WNXP Staff First Year Favorites – Top Tracks of 2021

As the small team at Nashville’s Music Experience, immersing ourselves in new music and then sharing the best cuts with WNXP listeners is not just our job, it’s our calling. Music discovery is our mission. So while we decided to forego a ranked list or countdown after our first full year on-air, we did round up some of our favorite tracks of 2021 and you can hear them all day on Monday, December 27.

Check our our individual lists below, which include links to artists we spotlighted at some point this year in our Record of the Week or Nashville Artist of the Month features, and/or visits to our Sonic Cathedral. It’s not surprising that the music-makers we spent the most time with — many of them locals — rose to the top of the proverbial pile in what was a truly great year for indie rock, hip hop, soul, and all of that fabulous uncategorized sound you can hear only in Nashville on WNXP.

Jason Moon Wilkins, Program Director & Afternoon Host


Beach Bunny – “Cloud 9”
Ben Howard – “Far Out”
Big Red Machine ft. Fleet Foxes & Anais Mitchell – “Phoenix”
Blood Cultures – “Set It On Fire”
Bomba Estereo – “Deja”
Cautious Clay – “Roots”
Cherry Glazerr – “Rabbit Hole”
Dylan Cartlidge – “Anything Could Happen”
Dry Cleaning “Scratchcard Lanyard”
Fenne Lilly – “Alapathy”
The Go! Team – “A Bee Without Its Sting”
H.E.R. ft. Thundercat and Kaytranada – “Bloody Waters”
Jelani Aryeh – “From These Heights”
Jose Gonzalez – “El Invento”
Kali Uchis – “Telepatia”
Life In Sweatpants – “Lala”
Marinero – “Through The Fog”
Middle Kids – “Some People Stay In Our Hearts Forever”
Nana Lourdes – “BKGW”
Orla Gartland – “More Like You”
Remi Wolf – “Anthony Keidis”
Samia – “Show Up”
Samm Henshaw – “All Good”
Sans Soucis – “I’m On”
St. Lenox – “Arthur is at a Shiva”
Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – “Back to Oz”
Twin Shadow – “Alemania”
Working Men’s Club – “X”
Yola – “Dancing Away in Tears”

Ayisha Jaffer, Assistant Program Director & Midday Host


Wet Leg – “Wet Dream”
La Luz – “The Pines”
Baker Boy – “Cool as Hell”
Arlo Parks – “Hurt”
Adeline featuring KAMAUU – “Stages”
Little Simz – “I Love You, I Hate You”
Allison Russell – “Persephone”
Daisha McBride – “Friends”
Fleet Foxes – “Can I Believe You”
Remi Wolf – “Photo ID”
Shannon and the Clams – “Midnight Wine”
H.E.R. – “Damage”
Rodrigo Amarante – “Mare”
SZA – “Good Days”
Fana Hues – “Pieces”  
Hiatus Kaiyote – “Chivalry is Not Dead”
Yaeji – “29”
The Linda Lindas – “Nino”
Beach House – “Once Twice Melody”

Jewly Hight, Editorial Director


Torres – “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes In My Head”
 Jazmine Sullivan – “Pick Up Your Feelings”
 Houston Kendrick – “Ugly Vybes”
 SPELLING – “Little Deer”
 Bren Joy – “HEADLINE”
 serpentwithfeet – “Malik”
 Dominique Fils-Aime – “Love Take Over”
 Genesis Owusu – “Gold Chains”
 Leon Bridges – “Steam”
 Terry Presume – “None of This Alone”
Little Simz – “Point and Kill”
 Mustafa – “Ali”
 Madi Diaz – “Nervous”

 Yola – “Starlight”
 Xenia Rubinos – “Sacude”
 Cimafunk – “Rompelo”
 Pom Pom Squad – “Head Cheerleader”
 Dawn Richard – “Boomerang”
Daisha McBride – “Loyal”
 Reaux Marquez – “AASB”
 Rodrigo Amarante – “Mare”
 Adia Victoria – “Far From Dixie”
 Arlo Parks – “Hope”
 Mereba – “Go(l)d”
 Lucy Dacus – “First Time”

