TPM Top Keyboards of 2021


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10. Tree Stewart – The Emerald Dawn

Tree seems like a true artist, in the most genuine and almost spiritual sense. She is very much the lifeblood of The Emerald Dawn, between her vocals and paintings, and also her keys. On their latest album, Tree’s keys float and hover in an existential void. Some of the greatest, more beautiful melodies on the album are by her hand. And with her lead, I feel like this band will only get better.

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9. Pedro Paixão – Moonspell

Paulo Mendes Photography

I keep forgetting how great this Moonspell album is, and especially how wonderful Pedro’s keys are.  His keys hover and haunt with delightful effect.  At times, they lead the charge with riveting compositions that bestow individuality on each track. I can’t get enough.

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8. Matias Bacoñsky – solo

Matias released a mighty orchestral/cinematic album last year, and his piano especially was the highlight. His keys flow brilliantly with vibrant colors and majestic melodies, and he has the uncanny ability to make us feel very specific emotions. I was highly impressed.

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7. Mathieu Loiselle – Matelo Mantra

Mathieu’s record was a surprise hit for me.  His abilities on the synthesizer definitely garnered my attention, especially.  Spinning, whirling, and majestic ideas about here, and some of them are truly hypnotic.

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6. Jeppe Hasseriis – Dynatron

Jeppe is one of the originators of the synthwave genre, and his release last year showed that he is just as brilliant as ever.  His synth was truly spellbinding at times, with purposeful and well-conceived melodies and progressions that just feel right.  Spacey and mysterious, synth fans should really hear his work.

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5. Miroslava Mirova – Existentia

I really enjoyed Miroslava’s keys on the Existentia debut. Her style is retro/classic rock most of the time, almost feeling surreal and psychedelic. The blanket of melody that she lays over top this metal album really fleshed out all the hard work the band performed.

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4. Michał Łapaj – solo

Michał is well-known for his Riverside contributions, and I assumed his solo album would be similar. I was wrong. While his gorgeous rock compositions have all the flair I expected, much of the album is electronic and synth-driven, and his tireless and subtle work here did not escape my notice. This is definitely a different side to his sound, and I love it.

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3. Rose Riebl – solo

Rose has an illustrious and profound tone to her piano style, like memory and shades of grey. Her misty and hushed playing is somehow simultaneously riveting and grand. She layers more and more keys as her songs progress, and she does so with confidence that is hard to miss.

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2. John Carpenter – solo

John is a legend in horror and in film scores, and his recent solo records have reinforced that fact. On his latest, I noted how colorful and haunting (obviously) his playing is, and yet also concise and mature. This is a veteran at work, showing the young people how it is done.

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1. Andreas Hack – Feeling of Presence

The Feeling of Presence debut was another surprise for me. I knew the record was coming in 2020, but I wasn’t prepared for how amazing it truly was. Andreas you may recognize from Frequency Drift, and so much of that whimsical tone appears here, too. However, his keys on this record are also full of the horror and nostalgic qualities of, well, John Carpenter. His playing is mysterious and evocative, and has become my favorite of 2021.

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