Best of 2021: Heavy Heavy Low Low Vocalist Picks Favorite Music, Book, Film of Year | Revolver

Best of 2021: Heavy Heavy Low Low Vocalist Picks Favorite Music, Book, Film of Year

Robbie Smith, also of Bone Cutter, hails "cool as hell" jazz, "visceral" body-horror flicks, more
bone cutter robbie screen shot 2021

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2021 has been, without a doubt, one of the most memorable years in modern music history. The invisible elephant in the room was obviously COVID-19, which triggered the unprecedented year-plus blackout on nearly all live shows. Thankfully this spring's widespread vaccination rollout proved effective enough for the restrictions to lift, and by summer bands were finally able to hit stages throughout the country.

While we're not quite in "post-COVID" times just yet, the sheer joy of experiencing the cranked sounds and singular live energy of gatherings big and small — from sweaty Turnstile club gigs and raucous Slipknot road shows to massive Metallica-led festivals — was beyond rejuvenating.

Plus, there's also been a bunch of killer albums released this year to keep us entertained in between mosh pits. Old-school heavies Iron Maiden, Carcass and At the Gates brought the heat, scene leaders Mastodon and Gojira upped the ante, Converge and Chelsea Wolfe dropped a bomb collab and a clutch of up-and-coming trailblazers — Spiritbox, Jinjer, Turnstile, Scowl, Portrayal of Guilt and more — pushed heavy music into exciting new territories. (See Revolver's 25 favorite albums of 2021 here.)

As we close the books on 2021, we're catching up with some of our favorite artists to get their picks for the best of the best of the past year. Below, Robbie Smith — frontman for Bone Cutter and Heavy Heavy Low Low — shares his favorite shit: from "cool as hell" driving tunes to body-horror flicks and beyond.

Best Album: 'Jazz is Dead 009 Instrumentals' by Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Jazz is Dead 009 Instrumentals is cool as hell and great to drive to. Dry Cleaning's New Long Leg is a close second. Both records are so cool.

Best Song: "Flowers of Herself" by Max Richter

"Flowers of Herself" is a gorgeous piece of music that seems to be discovering itself and expressing surprise at those discoveries. Both wistful and urgent. Apparently, it's something of a soundtrack to the opening moments of [the 1925 novel] Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

Best Movie: Titane

Titane is my favorite film of the year. Titane is both visceral body horror and a tender love story that has a lot to say about the fluidity of gender. It's really something! Pig is in a close second. I've seen 479 films this year … so far.

Best Book: Billy Summers

I've read a lot this year, but I think the only book that I've read that was released in 2021 is Billy Summers by Stephen King. It's about a hit man who commits to one last job knowing that it's gonna go sour like all "one last job" scenarios. The writing is impeccable. Novels that I've enjoyed that were not released in '21: Blind Date by Jerzy Kosinski, In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami, Hell by Kathryn Davis.

Best New Bands: Blemish, Thin, Foxtails, Amitié

Blemish out of New Jersey! Thin out of New York! Foxtails out of Connecticut! Amitié out of Rhode Island! All great bands!

Best Musical Moment

Directing and performing the live Bone Cutter set for Mathcore Index Fest was creatively exhilarating. I've been directing music videos for some cool up and coming bands and that's incredibly satisfying for me while I wait to make narrative stuff.

What Are You Most Excited for in 2022?

Heavy Heavy Low Low should be doing the tour that we postponed in 2020 and we're pretty excited about that. I will also, hopefully, be filming my first feature-length debut as a director!