.” (continue reading here)

 - Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

Leon Bridges “Motorbike” music video, directed by Anderson .Paak

Beginning clips show a loving relationship between Bridges and his girlfriend. They are seen blissfully riding away on his motorbike, dancing and exchanging sweet gestures. Later, the plot thickens…” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator 

Helado Negro “Outside the Outside” music video, self-directed 

“...they found that community through hosting late-night parties at their house in Miami, Florida, and Lange says eventually he found his own community of outsiders too. For the music video, Lange stitched together 80s footage from some of the parties. It’s the perfect complement to the nostalgic and dancey song…” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

Spoon “The Hardest Cut” music video, self-directed

“Escalating at just the right moment sonically — the track’s riveting guitar solo —, a surprising slashing scene makes “The Hardest Cut” more literal than figurative. And just like the song, its cliffhanger ending leaves you in high anticipation for what is to come…” (continue reading here)

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

BEST DUET OR COLLABORATION:

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - “Can’t Let Go”

“Can’t Let Go” covered by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss feels as though time has stood still since 2007, when they first released the album Raising Sand. After 14 years, the pair has come together again, blessing our ears with this sweet, euphonious melodic track…” (continue reading here

- Mehvish Ali, Staff Writer

Ziggy Marley and Bob Harper - “Spin It Faster”

While it speaks of “hard times they will come,” the sound ends in more hopeful melodies, echoing “but hard times they’ll be gone.” With reggae royalty Ziggy Marley blessing the song with his bold, harmonious voice, the essence of the song is truly felt in our hearts...” (continue reading here

- Mehvish Ali, Staff Writer

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine - “Back To Oz”

“Back to Oz,” featuring [Sufjan Steven’s] former act opener turned collaborator Angelo De Augustine, feels the same way. It’s a song that you can get caught up in musically with its brightness. And, of course, the vocals are beautiful...” (continue reading here)

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen - “Like I Used To”

Van Etten and Olsen’s haunting singing compliments each other perfectly. Blending at times and highlighting their distinct ranges and tones at others...” (continue reading here)

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator

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