Best of 2021: For Your Health Singer Picks Favorite Album, Song, Movie of Year | Revolver

Best of 2021: For Your Health Singer Picks Favorite Album, Song, Movie of Year

Hayden Rodriguez hails indie-rock "instant classics," melodic punk earworms, stunning sci-fi films, more
for your health hayden rodriguez 2021 alice hirsch press, Alice Hirsch
photograph by Alice Hirsch

Revolver has teamed with For Your Health on a limited-edition "Butterfly" vinyl variant of their debut album In Spite Of on clear base with opaque red wax. Only 100 were made — get yours before they're gone!

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 MaidenCarcass 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 — SpiritboxJinjerTurnstileScowlPortrayal 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, Hayden Rodriguez, singer for rising Ohio post-hardcore/screamo/mathcore antagonists For Your Health, shares their favorite shit: from Denis Villeneuve's stunning take on Dune to Midwest indie-rock outfit Foxing's "instant classic."

Best Album: 'Draw Down the Moon' by Foxing

I was super hyped on it going in because the aesthetic and themes were so beautiful. I waited until the whole thing was out to stream it in full and the whole time all I could think was: instant classic. It felt like I'd know these songs for years despite hearing them for the first time. Foxing played Citizen's release show in Ohio so I got to see a lot of the songs played live right after it came out and it was really magical.

Best Song: "Bury Me (Tonight!)" by Save Face

This song was one of the singles from their new album Another Kill for the Highlight Reel. [Bandleader] Tyler [Povanda] is a really amazing songwriter and this track really shines. As someone that loves melodrama and MCR this is the best thing to happen to me in 2021. I find myself constantly humming the chorus and I can't seem to shake it from my brain.

Best Movie: Dune

[Director] Denis Villeneuve's Dune — I have been waiting for a good adaptation ever since I read it as a kid and this one definitely delivered. I was sitting in the theater just thinking the whole time about how it's the best movie I've ever seen. [Laughs]

Best Video Game: Magic: The Gathering Arena

I've mostly just been getting back into Magic: The Gathering lately so I've been playing a lot of Magic: The Gathering Arena.

Best New Band: Hey, ily!

There's this really sick band from Montana called Hey, ily! It's like emo/chiptune-inspired power pop. They came out of nowhere and dropped a couple of EPs earlier this year that I've had on repeat. I'm really stoked for their LP.

Best Musical Moment

Definitely playing our first show back. We played a hometown show with our friends En Love and it was our first live show since releasing our LP, In Spite Of, during the pandemic. We had done a couple live sessions in 2020 and 2021 but this was our first real show with our second guitarist, Rosa [Delgado]. I think we were all kind of nervous about how it would be. We went from nonstop touring and shows to nothing really for a year and a half. We got onstage though and it all flooded back. People were moshing and singing along the whole time. At the risk of being trite, the show was extremely cathartic.

What Are You Most Excited for in 2022?

I'm really excited to hit the road hard. We had so many plans in 2020 that got mucked up and we [will] make up for them twofold. We are going to start writing for LP2 and some other things. Maybe drop a couple of releases. Who knows.