by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


The tick-tock of time trips on and here we are again, old friends. Said the Gramophone. Best songs. By now I hope you know the drill. This world needs some kindnesses--it wants more peace, liberation, and music shared between strangers. So here's a pistachio, a ripe pear. Here are my 100 favourite songs of the year 2023; songs I love much more than doomed submarines (or basketball).

Earlier this year, I published by third novel--a book called Do You Remember Being Born? It follows the story of a fictional 75-year-old poet, Marian Ffarmer, who is hired by a Big Tech company to collaborate with their new poetry AI, Charlotte. The New York Times called it "timely and lovely," and there were also nice reviews in The Walrus, the Winnipeg Free Press and the Montreal Review of Books. I hope you'll order it, or take it out of the library; there's lots more information at my author website.

Said the Gramophone is an old blog (20 years!). We publish rarely. But there's still some value, I think, from hanging-in.

What you'll find below is my 19th annual list of the best songs in a given 12-month period. See previously: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. I follow just one arbitrary rule: that no primary artist may appear twice.

The best way to browse the proceeding is to click the little arrow beside each song and then to listen as you read. The things you like you can then download by right- or ctrl-clicking with your mouse.

You can also download the complete 100 songs in three parts:

I have also created a Spotify playlist for these tunes (#43 is unavailable there). (And thanks to Neale for this Apple Music playlist.) Remember: pay for the music you enjoy, which is to say: buy albums on bandcamp, on vinyl, purchase merch at shows. Now more than ever, giving money to Spotify or Apple is insufficient.


This list is my work—me, Sean, and not any of Said the Gramophone's other past contributors. Don't blame them for my evanescing taste.

If this is your first time at Said the Gramophone, please don't hesitate to page through the archives. Papercuts await! You can also follow me on Twitter or read my books.

Among the artists below, roughly 40 are American, 23 are Canadian, 16 are British, and there are three Spanish artists, four Australians, two each from New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria and Ireland, and one from each of France, South Korea, Mexico, Pakistan and newcomers Togo, Peru and the Netherlands. 35 of the frontpeople/bandleaders are men (the lowest ever), 58 identify as women, and there are 7 mixed duos. This is the way it worked out; it certainly ain't perfect. Here are some charts of this and past lists' demographics.

My favourite songs of the year do not necessarily speak to my favourite albums of the year. Songs and LPs are really different, and this year was a particualrly good year for long-players.

My favourite albums of 2023 were:

  • Ben Howard - Is It? (sun-dazed, sea-sick indie pop / buy);
  • John Francis Flynn - Look Over the Wall, See the Sky (daring & prismatic Irish folk / buy);
  • Asher Gamedze - Turbulence and Pulse (wild and rustling jazz / buy);
  • Lankum - False Lankum (more folk from Ireland, heavy as a meteor / buy);
  • Philippe Brach - Les gens qu'on aime (a hilarious, audacious Québecois Sgt Pepper / buy);
  • La Force - XO Skeleton (supple, hot-blooded indie-R&B / buy); and
  • Daniel Villarreal - Lados B (more jazz, animated and warm / buy)
I promise: each of these is a treasure-chest, go get yr spade.

And now, without any more throat-clearing, a downtown car-chase of proudly mixed metaphors. And sentence fragments:

