My Music in 2023, A Glance


Dec 31, 2023 • please call me matt • ~ 29 minute read • 5311 words

(this post languished in my working directory for a month and a half. But I really did finish writing it in 2023…)

This year has probably been the biggest material change to my life so far. But, it all still feels the same. Hm…

Let’s not be sad though, this is about music :)

Note: this is one of those posts that I really just write for myself and for my friends to stalk. There’s no continuity, you don’t have to read all of this.

(continuing on from My Music in 2022, A Glance; My Music in 2021, A Glance; My Music in 2020, A Glance; My Music in 2019, A Glance)

Table of Contents

Albums of the Year (4)

I thought this was a particularly solid year for indie-ish artists, especially after 2022 saw almost all the big names drop! In fact, there’s a ton of stellar albums that I didn’t really hunker down and listen to (more on that later). It’s not my fault that so many good albums came out after I started work!

This is a long way of saying that I have a very short, sweet, and somewhat incomplete AOTY list:

bewitched album cover

Bewitched by Laufey

Laufey's bringing vocal jazz back!

a few more thoughts…

Seeing Laufey's rise to stardom from Typical of Me has been an absolute treat. I am certainly no jazz aficionado — but like many other listeners in her (remarkably young for any jazz) fanbase, I'm entranced by her modern pop take on a classic genre. There's so much I adore about this album: the sprinklings of LA in California and Me and Must Be Love; the one-two punch of While You Were Sleeping's softness and the power in Lovesick; the "blah blah blah" in From The Start! This album has been one of my easiest recommendations to almost everybody I know; there's something in it for everyone.

I will say, I'm a bit surprised at how heated the online discussion about her can be. I agree that most of her fans aren't jazz experts and probably haven't heard much vocal jazz. I certainly didn't grow up listening to it! But, that doesn't invalidate Laufey's work. To me, artists like her are wonderful for the genre. Many of her fans - including me - are going to wade a bit deeper in the ocean of jazz. She's constantly shouting out Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker (among others); sprinkling in Misty (and her many other studio recordings of jazz standards) certainly doesn't hurt! All in all, I am so delighted to see so many people into jazz!

Faves: Second Best, While You Were Sleeping, Lovesick, California and Me, From The Start, Misty

guts album cover

GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia defies the sophomore slump and brings us SOUR on steroids.

a few more thoughts…

The younger Paramore fan in me loved SOUR and wanted to hear more; Olivia does not disappoint. GUTS displays stellar range for a concise, sub 40-minute album: Olivia and Daniel Nigro effortlessly switch from pop-punk anthem to power ballad to heartfelt acoustic in a three-song run (bad idea right? to vampire to lacy), and then proceed to do it again on the back half of the album! Beyond that, I just love how much fun this album is (and that it doesn't take itself too seriously)! All in all, just a really fun listen :)

Faves: all-american bitch, bad idea right?, vampire, lacy, get him back!, love is embarassing

i was mature for my age, but i was still a child album cover

i was mature for my age, but i was still a child by grouptherapy.

This trio reminds me of BROCKHAMPTON for all the right reasons.

a few more thoughts…

I don't love directly comparing artists to each other, but I can't help it: this album gives me the same giddy feeling as the original SATURATION run. The bones of this album are so sonically diverse! There isn't one core base genre, and no two songs sound alike: there's a grab bag of not only various modern rap subgenres, but elements of alt and pop-punk rock and a plethora of dance! Their lyrics are slightly unhinged, but the singing and flow is buttery smooth. It's an extraordinarily dynamic and fun record that's hard to capture elsewhere. If you've missed BROCKHAMPTON at all, I cannot recommend this album enough!

