My Top 25 Tracks of 2023

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Every year, Y-Not Radio does a year end poll, where you get to select your top 20 songs. I tried to limit mine to 20, but this list is 25 because it’s really hard to cut it shorter!

I’ve been keeping a log of new songs I’ve liked all year. I looked more into my statistics when Spotify Wrapped came around. I also checked my statistics, since I still buy music, and I listen to a lot of that music with Plex. I also listen to a lot of vinyls and use apps like foobar2000 and VLC, which don’t scrobble, so the numbers aren’t always a good indicator. Plus I also listen to other people’s music sometimes, and music podcasts (On The Upbeat, 100% Ska), and Y-Not Radio.

Also go fill out the YNOT year end poll yourself!

I made the list in ascending order because nobody likes to scroll just to find #1, There’s also a Spotify playlist for this list. Some of the release dates correspond to the single, and others correspond to the album. I wasn’t super good at keeping track of if it was on the album or the single. Just trying to make sure everything is a 2023 track. I included December 2022 stuff because I probably missed them in my list for 2022.

The List

1. LIKED U BETTER by Jeff Rosenstock

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Release Date: 1-Sep-23 Listeners: 37,300 Scrobbles: 231,900
My Scrobbles: 30
Spotify Listens: 1,440,555

I love everything Jeff Rosenstock, and this song is the obvious #1

2. Fog Machine by White Reaper

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Album: Fog Machine
Release Date: 7-Dec-22 Listeners: 10,500 Scrobbles: 40,300
My Scrobbles: 23
Spotify Listens: 1,343,956

I never was super into White Reaper before, but this album is amazing. The intro guitar riff to this song sounds like something you’d find in Guitar Hero.

3. Wagging Tongue by Depeche Mode

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Album: Memento Mori
Release Date: 24-Mar-23 Listeners: 59,786 Scrobbles: 243,000
My Scrobbles: 21
Spotify Listens: 10,123,404

Depeche Mode released Memento Mori in 2023, and of course I’m into it! Four tracks on this album were co-written by Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs! I am not sure why I had this as my #1 track from the album, but I can’t deny the data! Ghosts Again only got 12 scrobbles! But I also bought the vinyl, which still doesn’t scrobble so the numbers may be skewed there. Also Wet Leg did a remix!

4. Nothing Is Perfect by Metric

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Album: Nothing Is Perfect
Release Date: 13-Oct-23 Listeners: 12,870 Scrobbles: 43,800
My Scrobbles: 21
Spotify Listens: 755,315

Metric comes in with another great album in 2023, I don’t know how they do it with Formentera out in 2022! I really like their more acoustic stuff, which is how this song got picked from the album! There’s an acoustic version of Help I’m Alive out there that is amazing.

5. Brass Bell by Screaming Females

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Album: Brass Bell
Release Date: 17-Jan-23 Listeners: 5,165 Scrobbles: 12,800
My Scrobbles: 20
Spotify Listens: 398,787

I’ve been a Screaming Females fan for a while, but this whole album is a standout. You need to check this album out if you haven’t!

6. Faces by Ladytron

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Album: Faces
Release Date: 6-Dec-22 Listeners: 10,200 Scrobbles: 37,700
My Scrobbles: 18
Spotify Listens: 352,674

It’s great to see new stuff from Ladytron, this track is chill and very catchy! I got the see Ladytron with Geographer back in 2011, I totally forgot about that!

7. Throw of the Dice by Sweeping Promises

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Album: Good Living Is Coming For You
Release Date: 30-Jun-23 Listeners: 2,516 Scrobbles: 7,259
My Scrobbles: 5
Spotify Listens: 46,398

Sweeping Promises is new New Wave music from Lawrence, Kansas, or is it Boston? Or Austin? Anyway “You Shatter” is the lead single, but I can’t stop listening to this track! There’s also a song on here “Can’t Hide It” which is vaguely about removing cultural institutions and replacing them with blandness, but it was inspired by developers planning to tear down the Middle East and replacing it with condos. I remember going to see the Bosstones at the Middle East for their hometown throwdown. End of an Era!