Said the Gramophone's Best Songs of 2023
  1. Feist - "Borrow Trouble" [buy] Pummelling and gorgeous, as if Lou Reed's Street Hassle had been transformed into battle-grade munitions. "Borrow Trouble"'s greatness rests on its 8-bar hook: a hoarse voice, that tambourine, and sawing, sawing, sawing violins. It builds nearly too much, slamming and sawing well after the apex of David Ralicke's sax solo, but nearly every time it ends I slam my spacebar to set it off again, those drums and those fiddles, Leslie Feist casting a net, a wish, to try to catch up some poor souls' woe.
  2. Jorja Smith - "Little Things" [buy]
    A high-pace seduction, nearly breathless, except that Jorja Smith knows how to organize her respiration, she knows every trick: how to measure time, how to skip a beat, how to draw strength from dancehall, from jungle. And how to take an exit.
  3. Mk.gee and Two Star - "Candy" [website]
    I like to imagine that New Jersey's Michael Todd Gordon grew up in a house where mum & dad played Jai Paul and Unknown Mortal Orchestra on Sunday mornings; that to him this was classic rock, alongside Prince and Peter Gabriel and Tom Petty; that he's not trying to make a future-music but some ode to an untrue past, where Sparks played the Super Bowl and opium got ate at the White House.
  4. La Force - "XO Skeleton" [buy]
    "XO Skeleton" is the deeply addicting title track on La Force's second album--a tune about mortality and care that flexes, shimmers, iridescent as a beetle. I found myself returning to it over and over again--for the guitar's dissolving sound, for the plainsung short-story in its lyrics, for the step-by-step surprise of its chorus chords. Like true love, like a life, it never feels long enough. (Full disclosure: Earlier this year, I was paid by Secret City Records to write some promo materials.)
  5. English Teacher - "Nearly Daffodils" [buy]
    An ecstatic, electrifying post-punk/spoken-word jam in the tradition of Life Without Buildings or Dry Cleaning. But sweeter than either of those bands, more candid and more sincere: Lily Fontaine's got some Emily Dickinson in her, she's taking her heart out of her pocket while the band around her runs laps, smashes walls, up-ladders and down-ladders with a precision that sounds like abandon. Presque. What a delight.
  6. Dream Sitch - "A Loose Dust" [buy]
    Dream Sitch is a two-piece formed by Floating Action's Seth Kauffman plus Michael Nau, whose project Page France was one of my most treasured discoveries of the early Said the Gramophone days. Here, "A Loose Dust" shakes out its glory in a way that feels dusty and cumulative--bare-hand percussion, thin fiddle, a dialogue of guitars. A perfectly belligerent bassline: proof that good stuff something needs some sticking-to-it, some bare persevere.
  7. Debby Friday - "Hard to Tell" [buy]
    The pièce de résistance on Debby Friday's Polaris Prize-winning Good Luck--part-alarm, part-consolation, Friday's coo entwined with the tune's noisy swerves. A soft song that stamps, smashes, its army-boots tied tight as prisoners.
  8. ANOHNI ft. the Johnsons - "It Must Change" [buy]
    Fifteen years after releasing "Another World," my favourite song of 2008, ANOHNI offers a sequel--or perhaps a kind of retort. Back then, she was willing to make her plea feel restive, nearly peaceful. "I need another world," she sang, "a place where I can go." That song's force lay in its irony: the distance between the serenity of its sound and the sorrow of its meaning. A decade and a half (and 0.61°C) later, ANOHNI carries a different name and applies a different approach: "It Must Change" is about necessity, not hope. Action, not dreaming. Working with producer Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini), ANOHNI builds her argument on the undeniability of a groove. Guitar, drums, strings; there's no turning your back on any of this, any more than you can resist tapping your toe. We're not getting out of here, a voice admits, and "that's why it's so sad," ANOHNI answers. Everything's always transforming. It's the only thing that could save us.
  9. Helena Deland - "Spring Bug" [buy]
    As you will be in the process of learning, 2023 was, for me, a year in which I overenjoyed the fretless bass, and it's with the introduction of that instrument into this song--at 1:52--that "Spring Bug" raises itself up, like a teenager getting out of the pool, from harmless ditty to something with more portent. Deland's wise to it: the Montreal songwriter hasn't just written a song about love's first bite, but one that acknowledges the thing's poison, and the 4/4 march of time. Death awaits the swooners, too.
  10. Sufjan Stevens - "Will Anybody Ever Love Me?" [buy]
    I have an old, deep reverence for a certain kind of Sufjan Stevens song, and here it is through most of "Will Anybody Ever Love Me?": guitar, voice, and a piano far too gentle for this world. The bombast stuff I can take or leave--I don't crave the choir, the Sunday-disco crescendo--but "Will Anybody Ever Love Me?"'s power rests in the noble, painful directness of its ask. "Will anybody ever love me?" he pleads, letting the question sound as thin, as desperate, as it is. Sufjan's done something amazing with the melody's overreach ("cast / me / out," "see / a / cloud," "anybody ever / love / me"); he can barely sing these lines, they strain just beyond his voice. The want of them (the prayer)--I recognize it. It's enough to break a stranger's heart.
  11. Ben Howard - "Days of Lantana" [buy]
    Ask me what I like in a song and I'll answer in any number of ways. Some of those answers I don't know quite how to explain. Why is it that I so adore first words of this track? What makes them so fine? "Agatha and I / go..." That's it, sung all in one breath--a phrase that simply feels beautiful, like an opening incantation. Later, stay tuned for the line to return. Stay tuned also for 2023's best oboe solo. But "Days of Lantana"'s more than its oboe, its Agathas: like Kate Bush's "Hello Earth" or Mary Margaret O'Hara's "When You Know Why You're Happy," Ben Howard's song feels as sensitive as the palm of your hand. He's telling the story of a perfect day, telling it in tones of magic and mirror-world. Lantana's a place in Texas; it's a place in Florida; it's a flowering plant. It's all and possibly none of those things--and Howard's "Days..." sees the English musician flickering in and out of phase, superhuman. The production, by Bullion, feels 80s-tinged and, I don't know, solar? Light & warmth & a prismatic spectrum, qualities that bathe the gorgeous songwriting on Is It? and make it probably my favourite album of the year.
  12. Noah Kahan and Kacey Musgraves - "She Calls Me Back" [buy]
    OK, I'm on board. Kahan's rootsy rocket-ship has lifted him from the woods of Vermont to the international stage (including Osheaga 2024!), but not without reason. He has a fine ear for melody, and the guy can sing--there's a rakish appetite to the way he gobbles up a chorus. He sings with a Cary Elwes smile. "She Calls Me Back" is frankly delightful, and I could listen all day to the way Kahan approaches the numerals "82-299-3167." I'm not alone, either: for this version fo the single, he enlisted satin-y country-pop star Kacey Musgraves. And she sings that number with just as much pleasure, as caught up as me in the thrill of the meter.
  13. Lankum - "Lord Abore and Mary Flynn" [buy]
    Lankum's astonishing new album has made them one of the most important acts in contemporary folk music. It's a vision of Irish folk-song that's restless and alive, awake to real stakes--affiliated with old-fashioned harmony, noisy punk rock, and even a strain of doomy metal (for an example of the latter, check out False Lankum's outstanding opening track; await the howling banshee drop at ~4:00). "Lord Abore and Mary Flynn" is on the pretty end of that spectrum, painted in tones of green and golden harmony. But don't let looks deceive you: this is an old, grim murder ballad, with tragedy thrumming at its core.
  14. Westerman - "CSI: Petralona" [buy]
