Monday, December 18, 2023

And Now...My Favorite Albums of 2023

Here we go again.  It seems like i was just doing this, but another year, another list of albums that got me through it all.  Sometimes, i have a big, long spiel i give here, but let's just get to the list.  No bullshit.  As per usual, these are in alphabetical order.  And away we go...

1. Algiers - Shook

The Atlanta band has been one of the more interesting projects out there since their debut back in 2015, and their latest finds them firing on all cylinders with a slew of guests from rapper Billy Woods to Rage Against The Machine's Zack De La Rocha.  And i got to see them perform during SXSW back in March.  They were fire!

2. Animal Piss, It's Everywhere - S/T

The band with the strangest name on the list make old school country music to drink away your pains to.

3. Bono / Burattini - Suono In Un Tempo Trasfigurato

Inspired by the avant garde films of cinematographer Maya Deren, the band's experimental electronic textures feel like the accompaniment to some grand art installation.

4. deary - S/T

Dreamy shoegaze pop to float away to.

5. Depeche Mode - Memento Mori

The best album Gore and Gahan have made since 1996's "Ultra" that also serves as a tribute to the late, great Andrew Fletcher.

6. Franke Ene - Cruel A L'Amour

Moody, brooding, romantic synth pop that got into my veins and stayed there.

7. FVNERALS - Let the Earth Be Silent

The band's mix of metal, doom, drone, and post rock is the perfect soundtrack to accompany a gray, dreary day...or maybe the apocalypse.

8. Harp - Albion

Former Midlake singer Tim Smith's new project pairs the sounds of British folk with dreamy, airy new wave synths to wistful, delirious effect.

9. JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown - Scaring the Hoes

Two of the most unique rappers around get together to make some wild music and scare some hoes.

10. Large Plants - The Thorn

Fuzzy psychedelic rock that sounds like it's always just been there.

11. The Lemon Twigs - Everything Harmony

The Lemon Twigs have always pulled from retro influences to make their art, but on their latest, it feels like they took an entire decade of AM sounds and distilled it to its purest form.  Just wonderful.

12. The Lost Days - In the Store

Short and sweet lo-fi folk to hum along to on a breezy afternoon.

13. Mammatus - Expanding Majesty

The album cover alone tells you everything you need to know.

14. Model/Actriz - Dogsbody

Probably the coolest act i saw during SXSW, Model/Actriz make a kind of industrial art rock that's absolutely intoxicating.

15. Portrayal of Guilt - Devil Music

The Austin metal band present five tracks in a more traditional hardcore black metal form followed by those same five tracks accompanied by orchestral arrangements that sound like just about the most evil thing you've ever heard.

16. Slowdive - Everything Is Alive

One of my favorite bands of all time continues their late era shoegaze Renaissance.

17. Sprain - The Lamb as Effigy

It's hard to describe the sheer immensity of this album.  Post punk and noise rock play along side post rock and the avant garde.  It's a huge and dense listen, but totally worth every second.

18. Troller - Drain

Austin gothy darkwave band make good on the Relapse debut.

19. Various - When the Frog from the Well Sees the Ocean (Reports from English UFOlklore)

The good folks at Folklore Tapes compiled one of the coolest albums of the year, full of old folk music, radio waves, occult vibes, psychedelia, mysteries, myths, nature, topography, and strange phenomena.  Fans of Trish Keenan and Broadcast should dive right in.

20. Billy Woods & Kenny Segal - Maps

Billy Woods is quickly becoming my favorite rapper, and his latest continues that trend.

So there you have it.  Do yourselves a favor and seek all of these out, and then come back tomorrow for my favorite songs of 2023.

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