About this Playlist
It is, of course, futile to try and pick out the best songs by musicians, making records of all different styles. released during a completely arbitrary range of dates that just happens to have the number 2023 in common. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been fun trying.
In the end, I mostly settled on trying to pick out tracks by artists I’ve seen playing live this year and one of my favourite gigs of 2023 was without doubt Manchester’s The Lottery Winners at The Bullingdon in Oxford. Their songs occupied all of the top five places on my Spotify Wrapped list and I just couldn’t stop playing ‘Burning House’.
The rest of the list includes returning rock legends, like Iggy Pop and The Hives with long-awaited new albums which did not disappoint, alongside very promising new voices like Heartworms, Sprints and The Last Dinner Party, whose first albums are much anticipated.
This list also includes some of my all time favourite artists: Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks continue to entertain us well into their 70s without any sign of slowing down and their new album was their best in years; there’s the poignant, sardonic storytelling of Ben Folds, the first record by Foo Fighters since the sudden loss of volcanic drummer Taylor Hawkins, and the rising phoenix that is Das Koolies, otherwise familiar as the members of Super Furry Animals minus singer Gruff Rhys.
I have to make special mention of the work I’ve enjoyed by female artists this year. In addition to those I’ve already mentioned, Corinne Bailey Rae astounded me with the powerful ’Erasure’, Lambrini Girls delivered wild and unpredictable live performances that their recorded output couldn’t possibly capture, and I’m thrilled that Nadine Shah had second thoughts after contemplating her withdrawal from the music business because the celebratory ‘Topless Mother’ bodes very well for her forthcoming fifth album, Filthy Underneath.
In the words of Russell Mael, “gee, that was fun”. And looking back is fine just for a while, but there’s so much to look forward to in 2024. See you back here in 12 months.
- Burning House – The Lottery Winners
- Hurricane Coming – The Heavy
- The Regency – Iggy Pop
- Bogus Operandi – The Hives
- Punk’s Dead – SOFT PLAY
- Lads Lads Lads – Lambrini Girls
- Breaking Waves Part 6 – Plank!
- Get A Wriggle On – HENGE
- Erasure – Corinne Bailey Rae
- The Trench Coat Museum – Yard Act
- Best Mindfuck Yet – Das Koolies
- Is This Love? – Pip Blom
- Adore Adore Adore – SPRINTS
- Retributions Of An Awful Life – Heartworms
- Under You – Foo Fighters
- Run Run Run – The Libertines
- Kristine From The 7th Grade – Ben Folds
- What Life Brings – Steven Wilson
- Le Blues Polaire – dEUS
- My Lady of Mercy – The Last Dinner Party
- Topless Mother – Nadine Shah
- Gee, That Was Fun – Sparks
Playlist image by Jon