The Umbrellas: S/T (2021)

With 2022 rapidly approaching, here's another one of the 2021 releases that got the most play for me over the past year. The San Francisco band's self-titled debut long-player is a lovely batch of jangle pop, a twee (in a good way), unpretentious ray of sunlight that is totally disarming. The shared male/female vox can't help but draw comparisons to the legendary Beat Happening, not to mention their fellow San Franciscans the Aislers Set, though the Umbrellas are more user-friendly, sanding off some of those bands' rougher lo-fi edges.

Songs like "Near You" and the perky "Happy" are joyous little slices of sunshine pop, though, really, the entire album is a delight from start to finish, and made for a great antidote to a rough couple of years.

Buy it on Bandcamp.