    William Westerman never really explains the who, what, why, how of whatever crime(s) went down this day, but we know the where: Petralona, in Athens, where the singer had "a close shave," either literal or figurative, which left him reeling. "CSI: Petralona"'s dressed in acoustic guitar, sunshine, pattering drums courtesy of Big Thief's James Krivchenia. It smells of orange zest, sea salt. It dodges close scrutiny and some days I put it on like a shrug, walk around town with its partial reassurance.
  15. Beatings Are In The Body - "Blurry" [buy]
    Last year, my friend Erika Angell (of Thus Owls) formed this band with two west-coasters, Peggy Lee and Róisín Adams: the thing I find rarest about their collaboration is the way this pretty music remains unsettled, unresolved, a thrown stone that is forever falling. Erika's voice searches & searches, and as responsive as Lee's cello is, it never actually offers an answer. It is merely a companion, a fellow searcher, in a landscape raised and lowered, like sheets, by Adams' cool piano.
  16. Chris Staples - "Nasty Habit" [buy]
    A driving song, a swing-set song--just drums and guitar, Staples' dry mumble, and a little spritz of strings. Oh, and a mournful synth solo, like a plant that's learned to talk. Take a Springsteen track and reduce it, simmer it til it's thick.
  17. Braids - "Evolution" [buy]
    I love the sounds of this tune, the layering of textures. Cloudy, clear, mournful, ripe; concise and also awash. A bouncing, climbing synth-pop tribute to love in its opening seasons. Do you really think it'll fall off? No way, no way, no way.
  18. John Roseboro and Mei Semones - "Waters of March" [buy]
    You've got to be careful when evaluating a cover like this, of one of the greatest songs of all time. But the richness of Roseboro and Semones's "Waters of March" isn't just their careful, creative arrangement--with flutters of flute, the tiniest thread of dissonance--but the alert presence of their vocal performance. Roseboro, who is Haitian-American, and Semones, who is Japanese-American, offer (i think?) a best-ever version of Antônio Carlos Jobim's own translated lyrics, allowing his lovely rhymes to still feel offhand, instant, inventions arrived at together by two co-conspirators.
  19. The Japanese House - "Boyhood" [buy]
    Months ago, I was struck by something Amber Bain said in the press release that accompanied this song: "I never had a boyhood," she said. "I often wonder how different it would have been if I did." It's a startling, thought-provoking question--especially for those, like me, who might have never asked anything like it. But then I also admire the grace with which Bain examines her answer: making it a song full of beauty, possibility, not some heavy, old-fashioned vision of masculinity. Produced by The 1975's George Daniel, it's a tune full of tiny handsome details, like the things a child discovers in the garden: ants, snapdragons, slugs.
  20. Jamila Woods ft. Duendita - "Tiny Garden" [buy]
    A song about the heart: throbbing, gasping, bloody, life-keeping, living. Growing older every day. Jamila Wood has a way of casting heat--generating it, making warmth and temperature suddenly appear. She sings about butterflies and flowers without making the whole thing feel paper-thin or ephemeral: it's got playfulness and invention, glee and even a little loving mischief.
  21. V/Z - "Suono Assente" [buy]
    The white sun above Bologna. The concrete patio beside a swimming-pool. The feeling of your skin after soaking in a salt bath: cool, dry, smooth as a piece of clay. V/Z make music like LCD Soundsystem in a kiln, their edges starting to brown.
  22. Alex Banin - "Doc Whiler" [video]
    A singer singing midnight from inside a giant's belly, where she's been swallowed up. Dreaming & remembering; imagining a wish that could move through time like a fire through a book.
  23. John Francis Flynn - "Mole in the Ground" [buy]
    Flynn takes on one of the most ridiculous tunes in the American folk songbook--"I wish I was a lizard in the spring / I wish I was a lizard in the spring," he intones, "If was a lizard in the spring I'd hear my darling sing." The Irishman shows no emotion, allowing the music around the voices to do all the work. Swooning cello, shattering electric squiggles, the drift of fingerpicked acoustic--the tumult feeling a little like Arthur Russell down a rabbit-hole, swinging at heirlooms. Look Over the Wall, See the Sky is among my very favourite albums of 2023, but I'm not sure if "Mole..." is representative--except as an example of Flynn's wild imagination, the variety of the secrets in his almanac.
  24. Courtney Barnett - "Different Now" [buy]
    A beautiful, hearfelt cover of a tune by Chastity Belt, with the original's sour sorrow diffused into something warmer and happier, surer of its happy ending. Australia's Barnett offers a lucky kind of wisdom--the sweet kind, the kind you don't need to convince yourself to believe.
  25. Being Dead - "Last Living Buffalo" [buy]
    As if Montreal's late, great Unicorns were a product of the American West: yahoo and riff-raff and canter-gallop to the edge of a cliff; stop dead. This is Roadrunner-Coyote music, family-friendly escapade music, as if John Wayne sipped a vial of Alice's magic liquor, felt himself being dragged down to the land of Rick Moranis.
  26. Cleo Sol - "Old Friends" [buy]
    A gem from the first of two albums Cleo Sol released in 2023. (After releasing six records in 2022, Sol's band, Sault, uncharacteristically took some time off.) "Old Friends" is so simple, plain as a polaroid. Voice, piano, some vocal overdubs--that's it. A whole friendship, a love even, put to bed in two minutes and fifty-eight seconds. She has much to lament about the way this friendship led and leaned, but there's a deep kindness to the dignity Sol grants it--all the way down to the way the track ends, not abruptly but with a fade out.
  27. Bb Trickz - "Missionsuicida" [video]
    Bb Trickz is a Spanish rapper named Belize Kazi; "Missionsuicida" is 88 seconds of bass pads, Catalan whispers and Law & Order samples. What I adore is the tangle of the thing, the way each bar drags the other one after it, like a three-legged race. You can't listen to one verse without listening to the next, you can't play it once before reaching for the keyboard to hear it go again.
  28. The Clientele - "Blue Over Blue" [buy]
    Even after all these years, The Clientele are still finding new tricks in their gauzey, gold-threaded carpet-bag. There's more than the usual amount of Lennon-McCartney in "Blue Over Blue"--the juxtaposition of guitars, brass, and upright bass (plus Mellotron!), yes, but also the ambivalent relations in its heart. The "Norwegian Wood"-ness, in a sense. No one else in music makes melancholy feel so gleeful, something you'd clutch to your chest and run with, along the heath.
  29. Doja Cat - "Fuck the Girls (FTG)" [buy]
    I'm too soft to fully appreciate Doja Cat's heel turn, but I love it when a pop-star confounds expectations--and whereas many of Scarlet's experiments feel like a valedictorian acting out, "FTG" sets its provocations against a straightforwardly sensational low end, a bassline as magnetic as a vein of neodymium.
  30. Amaarae - "Co-Star" [buy]
    I like Amaarae's curr on this, the weight of her whispers, but the heart of its zodiac is the production (by Amaarae herself, with Kyu Steed, Kztheproducer and Cadenza). Harp, yes. A bunch of twinkles. But especially the intricate drum and synth programming, a core of afrobeats that lend gravity to what would otherwise have merely floated. For all its star-signs, "Co-Star" most succeeds most when it's dusty and earthbound, caught up in my feet.
  31. Lana Del Rey - "A&W" [buy]
    Even by the standards of Lana Del Rey, "A&W" feels like an unusually accomplished artifact of Americana: a song of sex, TV and motels, explicit and also self-concealing, indebted to doo-wop and hip-hop and also Frank Sinatra. I find her work difficult to live with--too graphic, modeling the kind of femininity I don't know how to look in the eye--but with a song like "A&W" the likes of me can live beside, watching the mirror-ball's relections onto the wood vaneer.
  32. Tara Clerkin Trio - "The Turning Ground" [buy]
