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Marquette Wire

Sofía’s Spotlight: 4 Favorite Albums of 2023

Here are my top four favorite albums from 2023.
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Photo by courtesy of Interscope

With every new year comes the chance to discover new music, diving into different styles, sounds, artists and projects. Here are my favorite albums from 2023.

4.  Lana Del Rey – Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd 

Lana Del Rey’s most recent album release came highly anticipated since her last releases in 2021, “Blue Banisters” and “Chemtrails Over the Country Club.” The album, often referred to as “OB,” quickly took over the internet with tracks like “Let The Light In” and “Taco Truck x VB,” even receiving an award for Pitchfork’s best new music. Del Rey usually doesn’t release music with too many features, but here we see collaborations with artists Father John Misty, Jon Batiste, Bleachers and more.

Del Rey carries a lyric-heavy, soft style with her on many of her projects, but this one felt like it took more risks with sudden rhythm and lyrical changes on tracks like “A&W.” The track “Margaret” was actually written for Del Rey’s friend, Margaret Qualley, and was performed by Qualley’s husband, Jack, on their wedding day. “The Grants” is equally as personal but talks about Del Rey’s family. Many of Del Rey’s music coincides with romantic relationships but on this project, she touches on the theme of friendship and family values heavily. The project is beautifully personal, much like Del Rey’s music in general, but can be especially seen and picked apart on OB. 

Favorite Track: “Kintsugi”

3.  Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want to Turn into You

If you don’t already know her, you know her now. Caroline Polachek’s “Desire, I Want to Turn into You” is the star’s sophomore album which landed her a top album spot on many music publications this year, including the #2 album of the year on Pitchfork. This past year has redefined pop for me, with many new-age pop albums released, including Polachek’s latest project.

The album brings in these pop elements as well as R&B influences, but with Polachek’s own personal twist on the sound. With pop being one of the most popular genres in the music scene, Polachek’s sound is still electrifying, unique and surprising. What drew me into this album was its title and cover, featuring Polachek on all fours wearing headphones, climbing through a subway car and reminding me of an early 2000’s magazine spread. 

Favorite Track: “Bunny Is a Rider”

2.  Feeble Little Horse – Girl with Fish 

“Girl with Fish” by Pittsburgh-based band Feeble Little Horse is their sophomore album, merging simultaneous noise and softness. The album features self-recorded and produced tracks yielding a shorter project greatly representing the quartet’s collective style. The track “Tin Man” easily became one of my favorite songs of the year and one of my most listened to.

 I truly loved the metaphors on “Tin Man” that speak on relationships in a lighthearted but, nevertheless, off-putting, dark way. The instrumentals almost hid the meaning for me at first but left me to discover the song is also completely heartbreaking. It was the summer when I had first heard the album, and I still find myself coming back to it every once and while. “Girl With Fish” truly put Feeble Horse on the map, making up the band’s most streamed songs on Spotify. From this album, the band has climbed to 294.4K monthly listeners and leaves room for excitement in terms of what will come next from Feeble Little Horse. 

Favorite Track: “Tin Man”

1. Midwife and Vyva Melinkolya – Orbweaving

I only found Midwife’s (Madeline Johnston) debut album from 2017 earlier this year, and since then I’ve deep dove into the artist’s other work. “OrbWeaving” released earlier this year, Midwife’s first collaboration album with her friend, Vyva Melinkolya (Angel Diaz) although having worked together in the past on other tracks. The album consists of only five tracks, ending with “OrbWeaving” a 12-minute-long ambient track that ties the entire project together.

The lyrics on this project are concise and repetitive, full of undertones referencing dark themes. When lyrics aren’t completely obvious, it delivers the opportunity for a wider interpretation and understanding of meaning. Midwife and Melinkolya brought in their own individual styles to create something dark, beautiful and entirely cohesive that weaves both of their webs together. 

Favorite track: “Hounds of Heaven”

This story was written by Sofía Cortés. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Sofía Cortés
Sofía Cortés, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Sofía Cortés is the assistant editor for Arts & Entertainment. She is a junior majoring in journalism and with a writing intensive minor. Sofia is from Puerto Rico and outside of the Wire she enjoys reading, writing poetry, drawing and listening to music

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