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Best of 2023 Notebook

As 2023 wraps up we look back on a fantastic year so jammed packed with good music the playlist is over 7 hours long!

Eryn Hummel – Marketing Coordinator

Killing Time Before The FloodWiley From Atlanta

Far and away, Wiley From Atlanta’s Killing Time Before The Flood is this year’s stand out album for me. Released in five parts over the summer, I was waiting with bated breath for every release, so much so that I was deep in the back catalogue wiling the time (looking at you, Blue Don’t Make Me Cry.) With his signature husky vocals, affecting lyricism, and layered tracks that are impossible not to drop into, the album has everything I need. What’s more, Wiley From Atlanta will be at Eugene’s very own John Henry’s this January. You know I’ll be there, you should be, too.

Lekkerboy (Deluxe)  – Sticky Fingers

Although Sticky Fingers’ Lekkerboy was first released in 2022, the band released LEKKERBOY (Deluxe) in March of this year with six additional tracks including “What’s Faded,” which I absolutely listened to endlessly. The entire album is an Aussie surf rock dream scene, with vocals that carry me away with the current every single time. It’s not hard to get lost in the lush landscape of this 19-track monument.

Daniel Olbrych – Content and Design Coordinator

Sanguivore  – Creeper

2023 was a pretty great year for my playlist. Tom rejoined Blink-182 (again), Taking Back Sunday returned to form, Enter Shikari scored their first #1 on the UK charts and that’s just scratching the surface. But none of these fantastic albums compare to Sanguivore by Creeper. Part The Sisters of Mercy, part Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell, and part Broadway musical. Sanguivore demonstrates a band with absolute freedom to create art. Metal guitars and sweeping ballads, it’s got something for every mood. It’s a violent and bloody triumph. Stand out tracks, “Chapel Gates” and “More Than Death.”

Zeph Michaels – Sr. Admin Specialist

Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) Yves Tumor

This album was on repeat for me a lot this year. Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) By Yves Tumor, is a bit of a Frankenstein’s Monster (if you couldn’t guess by the title) pulling in so many influences its almost dizzying. I found something catchy in nearly every track. In a lot of ways this album felt like a love letter by way of a playlist, which celebrates a lot of genres and tastes I’ve loved over the years. It has Brit-pop-esque guitar parts, Post punk basslines, and baroque indie compositions that evoke the best of Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens or Broken Social Scene – and this just scratches the surface without touching on the new age and experimental stuff. The whole album is disarmingly poppy despite how eclectic it is. I really can’t speak highly enough of this record and was completely caught off guard as I really never listened to Yves much before this album.

Greg – House of Records

MetropolisNamir Blade
Super SnooperSnooper
I had such a hard time making these choices that I asked Ian what his favorite record of the year was and he told me about the Snooper release, so I stuck that one in there! Namir is literate, deep-voiced MC reminiscent of Kid Cudi, with wonderful organ washes, thick spacy beats, and surprising harmonic twists and Snaxxx will feed your mind and body.

Rich Hobby – Director of Marketing

Content OscillatorTelehealth

This was a total surprise hit for me this year and an album I wasn’t really expecting to hit in such a profound way. There seems to be a divisive take on the term art rock, some feel it is disparaging and dismissive, but in this case I can’t think of a more accurate way to explain the genius of Telehealth. Their sound is part nostalgic and also future forward, utilizing synths and live instruments to create driving songs that are made all the more catchy by the punchy lyrics that can be both hilarious and also biting. This group also weaves satire and slaps into their work, both in their marketing (hands down some of the best band social media I’ve watched this year), as well as into the songs themselves. What can seem casual actually may have much deeper intent. Also, the songs are just catchy as all hell and had me singing along to the choruses within a few listens. I can make plenty of comparisons to other art rock legends like DEVO and Talking Heads, so if either of those groups have ever struck your fancy – don’t miss becoming an early investor in the ways of Telehealth.

Notable other albums: Ghosts – Hania Rani | Flaws in Our Design – Odesza, Yellow House and Preston

An album cartoon/graphic image of a futuristic skyline for march 2023 notebook.

What were some of your favorites this year?

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