Celia Gregory, Special Programs Manager & Morning Host


Arlo Parks – “Hurt”
Pom Pom Squad – “Crying”
Madi Diaz – “Forever”
The War on Drugs – “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
Remi Wolf – “Photo ID (with Dominic Fike)”
Lucy Dacus – “VBS”
Cautious Clay – “Whoa”
Beach Bunny – “Oxygen”
Kiwi Jr. – “Cooler Returns”
Dry Cleaning – “Scratchcard Lanyard”
Torres – “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head”
Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To”
St. Vincent – “Down”
Faye Webster – “Cheers”
Flock of Dimes – “Price of Blue”
IDLES – “The New Sensation”
Bachelor – “Anything At All”
Good Morning – “Country”
Parcels – “Somethinggreater”
Yard Act – “Fixer Upper”
Orla Gartland – “Zombie”
Tristen – “I Need Your Love”
Yola – “Stand for Myself”
My Morning Jacket – “In Color”
Wednesday – “Handsome Man”

Marquis Munson, Production Coordinator & Evening Host


Baby Keem Feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Family Ties”
Tash Neal – “Something Ain’t Right”
SZA – “Good Days”
Tyler the Creator Feat. Ty Dolla Sign and NBA Youngboy – “WusYaName”
St. Vincent – “Pay Your Way In Pain”
Genesis Owusu – “Don’t Need You”
Durand Jones and the Indications – “The Way That I Do”
Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
H.E.R. – “Fight For You”
Southern Avenue – “Push Now”
Cedric Burnside – “Step In”
L’Orange and Namir Blade – “Corner Store Scandal”
Daisha McBride – “Adventure Time Freestyle”
Curtis Harding – “Can’t Hide It”
Lava La Rue – “Magpie”
Briston Maroney – “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t”
Josh Gilligan – “Go Around”
*repeat repeat – “For Leaving You”
Isaiah Rashad – “Headshots (4r Da Locals)
Adia Victoria – “Magnolia Blues”
Terrace Martin – “Leave Us Be”
Houston Kendrick – “Look at Us”
The Go Team – “A Bee Without Its Sting”
Joy Oladokun – “Sorry Isn’t Good Enough”
Childish Gambino – “Stay High (Brittany Howard cover)”

Emily Young, Sonic Cathedral Coordinator & 10-11am Weekday Host


Shame – “Nigel Hitter”
Wavves – “Sinking Feeling”
Yard Act – “The Overload”
Wet Leg – “Oh No”
Erin Rae – “Modern Woman”
Jackson + Sellers – “Waste Your Time”
Kiwi Jr. – “Cooler Returns”
Cate Le Bon – “Moderation”
Andy Shauf – “Jaywalker”
La Luz – “In the Country”
Shannon and the Clams – “Midnight Wine”

Katy Kirby – “Juniper”
Josh Gilligan + Donelson Broncos – “Control”
Bachelor – “Stay in the Car”
Parquet Courts – “Walking at a Downtown Pace”
Mdou Moctar – “Afrique Victime”
Matthew E. White – “Genuine Hesitation”
Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To”
Fruit Bats – “The Balcony”
Ty Segall – “Whisper”
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “O.N.E.”
Babe Rainbow – “Zeitgeist”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “That Life”
Liz Cooper – “Hot Sass”
*repeat repeat – “Dearly Departed”

Aaron Monty, Saturday Evening Host


Heartless Bastards – “Went Around the World”
Joy Oladokun – “Sunday”
Jelani Aryeh – “Marigold”
DRAMA – “Don’t Hold Back”
Rufus Du Sol – “Next To Me”
Kacey Musgraves – “Camera Roll”
Kunzite – “Jupiter”
Madi Diaz – “Crying In Public”
Flight Facilities – “Lights Up”
Dayglow – “Close To You”
Briston Maroney – “Cinnamon”
Jungle – “Keep Moving”

Dan Digs, Sunday Afternoon Host


Little Simz ft Cleo Sol – “Woman”
Hiatus Kaiyote ft Arthur Verocai – “Get Sun”
Flying Lotus ft Thundercat – “Black Gold”
SAULT – “Bitter Streets”
Cleo Sol – “Spirit”
Jungle – “Talk About It”
Khruangbin, Leon Bridges – “B-Side”
quickly, quickly “Everything Is Different (To Me)”
Jordan Rakei – “Send My Love”
Swindle ft Poppy Ajudha & Daley – “Darkest Hour”
Royce Wood Jr – “Slush”
UNKLE – “Do Yourself Some Good”
Spaceface – “Earth in Awe”
Arlo Parks – “Portra 400”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Weekend Run”
Mdou Moctar – “Tala Tannam”
Sam Evian – “Easy to Love”
Helado Negro – “Gemini and Leo”
Childish Gambino – “Stay High (Brittany Howard cover)”
Curtis Harding – “Can’t Hide It”
Jose Gonzalez – “Lilla G”
Bonobo – “Rosewood”
Robert Glasper – “Shine”
Ruthven – “Don’t Keep It To Yourself”
Dijon – “Many Times”