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PRESS PLAY: The Best Of 2023

We're finally at the end of 2023 and we did not miss a beat when it came to discovering new artists, hanging on to our faves and curating the best playlists. In 2023, we spent nearly 35,000 minutes listening to music and we're not slowing down. Our editor Bethany is gearing up to showcase her top artists, songs and albums for 2023 - read below as she unveils the best of 2023!


TOP ARTISTS


5. Badflower - This year, Badflower was one of the first shows I attended at Red Flag in St. Louis and I spent a ton of time listening to them this year. My favorite tracks include "Stalker", "Machine Gun", "Promise Me", "Girlfriend" and more.



4. Green Day - Every other year, Green Day seems to manuver their way into my top artists - but how could they not? I'm constantly listening to tracks from American Idiot, Kerplunk!, Nimrod and more. This year, the band released the super deluxe 30th anniversary of Dookie and I found myself listening to live versions of "One Of My Lies", "When I Come Around" and "2,000 Light Years Away".



3. The Lemon Twigs - I had the pleasure of seeing The Twigs live for the first time this year after being a fan for a couple of years - and they did not disappoint. Along with headlining their own tour this year, the band also released their fourth studio album Everything Harmony. My favorite tracks of the album include "Any Time Of Day", "In My Head" and "Ghost Run Free".




2. Nessa Barrett - This one does not surprise me as being in my top artists of 2023, however, I am elated to see Nessa earned her way to the #2 spot. Ever since she released her first single of the year "BANG BANG!", I've found myself following along up until her latest release - "Girl In New York." Nessa also headline toured this year and played 60 shows - one of which I happened to attend. My favorite songs of hers include "club heaven", "die first", "too hot to cry" and "dying on the inside".



1. Greta Van Fleet - Raise your hand if you're shocked by this because we all know I'm not. Yes it's true - I have been a GVF lover since 2018 and they have been my #1 top artist every year since 2020. The band headline toured this year across the US and Europe as well as playing festivals and released their third full-length LP Starcatcher. My favorite songs from the new album include "The Falling Sky", "The Archer", "The Indigo Streak" and "Waited All Your Life."



TOP SONGS


10. Moonshine - Hippo Campus: Hippo Campus was introduced to me as I work at a concert venue and had no idea who they were until I worked their show. That show has been my favorite one I've ever worked - the vibes were immaculate, the sound was loud and I found a new artist to love. I've listened to Hippo Campus a LOT this year, but "Moonshine" stuck with me for some reason - partially because of the bridge lyrics - "Don't worry so much/Even though the best of us are already gone/Live another day/With a special someone on the tip of your tongue."



9. Tell Me About Tomorrow - Jaden Hossler: This song was released on Jaden Hossler's 2021 debut LP Tell Me About Tomorrow and the title track stuck with me this entire year, even until the bitter end. This last half of the year has been so tough for me personally (along with the rest of the year), but this song gave me so much hope and the motivational lyrics encouraged me to keep pushing.



8. Alright - Charlotte Sands: For a song that debuted in January this year, it still owns my heart and held onto me throughout this year. The song appeals to Gen Z and motivates with lyrics - "All my monsters live in the mirror/So I stare 'em straight in the face/Tell them even though I'm lost I'm not afraid".



7. Waited All Your Life - Greta Van Fleet: It serves as the second track on Starcatcher and is a soft acoustic dream. The song also amasses soft keyboard songs and ethereal melodies - displaying more of the band's folk-rock side. "Waited All Your Life" has appealed to fans as a motivational and heartwarming anthem. And rumor has it, frontman Josh Kiszka wrote this song for his twin and guitarist Jake Kiszka when he was hospitalized in 2022, which would make it that more special.



6. Love Bites - Def Leppard: After seeing Metallica this year (because CLEARLY they are in the same realm as this other band) I somehow was thrown into a huge Def Leppard phase that I'm still in and have been listening to them non-stop lately. This song has been one of my favorite 80s songs for the last few years, and since I've been in my phase (and have seen The Lepps live), it means even more to me and I listened to it a ton this year.