Faves: American Psycho, how i'm feeling, Nasty, HOT!, FUNKFEST, DYSBF!

the record album cover

the record by boygenius

What a pristine album from the avengers of sad indie rock.

a few more thoughts…

I don't have too much to say other than that this album is truly beautiful. I originally wrote off the 2018 EP as a one-time collaboration, but I'm so glad that it's not: this album sees Julien, Lucy, and Phoebe in perfect form after some absolutely stellar solo work from each of them in-between. I'm pleasantly surprised at how much identity this album has, even with three drivers (which is often challenging for super-duos - let alone trios)! If you haven't given this a listen, you absolutely should.

Faves: $20, Emily I'm Sorry, Cool About It, Not Strong Enough, Satanist, Letter To An Old Poet

Other Albums That I Liked

There were quite a few other albums that I rocked for a while - most of which coming from smaller artists!

Albums Released in 2023

expand albums released in 2023
  • 10,000 gecs by 100 gecs
  • character development by Zeph
  • Chronicles of a Diamond by Black Pumas
  • Cracker Island by Gorillaz
  • GIZMO by Tanukichan
  • Grapes Upon the Vine by TV Girl
  • Heaven knows by PinkPantheress
  • Let’s Start Here by Lil Yachty
  • Magic 2 by Nas
  • Magic 3 by Nas
  • MICHAEL by Killer Mike
  • Something To Give Each Other by Troye Sivan
  • STRUGGLER by Genesis Owusu
  • Sweet Justice by Tkay Maidza
  • That! Feels Good! by Jessie Ware
  • The Great Escape by Larry June, The Alchemist
  • The Loveliest Time by Carly Rae Jepsen
  • This Is Why by Paramore
  • to love in the 21st century by Lyn Lapid

A few quick highlights & notes:

EPs Released in 2023

expand favourite EPs in 2023
  • BB/ANG3L by Tinashe
  • Drama by aespa
  • playpen by Juliet Ivy
  • Split Decision by Dave, Central Cee
  • We Go Again by ENNY

Like last year, not too much to say. ENNY is probably the standout EP for me this year!

Albums Released Before 2023

expand albums released before 2023
  • 10 by Westside Gunn
  • Blue Rev by Alvvays
  • Chet Baker Sings by Chet Baker
  • HYPNOS by Ravyn Lenae

I went through quite a bit of my backlog, but these five stood out:

Albums I Will Get Around To Soon

Continuing from last year: there were so many albums and songs that I listened to only once or twice that I really wish I had more time to dig into! If I had more time, I’m pretty certain that they’d make the good album/song list - and perhaps, even some AOTYs!

Some albums that seem pretty great (and hopefully will enter the rotation next year):

expand the 2023 album to-do list
  • 14K Figaro by Wiki and Tony Seltzer
  • 3D Country by Geese
  • Burning Desire by MIKE
  • Desire, I Want To Turn Into You by Caroline Polacheck
  • Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey
  • Everything Harmony by The Lemon Twigs
  • HELLMODE by Jeff Rosenstock
  • Javelin by Sufjan Stevens
  • Lahai by Sampha
  • Playing Robots Into Heaven by James Blake
  • Quaranta by Danny Brown
  • The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We by Mitski
  • The Patience by Mick Jenkins
  • VOIR DIRE by Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist

For what it’s worth, I’ve listened to a few of these albums (14K, Lana, Mitski, VOIR DIRE) a couple of times - but not enough to get a confident “AOTY” opinion on them.

Ones I didn’t get around to from last year’s list:

expand the songs from last year’s list
  • Chromatica by Lady Gaga
  • Dirt Femme by Tove Lo
  • Every Shade of Blue by The Head And The Heart
  • God Don’t Make Mistakes by Conway the Machine
  • hypochondriac by brakence
  • If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is by Still Woozy
  • It Is What It Is by Thundercat
  • Juno by Remi Wolf
  • Laurel Hell by Mitski
  • Natural Brown Prom Queen by Sudan Archives
  • Once Twice Melody by Beach House
  • Pang by Caroline Polacheck
  • Preacher’s Daughter by Ethel Cain
  • rising by mxmtoon
  • The Elephant Man’s Bones by Roc Marciano, The Alchemist
  • The Turning Wheel by Spelling
  • Valentine by Snail Mail
  • Visions of Bodies Being Burned by clipping.
  • We’re All Alone In This Together by Dave
  • World Wide Pop by Superorganism

Songs of the Year

This section was so fun to put together - just some absolutely stellar singles on top of albums!

