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Chris Siuty writesCHIRP Radio’s Best of 2023: Chris Siuty

CHIRP Radio Best of 2023

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2023. Our next list is from DJ Chris Siuty: Friday Night Freak Out!.

No particular order. This year was a tough one to narrow down, because so much great music came out! It's the most new music I've consumed in a very long time and the albums I thought would be on this list back in May are surprisingly absent. That isn't commentary on the quality of those albums, but the overall quality of the year in releases. While the world falls apart around us, here are my favorite albums of 2023.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silences by Medicine (Laner Archival Services)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Medicine SilencesI've been a Brad Laner fan since hearing Shot Forth Self Living back in high school. I can honestly say that Medicine has a damn-near perfect discography without a single stinker in the bunch. This album is some great psychedelic shoegaze/dream pop in the same vein as their previous releases. Medicine will always be towards the top of any year end list for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upside Down in Heaven by The Crocodiles (Lolipop Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

The Crocodiles Upside Down in HeavenEqual parts garage punk, power pop, psych rock and Jesus and Mary Chain worship, The Crocodiles put out my most listened to album of 2023 (per Big Streaming Service metrics) and the song that has been stuck in my head from day one -- "Love Beyond the Grave." (which has one of the sweetest music videos... look that up)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games of Power by Home Front (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Home Front Games of PowerLast year's Home Front EP -- "Think of the Lie" reminded me of a cross between early INXS and "Seventeen Seconds" era Cure. On the follow up, they infuse more of their punk roots but still hold firm in the synthy post punk. It's really a killer album back to front and I really love the closing track, "Quiet World" and its heavy handed influence from later era Spacemen 3. Great front to back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Living is Coming for You by Sweeping Promises (Feel It Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Sweeping Promises Good Living is Coming for YouI can't quite pinpoint what nostalgia button Sweeping Promises hits for me, but it very loosely reminds me of being a kid in the early/mid 1980s. It sounds like a mix tape from an older relative, put onto a lo-bias cassette, dubbed from another mix tape. It's warm and comforting like the sound of a '70s console stereo or the glow of late night TV circa 1986. It's difficult to put a finger on, but it's the good kind of nostalgia and I'm here for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media by Cor De Lux (CDL)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Cor De Lux MediaLove at first sight. This album features all the things I love -- dreamy sounds, FX pedals, blurry melodies... so good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is Alive by Slowdive (Dead Oceans)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Slowdive Everything is AliveYou gotta love any band that reunites and picks up where they left off and still manages to grow and expand their sound. Slowdive is an old favorite and have been really enjoying their reunion. This album is still dreamy, still blurry, but without sounding like a band putting out records so they can justify nostalgia tours. Great record, great band, glad they're still doing stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Worms by Shame (Dead Oceans)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Shame Food for WormsAnother Dead Oceans band! I think I bought this record at the same time as the new Slowdive, which makes sense why they're next to one another on this list. On this album, they step away from the post punk worship of their earlier albums and move more towards an American indie rock influence. Sitting comfortably in the lexicon of late 80s/early '90s indie, pulling inspiration from the likes of Sonic Youth, Pixies and Pavement (I also hear some New Zealand rock in there too -- The Clean, 3Ds, Toy Love, etc), the growth from angular guitars into more melody and dissonance is nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taken By Force by CIVIC (ATO Records)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

CIVIC Taken By ForceAustralia is the place right now. My love for Australian bands circa 2020's rivals my love of New Zealand and Scottish bands of the 1990s. CIVIC really walks this line between Proto and Post punk, acting as if the Ramones never happened. This album is 100% killer front to back. I'm glad I got to see them this year. Their love of Radio Birdman and The Stooges translates great live and they're a band you shouldn't snooze on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Future Radio by Damon Locks and Rob Mazurek (International Anthem)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Damon Locks and Rob Mazurek New Future RadioThis *might* be my favorite album of the year, but it's a very tight race because I could probably say that about any record on this list and have compelling argument. We all know the resumes of these two brilliant artists, so we don't have to get into that (but I will say that Trenchmouth was arguably one of the local bands that introduced me to the Chicago punk scene back in the day), but it is worth mentioning that these two work together in the Exploding Star Orchestra. This record is full of experimental sounds, killer jazz riffs, dub, hip hop, noise and all out weirdness. This was a great follow up to Damon Locks Black Mountain Ensemble record which came out in 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intercepted Message by Thee Oh Sees (In The Red)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Thee Oh Sees Intercepted MessageMore awesome psych/noise/garage pop from the almost uncategorizable John Dwyer and company. TOS has such an incredible, consistently good discography that rivals both, J Church and Guided By Voices. They continue to grow, expand and change as one would expect from this group of California maniacs. Here we see more heavy handed use of electronics and an amazing cover of the Cisco Unified hold music. Absolutely fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions

Almost made its -- All of these could easily be plugged in up top, but this is just how I'm feeling today. Ask me again and I'll probably have a different list --
Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World
En Attendant Ana - Principia
Model/Actriz - Dogsbody
Rozmazani - Hard Times
The Bellwether Syndicate - Vestige & Vigil
Pyrex - Pyrex
Famous Mammals - Instant Pop Expressionism Now!
Ratboys - The Window
Watermelon - Watermelon
Aweful - Aweful

Favorite EPs and 7" Singles - Some heavy hitting old favorites, some killer new jacks, so get into it --
Meat Beat Manifesto & DHS - Man From Mantis EP
Consensus Madness - Consensus Madness
War Effort - Path to Glory
Taxi Girls - Coming Up Roses
Brainiac - Predator Nominate

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2023

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