5. She's Hot - William Hinson: This song may or may not have been on my top songs list last year (lol) but there's something about William Hinson's voice and vibe that's calming and healing... And he shares my love for The Beatles. This song was released on his sophomore album Turn Your Frown Inside Out and is one of my favorite albums of 2023.



4. St. Patrick's Day - William Hinson: Yes two in a row for the boy. This song also comes from Turn Your Frown Inside Out and presents amusing acoustics and upbeat melodies, while explaining the story of how William “ruins his life” and is basically too drunk to know where he is and what’s going on… But states he can’t wait to do it again.



3. Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles: Despite this song was written and sung by my favorite (!!) Beatle George Harrison, I'm always instantly put into a positive mood when I hear it. With captivating melodies and inspiring lyrics, I can always count on "Here Comes The Sun" to cheer me up.



2. Club Heaven - Nessa Barrett: My favorite release of the year came to me at a time when I needed it the most. I listened to "club heaven" the day it came out and I don't believe I've ever related to a song more or have been able to release my emotions in such a way through music. The song instantly reminded me of my grandpa who passed within recent months, but also of my best friend who passed in 2021. The music video represents how I've felt the past couple of years attempting to move on since my best friend passed, but I feel like I still see him and reminders of him everywhere I go.



1.Heat Above - Greta Van Fleet: As to no surprise, "Heat Above" has been my top song since its debut in 2021 and has continued to motivate me these last couple of years. If this song wasn't #1 for me, I'd be questioning myself - I mean, I have the lyrics "ascending to the stars as one" tattooed on me.



TOP ALBUMS


#5 My Guardian Angel - Ultra Q: Bay Area rockers Ultra Q shared their latest LP My Guardian Angel via Royal Mountain Records earlier this year, and have captured indie rock lovers hearts all over the world. The album features breakout singles such as "VR Sex", "I Watched Them Go", "Klepto", "Rocket" and more. The album showcases Jakob Armstrong's pulverizing songwriting skills, Kevin Judd's tenacious bass lines, Enzo Malaspina's wailing guitar riffs and Chris Malaspina's thundering drums.



#4 Turn Your Frown Inside Out - William Hinson: William Hinson stole out hearts with his single "George Harrison". Then, he stole our hearts again with his debut album Everything Will Be Okay. Now, he's come back to steal hearts again with his sophomore album Turn Your Frown Inside Out - a true followup that connects the two albums into one universe. The tracks that swoon us the most include "She's Hot", "Paul McCartney", "Normal Night", "Sephora Explorer" and "St. Patrick's Day".



#3 Everything Harmony - The Lemon Twigs: The Lemon Twigs' first album Songs For The General Public blew us away, but their new album Everything Harmony motivated us to become just a tad more obsessed with the band. The album features hits such as "Any Time Of Day", "Ghost Run Free", "In My Head" and more.



#2 Retrovision - Honey Revenge: Our favorite bright, shining, neon duo Honey Revenge released their debut album Retrovision via Thriller Records earlier this year and features singles - "Distracted", "Are You Impressed?", "Airhead", "Favorite Song" and their biggest hit - "Rerun".



#1 Starcatcher - Greta Van Fleet: Our #1 album that debuted this year is Greta Van Fleet's latest offering - Starcatcher - an album that sent the band back to their roots, but assured hope for the future. The album travels through tracks - "Waited All Your Life", "The Falling Sky", "The Indigo Streak", "Meeting The Master" and "Farewell For Now".


Are you impressed with our lists? What were your favorite albums of 2023? Let us know! What will we be listening to next year and what music will 2024 bring us? We're elated to see what the new year will bring and we can't wait to continue sharing music with you! Thank you for hanging out with Bethany and Song & Fury all year long. See you next year!



SONG & FURY



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