It's that time! We are here to highlight just a few of my favorite albums and songs from 2023, talk about music that made me laugh, cry, pump my fist, and dance, and generally just bathe in the glory that was the musical year. No format, no order, just a mess of the tunes that really did it for me in 2023
Let's dive in!!!
Jamila Woods- Water Made Us
An album about what it means to love and to stop loving and what is owed to all parties in both those cases, not to mention every scenario in between.
Favorite tracks: Bugs, Tiny Garden, Practice
love is the warmest weather
Ben Folds- Kristine From The 7th Grade
…this world can be
Wonderful too, yeah
Do you ever see it that way…
There's a break in the rain
A perfect time for a walk
The smell of wet leaves
And warm smiles and hellos
These things exist in the real world, you know
100 gecs- 10,000 gecs
Weird, chaotic, and wonderful. On the surface, you may think this album would be obnoxious, but there's a humor that's in your face one minute and subtle (if that word can be used to describe anything on this album) the next.
Favorite tracks: Dumbest Girl Alive, Hollywood Baby, Frog On The Floor, I Got My Tooth Removed, mememe
Natalie Merchant- Keep Your Courage
Merchant only improves as her career goes on. This prompted a relisten to her entire catalog for me and I'd put Keep Your Courage up against any of her classic albums.
Favorite tracks: Big Girls, Come On Aphrodite, Eye of the Storm
you're hail stoning the deck, you're the ship about to wreck
Zach Bryan- Fear and Friday's (Poem)
I've learned that every waking moment is enough
and еxcess never lеads to better things,
it only piles and piles atop the things
that are already abundantly in front of you
like breathing and chasing and slow dancing
and love making, fighting and laughing
Atmosphere- So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously
I needed this album this year. Such an amazing collection of work.
Favorite tracks: Okay, Talk Talk, Bigger Pictures
it'll be okay, even if you're feeling like there ain't no way
The Erly- Culture Fever
One of the local scene's best bands, particularly when it comes to their live show. This album is a gem of sounds old, new, and unique, melded into one.
Favorite Tracks: Somewhere In My Mind, Red Roof In, Take It As It Goes
It wouldn't be so bad
It wouldn't hurt the world
Zach Bryan- Zach Bryan
The album from which the poem above comes from. I have yet to hear a track from Zach Bryan that I dislike and there are very few that fail to move me. With this album, we also get a collaboration with Michigan's own The War & Treaty...that is hard to beat.
Favorite Tracks: Fear & Fridays, Hey Driver
forestlike- sinking stone
Amanda Palmer- The Ballad of the New York Times
i don’t understand why the world can be so fine, i don’t understand how the world can be so unfine
Other tracks or albums not to miss: the latest from former local band (and still locally loved) After Ours, Daniel Deitrich's new rocking track, Let It Run, Rebel Noire & The Accomplices highly anticipated EP, the new/old Drive-By Truckers vinyl rework of The Dirty South (including a few previously unreleased), Michigan's own The Accidentals and the absolutely brilliant Time Out, Janelle Monáe's The Age of Pleasure (the most wonderfully horny collection of music released since Prince was on top), the latest release from Spaceships, Kalamazoo's Jake Simmons with My American Dream, and Jenny Lewis giving me all the feels, Nashville-style, with Joy'All.
Seeya next year!