2023: My year in music

Each year I make a playlist of 52 or so songs that I absolutely loved that year. Here is this year’s playlist.

Most songs weren’t released in 2023, I merely discovered them in 2023. There is one exception to that rule in this year’s playlist. Lana Del Rey’s Mariner’s Apartment Complex. I had heard the song a couple of years ago but it slowly grew on me this year and got so much play time (along with the rest of the album it’s from) that it had to be in the playlist.

When I made first of these playlists in 2016, I remember being a little apprehensive at being able to continue to put one together each year. Well, it’s year 8 of doing this and not once has it been a struggle1. I usually end up with 3x more songs than I want to fit into the playlist. It’s now a year-end ritual to start with a longlist and gradually whittle it down over a period of 4-6 weeks. A ritual I’ve found myself looking forward to each year.

I started learning Spanish in 2022. Despite finishing a 500+ day streak on Duolingo in 2023, I feel the progress has been modest. And yet, it has already enabled me to appreciate the poetic beauty2 of many of the songs - songs that otherwise I might not have enjoyed quite as much. So while this year’s playlist has songs spanning many genres and languages - including English, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Japanese, you might find it a little Spanish-heavy. I hope the lyrics won’t get in the way of enjoying the music!

  1. Ok may be 2020 (aka the pandemic year”) was a little hard, but then the year was hard on so many other counts as well… That said, I still haven’t mustered the energy to put together track by track liner notes like I used to in the early years.↩︎

  2. Yamaguchi by Amaia, Yo no Necesito de Mucho by Laura Itandehui and Mañana by Silvia Pérez Cruz are three of my favourites.↩︎

January 1, 2024