Top 42

My “amperes for 2023”, limited to one song per 2023 album. I’ve noted the songs not coming from a fave album/EP with (*).

the top 42 songs of my year!
  • A Night To Remember by beabadoobee, Laufey (*)
  • Agora Hills by Doja Cat (*)
  • AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM (remix) by Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar (*)
  • bad idea right? by Olivia Rodrigo
  • Barry by AG Club
  • Capable of love by PinkPantheress
  • Charge It by ENNY
  • Crave by Paramore
  • cross ur mind by Lyn Lapid
  • Cobra by Megan Thee Stallion
  • Dance The Night by Dua Lipa (*)
  • DYSBF! by grouptherapy.
  • Enjoy Your Life by Romy (*)
  • EVERYTHING IS RED by Koven Wei (*)
  • F Taste by Yoshi T. (*)
  • Frog On The Floor by 100 gecs
  • From The Start by Laufey
  • GOATED by Armani White, Denzel Curry (*)
  • Hello Love by Jessie Ware
  • Hot Air Balloon by aespa
  • Kingdom Hearts Key by JPEGMAFIA, Danny Brown, redveil
  • Leaving The Light by Genesis Owusu (*)
  • Master P by KAYTRAMINÉ, Big Sean
  • More Than a Love Song by Black Pumas
  • MOTHERLESS by Killer Mike, Eryn Allen Kane
  • Nachts wach by Miksu / Macloud, makko (*)
  • Needs by Tinashe
  • Not Strong Enough by boygenius
  • Oh No Darling! by Sarah Kinsley (*)
  • Pistols On Your Album Cover by Nas
  • Psychedelic Switch by Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Run, Run, Run by McKinley Dixon (*)
  • Rush by Troye Sivan
  • sorry i’m not by Zeph
  • Tally by midwxst, Denzel Curry (*)
  • The Hillbillies by Baby Keem, Kendrick Lamar (*)
  • The Tide by Hit-Boy, Nas (*)
  • Two Tens by Cordae, Anderson .Paak (*)
  • Wana by nour (*)
  • we’re all eating each other by Juliet Ivy
  • Won One by Tkay Maidza

If I had to pick one: Rush would probably be my favourite song this year, with Oh No Darling!, From The Start, Nachts wach, and bad idea right! trailing close by.

Other Songs Released in 2023 (favourite albums non-inclusive)

This year, I felt like a particularly sizeable chunk of my favourite songs didn’t come from albums!

