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Year in Music 2021

We talk with Brittney Spencer, count down the year’s top local albums and much more

For the music industry in general and the Nashville music community in particular, 2020 was mostly about surviving massive disruption and unease wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccines began to roll out early this year, it felt like the fourth act of Jurassic Park, in which our heroes turn the circuit breakers back on one by one. In the movie, the next task was to run like hell and leave the island to the dinosaurs. In real life, the island is all we’ve got.

It hasn’t been easy, with the Delta variant and lots more to contend with, but our conglomeration of local musicians and music-biz folks has made it through this year — and has a lot to show for it. In our Year in Music issue, we talk with rising country star Brittney Spencer and stellar soul singer Alanna Royale; our critics weigh in on the year’s best albums; singers, songwriters and others take stock of the year in our annual Rock ’n’ Roll poll; and much more. 

Year in Music 2021

From Allison Russell and Reaux Marquez to Tristen and Joy Oladokun, here are our favorite local LPs of the year



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