    A song that feels as much like a doing as an undoing--one of England's best experimental rock bands making something that recalls Broadcast and The Stone Roses but also and Still House Plants and Rhythm & Sound. "The Turning Ground" is an endless outpouring, a guitar-line that empties out the world, oblivious to all the drums, synths, voices and bass around it.
  33. Alice Phoebe Lou - "Lose My Head" [buy]
    Some garagey guitar-pop, kittenish and loose.
  34. King Krule - "From the Swamp" [buy]
    Spotify says that--on that one narrow platform--King Krule's Space Heavy was my most-listened-to album of 2023. In a year like this I don't know if that's an endorsement. For me, Archy Marshall great talent is how he looks like a London hipster by feels like a Swamp Thing--and his music is accordingly half-art, half-marsh. Space Heavy carried me even when I didn't feel buoyant; it was a lake too thick to sink in. "From the Swamp" is perhaps the kindest of its tracks, a tune that will propel you out of the muck and into the real world, annointed and refreshed, with mud on your cheek like a kiss.
  35. Baque Luar - "Brilha" [buy]
    Baque Luar are "a collective of female and non-binary vocalists and percussionists hailing from diverse backgrounds," based in London and devoted to Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian roots music. "Brilha" is their signature song, written by the group's Tuca Milan, and described as a tribute to Serra do Cipó. That's the background. And in the foreground: a rich, adoring hymn; a choir's voices united in paddle-swing; a rattling percussion that sends satisfaction scampering up and thumping straight down, planted like flower-seeds in the ground.
  36. Dijon - "Coogie" [video]
    R&B that creaks. Kindling, smoke, and flare-ups of sheer feeling, bright enough to illuminate a room. As if D'Angelo had been hauled up from the dirt and was now in the process of self-reinvention, turning all that old wood to porcelain.
  37. Lewsberg - "An Ear To The Chest" [buy]
    Rotterdam's Lewsberg play a dry, shiny indie-rock that feels like a diamond or a rhinestone, something that reflects the light right into your eyes.
  38. Slow Pulp - "Slugs" [buy]
    That good old fuzzy bluzzy buzzy gruzzy rock'n'roll, red-cheeked from a kiss or maybe a knock to the face. With tiny flutters of digital distortion, shimmers to remind you Slow Pulp are Madison, WI in 2023, not East Kilbride ca. 1985. (Thank you, Vinny.)
  39. Mac DeMarco - "20200817 Proud True Toyota" [buy]
    Perhaps you resisted listening to Mac DeMarco's 199-track-long One Wayne G. Well, I did it for you. This is the highlight,. A purring little number that's as smooth as a Toyota across new tarmac; the traffic-lights going red only long after you've gone.
  40. Sun June - "John Prine" [buy]
    Austin's Sun June tell a scene in slow motion: driving, listening to music, drowsiness, endings. Laura Colwell's pace allows for each image to be drawn in disappearing ink; it has time to take shape, stand there, and ineluctably disappear. (Thank you, Adam.)
  41. Melenas - "Bang" [buy]
    My favourite Spanish kraut-band return: "Bang" is a fantastic whirring Rube Goldberg machine, full of clever mechanisms and subtle astonishments, a chorus like Athena banging on the inside of Zeus's skull
  42. Tyla ft. Ayra Starr - "Girl Next Door" [video]
    "Water" was 2023's big coming-out for the South African singer Tyla; I prefer her collaboration with the Nigerian pop-star Ayra Starr. For years now, South Africa has been nourishing one of the most sonically interesting sounds in the world: amapiano. It's a form of house music that doesn't necessarily have any piano; listen instead of deep, percussive bass-lines and fluttering, jazzy top-textures that bring to mind the motions of a mother-of-pearl comb. "Girl Next Door" inhabits a stratum of the atmosphere where I didn't realize humans could survive, let alone dwell, build a life inside.
  43. Flagboy Giz - "Walking With A Gun" [buy]
    Flagboy Giz is a rapper from New Orleans, linked to the traditions of Mardi Gras Indians and to the Wild Tchoupitoulas Black Masking Indians in particular. "Walking With A Gun" is a bouncing, bucking pleasure, a song that stacks blocks of sax & drums over a seasick gospel choir. I like its tiny, DIY details--the recurring bell and barking dogs--but especially the lurching stride of Flagboy's voice, reminiscent of Busta Rhymes or even ODB.
  44. Charlotte Cornfield - "Walking With Rachael" [buy]
    Songs about friendships are a special category of song, just as novels about friendships are a special category of novel, and Charlotte Cornfield's contribution to the canon is generous and slow, suffused with gratitude. There's no sweeter thing than the sound of a happy loved-one's happiness, and "Walking With Rachael" makes one love Charlotte a little, or at least care for her; it makes one long to know her, to be able to roam beside her and share in her fortune. (Full disclosure: Earlier this year, I was paid by Polyvinyl Records to write some promo materials.)
  45. Lola Young - "Don't Hate Me" [video]
    A glorious tune that tramps around atop a cinderblock beat, as Lola Young spits all the insults she's heard from her guy and that she wishes she'd flung right back. It's a kiss-off that isn't--Young still sounds tangled-up, hopeful as well as furious. Listen for the moment when her voice breaks.
  46. Philippe Brach - "Un peu de magie" [buy]
    "Un peu de magie," from Philippe Brach's extraordinary, psychedelic Les gens qu'on aime begins as a soppy campfire strummer but soon guzzles a bottle of brake-cleaner, finds electric guitars in the woods. The rest of the tune lives in the play between those two extremes--the crooner and the maniac, the pussycat and the raccoon. It's a song for lighting eyebrows on fire, for grinning despite (to spite?) the blaze.
  47. Bory - "We Both Won" [buy]
    Baby-blue power-pop that feels like a picnic by a birdbath, or else someone pouring chamomile tea down the stairs. Marvelous.
  48. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "That Life" [buy]
    Dear old Unknown Mortal Orchestra--he's singing about something or other, part-Prince and part-"Penny Lane," but whenever I listen to this song the part I sing along to is the glittering, greasy guitar's. An onomatopoeia of delight, ringing and playful.
  49. Justine Skye - "Whip It Up" [video]
    Justine Skye presents herself as a dessert, help yourself. The stuttering, ringtone synth feels like a time-machine, flashing you to the back of the R&B chorus, the beginning of the meal. Take another morsel, it's a bottomless plate.
  50. Elisapie - "Taimangalimaaq" [buy]
    There's something expansive, maybe even transformative, about Elisapie's album of Inuktitut pop-song covers. Answering the colonizer in your own tongue; integrating Indigenous language into a pop-music canon; maybe just representing the broader reality of a Canadian present. Beyond all that, her re-interpretation of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" is particularly special: a slower, softer acknowledgment of time's fleeting course, and love's quiet endurance.
  51. Nana Benz du Togo - "TITE" [buy]
    Nerve-nimble dance-punk from Togo: a five-piece that shouts and sings over dry percussion and a cheap, sizzling synth. "TITE" feels like one of those bare, unimpeachable recipes, something we should all know how to make. Delightful.
  52. Maya Hawke - "Honey" [buy]
    A cover of "Honey," originally written and recorded by the electro-pop artist Samia. Hawke--Ethan and Uma's daughter--doesn't quite reimagine it: both "Honeys" live in the same wistful space. But I like the way she strips it of drums, makes its languor sinuous and choral.
  53. Men I Trust - "Ring of Past" [buy]
    Give the bassist a raise; he seems like he's been training in a work-pit for the past eight years, living on beetles, dreaming of when he'll finally be able to put back on his silvery onesie, rejoin his hit Québecois indie-pop group.
  54. Freak Heat Waves ft. Cindy Lee - "In a Moment Divine" [buy]
    If you ever get trapped down a well, bring an old boom-box, an amulet, some Carl Craig and Prokofiev cassettes. (Thank you, Brennan.)
  55. Militarie Gun - "Do It Faster" [buy]