expand my other favourite 2023 songs
  • アイドル by YOASOBI
  • A Night To Remember by beabadoobee, Laufey
  • Agora Hills by Doja Cat
  • All My Life by Lil Durk, J. Cole
  • AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM (remix) by Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar
  • Average Guy (Blame) by TV Girl, Monster Rally
  • Back On 74 by Jungle
  • Be Somebody by Emotional Oranges, Tkay Maidza
  • Chameleon by Dark Dazey
  • Cobra by Megan Thee Stallion
  • Crushxd by Crumb
  • Dance The Night by Dua Lipa
  • Daydreaming by NxWorries, Anderson .Paak, Knxwldge
  • delulu by Lexie Liu
  • Dizzy Vision by Dev Lemons
  • Doomsday by Lyrical Lemonade, Juice WRLD, Cordae
  • Enjoy Your Life by Romy
  • EVERYTHING IS RED by Koven Wei
  • Eye For An Eye by Rina Sawayama
  • F Taste by Yoshi T.
  • Flow by Jourden
  • Flowers by TOBi, MAVI
  • Gang Gang Gang by Jack Harlow
  • Girl Like Me by Slayyyter
  • Glue song by beabadoobee
  • GOATED by Armani White, Denzel Curry
  • Greatness by Quavo
  • Love is Beautiful by Rei, Ginger Root
  • Nachts wach by Miksu / Macloud, makko
  • Oh No Darling! by Sarah Kinsley
  • Outta This World by Harrison, TOBi
  • Red Wine Supernova by Chappel Roan
  • Run, Run, Run by McKinley Dixon
  • Sci-Fi by Tainy, Rauw Alejandro
  • shy girl by wilo wilde
  • So Fly by Chinatown Slalom
  • Sometimes… by Snakehips, Daya, EARTHGANG
  • Tally by midwxst, Denzel Curry
  • The Hillbillies by Baby Keem, Kendrick Lamar
  • The Tide by Hit-Boy, Nas
  • the way things go by beabadoobee
  • Two Tens by Cordae, Anderson .Paak
  • Vampire Empire by Big Thief
  • Wana by nour


Songs Released Before 2023

For a song to qualify here, I listened to it (and added it to a playlist) for the first time this year. These ones tend to be slightly more notable, or the list would be a bit too long!

expand some the great non-2023 songs I heard
  • 5g by brakence
  • ABC by Polyphia, Sophia Black
  • Armed And Dangerous by Juice WRLD
  • Bang My Line by Cosmo’s Midnight, Tkay Maidza
  • Cheating is a crime by takayan
  • De todas las flores by Natalia Lafourcade
  • Déjenme Llorar by Carla Morrison
  • Do Not Disturb by Smokepurpp, Murda Beatz, Lil Yachty, Offset
  • Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You by Julia Jacklin
  • Get Away by BIG K.R.I.T.
  • HEARTBREAKER CLUB by City Girl, tiffi, Highvyn
  • Hunned Bandz by Tanukichan
  • I Think I Like When It Rains by WILLIS
  • Love, Try Not To Let Go by Julia Jacklin
  • Morning Sex by Joey Purp
  • Notion by The Rare Occasions
  • running down by juhye, melatonin boy
  • 死ぬのがいいわ by Fuji Kaze
  • Still Got Time by dexter in the newsagent
  • UNE MAIN LAVE L’AUTRE by Alpha Wann
  • Why Do You Feel So Down by Declan McKenna
  • 踊り子 by Vaundy

Some quick tidbits:

Stats et al

Spotify Wrapped

2023 wrapped

Laufey really dominates! Kendrick and The Avalanches return from last year. I don’t think I’ve listened to more 21 & Metro than normal; rather, I think I’ve been listening to more artists in general. All of these are “album” artists for me, while all of the songs are basically singles to me. But, I think the more interesting bit is…

This is year five of I also started paying for it (now that I have a full-time job). Like before, this is just me transcribing publicly available data.

On artists:

On songs:

On albums:

Other Thoughts on 2023 In Music

Like I mentioned in the intro, I think 2023 was a huge win for smaller and newer artists. This is reflected both in the music that I listened to, and what’s popular now. This has me quite hopeful for 2024: both for even more new music from these artists, and hopefully that it’s given the old guard reason for competition.

Looking Forward to…

I’ll be brief, but here are some quick thoughts on what I’m most looking forward to, with a focus on smaller artists:

I’m anticipating a packed mainstream, but I’ve got to be the most excited for new Megan (!) and maybe, just maybe, The Hillbillies.

2023 Wishlists and Predictions

Let’s see how well I did from last year!

For rap,

Almost certain: Megan drops another banger that drags her haters.

Cobra was amazing :)

Pretty likely: another famous rapper’s estate releases loosies that harm their image :(

I’m not sure if I can really qualitatively judge this. I am pleasantly surprised that Juice WRLD’s releases this year have been (imo) quite solid; loved the Doomsday Video.

