This award started long before the site was even a thought, in one publication, radio show or another. Since 2000, I have handed out a "League of Their Own" Award to an album that is made by an artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. The choices for "League of Their Own" have become more than just the best album of the year but the most important record to be released at that time.
In the past winners have included:
2000 - Radiohead - Kid A
2001 - The Strokes - Is This It?
2002 - NERD - In Search of...
2003 - The White Stripes - Elephant
2004 - The Killers - Hot Fuss
2005 - The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute
2006 - TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
2007 - Kanye West - Graduation
2008 - Santigold
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye
2010 - Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
2011 - Bjork - Biophilia
2012 - Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes
2013 - Arcade Fire - Reflektor
2014 - Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
2015 - Kamasi Washington - The Epic
2016 - David Bowie - Blackstar
2017 - Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
2018 - Richard Russell - Everything is Recorded
2019 - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Infest the Rats Nest
2020 - Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
...and now to add to this ever growing list is an artist who is constantly reinventing herself as not just a persona or style of music but in an overall package that blurs the line between pop, alternative, rock, and even in some cases, experimental. This is a category for someone just like her.
Ladies and gents, the 2021 League of Their Own winner is...
St. Vincent - Daddy's Home
Annie Clarke is a shapeshifter and a certifiable icon. So when she combined her love of icons like Warhol, New York City in the 1970s, her father's classic rock collection and took on the persona of Warhol Factory alum trans legend Candy Darling, the possibilities were endless. Daddy's Home is a concept record that pays homage to all of these things. A record that recorded in order to connect with her father as he emerged from a prison sentence to the era of things he enjoyed and what surrounded them. She takes us in a musical time machine back to the seedy, gritty, dangerous New York City of the mid-70s and gives us a new spin on it as she sings through a modern eye. A record that after endless listens this year gets more and more interesting with every spin.