    1:48 of blunt force, the cryptographic key to the attack being Ian Shelton's pronunciation of the word "stooge." Militarie Gun's melodic hardcore bops and grooves in the chorus, but the real joy's in the 1/1/1/1 of the verses, the whole band hammering away at the same delicious sweet-spot.
  56. Arlo Parks - "Jasmine" [video]
    Arlo Parks covers Jai Paul's "Jasmine", one of the most inventive & distinctive songs of the past 15 years. But instead of shaving off the hard bits or undoing it completely (turning it into bluegrass, say, or bossanova), she bravely crafts her own inventive, distinctive arrangement: this version's got more scamper to it, even more bend; a little more body and less of a sense of breath.
  57. The Bug Club - "Marriage" [buy]
    A Welsh band operating from somewhere inside the Franz Ferdinand-Art Brut nexus, yet holding these influences lightly, prancing around a fruit-tree with a puckish sense of pleasure. The guitar-chug's serious, the boy-girl interplay decidedly less so; but I love the little details that point to forethought & rehearsal--rhyme, harmony, "la-la-la-language" and so on. (Thanks, Michelle.)
  58. Tiny Ruins - "Dogs Dreaming" [buy]
    "Like the melody 'Blue Moon,'" sings Hollie Fullbrook, "the spell--it broke too soon." A very pretty tune from the New Zealand folk-pop group, the play of B3 organ like a valley full of wildflower. (MVP, as usual, is the bass.)
  59. Mitski - "Bug Like an Angel" [buy]
    Mitski's made a song about addiction which feels almost upright, noble--something dignified in the way it stands up and faces the music, or in the choir of sturdy voices, the singers standing shoulder-to-shoulder. It's a dignity that's owed to everyone, no matter how much they've ruined or broken, how long they've been caught in the syrup trap. (Thank you, Matthew.)
  60. Mustafa - "Name of God" [video]
    Mustafa the Poet is absolutely one of the most fascinating artists in Canada, a musician whose iconography and subject-matter frequently gesture toward hip-hop, but whose sound hews closer to Sufjan Stevens or Bon Iver. He deploys soft, sumptuous folk-music to tell stories that are specific to him (a Black Muslim) and where he comes from (an underserved community of Toronto); much of his music has been a music of mourning, and it feels deeply unfair that "Name of God" should be another lament--grieving the death of Mustafa's brother, earlier this year. Somehow he has survived these tragedies, moving through them with open eyes, and learning a way to write about faith, truth and trauma that feels deeply understood and prematurely wise.
  61. Burna Boy - "Big 7" [video]
    I'm no musicologist, I don't know anything, I'm just a puppy-dog panting hungrily every time Burna Boy rings the bell of "Big 7"'s hook.
  62. Ali Sethi and Nicolas Jaar - "Nazar Se" [buy]
    Following on 2021's fantastic "Yakjehti Mein," the Pakistani singer Ali Sethi and the Chilean-American electronic musician Nicolas Jaar released Intiha, a collection of intimate, intricate compositions, of which "Nazar Se" is the highlight. It's a song that feels like a poem, skimming across the surface of the evening. Wait for the long pause in the track's closing moments--when the music resumes, it's the same but different, something subtly changed, a jazz come awake in the corners, the impression of delight untapped and hiding in the stillness.
  63. Jean Dawson ft. SZA - "NO SZNS" [video]
    My favourite SZA track in the year 2023 was this guest-appearance, where the appears like a dryad, a summer spirit, stepping out from behind a tree in time for the second verse. This, a song of seasons, draws its force from a straining, plaintive vocal line, but the music around it is gorgeous, adorned with flute and the impression of a bigger, teeming world beyond the limits of one's head.
  64. Boygenius - "Emily I'm Sorry" [buy]
    No, it isn't just "Emily..."'s allusion to Montreal, but I gotta confess--it doesn't hurt. Phoebe Bridgers' musical apology gains great strength from its we-ness: the sense of a song sung with other sisters, companions, the way wisdom's something we are gathering together with the other souls whose lives we are knitted up in & with.
  65. Odumodublvck ft. Cruel Santino and Bella Shmurda - "Dog Eat Dog II" [video]
    This gloomy Nigerian track, a sequel to the 2022 original, feels linked to a rock/hip-hop sound that extends back from Lil Uzi Vert through Miguel and DMX, all the way back to Run-DMC. At the same time, Odumodublvck's violet melancholy is linked to a younger, Afrobeat influence--the two braid together here, integrated and intertwined, like sadness and Sunday nights.
  66. En Attendant Ana - "Wonder" [buy]
    What seems at first like a winsome, pretty bit of indie chanson takes a hard right-turn into treadmill-BPM motorik and eventually full-on rock catharsis, as if these French girls in their miniskirts have fastened their helmets & bungee cords and jumped straight off a cliff.
  67. Scott Orr - "Dark" [buy]
    Hamilton, Ontario's widely underrated Scott Orr sends "Dark" up into the air not like a handmade rocket or a wounded bird but like a paper lantern, just some wood and some tissue and a flame, a thing that should be too heavy to fly. I love the diffuseness of his ambient bedroom music, the characteristics that make it less like a pop-song and more like a mist or a perfume.
  68. Mannequin Pussy - "I Got Heaven" [buy]
    A wildly tasty, bratty rock tune, all noise and snarl and hooks. As if Sarah McLachlan lived in a horrible boot.
  69. Buck Meek - "Mood Ring" [buy]
    I appreciate most the interference Big Thief's Buck Meek instils into this track, the tangle and sparkle and sound that get in the way of it being a plain and straight-ahead folk tune, that make it reflect more brokenly in the mirror.
  70. The Drums - "I Want It All" [buy]
    The Drums use the first 50 seconds of this track to put on their in-line skates. But then they're on, the rollerblades I mean, and off they go: "they" is just Jonny Pierce, he's plural, he sings as he goes, rounding each corner, skipping the curb, throwing shapes and stealing hearts, just a little wiggle in his jeans.
  71. 7038634357 - "Square Heart" [buy]
    The easy cliché would be to call it a song for a depressed AI--but I admire the sensitivity of Neo Gibson's synth composition: the creation and interruption of rhythm, the use of syncppation and silence. It hints at a wakefulness, a future, for this narrator who sings about drowning; it introduces a tension that points through the cloud. (Thanks, Bries.)
  72. Apollo Ghosts - "Gave Up The Dream" [buy]
    All these songs this year about coping with giving up; and so many of them merry + undeterred. Vancouver's Apollo Ghosts frisk and tambourine, flinch and fall in love, they shout-out the Silver Jews with mild abandon. The thing to do after falling down is, obviously, get right back up.
  73. Overmono - "Good Lies" [buy]
    A tumbling snowball of intercut vocals and sighing synths, a pinwheel rainbow that doesn't seem as it might ever need to stop, it might go on forever, maybe it will. (Thanks, Steve.)
  74. Cola - "Keys Down If You Stay" [buy]
    The promise, hopefully, of an album yet to come--deeply analog, undigital, the ring of electric guitars and an aneurystic stutter, blood on the brain, blood on the brain, a wandering eye that fixes on a lover. This is what I want from Tim Darcy: rock'n'roll that wobbles, that recognizes its weakness and all-redeeming limp.
  75. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Shadow" [buy]
    A song like a precise arrangement of gleams--its subject only discerned by careful observation of where the gleaming isn't.
  76. Wednesday - "Chosen to Deserve" [buy]
    Lap-steel-tinted indie rock that rests on the axis of Karly Hartzman's rich, expressive voice. Riffs that feel like bales of hay--spots to hide needles, or to engage in a little arson.
  77. Noname - "Namesake" [buy]
    An excoriation of the international war machine and musicians' complicity with it (Noname included!), set atop a groove as tight as a hunting snare. Yet Noname's too smart to make this a rant: "Namesake" contains diversion, sleight-of-hand, lots of shifting space. (Thanks, Eric.)

