Albums Of The Year 2023
27th November 2023
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2023
available in store and online
The direction here is firmly rooted in performance and less focused on post-production, featuring DePlume’s go-to collaborators in the London jazz scene, and yielding particular space to percussionist Tom Skinner (The Smile, Sons of Kemet), vocalist Momoko Gill, and percussionist / vocalist Donna Thompson. The result is a raw, beautiful, percussive, group music, in-the-room music. You’re there. You’re here. Take a listen.
“This is my most American album,” Mitski says about her seventh record, and the music feels like a profound act of witnessing this country, in all of its private sorrows and painful contradictions. In this album, which is sonically Mitski’s most expansive, epic, and wise, the songs seem to be introducing wounds and then actively healing them. Here, love is time-traveling to bless our tender days, like the light from a distant star.
Groundbreaking Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper shares his ambitious fourth studio album Folded Landscapes. Known for merging modern classical-electronic music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art, Erland shares his urgent observation on climate change, temperature and time.
A rock and roll trailblazer for over six decades, Ian Hunter reflects on his musical journey while looking forward to the next chapter in his storied career. Known for his high profile collaborations with artists like David Bowie and Queen, Ian Hunter continues this tradition on his new LP, Defiance Part 1. Backed by a star-studded group of fellow legends, Hunter rocks on all new original tracks like “This Is What I’m Here For” and “Bed of Roses”.
Desire can be volatile, excruciating, wonderful, and cruel—but above all, it keeps us going. We want and want and want
Vocalist Arooj Aftab, the first Pakistani to win a Grammy, wows audiences worldwide with her mesmerizing live shows; MacArthur genius and Grammy nominee Vijay Iyer is one of today’s most influential pianists; multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily’s sensitivity and technical acumen has made him a legend among musicians like the late Lou Reed for whom he was a session player
Fatoumata Diawara – London KO
One of Africa’s greatest voices presents London KO. Distinguished guests (-M-, Angie Stone, Roberto Fonseca, Yemi Alade, Ghanaian rapper M.anifest) and 6 tracks co-produced with Damon Albarn: a perfect combination between synthetic sounds and traditional Malian rhythms; a dive into an eclectic and an absolut avant-garde universe.
Jessie Ware – That! Feels Good!
‘Pearls’ sees the dancefloor diva back where she belongs. Thumping with 70’s funk infused basslines and infectious grooves towed by sonic synthesisers, the track was co-written and produced by Coffee Clarence JR, Sarah Hudson and legendary British producer Stuart Price. The track is riding high on captivating energy that seems like it could’ve emerged straight from a mirror ball.
Mandy, Indiana – I’ve Seen A Way
Buried found sound samples, sprawling percussive experiments are arranged via oblique references to film soundtrack strategies and experimental video games. “We take inspiration from films where the language of cinema is disrupted,” explains Fair, who takes Julia Ducournau’s narrative detournements as a key influence. “We want to alter textures, create clashes, and craft those moments when what you’re expecting to happen never comes”
The Lathums state their intentions to supercharge their continued rise with the release of brand new album, From Nothing to a Little Bit More on Island Records. Promising a total of eleven songs, From Nothing to a Little Bit More, the new album features the songs ‘Sad Face Baby’ and ‘Say my Name’.
Relentless is not, though, one-paced, and Hynde has always blossomed when she has something to prove; here it’s finding a place for the Pretenders in 2023. Flexing her songwriting muscles, the percussive Your House Is On Fire has the gall to begin like a madrigal, but from its first moments Let The Sun Come In almost breaks into – of all things – Shiny Happy People.
A 19-track album, crafted in a most experimental style. Albert teamed up with his writing partner, Canadian songwriter, and poet Simon Wilcox (whom he never met during the process) and had lengthy conversations via the telephone; Simon would jot down notes from Albert’s stream of consciousness, and draft the lyrics on her typewriter, and drop them into his letterbox! Albert then added the lyrics to the melodies he had already crafted.
