Hi – It’s Dave here at Mumubl.com, welcome to our recommendation email where I give you some tips on what’s great to listen to and watch in the world of music.
I never really planned to do an album of the year post every year but I quite enjoyed compiling the last one so thought I’d have another go. I felt like 2022 I discovered a lot of new releases and listened to a lot of good albums, 2023 felt a little lighter on the musical exploration front. Looking back though through my Spotify listens (the easiest way for me to keep track) I realised I did listen to a fair few new albums – and so here are five I definitely recommend from last year.
As I did last year I’ll caveat that these aren’t necessarily the “best” albums of the year, they’re my favourite and amongst the ones I’ve listened to most out of the albums I’ve listened to in 2023. I did discover a lot of music last year that I’d simply missed from previous years but it doesn’t meet my arbitrary criteria therefore doesn’t make the cut. A list of nearly rans this year that included Bully, Olivia Rodrigo and Billy Nomates.
So read on and hopefully find something new to enjoy – and don’t just take my brief terrible salesman spiel, go and give them a listen and decide for yourself.
As always – tell all your friends – every little share helps
In this edition
Foo Fighters / Ben Folds / Half Moon Sun / The Lathums / Grain Chatten / MUMUBL.COM
Foo Fighters – But here we are
Now it feels a little bit like cheating to put a big album onto these kind of lists, it feels like they should be championing undiscovered music, or little gems that didn’t get the recognition they deserve. But look, I’ve got to be honest and this was definitely amongst the best albums I listened to this year, and one I listened to a lot.
This is one album I can have an easy lean back listen to and enjoy. There’s classic Foo Fighters all over the album, a little too much maybe as I’ll often find I’m travelling into a different older track of theirs in my head whilst listening. As just one example “Under You”, the second track, could easily segue into “Overdrive” from their 2002 album “One By One”.
In the aftermath of a tragic event such as the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins this felt like exactly what the band needed though. That it doesn’t shy away from Hawkins in the lyrics makes the album all the better for it.
Ben Folds – What Matters Most
Two of my favourite legacy* artists the Foo Fighters and Ben Folds somehow manage to conspire to drop new albums on the same day of 2023, in the case of Ben Folds the first release for about 8 years.
The singles dropped in advance of the album intrigued and then the album delivered. The usual Ben Folds whimsy is alive and present. Great story telling weaved in with some fantastic gentle story telling. Yet whilst generally slow paced than the earlier days of 30 years ago** songs like “Exhausting Lover” still bring some pace and some great humour to the track listing.
Just come and wrap yourself in the storytelling and don’t read between the lines – you often don’t need to – yes “Paddleboat breakup” is pretty much what it says on the tin with the fantastic lines
“You can get us back to the shore
I’m not rowing shit”
*I guess “legacy” would be the right phrase.
**30 fucking years! god some of us are getting old.
Half Moon Sun – Salt
If I carry this one year on year I think there should be an annual “Keith from The Art of Longevity” (a.k.a “The Song Sommelier”) recommended this one. Which he did and then had Dylan Phillips from the band on his podcast. This is the one album I think I’ve actually bought someone as a gift this year which is surely the only recommendation you need.
A collection of tracks written over the past decades it rolls along so nicely from the opener “You Can Let Go” setting a pace that maintains through the rest of the album. Easy to settle into and beautifully atmospheric it all holds together fantastically.
The Lathums – From nothing to a little bit more
Hailing from Wigan, The Lathums bring a poppy indie sound that would probably bring to mind bands such as The Coral and The Zutons. This landed at number 1 in the album charts earlier in the year so it’s hardly an underground album but if you haven’t heard it then seek it out, it’s worth checking out beyond the widely heard “Say my name”.
Grian Chatten – Chaos for the fly
If you watched the Bono & The Edge a sort of homecoming documentary you’ll have seen possibly the best, most stereotypical, Irish pub sing along known to man. Led mostly by Glen Hansard and a younger bloke called Grian Chatten. Who I’ll admit was a mystery to me, when I looked him up – lead singer of Fontaines D.C. – right heard of them. But here at the top of the search was his new solo album “Chaos for the fly”.
Atmospheric folk would be a fair description I guess. It’s a beautiful sounding album full of haunting sounds and textures and then the odd unexpected rise in tempo like Fairlies.
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