8. Life’s A Joke by Islands

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Album: Life's A Joke
Release Date: 21-Jun-23 Listeners: 3,065 Scrobbles: 9,399
My Scrobbles: 16
Spotify Listens: 115,644

I first discovered Islands in 2009 when their song Vapours was included on some comp, we went to see them in 2010 at the Barbary. We also got to see the supergroup Mr. Heavenly in Denver, both great shows. Anyway, this album is great, this track is super catchy, and only a little dark.

9. The Narcissist by Blur

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Album: The Ballad of Darren
Release Date: 21-Jul-23 Listeners: 116,636 Scrobbles: 645,600
My Scrobbles: 17
Spotify Listens: 17,088,344

This might be the most popular track to get onto my list. I feel like this album came out of nowhere. Many people remember Blur from the 90s with Boys & Girls and the mega-hit Song 2. There was some good stuff on their 2015 album “The Magic Whip” too, but that was 8! years ago. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and this song, in particular, is great!

10. Bad Actors by The Menzingers

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Album: Bad Actors
Release Date: 6-Mar-23 Listeners: 8,538 Scrobbles: 35,500
My Scrobbles: 17
Spotify Listens: 851,493

The Menzingers really showed up this year on my list! This track was included on the official Eagles Gameday Series Soundtrack in 2022! But it was officially released as a single in March of 2023. It sounds like it was a track written for “Hello Exile” that never got released, I don’t know why they sat on it for so long, it’s great!

11. Bang Bang by Momma

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Album: Bang Bang
Release Date: 1-Mar-23 Listeners: 33,600 Scrobbles: 111,500
My Scrobbles: 18
Spotify Listens: 2,216,062

I’m not really sure why this got ranked so high in my list, maybe Spotify really favors it? I didn’t realize I played it so many times! I really like the guitar in the chorus, it really feels a little grunge at points. It’s also a bit synth, and very catchy!

12. Pollen in the Air by Worriers

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Album: Warm Blanket
Release Date: 7-Apr-23 Listeners: 1,431 Scrobbles: 4,544
My Scrobbles: 13
Spotify Listens: 39,899

I don’t know how Worriers has two great albums out this year! I consider them a “local” band with Lauren Denitzio being from Bridgewater. I wonder if they’ve ever been to Bagel Stadium? Anyway, this song is awesome, go listen to it!

13. Pages by White Reaper

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Album: Asking For A Ride
Release Date: 27-Jan-23 Listeners: 27,900 Scrobbles: 98,999
My Scrobbles: 16
Spotify Listens: 5,235,795

I know I’m repeating artists, but it’s worth it for this song! I’m really just into this White Reaper album, what can I say? This song is pretty different from Fog Machine, but still super catchy!

14. There’s No Place In This World For Me by The Menzingers

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Album: Some Of It Was True
Release Date: 13-Oct-23 Listeners: 9,817 Scrobbles: 58,100
My Scrobbles: 16
Spotify Listens: 1,068,357

Ok, another repeat. I’m really into this album, it’s got to be my favorite new album from a local band this year, and Bad Actors wasn’t even on it! Maybe you remember Bob and The Sagets. Royal Noise Brigade played a show with them up in Wilkes Barre with the Toasters headlining. The Toasters had trouble with their van, and couldn’t make the show, but the crowd was still really into it. Three of the members of Bob and the Sagets are now in The Menzingers. It’s extra fun to listen for NEPA/Philly references in their songs.

15. Just The Once by Metric

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Album: Just The Once
Release Date: 13-Oct-23 Listeners: 19,900 Scrobbles: 78,000
My Scrobbles: 13
Spotify Listens: 1,469,528

This is the last repeat artist. I really like the synthyness of this track, and the weird disco-y synth strings are always my jam. It’s also really well done.

16. Weak In Your Light by Nation of Language

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Album: Strange Disciple
Release Date: 15-Sep-23 Listeners: 19,000 Scrobbles: 69,900
My Scrobbles: 15
Spotify Listens: 1,493,378

I really love what Nation Of Language is doing. Lots of good modern synthy stuff out there these days!

