My Five Favorite Albums Released in January 2023

My Five Favorite Albums that I listened to which were released in January 2023 (in no particular order)

<1> Siv Jakobsen "Gardening"

Siv Jakobsen creates delicate folk songs which have acoustics and sometimes even those really sad strings behind them.   They remind me of something between Kimya Dawson and Lana Del Rey, but I only really listen to one LDR album.    At times it can feel soft spoken, but that shouldn't interfere with the overall message here.

As "Gardening" was released in my birthday month, I am even more happy about there being a song on here called "Birthday".   You'll find a lot of these songs have lyrics worth exploring, but for me "Birthday" hits in an even more special way, especially because of the hook "I've wasted all my time".


<2> Post Moves & The Sound Memory Ensemble "Recall the Dream Breath"

"Recall the Dream Breath" is full of these windy guitars.  It gets dreamy before it turns into this twang like a banjo.   By the end of the first song you'll feel like you're in this lonesome desert as a sound like a harmonica plays through.   Then the second song takes us into spoken word like Steve Scott.   It's ambient as the guitar notes go back and forth, then into minimal noise.

Those winding guitars return for the third song and into the fourth we have this winding of a clock or a music box type of sound.   There are more spoken words on the last song and as much as this feels serious and solemn, there is also a relaxing way about it, as if it is a good piece of music to enjoy while having some self-reflection.  


<3> Joan Torres's All Is Fused "Embrace Form"

The sound of Joan Torres's All Is Fused can mostly be classified under jazz.   There are these blissful and ambient notes to start "Embrace Form" and then a saxophone comes in with that jazz appeak.  The piano keys tell a story while "Unexpectations" can even have that feeling of an old television theme song.    The guitars play a large part in this, especially as the dark acoustics come through in "Darker Decision".   Horns can come through like traffic as well and just be at the forefront of the sound.

But it is that sound of jazz that persists.   Beautiful pianos can be heard.  A guitar solo sets the tone on "Darker Decision".   "No Voices Lost" has a nice driving sound while "Caribbean Mountains" has a slower groove.   The most impressive aspect of this album is that every component- every instrument- can take its turn and be highlighted on different songs so that you know they are there, but then at the same time they all work together so well to form one complete sound.   


<4> Beauty Pill "Blue Period"

This album comes on with mellow rock, but it's not always mellow in the lyrics.   "Blue Period" collects all of the songs Beauty Pill made while on Dischord, which includes an LP, an EP and previously unreleased demos and such.   If you've never heard these albums before, if you are not familiar with Beauty Pill, this brings them in such a light that it an feel like a brand new release and a good starting point for discovering their music.  

At the same time, if you have heard these songs before this will be your first chance to get them in a physical record form.   Also, the demos and other bonus songs on this album certainly make it feel like something familiar but brought back again in a new way.    So whether you are a long time listener or first time caller, "Blue Period" has something for you and it is just a thought-provoking, rock-challenging album from start to finish.  


<5> WILDES "Other Words Fail Me"

WILDES has managed to put together a sound that embraces both pop and rock.  "Other Words Fail Me" begins with a song called "Woman in Love" which has that "Take Me To Church" or Tracy Bonham type big guitars.  Somehow, "Far and Wide" feels both like Lana Del Rey and new wave at the same time.  "Flames" is intense, while "Restless" grows slower and sadder.

"Just Like You" is a song that's filled with elements of "Bittersweet Symphony" and Demi Lovato.    WILDES exists in that space which can be found between being on the modern rock radio but also being on pop radio at the same time.  Not many artists can pull this feat off, but WILDES has managed to do so and definitely with a sound all their own.  


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