Gabriels – Angels & Queens
The rise of Gabriels is not the type the 21st century music industry traditionally allows. Lead singer Jacob Lusk was a contestant on American Idol in 2011, where he finished in the top five; he was only able to do so when a judge reprieved him after being arrested for riding a train without the correct ticket. As he worked as backing singer, Lusk met film director Ryan Hope, who had moved to Los Angeles from Sunderland, and producer and composer Ari Balouzian while singing in a church choir – the trio clicked and never looked back.
An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis (Resistance Revival Chorus), contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are lush orchestrations throughout by seven composers including: Gabriel Kahane, Stephen Barber, Colin Jacobson, and Megan Gould.
Little Dragon return with a new and utterly beguiling blend of avant pop on their album Slugs of Love on Ninja Tune, inviting outright legend Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) and rapper JID (J Cole / Dreamville) for collabs. The record features the singles ‘Slugs of Love’, ‘Frisco’, ‘Stay (feat. JID)’ and ‘Kenneth’.
“This Is Why” was the very last song we wrote for the album. To be honest, I was so tired of writing lyrics but Taylor convinced Zac and I both that we should work on this last idea. What came out of it was the title track for the whole album. It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last 3 or 4 years.
Mercury Prize winning Edinburgh trio Young Fathers are back! Made up of Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham ‘G’ Hastings and Kayus Bankole, Young Fathers have long been recognised as one of Britain’s most vital and distinguished bands – merging incendiary and thought provoking lyrics with cutting edge visuals and an undeniable propulsive live show.
Galen & Paul – Can We Do Tomorrow Another Day?
The debut project from Paul Simonon, (The Clash / Gorillaz) and Galen Ayers, singer-songwriter. Ths is a collection of ten uplifting songs which collectively present a snapshot of pan-European music culture. Led by Ayers’ gorgeous voice as she duets playfully with Simonon, both bilingually singing in English and Spanish, the resulting album journeys across the continent.
PinkPantheress – Heaven Knows
Following on from her critically acclaimed mixtape to hell with it, the debut album reveals PinkPantheress’ inner self-reflection as she explores various types of relationships, including romantic, parasocial, materialistic pursuits, grief, and finding contentment within loneliness. Produced and written by PinkPantheress, the 13-track project was created alongside previous and new collaborators including Greg Kurstin, Mura Masa, Danny L Harle, Count Baldor, Phil, Cash Cobain and more.
It was in the Spring of 2022 that the band descended to the coastal town of Chichester, and a delipidated farmhouse, to rebuild their studio setup and capture their renewed momentum on record. Using only solar power to track the album–in what Reynolds says was to “bring back some sense of naivety” – the life-giving properties and Technicolor palate of A Kiss For The Whole World were made real.
‘Black Classical Music’ is a 19-track record taking listeners through a looking glass into the exalted artist’s past and present whilst exploring themes of home and family. The album draws influence from his musical heroes Miles Davis & Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Yussef’s extensive travel around the globe that has deepened his study of rhythm.
Chaos For The Fly is the debut solo album from Grian Chatten, vocalist of Dublin’s critically-acclaimed band Fontaines D.C. Each song here has a sweep of colour and textures that breathe life into his lucid tales. Over its nine tracks, Chaos For The Fly is a record that takes in all of life’s rich emotions, transporting the listener to a place you not only want to visit, but will find yourself returning to again and again.
Lip Filler is a project we’ve become so involved in that it’s basically completely taken over our lives. We’ve put every part of ourselves into the music that we write. It’s a projection of our living situation, how we’ve all changed as people over the past few years, and a reflection on the human aspect of us growing up in our flat together. What started out as a bunch of housemates pissing about in their living room getting noise complaints, has turned into something we are all so invested in and excited for.
the record is the debut full length album from boygenius. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed Boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances together, and chance encounters that led to friendships
Head to our Spotify playlist for a taste of what you see here