17. Odyssey by Beck / Phoenix

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Album: Odyssey
Release Date: 21-Jun-23 Listeners: 34,700 Scrobbles: 90,000
My Scrobbles: 15
Spotify Listens: 4,393,692

This is really more of a Phoenix vibe than a Beck vibe. Phoenix has been really all over the place doing cool stuff, and I really like how this track came out.

18. Tropic Morning News by The National

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Album: Tropic Morning News
Release Date: 28-Apr-23 Listeners: 97,200 Scrobbles: 671,399
My Scrobbles: 14
Spotify Listens: 14,780,023

I was never really into The National, but this album turned that around! This song just has such a cool vibe. Thanks, now I’m a fan of The National.

19. Bogus Operandi by The Hives

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Album: The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
Release Date: 11-Aug-23 Listeners: 46,800 Scrobbles: 212,600
My Scrobbles: 10
Spotify Listens: 7,219,734

It’s been 11 years since we’ve gotten a new album from The Hives! They have kept it up with some great singles. I had initially thought this track was just going to be another one-off, but no! The Hives put out a whole album, and it rocks! This track is amazing!

20. Get Out of My House by Miya Folick

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Album: Roach
Release Date: 26-May-23 Listeners: 13,300 Scrobbles: 50,300
My Scrobbles: 17
Spotify Listens: 729,395

This song has a big indie-rock pop-punk vibe. I really became of fan of this song after hearing the acoustic version.

21. Lose You (feat. Soccer Mommy) by Bully

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Album: Lucky For You
Release Date: 2-Jun-23 Listeners: 63,400 Scrobbles: 213,800
My Scrobbles: 12
Spotify Listens: 4,296,951

It was hard to decide on this track or “Days Move Slow” from the “Lucky For You” album. “Lose You” definitely gets a popularity boost from having Soccer Mommy on it. Ultimately, I listened to “Lose You” a lot more, so that tipped the scales, but check out both tracks!

22. Hazard Lights by Dave Hause

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Album: Drive It Like It's Stolen
Release Date: 28-Apr-23 Listeners: 1,572 Scrobbles: 11,200
My Scrobbles: 9
Spotify Listens: 247,149

Dave Hause has had so many great releases over the years. I haven’t been as into some of the newer stuff, but this track is a definite standout! If you haven’t dug into Dave Hause’s older tunes, go do it!

23. Old Man by Albert Hammond Jr

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Album: Melodies on Hiatus
Release Date: 23-Jun-23 Listeners: 8,926 Scrobbles: 29,300
My Scrobbles: 7
Spotify Listens: 654,847

No this isn’t Albert Hammond of “It Never Rains in Southern California” fame (and many many other songwriting credits)! This is his son who is best known for playing guitar in “the Strokes”. This song is super poppy and catchy. Lyrically it’s pretty deep and discusses how the world looks differently as you age. But the melodies keep it from sounding too dark.

24. Bauhaus Staircase by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

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Album: Bauhaus Staircase
Release Date: 27-Oct-23 Listeners: 5,438 Scrobbles: 15,800
My Scrobbles: 12
Spotify Listens: 449,477

I am so happy that OMD is still releasing tracks. I (obviously?) first heard of them from their song “If You Leave” but “Enola Gay” is one of my favorite songs of all time, even if it came out before I was born. This album (with both original members on it) stays true to their synth history and discusses modern politics in a way that will not become dated. But if you haven’t listened to “Electricity” or “Enola Gay”, you should check them out too!

25. The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte by Sparks

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Album: The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte
Release Date: 26-May-23 Listeners: 16,700 Scrobbles: 57,400
My Scrobbles: 8
Spotify Listens: 816,804

I had trouble getting this list down to 25, but Sparks just made the cut. I first heard this track on their Tiny Desk. I think I mostly love how to chorus ends each line as “yeah”, “sad”, “wow”, “bad”. It makes me happy each time. I also love the Ron changed his keyboard from “Roland” to “Ronald”. These guys are just amazing, they have so much great music, a great sense of humor, and have been consistently releasing good music since 1971! Go watch their documentary