Likely: Baby Keem drops another album and becomes pgLang’s front-and-center!

We got baited >:(

50/50: one of the BROCKHAMPTON boys drops an album that’s an “instant classic” for BH fans but is critically panned.

Blanket was a bit polarizing, but I think this counts!

Unlikely: one of Griselda reaches further commercial success with a Grammy nom and crossover feature.

No grammy nods, and I’m not aware of any big crossovers.

Pretty unlikely: Jack Harlow wins the Grammy for Rap Album of the Year, causing a rapper to announce that they’ll retire.

LOL. Shoutout Kendrick.

Moonshot: season 4 of The Cave has Kenny mediate Kanye (or a Kanye beef).

S4 of the Cave has been really fun though!!


Almost certain: at least 20% of the Billboard Hot 100 has trended on TikTok.

I realized this is an ill-formed question, but, let’s proxy this by looking at the Hot 100 No. 1’s of 2023 or the Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2023. I am really surprised that Last Night by Morgan Wallen is so popular (maybe I’m out of touch). With a very quick glance, I’m almost certainly right!

Pretty likely: Zendaya hops on another song for Euphoria S3 with an indie darling and it does numbers.

Clearly I don’t know how Euphoria’s release schedule works!

Likely: Paramore’s return gives them another #1.

This Is Why debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, but did hit No. 1 on Rock & Alternative! So I’ll call it a win.

50/50: PinkPantheress continues to dominate and gets a main-mainstream feature.

Right on the money!! Shoutout Boy’s a liar pt 2 :)

Unlikely: we get a successful pop supergroup/duo (think Silk Sonic, LSD, or Boygenius).

I don’t think this happened :/

Pretty unlikely: French pop starts to see the same American success as Spanish pop; Stromae racks up even more streams.

Drats, we’ll have to get them l’année prochaine.

Moonshot: Kero Kero Bonito enters the mainstream with their next album, and Ed Sheeran brings them on to a song that also features 2 Chainz for some reason? (I like this one quite a bit).

I’m sure that 2024 is the year!

2024 Wishlists and Predictions

Same idea, but hopefully a better success rate.




I’m trying to be a bit less of a hater this year. So really, I only have a small handful of things on my list (excluding albums that I still enjoyed, but just were missing something):

More broadly, I was a bit disappointed by the mainstream rap scene, but I think this is a function of 2022 being an absolutely stellar year and me becoming a “get off my lawn” listener.

Honourable Mentions

Quick shoutout to De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising making it back on streaming. I was so delighted: a few songs here were some of my very first rap songs I ever listened to!

Also, shoutout to the CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST deluxe - one of the best deluxes I’ve heard in a while, with an absolutely stellar music video.

Closing (and random) Thoughts

I (still) wished I didn’t procrastinate these!

Overall, I’m relatively proud of listening to more music that’s not in English - special thanks to Karen for encouraging quite a bit of this. I still have many, many more languages and genres to discover! Similarly, I did fulfill a previous goal of listening to more jazz - both Laufey and some of the classics (like Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock).

Interestingly, I feel like I’m creeping back to EDM. Let’s see how this goes.

This year, I think my big goal will be to dedicate more time to listening to albums in full (look how big the backlog is!) while working full-time. I really didn’t do this in the last half of the year, and it showed.

Because of various circumstances (mostly lots of moving), the new people in the music recommendation circle are few and far between. Shoutout to the Boston besties of Sydney, Becky, and Jade! And of course, continued shoutouts to the people from years past.

Here’s a “year in review” playlist from me, if you’re curious - or want something to play in the background. Just make sure to skip the 100 gecs and JPEGMAFIA songs if necessary :)

Until next time!

Thank you for reading My Music in 2023, A Glance. It was written on Dec 31, 2023 by please call me matt. It was 5311 words long, and should be a ~ 29 minute read. It was categorized under entertainment.