My favourite albums of 2023
Like in 2022, I listened to a lot of new music in 2023. This is a list of some of my favourite albums from last year. It’s in alphabetical order, because actually ranking albums is very hard when they’re very different styles. I tried to write something about each album, but mostly it’s just that I like the music.
ANOHNI and the Johnsons - My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross (Bandcamp)
I Am a Bird Now is literally my favourite album of all time, and it holds a lot of personal meaning to me. So when I heard that she was releasing a new album after all these years, I immediately pre-ordered it. It could never be as good and capturing as I Am a Bird Now was, but that doesn’t stop it from being great.
Another Michael - Wishes to Fulfill (Bandcamp)
I saw Another Michael live last year, as the supporting act of Pinegrove. They really blew me away then, with their great instrumentation and funny insightful lyrics. I checked out their previous record, New Music and Big Pop, after that show, and I also really liked it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that I also really liked this album. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to see them live again in the near future.
boygenius - the record (Bandcamp)
I mean, I said I wouldn’t rank them, but this is definitely number one. I love Julien, Lucy and Phoebe individually, and together they are just absolutely amazing. In August, I even went on a city trip to Berlin just to see them live. That concert was amazing as well (MUNA as the support act was also great).
boygenius - the rest (Bandcamp)
Yeah, yeah, another boygenius release, I know. But it’s also great. At first, I was not as impressed as I was with “the record”, but it really grew on me after a while.
Carly Rae Jepsen - The Loveliest Time (Discogs)
Carly’s traditional companion album, this time for The Loneliest Time. I actually like this one more than The Loneliest Time. The tracks are just a bit more loose and experimental, which I can definitely appreciate. (Don’t expect something crazy though, a bit more experimental for Carly still puts her safely on the radio pop side of the spectrum.)
Caroline Polachek - Desire, I Want to Turn into You (Bandcamp)
Another great electro-pop album by Caroline. I discovered her through her PC Music collaborations, but her solo catalogue is good stuff. You have to be into it, though.
Charlotte Cardin - 99 Nights (Bandcamp)
A new discovery in 2023, but it got me immediately. To be honest, I prefer her 2021 debut album Phoenix, but this one is pretty good as well.
Claud - Supermodels (Bandcamp)
It’s just some good, fun pop music. Probably not for everybody, but I like it. (It’s not on this album, but they wrote the better “Wish You Were Gay” song. Instead of Billie Eilish’s version, theirs is actually about gay people.)
Fenne Lily - Big Picture
After On Hold and BREACH, I was pretty sure this would be a great album. My expectations were absolutely met. Not much more to say; it’s great.
Forest Swords - Bolted (Bandcamp)
illuminati hotties - Truck (Bandcamp)
I was really hoping this would be the first single of a new album, but no such luck. However, it’s still a really fun and cute track. Heaven really is a truck.
Jonah Yano - portrait of a dog (Bandcamp)
I find it hard to describe, but it’s good. Some kind of jazz.
Lost Girls - Selvutsletter (Bandcamp)
A worthy follow-up to 2021’s Menneskekollektivet. Jenny Hval’s lyrics are always great. She has an inimitable way with words that I can definitely appreciate.
Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden… (Bandcamp)
Matana Roberts keeps putting out great music in the Coin Coin album series. It never gets boring and it’s always bringing new ideas.
Pinegrove - Montclair (Live at the Wellmont Theater) (Bandcamp)
Lots of live versions of the Pinegrove catalogue. I’d almost call it a best-of, since every song on it is great, but they also have a lot of great songs that are not on it. The special guests coming on stage on the last few tracks are a fun surprise.
Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter - SAVED! (Bandcamp)
New music by Kristin Hayter, the person behind Lingua Ignota. It’s definitely a stylistic break from her previous work. I hope the “SAVED!” refers to herself, given the story behind her previous work.
Sigur Rós - ÁTTA (Bandcamp)
Kjartan rejoined Jónsi and Georg for this album, and it’s a great comeback. While far less punchy than 2013’s Kveikur (a style change that I definitely appreciated), it’s still a beautiful Sigur Rós album.
Sofia Kourtesis - Madres (Bandcamp)
I don’t understand the lyrics, but the music is great.
Sufjan Stevens - Javelin (Bandcamp)
Sufjan is a great artist who has proven himself time and time again. This time is no different; it’s a lovely album. The personal story behind it is also very gripping. It was funny to see that the music media treated that story as his “coming out”, even though anyone with half an ear who had listened to his music could have known that he was at least some kind of queer.
Tate McRae - Think Later (Bandcamp)
Canada seems to be good at churning out underrated pop stars with “Rae” in their name. Lots of fresh fun tracks on this (but you have to like the genre).
Tirzah - trip9love…??? (Bandcamp)
Fun, glitchy album. The entire thing is based around one beat with some piano loops on top. The vocals are great as well.
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