Staff Lists: The Crack Magazine team reflect on the best moments of 2021

From club moments to podcasts and recipes, this is what got us through the year

Rachel Grace Almeida

Deputy Editor

Top 10 tracks:
1. Turnstile – Underwater Boi
2. Eartheater – Scripture
3. Tokischa – Tukuntazo
4. John Glacier – Boozy
5. Snail Mail – Valentine
6. Amaarae, Kali Uchis – SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY REMIX
7. aya – what if i should fall asleep and slipp under
8. Caroline Polachek – Bunny is a Rider
9. Space Afrika – B£E
10. Overmono – So U Kno 

Best moment linked to music:
Genuinely? My toddler moshing to Holiday by Turnstile in my living room on a post-deadline Friday night. 

Favourite tweet:

Lockdown survival kit:
AD’s Open Door, reina pepiadas, the Meschka 3 from Shakespeare & Sons, baby bedtime routine, chic walks  

Hero and villain of 2021:
Hero: Sienna Almeida-Linke
Villain: Nicolás Maduro, forever and always 

Oscar Henson

Advertising and Partnerships Manager

Top 10 albums:
1. downstairs J – basement etc…
2. Grouper – Shade
3. Helado Negro – Far In
4. Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters
5. Mega Bog – Life, And Another
6 .Nala Sinephro – Space 1.8
7. Salamanda – Sphere
8. Simo Cell – YES.DJ
9. Tomu DJ – Feminista
10. Tristan Arp – Sculpturegardening

An old release I kept returning to:
American Football by American Football – because when you listen to clever-and-interesting-contemporary-music all day for a living, sometimes you need a little something to cleanse the palate.

Without downloading new pictures, what image in your camera roll sums up your 2021?


Hero and villain of the year:
Hero: Scratcha DVA
Villain: ‘Jan’ from my road WhatsApp

Louise Brailey


Top 10 tracks:
1. Space Afrika – Honest Labour
2. Salamanda – Allez
3. Spencer OST – Jonny Greenwood
4. John Glacier – SHILOH: Lost for Words
5. AYA – im hole
6. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
7. Car Culture – Dead Rock
8. Circuit des Yeux – io
9. claire rousay – a softer focus
10. Ruth Mascelli – A Night at the Baths

A musical moment from this year
The Daytimers x Big Dyke Energy stage at Body Movements. I think Kelly Clarkson was played at one point?

Lockdown survival kit:
A subscription to LRB, my two rescue kittens, those old Arena documentaries on iPlayer, Thomas Mann, deadlifts.

Favourite tweet:

An old release I kept returning to:
Coil – Musick to Play in the Dark. Why? It was one of those years.

Michelle Helena Janssen

Art Direction

Top 10 albums and EPs/tracks:
In no particular order

1. Frenna – Highest
2. halfpastseven – SAFE. – EP
3. Sons of Kemet – Black to the Future
4. Kanye West – Donda
5 .Tems – If Orange Was a Place
6. Cassper Nyovest – Sweet and Short 2.0
7. John Glacier – SHILOH: Lost For Words
8. Madlib – Sound Ancestors
9. Doja Cat – Planet Her
10. Arooj Aftab – Vulture Prince

A musical moment from this year:
Ye’s Donda live performance

An old release I kept returning to:
Lykke Li – Youth Novels, channelling Pisces energy
KEYAH/BLU — Sorry, I forgot you were coming ’cause Keyah’s the best

Favourite IG post:


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Lockdown survival kit:


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Without downloading new pictures, what image in your camera roll sums up your 2021?


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Hero of the year:
Virgil Abloh

Tola Folarin-Coker

Social Media & Content Assistant

Top 10 tracks:
1. Noname – Rainforest
2. Yebba – Louie Bag ft. Smino
3. Hiatus Kaiyote – Chivalry Is Not Dead
4. Ama Lou – Talk Quiet
5. Joy Crookes – 19th Floor
6. Junkie XL – At the Speed of Force
7. Priya Ragu – Good Love 2.0
8. Olivia Rodrigo – good 4 u
9. Duckwrth – No Chill
10. JVCK JAMES – Love In the Club

An old release I kept turning to:
Gravel Pit – Wu-Tang Clan. This song has no business being this fun, my favourite pick me up song.

Lockdown survival kit:
The Receipts Podcast, SYM Podcast, Macgyver 2016 reboot and shoutout to my ever-changing food hyperfixations.

Without downloading new pictures, what image in your camera roll sums up your 2021?


Villain of 2021:
Can I say the British government? If not then the tarot card readers of TikTok.

