The “Best” Music of 2023

By: Lauren Mosley

I couldn’t keep up with all the bangin’ releases this year. On one overwhelmingly unproductive day my everyday playlist (titled appropriately) had expanded from its usual 40 or so songs to almost a hundred. Every new album felt like the universe throwing me a bone (or a “little treat”) as I marched through the drearier months of the year. According to my Spotify Wrapped, February was a rough one. I “peaked” on February 14th at 930 minutes of listening… Hopefully Valentine’s Day 2024 is better. As my wonderful roommate suggested, perhaps music is simply not enough to drown out the voices in our heads. I disagree. The right song at the right time is life-changing and today I’m sharing the five songs and five albums that changed my life this year. If you also were confused on Spotify Wrapped Day at finding your top genre listed as: pov: indie, I have a feeling you’ll like some of these artists as much as I did. 

Disclaimer: These are personal and biased opinions based on my own taste and listening habits. 

5 Favourite Songs 

  • Nothing Matters by The Last Dinner Party 

Nothing Matters to me more than this song. I think it holds the record for longest time ever spent on my everyday playlist which means I have listened to it almost every day since its release last April. I am unbelievably excited for this band’s debut album, “My Lady of Mercy,” to come out next year. 

  • Kiss City by Blondshell 

I’ll be honest, I was a latecomer to this whole album. It was a hidden gem on Rolling Stones’ top 100 albums of the year list and my only regret is not finding it sooner. Kiss City blew my mind to smithereens. I am absolutely going to give this a go during Christmas karaoke (it might not go down so well as my usual choice: ABBA classics). Everything about this song is stunning. 

  • Not Strong Enough by boygenius 

I am Not Strong Enough to stop listening to this song, or boygenius. Yes, I am heartbroken that the boys will not be back anytime soon, but I am equally excited for new solo work. It’s a confusing dilemma. I think it’s fitting that the best song on The Record is also the most balanced. 

  • Carmen by Olivia Dean 

I think I may have teared up at least once while listening to this song. Something about the line: “The only place I want to stand / Holding on to Grandma’s hand” just cuts straight to the heart. Especially as someone who doesn’t get to see their grandparents all that often. Carmen is a master lesson in song writing and it’s the perfect conclusion to Dean’s beautiful debut album. 

  • Red Wine Supernova by Chappell Roan 

I actually cannot not sing along when this comes on. Not only is it an absolute bop, but it somehow manages to balance funny and sexy so perfectly.  

Honorable Mentions: Float by Janelle Monáe, Sunshine Baby by The Japanese House, Dublin in Ecstacy by Inhaler, Coping on Unemployment by Del Water Gap, Dial Drunk by Noah Kahan. 

5 Favourite Albums

  • The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess by Chappell Roan 

This is the best album of the year and I will die on that hill. I had the absolute honour of photographing one of Chappell Roan’s concerts this year and she was jaw-dropping, sweating in awe amazing. My only gripe with this album is that it isn’t longer. The future of pop music is here and everyone needs to get on board. 

  • Blondshell by Blondshell 

Thank you to Rolling Stone’s top albums of 2023 list for bringing this one to my attention. I’m incredibly upset that it took me until November to jump on the Blondshell train, but thank God I never have to get off. That was cheesy; whereas this album is the opposite of that. It’s sweet and intimate and authentic without feeling overproduced. Perfection. 

  • I Miss You Already + I Haven’t Left Yet by Del Water Gap 

This whole album feels like messy summer nights. Nights when you’re a little tipsy coming home from the beach, letting out some of that pent-up energy with wicked dance moves while your drunkest friend starts making a run for it. It just makes you want to dance away the bad vibes, but in a messy way. 

  • The Good Witch (Deluxe) by Maisie Peters 

Sorry to Taylor Swift fans but this is the break-up album of the decade. The magic of Peters’ writing lies in her ability to find a perfect balance between being devastatingly self-aware and not taking everything too seriously. She is a true master of irony, introspection, and now heartbreak. I’m taking notes. 

  • The Record by boygenius 

Seeing boygenius in concert this summer was borderline life-changing. More-so for me than the friend I dragged along but she was a good sport. The Record has a genuineness that very few albums achieve and that comes across in the live performance so beautifully. Or maybe I was just a little star struck by Lucy Dacus… one of my top choices for songwriter of her generation (but that’s article worthy on its own so I’ll leave it be for now). 

Honorable Mentions: Desire, I Want to Turn Into You by Caroline Polachek, The Age of Pleasure by Janelle Monáe, Messy by Olivia Dean, SOS by SZA, Good Riddance by Gracie Abrams.