TPM Top Vocals of 2021


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This was a difficult list to make. On one hand, some of my favorites produced really well again, such as Tom of Evergrey or Einar of Leprous. On the other hand, I’ve included them in these lists so many times that I felt like they are a given by now. So, here are ten vocalists that I decided to put in my top ten.

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10. Mac Guarnieri – Deresolution

Mac gifted us with a searing, powerful performance last year. His mix of harsh and clean was intense, with all sorts of tones and textures providing a riveting anchor for the music. The contrast between beautiful and raw really made this Deresolution album what it was.

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9. Carline Van Roos

– Aythis and Lethian Dreams

Carline had a busy year. Not only was her Aythis record a hazy and gorgeously performed work of art, her main band Lethian Dreams released an EP that allowed her voice to shine, as well. On top of that, she appeared on the new ISON album, performing on one of my favorite tracks. All in all, a great year for her musically.

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8. Sahaj Ticotin – RA

Sahaj has long been one of my favorite vocalists, ever since hearing him with RA back in the early 00s. Well, RA resurfaced in 2021, and Sahaj’s voice is just as melodic and unmistakable as ever. He is so unmistakable, in fact, that my kids recognize his voice on songs they are hearing for the first time. And on the new RA album, Sahaj does give his all, hitting some amazing notes that have definitely stayed with me.

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7. Diana Studenberg – Trope

Diana is an up-and-coming vocalist with hints of other legendary alternative rock vocalists in her style. Trope has started making waves with their debut, and a big part of that is Diana’s passionate tone and unyielding ambition.

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6.  Êlea – NOÊTA

What a haunting experience the new NOÊTA album was! This is mostly due to Êlea’s otherworldly vocal style, connecting with the fantasy lover inside of me. Like a ghostly siren, Êlea’s performance really stuck with me.

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5. Kevin Martin – Candlebox

Kevin will always be one of my all-time favorite vocalists. His tone and style are unique, and he as a person is truly someone I admire. In my eyes, he and Eddie Vedder are the last remaining vestiges of the grunge movement, and here he is still producing amazing music with real character and bourbon in his voice. He nails the melodies and hooks, hits the high notes, and brings the style, just like he always has.

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4. Paul Adrian Villarreal

– A Dying Planet

Paul has such a great voice, one that is rich and powerful and clear. His work in the past with Sun Caged is how I stumbled across him, but his new gig with A Dying Planet feels like a good fit for him. His strong hooks and melodious, humming presence really make that album beautiful.

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3. Michał Wojtas – Amarok

I’m of the opinion that Michał has one of the most underrated voices in the modern progressive scene. He has such a crystal clear, soothing tone. He could literally sing any instructions manual out there, and I’d listen gladly. With Amarok’s latest, I feel like he comes through more vibrantly and smoothly than ever.

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2. Nastia Shevtsova – Mission Jupiter

Nastia has a larger-than-life presence on Mission Jupiter’s latest record. The album doesn’t necessarily rely on her completely, but her contribution is what gives the album a towering, fresh, and modern feeling. Time and again, she hits notes and hooks that leave me stunned. Her future is bright, I can guarantee that.

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1. Danny Sorrell and Nicole Johnson

– The Paradox Twin

When I was making this list, I knew this pair would be at the top. Danny and Nicole not only interact, per the album concept, but they have something more than that. Danny, for his part, has one of the most genuinely interesting voices around, and his breathy verses are specifically what I love. Nicole, on the other hand, provides a soaring and gigantic vocal presence, one that blows me away. These two together give such a range of vocal technique. They are definitely the most memorable vocal performances of 2021 for me.

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