Album art courtesy of Tessa Violet

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Year-End Top 5

Bring on the bad bitch energy because these five ladies are drenched in it. Get ready to jump, dance, sing, cry and move on from that shitty ex or toxic friend. We’re evolving and stepping into our queen era, so polish those crowns and bust out the heels! We’re taking over.

Tessa Violet

Street: 07.14
Tag Music
Tessa Violet =  Royal & the Serpent + Zella Day

I interviewed Tessa Violet for SLUG earlier this year, so of course I leaped at the chance to write about her again. From start to finish, MY GOD! is a romp of an album, packing a sassy, confident punch. Songs like “Bad Bitch,” “YES MOM” and “You Are Not My Friend” deliver dramatic beat drops with pulsating rhythms that are perfect for strutting in your favorite pair of heels. But none of these heroine anthems would be possible without the second half of Violet’s album, which portrays the harsh cocoon that life puts us through before transforming into our badass, butterfly selves.

Natalie Jane
Where Am I?

Street: 11.17
10K Projects/Capitol Records
Natalie Jane = Dove Cameron + EMELINE 

If you haven’t yet seen Natalie Jane showing off her extraordinary songs in her car on TikTok, I think you might actually be living under a rock. Jane’s voice is sonically addictive and soars into the stratosphere with smoother-than-butter vocals. The album as a whole shows that Jane is a force to be reckoned with and a lyrical badass. Her words tell a story of what happens when you cross a woman: We will fuck you up. But her lyrics aren’t the only powerhouse of the album—her bass drops are nothing short of spectacular, making Where Am I? a paramount choice to add to your villain-era soundtrack.


Street: 7.14
Photo Finish Records/ Resilient Little Record
MisterWives = The Beaches + The Marias + Ellie Goulding

Nosebleeds will give you goosebumps on every. Single. Song. It’s a chameleon of an album where each song is different than the last. The front half experiments with an angrier, post-punk sound while the back half sticks to MisterWives’ classic, synth-driven style. Introspective as hell, this album is all about personal revelations on whom we choose to have in our lives, how society affects us and how we react to it. Nosebleeds is an explosively emotional album that I highly recommend listening to before the New Year to examine what change you would like to implement in your life.


hello this is the setlist for my tour

Street: 11.7
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Gayle = UPSAHL + Miley Cyrus 

If you’re looking for an album dedicated to finding closure with catchy upbeat melodies and throbbing percussion, then I have the album for you! GAYLE rose to fame after her hit song “abcdefu” went viral on TikTok, and her debut album is a banger for anyone ready to leave their past behind. GAYLE has an eloquent way of combining her more melancholy songs with her alternative and agitated tracks. Undeniably honest, hello this is the setlist for my tour expresses the process of gaining closure from past relationships and finding your confidence again, all while making mistakes along the way.

Chappell Roan
The Rise and Fall of a Midwestern Princess

Street: 09.22
Amusement Records
Chappell Roan = Genevieve Stokes + MARINA + Madonna + Lady Gaga

If you can get through this entire album without jumping around and dancing, then I’m truly concerned for you. Chappell Roan is dripping with talent, bouncing between breathtaking piano and soulful vocals on “Coffee” to bubbly, Madonna-esque bubblegum-pop on “HOT TO GO!” and “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl.” This album is a smorgasbord of intensely sexual lyricism cut with ballad accents. A pure confidence boost, The Rise and Fall of a Midwestern Princess feels like finding your new favorite pair of pants that make you check yourself out in street windows. Whether you’re having a good or bad day, listen to this album. –Sage Holt

Read more Year-End Top 5 Reviews from past years here:
Top 5 Hip-Hop Albums of 2021: Semetary – Rainbow Bridge 3
Top Five Ladies and Theys of Metal Albums 2021: Victory Over the Sun