So many other honorable mentions to be made this year. Let's zip through the above.
Sven Wunder. Very unfortunate to miss out on the top 3, it was a toss up. A record nobody could hate. What i refer to as 'accessible jazz'. May or may not feature some participation from Dina Ogon members... Viva Sweden.
Mitchum Yacoub. Summer scorcher. Afrobeat, funk, cumbia, maybe the most danceable on the list. Rhythms that ACR fans may find familiar.
Say She She. Much love for this one round all the record shops, second album from the disco-delic soul trio, and another from the Colemine family (via Karma Chief).
Bart. For one thing, great band name - then theres the music. An irratic trip, but brilliantly so. Un-pigeonholeable. First track is kind of 60's sweet and groovy, 2nd track maybe New York new wave esque, 3rd track smooth and jazzy, and then it keeps twisting and turning from there. A lot of fun.
Co-pilot. Squelch-pop, catchy songs with bleeps and bloops. A soundcarriers overlap. One for the Stereolabbers and electronic sound grabbers.
Feist. For me, an overlooked great of our time. Maybe i'm biased after seeing her give the live show of the year back in September... Still at the top of her game. A set of reflective and assured listens, the type of release that may easily be swept away amongst the voices shouting louder this year, but make sure to give some time to this one, definitely the 'grower' of the year if we're doing sub-categories.
Roge. MPB masterclass. For the MPB unaware, it's basically just traditionally popular sounds of Brazil. Feel good stuff, if you don't usually venture to that side of this world for your listening, this would be a friendly introduction.
Cut Worms. Provides a folk/americana taste for the list. One for the Byrds and George Harrison curious.
Okonski. Another instrumental one, yes in the Colemine family.. Stipped back jazz with plenty of space and plenty of grooves, raw and percussive sound with melodic piano at the centre, upright bass and crispy drums accompany. Beautifully recorded, a head cleanser.
Jalen Ngonda. Classic motown soul sound but in 2023. If you're gonna do it, do it well. Very Marvin, very good.
Ana Frango Eletrico. Album cover of the year, cool tigers. Another trip to brazil. Groovy, great hooks, classic moments, funky moments, have a moment and give it a listen.
Bar Italia. Indie pick of the year, one that has snuck in. Lo-fi and trendy, male-female vocal interplay, a shoegaze aspect to it but but not cranked up fully. Some similarities with Broadcast but not as 'sweet'. It sounds like the album cover looks. Maybe that makes sense?
Death and Vanilla. Another trip to Scandinavia. In the dream pop bracket. Loosely psychedelic, one to drift away to.
Les Imprimes. Scandinavia, again, honestly. Norway this one. Clean modern soul sound, hip-hop esque production style, cruising with the roof down record.
Fabiano Do Nascimento. Technically not out on vinyl here yet, but you can grab it from Friday. A modern virtuoso guitar player experimenting with more layers this time around.
Greg Foat & Gigi Masin. Got extra love for this one as it is the perfect record to stare out of the big window in the shop to. Ambient jazz, bliss.
Titanic. Probably the most experimental listen on here. The much respected Mabe Fratti of Guatemala at the height of her powers. Naturally jazzy but does rock in places. Something captivating about it for me, but not one for everyone, one to push the boat out if you fancy. Amazing musician but lovely vocals also.