Thursday, February 29

Rob Sheffield’s Top 25 Songs of 2023

Avoid to primary material

Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, Ice Spice, and other highlights from a dynamic, disorderly, remarkable mess of a year

Picture illustration by Griffin Lotz; Photographs in illustration by Griffin Lotz; Charlie Boss; Craig Barritt/Getty Images; Chuck Grant; Daniel Sannwald

How do you bid farewell to a year like 2023? How about, “I wan na fulfill your mama, simply to inform her year draws”? Here’s to a lively, disorderly, marvelous mess of a year for music, a year when you might discover fantastic tunes all over the stylistic map. These are my 25 preferred tunes of 2023. (Athough numerous other gems are over on my albums list, to prevent replicating all the exact same artists.) Consisting of, however not restricted to: hits, flops, obscurities, pop kicks, rap poets, soul queens, guitar beasts, disco jams, punk rockers, shoegaze fans, and karaoke room-clearers. And the Beatles, clearly.

  • Depeche Mode, ‘My Favorite Stranger’

    Image Credit: Youtube

    A darkwave Eighties psycho-sexual time warp that in some way fit right into 2023. Martin Gore and Dave Gahan made their wonderful Keepsake Mori an exemplary homage to the late Andy Fletcher, with this “Behind The Wheel”-design goth-club banger about presenting in front of the mirror and terrifying yourself by being too hot for this world.

  • Bully, ‘Change Your Mind’

    Image Credit: Sophia Matinazad *

    Bully’s Alicia Bognanno shows herself a grunge mastermind all over Fortunate For Youspecifically in the strong “Change Your Mind.” She stacks on the air-guitar rock power, like she’s attempting to stuff all of Low-cost Trick at Budokan into one tune, advocating recognition she will not obtain from an ex she will not recover. Points for sincerity: “I got a lawless love for you/ And I got absolutely nothing much better to do.”

  • That Mexican OT f. Paul Wall & & DRODi,’ Johnny Dang’

    Image Credit: Youtube

    That Mexican OT trips hard on his Tejano rap headbanger, a humorous summertime ode to drills and chains and cowboy design, from the Lonestar Luchador. (“OT” represents “Outta Texas.”) He drinks lean with pecan pie while his Cadillac does leaping jacks, boasting, “I’m simply rhyming words, I do not even understand how to rap!” Houston legend Paul Wall leaks all his candy-paint cool.

  • Helena Deland, ‘Bright Green Vibrant Gray’

    Image Credit: Youtube

    The Montreal folkie Helena Deland strums a hushed acoustic ballad about sorrow, from her poignant Goodnight Summerlandafter the death of her mom. She goes in the woods, where she feels her small life liquify into the large charm around her, murmuring, “I do not believe I’ve heard this tune before.” A peaceful tune that gets your heart in an enormously loud method.

  • Pink Pantheress including Ice Spice, ‘Boy’s A Liar, Pt. 2’

    Image Credit: Youtube

    2 “Gen Z It Girls” on an objective, as Pink Pantheress and Ice Spice mix their voices by means of DM for a mega-smash club confessional.

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