We took some time to look back at the music that came out in 2023 and selected a bunch of albums that we loved.
Despite or perhaps due to the worldwide cultural, socioeconomic and political state we’re in, music has - once again - soared. This year, we listened to thousands of records, as ever, from a pool of diverse national and international talent; debut albums, sophomore works, and highly anticipated returns to the scene.
We’ve been reviewing seven new releases and one classic record each month, cherrypicking from a variety of genres, artists and bands that get featured in our commercial playlists - the ones that you hear across all of our clients’ venues; from the finest R&B and neo-soul rising stars to pop and dance icons, through indie superstars.
Here are the albums our team picked from this year’s selection…
Lara Magnelli - Senior Marketing Manager
The record came out in January and since then, I knew it’d be one of my favourites. Gaz is a brilliant songwriter, one who’s able to combine crafted lyrics, fuzzy guitars, and cinematic codas - a perfect recipe, if you ask me. Tracks like 'Don’t Say it’s Over', 'Not The Only Things' - dedicated to Gaz’s oldest daughter, who’s autistic - and 'Dance On' are gems you can’t miss, though it’s hard to pick a favourite, especially as the carefully selected track listing makes the album run in the smoothest possible way. In the blink of an eye, you’re at the end and need to put the record on again - something I highly recommend.
Jay Kothari - Playlist Curator and Account Manager
What a brilliant debut record! Sofia perfectly combined the Latin American rhythms of her Peruvian birthplace with the worlds of House, Electronica and even Minimal which belong to her Berliner hometown. An album that's dedicated to her mother and all of the mothers, a celebration of love - the one we all have inside of us, the one we are all capable of.
Dan Spinney - COO
No word of a lie... I had some kind of existential euphoric experience on a smallish plane whilst listening to this album! Staring out the small window as the plane bobbed around, descending through the clouds, I was looking down over the Thames estuary, fields turning to unfamiliar industrial complexes, the winged blocks of Belmarsh prison, Shooters Hill and my SE neighbourhood as I came to land in the city was wild!. 'Worlds Collide Mountains Form' was playing at this point. Hypnotic sounds of violins, drone and drums with spiky guitar and floaty keys. Mind blown! Also check 'In the end you will know'. Go for a walk, a run, in any landscape natural or sprawling concrete and this album will serve you well in a state of awe and wonder at everything around you. Then you can revisit his remix of Nathan Fake 'The Sky Was Pink' to realise this guy's mastery.
Stephen Gomberg - Playlist Curator and Account Manager
There is some really great production on this album from both from Caroline, and an impressive array of artists working alongside her, including Danny L Harle, Dan Nigro, and Sega Bodega. I love how she combines Kate Bush 'Hounds of Love' style sounds with kitsch 90s break beats and cutting edge modern sonics to create an album that is really exciting to listen to.
Michelle Hardiman - Playlist Curator and Account Manager
This album sees Jessy Lanza expanding her R&B-influenced House sound into Disco and Electro, Ambient Techno, all the way to 80s Pop. This interesting mixture makes it incredible! Decidedly not a Pop record, ‘Love Hallucination’ is nonetheless irresistibly catchy and delighting in equal measure.
Leo Lait - Head of Music
There's something extremely comforting about this album. Cleo Sol has perfectly mastered the art of Neo Soul - this is what she does and she does it amazingly. The vibe is laid-back, airy and open-spaced, though extremely warm, tender, and vulnerable at times. This album is great to be listened to, whether you intend to absorb it or simply allow it to float in the background.