It's end of year list season. I really struggle with being someone who participates in it– if you listen to my podcast, Endless Scroll, you might know that. While I do think it's nice to look back and I can enjoy looking at other people's lists, I just struggle with the format. I don't feel as much of an inclination to keep up and I don't think it's a super fulfilling thing to do for me. My friends pour over their lists, I mostly go on gut feeling. Is it procrastination? Is it a reasonable method to not overthink and then have regrets? Maybe both! At any rate, you can hear my top 10 albums of the year alongside my friends' lists over on our favorite albums podcast.
Here I'm gonna talk about some favorite music things of the year, but first! An Announcement!
For much of this year, I've been working on starting a small press publisher with one of my best friends, Corrin. It's called Two Flat Press. It's finally officially up and running. We're focusing on chapbooks and zines with a magazine and books in the future. Our first chapbook will be coming early in 2024, but to celebrate the launch I made a couple new zines that you can purchase over on our website now!
One is about traveling to the Pacific Northwest featuring loads of photos I took out there. The other is aligned with this newsletter and blurbs all 10 of my most listened-to songs of 2023 alongside photos I've taken throughout the year. Please check them out and purchase them if you feel inclined! I'm so excited to make physical stuff again. I'm so excited to be working with Corrin to do it. Also, some of my older zines are on the site available for purchase since I've sort of fully retired the Wendy House site.
If you're a paid subscriber to this newsletter and didn't see my other email, if you send me your address I'll send ya free copies of the new zines! If you aren't presently a paid subscriber but decide to upgrade, I'll send you free copies, too! Just reply to this email with your mailing address.
Please follow the press on Twitter or Instagram if you're interested, both are @TwoFlatPress. Thanks! On with the actual content...
Albums I Listened To
I made this top 10 for my podcast so I don't care to repeat myself too much here and I think most of you are probably familiar with most of the stuff I loved this year, but I'll give one sentence on each record. The official list that I brought to Endless Scroll is as follows:
Rat Saw God by Wednesday
Best, most urgent and overwhelming record I've loved since Get Disowned by Hop Along.
Bitch Unlimited by Star 99
I love indie punk and I love anything this energetic and distinctly Northern California.
Lucky for You by Bully
What a year for music that, if the world was just, would be in a teen comedy.
Spiritual Cramp by Spiritual Cramp
The coolest band in the United States of America.
(That said, my favorite SC song of 2023 is still "Nah, That Ain't It" from earlier in the year!)
The Record by boygenius
It took going to Oregon and drinking rose on a beach to really get it, but I really do get it.
Norm by Andy Shauf
Being weirder and darker pushes this album firmly into "The Best Thing He's Made Since The Party" territory.
Last by Loma Prieta
I love screamo, I love Loma Prieta.
Maybe You'll Find Me by theydevil
True electronic-tinged bedroom pop in the very very best way. If I got anything out of living in Philadelphia, it's this. I love it. Please check it out.
Heater by PHONY
"Chinatown" is one of the best songs of the year from a consistently exciting, great musician.
Life Under the Gun by Militarie Gun
I listened to this record so much this year.
- Live albums from MJ Lenderman and Self Defense Family were both great!
- PONY, Taking Meds and Pretty Matty join Bully and MG to round out a year of music that, again, deserve to be in a teen comedy.
- MSPaint put out a really cool record. I've got "Think It Through" stuck in my head all the time.
- I love the new Olivia Rodrigo album. I remember being curious how she'd follow up her super successful debut, but it's so great and they just nailed it.
- John K. Samson and Christine Fellows put out more songs under the name Vivat Virtute. Some of the greatest to ever do it.
- Noted Miranda Favorites Advance Base and Mister Goblin both put out two absolute favorite songs of the year
- Chanele McGuiness put out this perfect song with a perfect video alongside it. Devastating and beautiful and perfect!!!!
Here's a playlist of a bunch of my favorite songs of the year:
Shows I Attended
Charly Bliss at Johnny Brenda's
I went to this show with my pal and Philly roommate, Eric. The band played a bunch of new songs that I thought were really great. So so excited for them to put out more music in 2024!
Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service at The Mann Center
Went to this one with my dad. So fun to connect with him on this level and see Death Cab. Ben Gibbard really sings his ass off and Jenny Lewis is great. Hard to overstate how formative and important Death Cab is to me!
Hurry/Superviolet/Dim Wizard/Trace Mountains at Johnny Brenda's
This show was on my birthday and many friends were there. I saw Hurry play a bunch in Philly and it's always a delight. So great. So fun. It was also right before I moved back to Chicago so it's special in my head for for that reason too. I probably cried on my way home.
Jeff Rosenstock at Baby's All Right
Really made the most of the short distance between Philly and New York to go see Jeff play at a very tiny venue. Got to talk to some online friends outside after. Got to get drinks with a friend before the show. Drove home alone and got emotional about being independent and then wrote about my car.
The Hold Steady at The Salt Shed
Went with friend of the blog Grace to this one. I'd never seen The Hold Steady before so it was really transcendent to finally get to see them. They played "Girls Like Status" since the show was with The Mountain Goats and Dillinger Four. John Darnielle and Patrick Costello sang the lines inspired by their bands. I loved it.
Gonna make it through this year if it kills me, and it almost killed me!!!
Miranda Reinert is a music adjacent writer, zine maker, podcaster and law school drop out based in Chicago. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more reminiscing on the year: @mirandareinert. This blog does have a paid option and I would so appreciate any money you would be willing to throw me! You may also send me small bits of money at @miranda-reinert on venmo/on Paypal if you want. As always, thanks for reading!