Top 10 Albums of 2023 – Damon Haley’s Picks

Everything But the Girl, David Holmes and PJ Harvey speak about our turbulent times with different degrees of directness. On EBTG’s “Nothing Left to Lose”, Tracy Thorn implores her lover to “Kiss her while the World Decays.” PJ Harvey has a genius way of exposing the brutality of the world by transmuting it into an ancient reflection on “I Inside the Old Year Dying.” David Holmes has more direct calls for action with tracks like “When People Are Occupied Resistance Is Justified” on the excellent “Blind On A Galloping Horse” featuring Raven Violet. Check out “Necessary Genius” that pays homage to Sinead O’Connor, Terry Hall and Tony Wilson. As much as I love the music of 2023, it makes me wonder why there aren’t any Tony Wilsons these days. Wilson would tell us to provoke and challenge the status quo rather than letting the words of tech billionaires occupy our attention. Say She She had one of the best feminist anthems with “Norma” and produced its most dance-inducing album using all-analog instruments. Jenny Lewis and Jess Williamson write great songs at an emotional level touching on personal bitterness fused with wanderlust. Margo Price made two albums called “Strays” this year, that did the best job of making the political personal. Sometimes it’s best to tune out and just nurture your soul, which is why new albums by Mapache, Ron Sexsmith and Paul Simon should be on your turntable. Sexsmith’s “Outdated and Antiquated” is my new anthem.

Artist Album Label
1 David Holmes featuring Raven Violet Blind On A Galloping Horse Heavenly
2 PJ Harvey I Inside the Old Year Dying
Partisan Records
3 Margo Price Strays I & II Loma Vista
4 Jenny lewis Joy’All Blue Note
5 Everything But the Girl Fuse Verve
6 Jess Williamson Time Ain’t Accidental
Mexican Summer
7 Say She She Silver Karma Chief
8 Ron Sexsmith Vivian Line Cooking Vinyl
9 Mapache Swinging Stars
Innovative Leisure
10 Paul Simon Seven Psalms Sony Music
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