Fall 2023 Album Highlights

I'm starting a little quarterly series here where I highlight some of the new-to-me albums I've found that have left a lasting impression on me. I meant to post this months ago, but better late than never I suppose.

First up, the big one. I'm so obsessed with this one that I've added it to my all-time favorites list (Music Zone); here's the entry I gave it on that page:

Shadowglow Flipturn

Album Cover: A painting of a man lying face-up on a mat, in what appears to be a spotlight.  The background is a deep redAlt-Rock

Here's the newest addition to this list. I found this album only a few months ago and have spent a long time chewing on it, and I've finally reached the inevitable conclusion: it's perfect. I love this record so much. The musicianship on this album takes my breath away. I do not have enough room on this page to point out every detail I love, not even close; here's my best attempt to capture it in one paragraph.

The opener is great for this record already; that they followed it up with Playground right at the beginning of the album is unbelievable - it's got one of my favorite choruses I've ever heard, and the ride-out over the second half of the song is sublime. Everybody loves Whales, I don't even need to sell y'all on that one. In Consideration is incredible songwriting; the silky smooth meter changes throughout the song are hard to even notice if you're not paying attention but they show the technical mastery this band has. I'm obsessed with the arpeggiator in the chorus of Hollow. It took me a bit to come around to Burn, and in my opinion it can only really be understood as a setup for Weepy Woman - those two tracks together are perfect for that spot in the album. The climax in Space Cowboy moves me to tears. The unsettling melancholy of Orbit captivates me every time I listen to it, and I couldn't write a better closer to this record if you gave me a hundred years.

Please listen to this album. And see them perform live, that drummer is a maniac.

Below are the rest of the albums I'd like to highlight that I found in the fall of 2023; I've left them out of the all-time favorites list but they are all absolutely worth a listen.

Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? McKinley Dixon

Album Cover: A stylized illustration of the artist's back facing the camer, turned around and wearing a large white gloveHip Hop

Oh man. This record is a masterpiece, and it really shows everything that makes Hip Hop great. There's some really cool context for this record - it's heavily inspired by Toni Morrison, and the literary themes shine throughout it. Dedicated To Tar Feather and the title track are particular highlights for me. You've gotta check this one out, it's high art.

Apoptosis Inner Wave

Album Cover: A mountain landscape cropped in a circlular viewportAlt-Rock

It's great. Really laid back psych rock, almost sleepy, but it shows plenty of emotion. I love Reach, Air, and Nature. They've got great catchy hooks and super smooth arrangement.

Quaranta Danny Brown

Album Cover: A dimly-lit headshot of the artist.  He seems to have a sad facial expressionHip Hop

What an awesome direction for Danny Brown's music to take, especially in contrast to his older stuff. I'm not extremely familiar with his catalog but this one is reflective and expressive in a way that I'd never heard from him before. It's really good stuff. Shakedown has aged really well so far, and I love Celibate, especially MIKE's guest verse. Bass Jam is a nice closer. I look forward to seeing him perform in a few months.

Expedition, Vol. 6 (Promenadologie) Flitz&Suppe

Album Cover: A photograph heavily obscured by vertical lines; it looks like open waterElectronica

It's good chill hop! If you listen to one track off of here, make it Keep You Dreamin'; that's the nicest beat I've heard in a long time. I'd highlight a bunch of other tracks but honestly the whole album flows together really nicely. This is great music to work or dissociate to. Give it a listen.

Pocket Full of Dreams Late Night Radio

Album Cover: A warm-toned illustration of a flower growing out of a cool-toned cracked desert floorEDM

I'd been aching for this kinda music for a while when this album dropped. It gets straight to business with opener Yes Ma'am, and keeps that energy going with Shining, before dialing it back a bit with some more mellow electro soul soundscapes. I love the Michal Menert feature, obviously. The tempo change in On My Shoulder is also awesome. I'm a big fan.