AOTY 2023
Tennis - Swimmer
‘swimmer’ thrives profoundly, as tennis form inclusive and welcoming music - timeless art - all while putting together this absolute classic. ‘swimmer’, as a project, delivers in detailed sense that many works merely promise; this album peacefully presents its own comforting style: rather than attempting to evoke (specific emotions from listeners), ‘swimmer’ instead offers. it offers the real, truthful feelings of creators alaina moore and patrick riley. ... read more
Vince Staples - Vince Staples
at its core, ‘vince staples’ deals with choices. the album is a reflection on grey areas and how vince chooses to handle his life.

whether a choice is about thugging, a production decision, showing new areas and emotions, being in the streets, etc. in any case, staples’ flattened attitude is devastatingly candid.

a previously hidden part of vince staples is not only present, it is at the forefront of the record. a new side of vince is shown via his introspective lyrics and ... read more

Rostam - Changephobia
the dreaminess present throughout this project is so diminished it almost appears drab. ‘changephobia’ feels faded throughout. this airy, arid sound makes the album feel impressively desolate at many points. a softer, and often times slower, version of rostam’s skilled production shows throughout his second solo record.

on ‘changephobia’, rostam uses different sounds than his earlier discographical entries, and he completely succeeds at creating fresh, hushed, ... read more

Faye Webster - I Know I'm Funny haha
a topic of discussion about faye webster’s fourth album title - ‘i know i’m funny haha’ - is why webster included the “haha”. the term’s inclusion can be a subject of debate, as its necessity seems arguable. as it turns out, this "haha" term’s use proves completely essential in the context of the title track; when webster dryly wavers over the “haha”, there’s a slight twinge; suddenly the whole song gets turned around: ... read more
Tyler, The Creator - CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
for 'call me if you get lost’, tyler okonma frames his own perspective into an out-of-bounds, disparate product. tyler crafts against conventions, and his creations flourish as result.

‘call me if you get lost’ is tyler’s best rap album yet; while it is not street, not grimey, and it does not usually sound “hard”, ‘call me if you get lost’ may be tyler’s most efficient work thus far.

tyler projects typically have common denominators: each ... read more

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
my expectations for king gizzard and the lizard wizard are high and wide, yet i was completely shocked to hear their new endeavor ‘butterfly 3000’. i am taken aback by this album. this work is one of, if not the singular, most accessible album by king gizzard and the lizard wizard.

the surprise of ‘butterfly 3000’ brings one to a state of fascination. the group’s made the bold choice to not releasing any singles on gizz’s most poppy, single ready album. ... read more

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
the ‘seven swans’ project feels like an epic work, especially when the holy moments hit: such as when sufjan meets lord during “seven swans”, or, when sufjan narrates the process of dying and growing wings on “we won’t need legs to stand”.

stevens exhibits a sense of unrelenting determination on this equably crazed folk album.

there are certain nonsecular events within ‘seven swans’ which completely impress. the underlying themes of ... read more

Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend
by numbing down the rock, and often toning down the volume, somehow wolf alice emerge louder than ever. ‘blue weekend’ is fairly indescribable as it presents many genres and vibes. the result is a project which expands: an everlasting project which provides undeterred enjoyment. ‘blue weekend’ offers safety and shelter. it is full of calm, thoroughly majestic, and shining. shining from bareness.

wolf alice's ideas and emphasis are clearer for 'blue weekend' than ... read more

Black Country, New Road - For the first time
as advertised: ‘for the first time’ is the pinnacle of british engineering. these six tracks encompass an odd type of flawlessness. this record really cannot be any better.

‘for the first time’ is mind-boggling, especially when isaac wood shouts the term “black country!” during the shockingly excellent outro to “science fair”.

the regular mixture of saxophone and violin with the guitar/bass/drums/keys combo creates a unique fusion. the striking ... read more

Crumb - Ice Melt
this project is gas. crumb are back and sounding better than ever.

