At least once a year, former president Barack Obama likes to remind the world that he’s a big ol’ hipster. Obama has made an annual tradition out of naming his favorite books, movies, and songs of the year, and his list of songs always includes at least a couple of surprising indie rock names alongside the middlebrow inspirational stuff that you would expect. Last year, for instance, Obama endorsed tunes from Waxahatchee, Phoebe Bridgers, and Jessie Ware, among others. This morning, Obama shared his list of 2021 faves, and it’s just as heavy on what could be called NPR indie.
Obama’s favorite songs of 2021 includes indie-ish selections from Mitski, Parquet Courts, Wye Oak, Mdou Moctar, Courtney Barnett, Isaiah Rashad, Little Simz, Adia Victoria, Esperanza Spalding, and the War On Drugs. (I wonder if Obama likes the War On Drugs because their band name reminds him of all the nonviolent drug offenders imprisoned during his time in office.) Obama claims to be into Nas and Lil Nas X. He’s also listed Crying In H Mart, the memoir from Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, as one of his favorite books of the year. Here’s Obama’s list of 2021 jams:
Meanwhile, for all we know, Joe Biden is sitting around and listening to goregrind all day. He never says, so we’ll never know.