Saying au revoir to 2023 with my Top 10 singles of the year!
Montreal-based band Men I Trust's winsome, appropriately swirling tune (the single's cover & music video suggest the latent nostalgia and circular mind-runs of a skating rink)--a shiny pop jewel of longing, ridden with funk elements.
Released right before the deluge of Christmas catalogue songs, Dua Lipa's "Houdini" arrived and has since been buried on the charts more than it should be. Perhaps a resurgence in the new year? Co-produced & written by Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), it's a disco dream, with rubbery synths and a sparkly, leave-them-wanting-more finale.
A pop gem that deserves to be an anthem, Raye's mood-booster, lifts and lifts with studied instrumentation, crisp, cool vocals and a buoyant sound.
Confident and craving, Sivan's perfect pop tune (paired with an arresting music video) navigates within the fluidity of gender and sexuality. The same could be said of breezy dance pump-up "Rush" too.
Honey-voiced Cilker travels the states and tallies tales of love and music in this twangy, warm and winsome kicker.
Driving, propulsive Zydeco tune features a brilliant swirl of musicians and Giddens' tender and fiery vocals.
I hear elements of Dimitri Tiomkin's "Theme from The High and Mighty" in Bjork's towering duet with the compelling artistry of Rosalía. Bjork's vocals and the orchestrations are playful and sweeping.
Damon Albarn had a bang up year with a smashing new album with Blur and Gorillaz as well (one of their most at-ease, catchiest efforts). "Tarantula" is a cute and modest (maybe desperate?) love song with tuneful synth and overdubbed vocal embellishments .
Oscillating between certainty and ambivalence, "namesake" is a brisk, incredible song with incredible lyrics on entertainment consumption and politics / world events that wouldn't be interested in being on a Top 10 list, but I can't help but show love.
This was the song from the year that surprised me the most. Even after a slew of really strong records, Lana Del Rey seemed fresher than ever in the song's pensive first half (the chord progressions and piano and strumming strings conjuring Radiohead)... and then a twisty transition emerged and a second half dirge shimmied in. A sublime effort overall.
My favorite songs of 2023 here on Spotify.