Each month, Uproxx cultural critic Steven Hayden compiles an unranked list of his favorite music released during the period – songs, albums, books, movies and more.
1. Eve Tumor, praise be to the Lord who chews gum but does not eat; (Or just "Hot Worlds")
It's not radical enough to be called "experimental" and not catchy enough to function as a pop movement in its own right. But sonically, it's one of the heaviest indie albums of early 2023. With the help of Noah Goldstein, the sound engineer behind My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Alan Moulder, l ne of the greatest architects of alternative rock of the 90s, Praise invites the Lord to lose yourself in your rhythms. This is a very good headphone recording. The instrumental melodies are top notch. On my podcast, I spoke semi-seriously about Maneskin's indie opener "High Line," where the artists enthusiastically embrace hard rock vibes. Now this series can belong to Yves Tumor.
2. Ratboys, "Black Earth, Wisconsin"
The latest single from this very cute band from Chicago is my most played song of the month. “Black Earth, WI” is over eight minutes long, taking its time reaching the best venue in the country, with an epic long guitar solo taking up most of the time. I advise anyone planning a trip in the near future to listen to this song.
Speaking of guitar solos, the king of indie jams is back with this great live album, where he extends old favorites like "Telluride Speed" and "The Halfwit In Me" way beyond the 10-minute mark into a breathtaking series of improvisations. . And since Riley is also a master of quick talk, you'll get some ridiculous comedy between long jams, too. Who could ask for more?
4. M83, "Laura"
This month, the synthpop band released their first album in seven years, in what felt like a deliberate return to the expansive cinematic sound of 2011's seminal album . I can't say that fantasy always hits the mark, but the highlights of this album – and "Laura" is my biggest highlight – prove that Anthony Gonzalez is still the best at creating retro 80s music. , which evokes a deep and penetrating melancholy.
5. Lankum, false Lankum
It was my slow burn favorite this month. It might sound silly on paper: it's a traditional Irish folk record filtered through a post-rock filter, as if Pogues were more like Sunn 0))). I don't know how to explain it, but there is something metallic in this record, even if it's not Metal at all. Maybe it's the album cover that makes them look like Profound Lore. But it's the most beautiful "winter" music I've encountered this season.
6. Lana Del Rey, did you know there is a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard?
I immediately have two thoughts on this record: First, I think it's the best since Norman Fucking Rockwell . So 2019 wasn't that far off, but it felt like it had a bit of a hangover from the Chemtrails Over The Country Club and the Blue Bannisters . What I love about LDR is that she's one of the last old school rock stars we have left. Unlike almost every other famous artist, she doesn't seem at all interested in looking like a normal person. And I really appreciate it. This makes her less predictable than her contemporaries, although she has a very distinct personality.
I would also like to say that this album is at least 20 minutes longer, but it seems like 40 minutes longer to me because there is almost no drums. Seriously, I would love to have the LDR jam band lend one of their drummers so we can rock these songs. Still, it turns out to be one of their best albums.
7. Wait, the price of progress
Can you believe this band will be 20 years old this year? Another case where life escapes me. The things that shaped my life in my 20s and 30s are now decades old! This new album is another collaboration with producer Josh Kaufman, who reached the THS circuit thanks to the solo albums of Craig Finn. His project helps the band expand their sonic palette, which in this case means lots of synths, strings, and keyboards. At the same time, there are songs that reference Robert Plant and LeBron James, so there seems to be a happy medium between the band's "mature" sound and the classic themes.
8. Daisy, ANOTHER BODY
Last year, Virginia singer-songwriter James Goodson released his magical debut album , OUTOFBODY . OUTOFBODY is a very fun and catchy 26-minute album, punk-inspired power pop without the perfect fat. He obviously left some gems on the guest bedroom floor, as this month he released an EP that appears to be a sequel to the full album. Ironically, OTHERBODY is slightly shorter than its predecessor at around 20 minutes, at eight songs. But it hits even harder.