Ben Brook

Head of Video Production

Top 10 albums:
1. Danny L Harle – Harlecore
2. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
4. Squid – Bright Green Field
5. PinkPantheress – to hell with it
6. Vince Staples – Vince Staples
7. Kojaque – Town’s Dead
8. Kamal – War Outside
9. Sega Bodega – Romeo
10. Deb Never – Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

A musical moment
The intimate live show of For Those I Love at the Louisiana, Bristol, where we spent the evening after the show with some of Dave’s family who had travelled from Ireland to experience his first tour. The atmosphere of a small show was emphasised by the presence of home, in a foreign city. And in Covid times it felt relatively normal to be meeting new people at shows again.

An old release I kept returning to:
Grace – Not Over Yet

Favourite TikTok:


This picture of Homer sums up my year:


Lockdown survival kit:

Jerry Dobson

Video Production

Top 10 tracks:
1. John Glacier – Some Other Thing
2. Baby Keem – 16
3. Eris Drew – Time to Move Close
4. Drake – Girls Want Girls ft. Lil Baby
5. Caroline Polachek – Bunny Is a Rider
6. Cleo Sol – Promises
7. Helado Negro – Hometown Dream
8. Blawan – Under Belly
9. Batu – Melts into Air
10. Tirzah – Make It Up

Without downloading new pictures, what image in your camera roll sums up your 2021?


Best moment:
Batu’s set at Waterworks – incredible.

Hero of 2021
Charlie Bones.

Avesta Keshtmand

Creative Assistant

Top 10 tracks:
(No particular order)

1. Anz – You Could Be ft. George Riley
2. KennyHoopla – estella//
3. Proc Fiskal – Her In
4. Lyra Pramuk, Hudson Mohawke – Tendril (Midnight Peach rework)
5. Erika de Casier – Drama (Isabella Love-story and Chicken remix)
6. 박혜진 Park Hye Jin – I Need You
7. Yaeji, OHHYUK – Year to Year
8. Tems – Crazy Tings
9. John Glacier – Icing
10. Hyd – Skin 2 Skin

Best moment of the year:
Nimco Happy finally running her cheque!!!

An old release I returned to:
Barbie Tingz – Nicki Minaj
This is the perrrrrrfect therapy for imposter syndrome and chronic fatigue. I owe my motivation the last year to this track <3

Favourite TikTok:


Lockdown survival kit:
Feel Good (Mae Martin <3)
Worms Mag for reading about reading and finding things to read.
Sound baths.
I’ve rewatched it a few (about 5) times now… I May Destroy You.

Tom Rutterford

Advertising Executive

Top 10 tracks:
1. Overmono – So U Kno
2. Little Simz – Introvert
3. Jorja Smith – Addicted
4. Two Shell – Home
5. Joy Orbison – Swag w/Kav
6. Falle Nioke & Ghost Culture – Leywole (Edit)
7. Dave – In the Fire
8. Karima F – Crab Ride
9. Mansur Brown – Take Note
10. DJ Polo & Tribal Brothers – 12HRS

Best moment tied to music:
Berwyn’s performance of Glory live from the Mercury Prize Awards this year – big goosebump moment! Also, a mention for Batu’s mind blowing set at Waterworks.

I kept returning to…
John Beltran – Ten Days of Blue

In a year filled with a lot of late night coaches/train journeys this record has been a go-to soundtrack. The plucky melodies and floaty pads are perfect to get either completely immersed in or just fully zone out too. Hard to believe this came out over 25 years ago now – timeless LP!

Couldn’t have done lockdown without these:
Couple binge-worthy podcasts. Firstly, Chattin’ Shit from Allan Mustafa & Hugo Chegwin from People Just Do Nothing alongside guests doing exactly as it says on the tin. Laugh out loud business.

Also, George the Poet’s podcast on BBC Sounds Have You Heard George’s Podcast?. Probably the most unique and creative podcast out there.

For TV – been rating mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows and also the Small Axe film anthology on BBC.

Amy Gardner

Advertising Manager

Top 10 tracks:
1. Tim Reaper – Whirlpools
2. Special Request – Pull Up (Tim Reaper remix)
3. Compa – Mind Control
4. I-K-O – Nocturne
5. Afrique Victime – Chismiten
6. Jubei – Show Me
7. Samurai Breaks – Jitterbug (Coco Bryce Remix)
8. Lana Del Rey – Wild at heart
9. Persian – Augustus
10. Adele – Easy on me

The best moment in music:
Yung Singh’s Boiler Room

I kept returning to…
Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corperation. This tune never ever loses its magic, I love the use of Asian and Middle Eastern instruments with this group, and it always puts me in a chilled out mood as it’s so, so nostalgic.

Favourite IG post
Favourite Insta posts have come from Daisy May Cooper – she was really the glue that held this country together in the first half of this year.

Lockdown survival kit:
Cheese, mixing, horse riding, re-watching the US Office 100 times.

