As I often say, the canard that “there’s no good music today” is just that: 2023 has brought with it some great music. One often needs to look hard to find it – signal to noise ratios and whatnot – but it’s out there. Herewith are
four SIX of my favorite new releases from this, the first normal-ish year in some time.
This charming trio makes super-catchy music with a knowing attitude. Timeless music for lovers of melody and rock-level energy. Feature is here. (NOTE: Goldmine Magazine asked me to name my pick for the year’s very best new release. This is it.)
Chris Church – Radio Transient
Church is quite prolific, and moves from genre to genre with seeming effortlessness. More important, though, he makes each convincingly; no dilettante he. His latest is in the melodic rock category, and you should hear it. Review is here.
The Salt Collective – Life
The lineup of this international group has changed since its first outing, but the new album shows just how creative the core duo truly is. Review is here.
M-Opus – At the Mercy of Manannán
The best new prog album I’ve heard in awhile– in a classic style, without the metal edge that informs so much of the newer stuff. For fans of Nektar and such. Review is here.
UPDATE: Two more deserve to be on this list.
Steve Stoeckel — The Power of And
At first I wasn’t going to include this one, because I’m way too close to it, as you can read mostly here, also here and even here. But the plain fact is that The Power of And deserves mention among my favorites of 2023, whatever the context. So here ’tis.
After Ours — Music for Cats
To my thinking, the best jazz album of the year. ‘Nuff said. Want more? It’s so good that I revised this post after publishing it (I didn’t review the album until December 30).