2023 in Music

Posted on Dec 22, 2023

Just rambling about some music I’ve been exposed to in 2023. I did a similar thing in 2022, 2021 and 2020.

Live recording

King Krule covered Connan Mockasin’s ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show. I don’t know whether there has been a single day of the second half of 2023 on which I haven’t listened to this recording.

Treat yourself


When I Have Fears - The Murder Capital

Wow - this hit me like a train. The album I had long been waiting for without knowing about it. I don’t perceive this album as a truly ‘great’ album. Rather, parts of it just scratch that itch that nothing else seems to reach. ‘Green and Blue’ is visceral, direct and yet avoids being harsh or blunt. I like this live recording quite a bit. This article from the Irish Times taught me the word ‘suave’ - meaning elegant, charming, confident - through a description of lead vocalist James McGovern. I agree.

On Giacometti - Hania Rani

It took me a moment to warm up to this. I think my main problem was that I’d been too spoiled by the sweet sweet nectar of ‘Esja’ - big footsteps to fill. I learned to put ‘On Giacometti’ in a different category; it seems to be of a rather atmospheric and less stage-filling nature. I’m excited for future works of hers.

UGLY - Slowthai

I’ve repeatedly caught myself thinking that I find this really original. I think Slowthai does great in channeling energy on tracks like ‘Selfish’, ‘Fuck it Puppet’, ‘Tourniquet’ and ‘Happy’. I’m still surprised by ‘Sooner’ and ‘UGLY’ - they kind of feel like Babyshambles songs to me, in a good way. While I didn’t love the echoing chorus, I thought the verses of ‘Never Again’ were solid ballad material. Overall I admire the creative effort and most songs in isolation - the album as a whole doesn’t necessarily feel super coherent to me.

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 - Aphex Twin

I play this when I feel like electronic music but am in presence of people who aren’t into electronic music. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that this is music from the 80s.

Bright Green Field - Squid

I’m glad this kind of music exists.

Horizon Problems - Geju

I don’t feel strongly about it but listened to it quite a bit while programming. I really like the voice and pronounciation of the guy who ended up being sampled on ‘Heinz’.

Scaring the Hoes - JPEGMafia and Danny Brown

At first, Danny Brown’s repetitive, nasal rapping and the 80s influence in the beats were a bit too much for me. Anthony Fantano’s super high opinion of this made me plow through it a bit more. I definitely learned to like it.

v2.0 - GoGo Penguin

Fairly soothing, yet stimulating.

James Blake - James Blake

We’ve grown close.

Love What Survives - Mount Kimbie

I almost find it a pity that the King Krule feature ‘Blue Lines’ is on this album since it feels like a majestic and beautiful light tower that unfortunately also happens to steal the show from an otherwise very picturesque yet more dimly lit scenery. I really like this.

LOUIE - Kenny Beats

Inoffensive; gentle and a bit bland.

Flimsier - King Krule

My thoughts and feelings on this record are still developing a lot. I can already tell that I admire it, in some way. It does require some effort to listen to and can be a bit abrasive at times - I guess by design.

Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note - Madlib

It came to me out of nowhere and is no doubt meant to stay.