We are approaching mid-December, and it’s time for the inevitable listicle: our favourite songs of the year. However, we’re never cynical about best song lists, they are a brilliant way to find things you might have missed, and so it is with joy we bring you our best 23 for 23…
Twenty Three: The Trench Coat Museum by Yard Act
Let’s be honest, a song about trench coats isn’t really an easy sell, but this isn’t about the lyrics. This long, sinewy, driving song grabs you and propels you along for eight minutes of never-faltering action, and it doesn’t really matter what he’s talking about you’d engage with anything over this shamanic, hypnotic tune.
Twenty Two: Leave Your Hate In The Comments by Lord of the Lost
This is not our favourite Lord of the Lost song from 2023, so we strongly urge you to check out their brilliant and deep catalogue… but it is the song that most encapsulates being a creative in 23, trying to put your art out there and finding faceless bile filled bastards ready to get off on posting abuse. Lord of the Lost recommend a response to this, in a glorious metal song that says, go on then, post your worst, we don’t care, we’re doing it anyway, and really, that’s a marvelous approach.
Twenty One: Caution to the Wind by Everything But The Girl
The Beatles will go down as the big comeback of 2023, but honestly, the return of Everything But The Girl produced a song that was just as good, thrillingly modern, incessantly repeatable, and equally triumphant. An instant dance classic.
Twenty: Suic*de by Ren
We will admit, the first half of this song isn’t great. It’s alright, nothing special, but this makes our list of the top tracks of the year because the spoken word tribute at the end to Ren’s lost friend is the single most emotional section of all the arts, all year. It’s crushing, it’s brutal, you can feel the man’s agony, and it is a creative and personal achievement. As a tribute, there is nothing that punches harder. And, of course, always reach out and talk to someone.
Nineteen: Cry to Heaven by Creeper
We wholeheartedly approve of Creeper’s turn to full on schlock horror, and we adore every song on one of the year’s best albums… so what to pick for here? We’ve gone for the one people who aren’t into horror might find the best chance of loving, the gateway drug if you will. Creeper have now never done a bad album, and are peaking.
Eighteen: Now and Then by The Beatles
We really didn’t know if the whole ‘rip some old vocals off a C90 and turn them into our final song’ thing was going to work, but this is The Beatles so we should have trusted because Now and Then couldn’t have been any more perfect for the situation. It was, if we’re being emotional, like some sort of destiny.
Seventeen: Worn Out Buildings by 86TVs
Sometimes, we all need a song that goes “You don’t have to be yourself, right now Just give it time, you’ll work that out You don’t have to be the one who Holds on to feelings,” and this song is it. Jangly, hopeful, indie pop with a boosting heart.
Sixteen: Tattoo by Loreen
Yes, we have included the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. We love Eurovision, we all watch Eurovision, and Lord of the Lost got screwed of a higher place, but Loreen’s Tattoo was a pure club banger in whatever situation, competition or sweaty darkness. We don’t care for snobbery, a banger is a banger. Well done Loreen.
Fifteen: Last Resort Reimagined by Falling in Reverse
Last Resort is a classic of its genre, a troubled song about self harm and suicide, but Falling In Reverse decided that instead of pounding rock, they’d add a piano and do the whole thing grander than a music hall. The song is transformed, the lyrics really bite deeper than they ever did, and it’s just an incredible cover, but it every way just as big and brutal.
Fourteen: Death Drive by Junodream
Death Drive was the most insidious song at Supajam this year, passing like a glorious and enjoyable cold. Someone would say to another, hey, heard this, its great you might like it, and they in turn would love it and pass it to someone else, until we all realised we thought it was brilliant even if, to be honest, we’re still not really sure what a Death Drive is. Also: whistling.
Thirteen: Your Side of Town by The Killers
We all adored this song on its first play, and we remain surprised a lot of people don’t. It was a natural progression for The Killers, so natural it didn’t even feel like a progression, it felt like they’d just been doing it exactly like this for years. Blur, The Beatles, they went away and came back, but The Killers never left and are just as strong.