Graeme Bateman

Graphic Designer

Top 10 tracks:
1. Turnstile – UNDERWATER BOI
2. Turnstile – BLACKOUT
3. Persher – Man With The Magic Soap
4. Blawan – Under Belly
5. Joy Orbison, Léa Sen – better
6. Guber – Wrong Ibiza (4×4 Mix)
7. Mica Levi, jonatan leandoer96 – Sticks & Stones
8. Pavel Milyakov, Yana Pavlova – Midnight Blues
9. Memo Boy –
10. Memo Boy – I’m Having a Rave In My Room All By Myself

Favourite moment linked to music:
Call Super playing Under Belly in Panorama Bar just as I’d started trying to explain to a mate what it sounded like.

An old release:
Weed – Deserve. Because it’s everything I want grunge / indie-rock etc, etc, to be.

Favourite IG post:


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Jasmine Kent-Smith

Staff Writer

Top 10 tracks:
1. Yves Tumor – Jackie
2. Dark0 – Shining Star
3.Evita Manji – OIL/TOO MUCH
4. Holy Other – Know Where
5. PinkPantheress – Just for me
6. Overmono – So U Kno
7. Doja Cat – You Right ft. The Weeknd
8. KG – Koko ft. Mista Silva
9. UNIIQU3 – Microdosing
10. Doss – Puppy

Favourite moment: that time at work when…
PinkPantheress’ debut mixtape, to hell with it, landed in my inbox while I was writing the cover story for The Collections, Vol. 3. God knows how many times I listened to it, over and over again, but each time felt like the first. Like I said in our Tracks of the Year roundup, it’s PinkPantheress’ world, and we’re all just living in it.

I kept returning to…
N.E.R.D – In Search Of… Why? Because it’s excellent, of course, but also reminds me of good times and my enduring teenage crush on Pharrell. The album has serious singalong qualities too, which means I would stomp around my city with this in my headphones, likely singing aloud like Nicholas Hoult’s character in About a Boy. I also binged a lot of Burial and Kelela – not much of a surprise to anyone who knows me.

This sums up my year:


Several things got me (or at least, a pandemic-altered version of me) through lockdown:

My cats. Their presence was like an IV of pure serotonin straight into the veins.
Seaside living also helped. Regular strolls to the beach and big gulps of fresh air did wonders to the soul.
The internet. It was there (or, here?) that I stayed relatively plugged into new music and cultural trends, and also watched a whole load of TV.
The Calm app. A top tip for any fellow restless sleepers out there.

Duncan Harrison

Head of Content

Top 10 albums:
1. John Glacier – SHILOH: Lost For Words
2. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
3. Eris Drew – Quivering In time
4. Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters
5. Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air
6. Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together
7. Mustafa – When Smoke Rises
8. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
9. Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)
10. Rosie Lowe & Duval Timothy – Son

Best  music moment of the year:
Watching KennyHoopla play Estella twice to 250 people in London. Shout out to Avesta for capturing this moment from the same gig.

Best tweet:

Couldn’t have done lockdown without…
Meera Sodha’s walnut-stuffed aubergines and Stath Lets Flats

Vivian Yeung

Digital Editor

Top 10 albums / EPs:
1. John Glacier – SHILOH: Lost For Words
2. PinkPantheress – to hell with it
3. Eris Drew – Quivering in Time
4. Arushi Jain – Under the Lilac Sky
5. Sega Bodega – Romeo
7. Pauline Anna Strom – Angel Tears in Sunlight
8. Parris – Soaked in Indigo Moonlight
9. Yaw Tog – TIME
10. Pavel Milyakov & Yana Pavlova – Blue

Favourite TikTok:

@tegaalexanderevery work email thread ever 😂😤 #fyp #foryou♬ original sound – sounds for slomo_bro!

This is what got me through lockdown…
Korean skincare and the 7 skin method. This is my favourite sheet mask. The book Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. Also, making ramen.

Luke Sutton


Top 10 tracks:
1. Deb Never – Stupid
2. Hyd – The Look On Your Face
3. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
4. Ye – Come To Life
5. Griff – Walk
6. Wet Leg – Chaise Longue
7. Anz – You Could Be ft. George Riley
8. Space Afrika – B£E ft. Blackhaine
9. Young Thug – Love You More ft. Nate Ruess, Gunna, Jeff Bhasker
10. Holly Humberstone – Please Don’t Leave Just Yet

A musical moment from this year:
Charli XCX performing Vroom Vroom at Lafayette in October

Your favourite TikTok:

@rachelddomMy air fryer is taking a beating #airfryer #lifeisbusy #toronto #ImObsessed #CoversForLovers

Lockdown survival kit:
Popcast, Air-frying everything, prawn cocktail Quavers, strawberry Crusha.

Without downloading new pictures, what image in your camera roll sums up your 2021?:

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