  78. Slowdive - "the slab" [buy]
    What's the word for a flat, thick piece of something--of sound, say? Of flickering and humming guitars? A layer atop which you could build a home or a town; or in which some artifacts could be caught and petrified, preserved for a better time?
  79. Kylie Minogue - "Padam Padam" [video]
    There's nothing worthy here except the chorus, but honestly what a chorus. You hear it in the city, you hear it in the country, you hear it pumping from a 20-year-old mp3blog, and you think: "Can I hear that again?" Minogue's still got it, singing these four syllables like they're sorcery. Maybe the rhythm's physical, maybe it's sexual, maybe it's a pendulum counting down your seconds... One way or another, it will get its grip on you. (Too bad we have to put up with the verses.)
  80. NewJeans - "Super Shy" [video]
    Another of this year's (frankly disappointing) pop entrants, K-pop that squirms like a silverfish, all decked out in the 90s, stepping and stepping and folding back again, reset, like a broken gif.
  81. ALL HANDS_MAKE LIGHT - "The Sons And Daughters Of Poor Eternal" [buy]
    La Force's Ariel Engle and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Manuel Menuck with the kind of track that doesn't feel at home on this list, a hot coal among hockey pucks. Synth seethe and feedback drone, with a rising drumroll, and Engle's portrait of the noble everyday ordeal of the poor: "O sister we saw hell, it's fluorescent above / a white plastic table, sticky and one bent leg barely holding." Radiant and sad and beautiful.
  82. Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro - "Beso" [video]
    A cozy, bounding love-song by Rosalía and her ex 🥲 , the verses like volleying kisses and the chorus like hands clasping hands, two companions boarding their own private plane.
  83. Zach Bryan - "El Dorado" [buy]
    I guess I've been pronouncing "El Dorado" wrong.
  84. Tommy Lefroy - "Worst Case Kid" [buy]
    Lefroy's a duo with a bit of the Bridgers affect (or maybe it's inherited from Taylor Swift), but I like the rude and chunky rock'n'roll behind them, its contrast with the bee-stung pout. Smash through some drywall, then sit down in the debris and cry.
  85. Oisin Leech fr. M. Ward, Tony Garnier and Steve Gunn - "October Sun" [buy]
    A song like a slow exhale, a languorous sigh, as the forest fires' smoke rises up and swallows the house. Produced by guitar adventurer Steve Gunn.
  86. Sofia Reyes and Danna Paola ft Kim Petras - "tqum (remix)" [buy]
    At long last, a Spanish-language Mexican-German pop crossover. "Te quiero un montón," Reyes and Paola declare--"I love you a lot," and Petras is ready to take up the charge, all of then dancing around in a sparkling, clobbering beat. The whole thing feels compressed, as if pressure was applied until it could fit inside a can.
  87. Jana Horn - "The Dream" [buy]
    The image of a bird as it strikes the window; a song that began as a poem. "Maybe it knows something we don't," Horn says. But the heart of this song is not, for me, its words: it's the story spun by Horn's guitar, wise and daring, uncowed, exploring the dark corners and the bright skies and everywhere answers might hide.
  88. Squirrel Flower - "Canyon" [buy]
    Here, meanwhile, is a song that needs no quest, no illumination: "Canyon" knows exactly what is saying, in time-lapse toss and smash. Heavy, fiery, predetermined--the story of a singer's surrender, her inheritance, the way lost things still long to get back. (Thanks, Steve.)
  89. Free Range - "On Occasion" [buy]
    A homemade treasure, creased and crumbed, stained with tea or tears or teasing. Music with just enough bramble in it, a little stalk and thorn. A group of friends playing music in a room, using guitars (and some kind of elephant-trunk synth) to make each other smile.
  90. Empress Of ft. Rina Sawayama) - "Kiss Me" [video]
    R&B-tinted pop whose cascades of piano feel deeply familiar, the stuff I used to hear on Magic 100.3 in 1994; maybe it's ripped off from somewhere, I can't place it, wikipedia isn't helping, but it might in fact be original, an act of imaginary dejà-vu, a seed implanted in my brain, I feel like lip-syncing into the mirror, where did I find this wig, why am I posing and preening, why am I blowing you a kiss?
  91. Jolie Holland ft. Buck Meek - "Highway 72" [buy]
    A homecoming kinda song, one for the recovered and born-again, the ones who found strength in the invisible. You should know by now how much I'm a sucker for a rusty violin; but I've been a sucker for Jolie Holland's singing even longer than that, since someone sent me a copy of Catalpa some 20 years ago, when my heart was young.
  92. Sofia Kourtesis - "How Music Makes You Feel Better" [buy]
    A song that is its own description, "How Music Makes You Feel Better"--a sonic prescription by one of this year's breakout electronic artists, a treatment or a pill, a remedy, bass + voices + swishy-swishes, call it a multi-vitamin, it does what it says on the bottle.
  93. Ruth Garbus - "Mono No Aware" [buy]
    "Mellow music / makes me feel better / It changes everything / except my mood." These are the words of Ruth Garbus, championing the value of the blues. She parcels out her syllables like they're tablets in a rainbow plastic pill organizer; the whole matters more than one piece. "Mono no aware" is Japanese--it means that objects can make us feel things. Songs can too. They are invisible objects, articles without weight or surface - pure power. This one is the equivalent of a small Honda, a boulder the size of a shed.
  94. BAMBII ft. Lady Lykez - "Wicked Gyal" [buy]
    Toronto's BAMBII enlists the London rapper Lady Lykez for this irrepressible banger--a tune that quivers like a shaken soda-can, exiting and scary just to be around.
  95. Becky G and Peso Pluma- "CHANEL" [video]
    I'm heartened by the continued rise of corridos tumbados, even if I don't understand enough Spanish to fully appreciate the genre. The idea that this can be a hit song, a song for young people--with its Spanish guitar and traffic-jam of horns: it widens the possibilities for pop, for tomorrow's hit and mainstream music. I love the contrast of Becky G's lazy vowels and the studded trumpet notes, the perky, playful tension that dances in that distance.
  96. Royel Otis - "Sofa King" [buy]
    That feeling when a jawbreaker's been hanging out in your mouth a long time; your whole mouth's gone lazy and sweet, you feel like an outfielder with a chewing tobacco problem, you feel like you're talking with an accent even when you're keeping mum. Royel Otis are from Australia, they fall in love easily, they configure their guitars to make them sound like the good old days. (Thank you, Vinny.)
  97. Fenne Lily - "Lights Light Up" [buy]
    A little bracelet of riffs, here you can put it on, it looks good on you.
  98. Bry Webb - "Modern Mind" [buy]
    This song is here because it deserves to be. It's here because I'm so happy to hear Constantines' Bry Webb again. It's here because I could listen to him sing "veni vidi vici" all day every day, I would tattoo it on my arm if I could make it clear it was him who was saying it, that it doesn't just mean I conquered but, in a way, its opposite: that you can only conquer after you've given up, winning only counts if you understand what it is to lose.
  99. Allie Kelly - "Gun Shy" [video]
    "Gun Shy"'s girlishness is deceptive, cover for a grotty pop-song, principled and adamant. Allie Kelly's got a chorus of furious, spurned strut--furrowed brow, balled fists, a determination that pours off her in waves.
  100. Hayden ft. Feist - "On a Beach" [buy]
    Hayden (and Feist) at #100, for symmetry. Mr Desser has never sounded milder--lazing on his beach chaise, taking in the waves, sipping a slowly warming drink. To be honest, I fear he sounds a little too mild - the burbly synth bits can't conceal the slight dopiness of what he's up to here, the total lack of neuroticism, a laissez-faire deferral to whatever lines worked at the time. "We're on a beach / Oh yeah, we're on a beach," they sing, "We're drinking income taxes and you're fond of me." It's not perfect but it'll do, it'll carry us like a budget-airline to any paradise we're willing to settle for.
And that's 100 songs, if the numbers tell true. Thank you for reading and listening. Sorry for any broken links, please pay for the music you love. (Invest in what's important or we're dead.)