‘ice melt’ means water, and that’s what crumb are on their second lp. the group’s sound flows as smooth as a liquid.

many people attest that crumb’s second album is “underwhelming” and “forgettable”. what i argue is that crumb’s music results in a calm psychosis within the musical environment. thus, this general opinion of mediocrity is simply a misunderstanding of ... read more

girl in red - if i could make it go quiet
‘if i could make it go quiet’ is a project which sounds vastly different than the rest of girl in red’s catalogue. it sees marie ulven taking an unconventional direction for her first official lp.

this album is very much appreciated; ulven’s efforts come across as emotionally relatable, especially on “.” and “midnight love”.

some of this record is hit or miss, and “body and mind” is a prime example of when the new style truly hits. ... read more

Royal Blood - Typhoons
‘typhoons’ is very quality. it’s a slightly unwanted yet welcome change of pace from royal blood.

i enjoy the new direction that royal blood are taking. the group’s stellar instrumentation proves to be impressive as ever, and their craftsmanship is impassable.

side one was the warm up, its purpose to expose the audience to royal blood’s new visions and sound. side two is where ‘typhoons’ takes off. it casually goes off the rails while maintaining a ... read more

Duda Beat - Te Amo Lá Fora
this smooth project is consistently stunning. with timeless, classic beats and perfect vocals, this opus will without a doubt prove itself as one the best projects of the decade when the 2020s are over.

the international accessibility and scope offered by DUDA BEAT has provided an instant worldwide phenomenon.

there are many words in many languages to describe DUDA BEAT’s ‘Te Amo Lá Fora’, yet few can properly capture the essence of this craze.

the songs all sound ... read more

I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME make bold moves on their first LP, as evident on every song.

Dallon Weekes, former bassist for Panic! at the disco (2009-2015) provides mad IQ to the recording process. for each song, he sings lead vocals, plays bass, and writes. throughout the album, he also adds things such as ukulele, and even some production chops.

the songwriting is visual, especially on tracks such as “from the gallows” and “lights go down”.

“leave me ... read more

Kaleo - Surface Sounds
with numerous delays, an inevitable sophomore slump, and an objective approach, i figured that ‘surface sounds’ would be disappointing. however, this album lets down in a much more drastic sense than expected, largely because kaleo are capable of so much more.

on ‘surface sounds’, kaleo play it safe. this project is hardly permissible by the standard formerly set by the icelandic group.

for the years following the successful release of ‘a/b’, kaleo did a ... read more

Sufjan Stevens - Revelations
the third installment of 'convocations' is vastly different than the first two, it feels much more intense and even bolder.

flush with colorful music, 'revelations' is full of drastic changes. at times it sounds like familiar territory for stevens, yet 'revelations' is unlike any other sufjan release in terms of ambient detail.

"revelations VI" and "revelations IX" are the two standouts from this disc.

while the album is instrumental, sufjan still uses choirs throughout ... read more

Kero Kero Bonito - Civilisation II
kero kero bonito prove they truly are well rested as the group resumes their indefinite prime.

they release ‘civilisation II’ on their own terms, dropping an unexpected double single to complete this ep.

the extended runtime of “well rested” helps its structure by allowing the song to expand and relax. instead of kero kero bonito’s extremely tight musical parameters, which result in excellence, this song has more of an exploratory nature. thus, more space is ... read more

shame - Live In The Flesh
this live realization of select tunes shows that shame are at the top of their game.

shame’s set contains engaging versions of specific highlights from ‘drunk tank pink’. these live highlights include “snow day”, “born in luton”, and “water in the well”.

shame unexectedly released this live album; their third overall project to date, and first live album. it is fantastic. they are completely succeeding with the european post-punk trend, ... read more

Sufjan Stevens - Lamentations
‘lamentations’, the second volume of ‘convocations’, presents a collection of works which transports one to a place where they face death and loss.

“lamentations one” starts off as a dreamy, reflective piece with chimes and serenity.

“lamentations two” is a surreal experience. it feels like there’s television static within the music, which pulls one’s attention toward the skillful instrumentals. the song is entertaining, especially ... read more

Sufjan Stevens - Meditations
a surreal atmospheric experience that has been completely executed by Sufjan. it’s consistently exceptional
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November Playlist