Quicksand returned this year with Distant Populations, their second reunion album and one of the best of their career, fully on par with their '90s classics. They supported it on an equally awesome tour (with their new lineup that includes Cave In's Stephen Brodsky), and now that the year is coming to a close, frontman Walter Schreifels made us a list of his 10 favorite songs of 2021.

The genre-diverse list includes Wet Leg, Dry Cleaning, IDLES, Turnstile, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Nothing, Cold Cave, and more, and it also includes a Quicksand song ("just being honest," Walter says). He provides commentary on each pick, and the whole thing is very worth reading. Check out the full list below...


1. "Chaise Longue" - Wet Leg
Easily the song of the summer for me, best line “would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?” - that’s power.

2. "Strong Feelings" - Dry Cleaning
I love the dry vocal delivery against the post punk danciness of "Strong Feelings," the nonchalance of Dry Cleaning is a perfect musical relief for frantic shit times we live in.

3. "Fine Dining" - Clinic
I was happy to dive back into Clinic this year, I loved 2002's Walking With Thee but fell off since. "Fine Dining" is a welcome return to my ears, has an '80s synth pop feel, kind of Psychic TV meets Broadcast with a slight “put the lotion in the basket” edge to it.

4. "Moderation" - Cate Le Bon
I’m always interested in Cate Le Bon as a singer, songwriter and musician and increasingly with her visual presentation - she mixes them all together so well. "Moderation" has a light and airy early '80s vibe, makes me want to rent a convertible.

5. "Crawl" - IDLES
IDLES somehow balance the heavy and low brow, artistic pretension and fun in a way that just works for everyone. "Crawl" has all these qualities with a driving post-punk groove and raw vocal delivery that makes me hate Margaret Thatcher again for some reason.

6. "Interior People" - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
A thing with 2021 seems to be understated titles and the '80s, and this suits me fine. There’s a Robert Palmer vibe going through this track that reminds of being in the back seat of my parents' car too short to see out the window.

7. "Holiday" - Turnstile
I saw Turnstile in New York in the fall and the crowd reaction was incredible. They combine so many diverse influences into their mix, and the results make people want to literally risk their lives to achieve the most athletic and graceful stage dive - a positivity unique in our time.

8. "Amber Gambler" - Nothing
I’m a fan of Philly shoegaze; Nothing combines the subtle brilliance of the Lilys with the heaviness that Philly requires of you. I also love Nothing's visual aesthetic, including the awesome video for "Amber Gambler" directed by Ben Rayner.

9. "Lightning Field" - Quicksand
Just being honest, this is in my top ten, I listened to it a million times in the process of recording, mixing and am down to listen to it again right now.

10. "Night Light" - Cold Cave
I love everything that Wes Eisold does, however cold the cave or American the nightmare I get a feeling of joy from his music and am especially psyched on the new album Fate In Seven Seasons.

Listen to a playlist of all 10 songs and check out more pics from Quicksand's recent Bowery Ballroom show below...

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