Leave a comment if you like? Tell a friend?

And see you, I hope, when the wind changes.

Posted by Sean at December 7, 2023 1:40 PM

There’s actually 3 Mexican artists in your list:
Peso Pluma, Danna Paola and Sofia Reyes. (it’s sofia not sofa btw but love the idea of an artist called “king sofa”)

Posted by Moka at December 7, 2023 3:22 PM

Oops, thanks Moka (re the typo) - and yes I should mark Becky/Peso as 0.5 each i guess!

Posted by Sean at December 7, 2023 4:48 PM

My favorite day of the year

Posted by Josh at December 7, 2023 5:21 PM

Thanks for this!

When you say to pay for music we like, do you mean in terms of subscribing to a streaming service, like Apple Music, or paying to download and “own” specific songs and albums, like with iTunes? Just wondering how best to support musicians these days.

Posted by Dea at December 7, 2023 9:39 PM

So excited to dig into this year's list, always and forever. And this year, like last year, it's out on my birthday! Best present ever.

Posted by Michelle at December 7, 2023 11:18 PM

Yay, thanks Michelle! Happy birthday!

Dea: Definitely the latter. If you follow the link I put for the word "insufficient," you can see some articles by Liz Pelly about the way Spotify and other streaming sites do ill to musicians. The best way to support them is by purchasing their music on Bandcamp, direct from them/their label, or, if not the music, picking up merch etc. Sending them $25 somehow, for a T-shirt or a CD, is much much more than they would likely earn from streaming royalties from all of Said the Gramophone's readers put together.

Posted by Sean at December 8, 2023 12:10 AM

100 mp3s and 100 reviews. Thank you for this important work!!!

Posted by ddd at December 8, 2023 3:07 AM

December comes each year and I suddenly remember Said the Gramophone and visit daily until the list comes. Thank you. This is enjoyed and appreciated.

Posted by Gabe at December 8, 2023 3:36 AM

Look forward to working my way through these, as ever. Not doing a cd or playlist this year because my partner died and it feels wrong without her there to edit me, but I see at least half a dozen things here that would have been on ours. Look forward to the new novel, all the best for 24.

Posted by David at December 8, 2023 4:08 AM

Hooray! My favorite part of December!

Posted by Dan at December 8, 2023 10:18 AM

So happy to see your return. BTW I loved Do You Remember Being Born.

Posted by Tim Krings at December 8, 2023 1:51 PM

Thank you!! As Josh said, best day of the year. Ever year this gorgeous list not only includes a few favourites, it introduces me to new artists that become favourites. Know your time, effort, and labour pulling this together is so very appreciated.

Posted by Jen at December 8, 2023 3:17 PM

Thanks Sean - excellent list per usual. Also, really loved Do You Remember Being Born.