Twelve: Call Me What You Like by Lovejoy
Let’s be honest, a song in 2023 which starts with ‘I never was a fan of the internet’ is going to get your interest. Lovejoy takes good old fashioned British indie and then makes a modern, pounding racket out of it, including one of the most urgent, lovelorn choruses of the year. This won’t change the world, but it will change your mood.
Eleven: I Saw by Young Fathers
Sheer raw energy. Righteous anger. One of the best sets we saw at Glastonbury this year. Young Fathers are an incredible proposition, and the soundtrack to every time the world kicks you and pushes the blood to your head and makes you want to punch the wall. I Saw is life, it is fire, it is far from alone in their exemplary catalogue.
Ten: Overcome by Nothing But Thieves
Nothing But Thieves are definitely high up on lists of bands who produce great songs but never get the real recognition, and with a top ten that’s full of pain and musing on troubled modern life, we kick it off with a song nakedly about making it through. We Shall Overcome they sing in the chorus (but in a vastly cool and stylish way), and this is the one to spin when you need to push on through it all.
Nine: Cannibal Within by Amigo the Devil
We’ve been fans of Amigo the Devil for years, and got very excited when we heard he’d just locked his band away in a cabin and hammered away. Really the first single of a campaign which should make him far bigger, Cannibal Within saw Amigo take topics he’d already been brilliant with – addiction and mental health – and just make solid gold out of them. Agonising, and hopefully for you not recognisable.
Eight: American Teenager by Ethel Cain
Not the only song on this list which uses the America Something format (subtle clue), American Teenager was a muse on… well it was all about being a teenager in current America, a mixture of pain and hope, modern and old, addictive to listen to but cathartic and cutting. When everyone went crazy for Taylor, we went crazy for Ethel.
Seven: Hell Is A Teenage Girl by Nessa Barrett
Nessa Barrett released an EP that should have made her a star, but it doesn’t seem to have happened. Nonetheless, her depiction of being a young woman in the 2020s was so angry, so painful, so revealing, it has to make our top ten, we just wish it made everyone’s top tens. We just hope that the people that need to hear this have a chance.
Six: Mermaids by Florence and the Machine
Half of this song is Florence doing her folk horror thing and talking about Mermaids killing guys, and that would have been good enough, but at its core Mermaids contains a description of young people going out clubbing that decades worth of Britons either recognise or look back on, and she captured that wild youthful energy, and older fondness, perfectly.
Five: The Narcissist by Blur
It wasn’t nailed on that Blur would return to critical and public acclaim, but they did. That said, this is the most divisive entry on this list among the Supajam team: some of us adored it, some of us hate it… and ultimately, what more can you ask of art?
Four: Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo
We sat in expectation this year, wondering how Olivia Rodrigo was going to try and release something as good as Good For You. Her answer was a sweeping, dramatic song about being screwed over by a lover (relatable) and fame (not that relatable but it sounds like she’s having a bad time.) But again, Olivia’s releases were so strong we could easily have out another one here, or cheat and combine them as one entry. We do not cheat.
Three: Padam Padam by Kylie Minogue
Padam Padam was the party song of the year. It didn’t matter where you were when it came on, you had to stop and move. But the fact it was by Kylie, still releasing incredible songs and dominating the club, made it extra special. It also got a weird extra life too, when Joe Lycett signed off a song protesting about the treatment of the LGBT community ‘Padam Padam’ instead of anything like yours sincerely, and now loads of us do too.
Two: A&W by Lana Del Rey
If people had only heard Lana Del Rey’s first album, they would have recognised the first section of American Whore, a peak Lana story among the best she’s ever done, which would have placed on this list alone. But that it goes on into this trippy extended section was what made this truly a triumph and a song you can hammer again and again. Lana was never a one trick pony, but American Whore just slapped the face of anyone who thought she was.
One: Nothing Matters by The Last Dinner Party
The arrival of this debut single was greeted by a lot of, well, we’re just going to say jealous snobbery. After building up a passionate fan base through gigging, The Last Dinner Party unleashed on us a classic song of heartbreak and the madness that goes with trying to deal with it. It wasn’t sit in your room listening to indie music pain, it was get out there and blast it away. That they followed it up with a single that was just as good in Sinner, which was also in consideration for this list, is a good sign.