The conclusion of 2023 has come quickly, and so those end-of-year lists are upon us once again. We’ve had plenty of great music from many genres with artists returning and other musicians solidifying their status in the music scene.

The IndustryMe team has come together and picked their top 5 songs and albums of the year, with a wide variety of tastes on display.

Santiago Abad (Journalist)

Top 5 Singles

5: Lana Del Rey – ‘A&W

4: Janelle Monáe – ‘Champagne S**t

3: Hozier – ‘Francesca

2: Nothing But Thieves – ‘Overcome

1: Mitski – ‘My Love Mine All Mine

My Love Mine All Mine‘ by Mitski reminded me of the profound impact love songs can have when executed skillfully. Mitski’s delivery of deeply felt lyrics evokes a sense of forgotten memory, akin to an ephemeral thought from long ago. In a musical landscape saturated with attempts to grab attention, this track stands out as one that unquestionably deserves your focus. Her hypnotic vocals, combined with powerful lyrics, serve as a reminder that amidst the overwhelming stimuli of the world, love remains a reliable resource.

Top 5 Albums

5: Sleep Token – ‘Take Me Back To Eden

4: Hozier – ‘Unreal Unearth

3: Janelle Monáe – ‘The Age of Pleasure

2: Mitski – ‘The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We

1: Nothing But Thieves – ‘Dead Club City

Dead Club City‘ by Nothing But Thieves unexpectedly became a significant part of my 2023. It played a substantial role during my summer and night-time walks around London. After being captivated by the single ‘Welcome to the DCC‘, I eagerly anticipated the album’s release. Upon its arrival, I found myself unable to stop listening. Enchanting tracks such as ‘Overcome‘, ‘Tomorrow is Closed‘, and ‘City Haunts‘ drew me in. The LP maintains the band’s rock roots while exploring genres like dance and funk, creating an unexpectedly nostalgic ambiance. The seamless integration of striking guitar riffs, high-pitched vocals, and the compelling narrative behind the project solidified its status as my top choice for 2023.

Esme Watson (Journalist)

Top 5 Singles

5: easy life – ‘trust exercises

4: Janna Jamison – ‘Get a Good Look at Me

3: Chappell Roan – ‘Red Wine Supernova

2: Olivia Rodrigo – ‘all-american b***h

1: boygenius – ‘True Blue

It’s no surprise that boygenius is in most people’s top five, this truly has been their year, and rightfully so. ‘True Blue’ is the soundtrack to falling in love with life and the things and people around you. Without a doubt, it is the acceptance that allowing people to understand you is something that should be embraced even if it is scary. The people who don’t let you hide and remind you who you are, are the people you should cherish the most. It truly does feel so good to be known so well. 

Top 5 Albums

5: Taylor Swift – ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

4: Taylor Swift – ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)

3: Olivia Rodrigo – ‘GUTS

2: SZA – ‘SOS

1: boygenius – ‘the record’

If making them my no. 1 single doesn’t prove my love for boygenius, I’ve chosen ‘the record’ as my number one album of 2023. It perfectly captures both the individual and collective strengths of the supergroup. Obviously, as a huge fan of Phoebe, Lucy, and Julien’s personal projects as well as their 2018 EP, it was incredible to have them return bigger and better than ever.

Ultimately to me, ‘the record’ pays homage to their old selves on their self-titled EP, it shows their growth as artists, and their own journeys they’ve taken over these past five years. I was lucky enough to see the boys earlier this year at Gunnersbury Park and it truly cemented everything I love about them and their music. They are breathtaking performers and undeniable musical geniuses. Overall, getting to hear some of their most vulnerable and closest moments as friends showcased on such a beautiful project was not only a pleasure but an honour.

Kloe Paton (Journalist)

Top 5 Singles

5: Jorja Smith – ‘What if my heart beats faster?

4: Cleo Sol – ‘Go Baby

3: Usher – ‘GLU

2: Killer Mike FT. André 3000, Future & Eryn Allen Kane – ‘SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS

1: Victoria Monét – ‘Alright

2023 has been the year of Victoria Monét. An industry underdog for years, Victoria has been writing for rappers and R&B stars whilst satisfying a steadily increasing stream of fans with previous projects. Her album ‘JAGUAR II‘ boasted so many undeniable hits, brimming with her slick wordplay and a seductive, sincere celebration of womanhood. ‘Alright‘ is its own entity, however. This song is all ego and electricity. The beat, pacing, and sultry way Monét sings is supremely addictive. She has stamped herself firmly into the current R&B superstar conversation with a single that sets her apart.

Top 5 Albums

5: Daniel Caesar – ‘NEVER ENOUGH

4: Travis Scott – ‘UTOPIA

3: Killer Mike – ‘MICHAEL

2: Cleo Sol – ‘Gold

1: Nas & Hit-Boy – ‘Magic 2

Prolific yet immaculate, Nas slots another bullet in the chamber to a discography at a higher calibre than any other rapper today. A lyricist of the highest degree, he dunks on the best of today’s MCs, with some of his best material ever. Though ‘Magic 3‘ (also released this year) is a strong contender for album of the year, this second installment is a personal favourite. Nas perfectly balances bravado with his buddies (‘Office Hours‘, ‘One Mic One Gun‘) and a reflective consciousness on an astonishingly successful rap career (‘What This All Really Means‘, ‘Abracadabra‘). Hit-Boy and Nas are Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan; when they’re together they don’t know how to lose. To summarise, if you didn’t know it already, ‘Magic 2‘ proves it – Nasir Jones is a rap wizard.

Thomas Atkinson (Editor-in-Chief)

Top 5 Songs

5: Jorja Smith – ‘Little Things

4: Fred again.. FT. Obongjayar – ‘adore u

3: Blur – ‘The Narcissist

2: Billie Eilish – ‘What Was I Made For?

1: Skrillex, Fred again.. & Flowdan – ‘Rumble

The song that has been taking over raves and clubs everywhere, this absolute banger was eagerly anticipated before its release. Since it came into the public’s hands it has been on rotation for me throughout the year. Between the mixture of jungle, dubstep, and grime elements and Flowdan’s now iconic bars, this takes your breath away whether live or through your headphones. A truly great dance record, this will certainly stand the test of time.

Top 5 Albums

5: Potter Payper – ‘Real Back In Style

4: Joy Anonymous – ‘Cult Classics

3: Aluna – ‘MYCELiUM

2: Little Simz – ‘NO THANK YOU

1: Jessie Ware – ‘That! Feels Good!

As the title of this LP suggests, the latest record from Jessie Ware is a great time. Somehow topping her similarly vibey project ‘What’s Your Pleasure?‘, this takes everything that album did well and makes it even better. Whether on vibrant singles like ‘Feel Yourself‘ and ‘Freak Me Now‘ or on more smooth cuts such as ‘Hello Love‘, Ware provides stunning performances over great production. Whether post-disco, funk, R’n’B, or pop is your sound, there is something here to take your fancy.

For more best-of-albums/singles lists including 2022 click here.

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