Posted by Taylor at December 9, 2023 9:43 AM

Thank you for keeping up this much-anticipated annual tradition! I always discover new songs and artists through your end-of-the-year lists that I never would have found any other way.

Posted by Jim at December 9, 2023 2:34 PM

I'm kind of lost in the Tara Clerkin Trio and associated music right now but I made an Apple Music playlist:

Buying the music I'm loving, bookmarking, hoping Bandcamp survives into 2024.

Posted by Bryant at December 9, 2023 2:46 PM


Posted by Matt at December 11, 2023 6:56 AM

I look forward to this list each year and always discover some new tunes. Thank you!

Posted by Justin at December 11, 2023 10:15 PM

Thanks as ever Sean! I have no doubt that a great many of these will be my most listened-to songs of 2024 (if I can get over "On Your Way (Felix Song)" from last year's list!)

Posted by Dain at December 11, 2023 11:12 PM

I think there may be a typo in this list when you mention 2022 instead of 2023 regarding favourite albums. Love the list!

Posted by Natalie Cook at December 12, 2023 9:29 AM

Thanks again for another great list and the excellent writing. (I think Lewsburg is actually Lewsberg??)

Posted by Meir at December 17, 2023 2:44 PM

Thank you! Again and again and again...
One post a year seems so bleak, but it's so rich....

Posted by J at December 17, 2023 10:06 PM

The gift that keeps on giving. Thanks so much for all the work you do putting this together every year, it's so appreciated. And like binging your favorite show on Netflix, I'll count the days till the next season drops. Wishing you all the best in 2024.

Posted by D at December 18, 2023 11:06 AM

So, so grateful for this annual gift. I missed last year's (scared off by technology warning of risk) and regretted it all year. Thank you, thank you for 20 years of this; crossing fingers for 20 more.

Posted by Lindsey at December 18, 2023 7:32 PM

Thank you for another year, another list. I always look forward to it, and in finding some songs that I will, may like that I did not hear of, or artistes that are unknown to me.

Posted by CJ at December 19, 2023 2:03 AM

As always, thanks. I always buy every track I like and then end up buying a few full albums of artists that are new to me. It's my gift to myself. Have a great turn into the new year.

Posted by Lynn at December 20, 2023 10:14 PM

Thanks as always Sean. Look forward to these every year, appreciate you keeping it alive!

Posted by Brayden at December 21, 2023 2:19 PM

Courtney Barnett does not count as a New Zealander!
But Unknown Mortal Orchestra does!

So that's +1 Australia, -1 for wherever UMO was categorised, +0 NZ.

Posted by Douglas at December 23, 2023 7:27 PM

Sean, your Best Songs have been the soundtrack to my life for 12 years now. Thank you for keeping this tradition alive and all the effort you put into it. I enjoyed your first two novels and look forward to reading the third. Thank you!

Posted by Erika at December 27, 2023 2:41 PM

Thank you Sean - great list as always! Lots of songs I hadn't heard.

Posted by Stephen at January 1, 2024 9:38 AM

Been following Said the Gramophone since the late 2000s. Nowadays I come back here around every holiday season to find this list. Such a soothing effect this has, thanks for this.

Posted by Didier at January 11, 2024 12:08 AM

Been following Said the Gramophone since the late 2000s. Nowadays I come back here around every holiday season to find this list. Such a soothing effect this has, thanks for this.

Posted by Didier at January 11, 2024 12:09 PM

every year you expand and deepen my appreciation of music and i can't thank you enough. what a wonderful act of kindness this is.

Posted by mandrew at January 16, 2024 12:45 AM

For those of you who only now Sean for these end of years posts (and for Sean himself--always the best work):
From the start of Said The Grammaphone almost 21 years ago
March 26, 2003 "Brazil"
So I'm officially obsessed with the song "Brazil". My friends and I got hooked after hearing the Arcade Fire do a cover, 18 months ago. Two days later and I had downloaded Geoff Muldaur's version that's used in Terry Gilliam's great film of the same name. I was familiar with the track, but had never really realized the magnitude of its awesomeness. The sky-sailing guitar track, the whistling, the muted latin drums... it's like a summer breeze, a multicoloured kite. Muldaur's vocals are overdramatic and silly, plump as a pompadour…I had always assumed the vocals had been passed down from the original, not that they were Muldaur innovations. Did he really make them up? Or did somebody in between add lyrics?
Search leads to Wikipedia
Ary de Resende Barroso ONM (Portuguese pronunciation: [aˈɾi baˈʁozu]; 7 November 1903 – 9 February 1964) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, soccer commentator, and talent-show host on radio and TV. He was one of Brazil's most successful songwriters in the first half of the 20th century. …"Aquarela do Brasil" (Portuguese: [akwaˈɾɛlɐ du bɾaˈziw], 'Watercolor of Brazil'), written by Ary Barroso in 1939 and known in the English-speaking world simply as "Brazil", is one of the most famous Brazilian songs. Ary Barroso wrote "Aquarela do Brasil" in early 1939, when he was prevented from leaving his home one rainy night due to a heavy storm. Its title, a reference to watercolor painting, is a clear reference to the rain. He also wrote "Três lágrimas" (Three Teardrops) on that same night, before the rain ended. Describing the song in an interview to Marisa Lira, of the newspaper Diário de Notícias, Barroso said that he wanted to "free the samba away from the tragedies of life, of the sensual scenario already so explored". According to the composer, he "felt all the greatness, the value and the wealth of our land", reliving "the tradition of the national panels"
March 20, 2003 indie love
"What josh says is true true true. I remember."
Search for “josh blog” now leads to
josh blog “Ordinary language is all right.”
“One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.”
16 Jan '24 05:24:52 AM
'… the subordination of the haptic to another kind and degree of proximity, a social mode of temporality—simultaneity…'
March 19, 2003 "Clark Gable"
Current Best Song in the World: "Clark Gable" -- Postal Service
search for "Clark Gable" -- Postal Service now leads to youtube:
POSTAL SERVICE - Clark Gable - Live - Hollywood Bowl 2023

Thanks for it all, Sean!

Posted by J at January 19, 2024 3:06 PM

Always love listening to your best of lists , thank you from a decrepit old man for introducing me to so much new ( to me) music

Posted by David at January 23, 2024 3:39 PM

Took me an embarrassingly long time to catch up, but I've finally finished listening to this year's 100 picks. Thank you, Sean, for continuing to keep this tradition alive. I look forward to it every year!

Posted by Patrick at February 27, 2024 3:16 PM

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about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
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Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny