Top Albums of 2023

You’d think I’d do more with a prestigious domain name like than post a list of my favorite albums once a year. Someday, perhaps.

This year I included several albums from 2022. I listened to them so many times that it felt weird to exclude them solely based on their release date.

  1. DoMi & JD Beck - NOT TiGHT (2022) Instant favorite. So good! The classic jazz influences are woven throughout. Does that arpeggio sound like something from Coltrane? Giant Steps-like for sure. Did Herbie Hancock inspire that track? Probably, he’s playing on it! They combine virtuosity with a nod to the past while sounding entirely unique.
  2. La Colonie de Vacances - ECHT (2022) Four bands at the same time! The chaos is surprisingly organized. After listening to it loudly, enough times to get past the initial shock, I came appreciate what they’re doing. Undoubtedly, sitting in the middle of these bands in a live setting would be the best way to hear this.
  3. Billy Woods & Kenny Segal - Maps Rich lyrics anchor this album from the MC who values his privacy. Make sure the Mike’s right like Phil Jackson in ‘96.
  4. Czarface - Czarmageddon (2022)/Czartificial Intelligence (2023) Comic book rap from Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck & friends. A perfect skateboard video/pickup basketball game/chill soundtrack.
  5. Osees - Intercepted Message They evolve their sound despite it seeming impossible to continue doing so after all this time. Whether they are covering hold music or evoking the best of Devo, I will dutifully add every one of their albums to my end-of-year lists.
  6. GOAT - Medicine Check out this live set for a taste of their psych-rock magic.
  7. MJ Lenderman - Boat Songs (2022)/And the Wind (Live and Loose, 2023) Catchy throwback indie rock from the Wednesday guitar player. I gave this several listens on a Midwestern road trip over the summer. It felt right among the cornfields.
  8. Feeble Little Horse - Girl with Fish They evoke the fuzzy loud/quiet/loud 90s indie rock sound I love (a perennial theme, I know).
  9. Wednesday - Rat Saw God - Shoegaze plus a steel guitar and slice of life lyrics.
  10. Nat Myers - Yellow Peril To the blues what Charley Crockett is to country, although that’s an oversimplification. I was a fan as soon as I heard his voice on top of the guitar. Also successfully road trip/ramblin’ tested.

Here’s a playlist with a song from each of the above albums: