Top 10 songs of 2023

Not as busy a year, music-listening-wise, as I’m used to. But I still added 53 songs to various playlists. As per usual, my top picks from that list aren’t necessarily newly released in 2023, but rather — aside from old songs I like but hadn’t added before and have finally included — are songs that were new to me this year.

You’ll need to forgive the use of YouTube for the links to these songs. I know more and more people aren’t using YouTube, but it remains the place most likely to find these videos to link to.

In no particular order, my top 10 songs of the year:


I don’t know that I like Ghost enough to go to a show of theirs, but the stuff of theirs I like, I really like. This is the most recent of those.

MODSUN (feat. Avril Lavigne)

I don’t care in the least about Avril Lavigne — let’s just say her spitting on people didn’t elevate her in my eyes — but this is a solid song that happens to include her.

Sans Soleil

I find I’m growing away from the soft SCREAM soft SCREAM song style that seemingly too many bands use, and while Alexisonfire has made a long career of it, this particular song is more about the melody and Dallas Green’s softer, melodic singing. This became one of the most listened-to songs for me this year.
Trigger warning: The video is a inexplicably a mishmash of horrific elements and strippers.

Came for the Low
ZHU, partywithray

As I was discovering with last year’s top ten list, I’m getting a bit of a taste for clubby songs with a lot of driving bass. If I’m going through some weird mid-life crisis thing, where I trick out my car with crazy speakers and go around blasting music that passersby can feel as much as hear, this one will for sure be in the mix.

Together Right
Finger Eleven

Clubby, bass-y songs aside, I haven’t lost my decades-long draw to heavy rock, and damn if Finger Eleven doesn’t make some of the most catchy of those songs around.

My Mother Told Me (Vikings Anthem)
L.B. One, Datamotion & Perly i Lotry

Back to the club we go. And one with a viking-style chant? Sign me up.


Pink has always done solid songs, but in the last few years she’s done some that have particularly caught my attention. Trustfall is the latest of those. The big frame below is the official version, but I encourage you to also (or even instead) watch this live version, where the acrobatics are just crazy, and this other version where the solo acrobatics by Yoann Bourgeois are nothing short of ballet.

Break My Heart
Dua Lipa

I found this song pretty catchy anyway when I first heart it. But I admit I was more drawn to it when I saw this great bass cover of it, and moreso when I saw Chad Smith — drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers — do this live video playing along with it, which is where I found out that he did the drumming for the original track. As one comment on that video said, it’s amusing to see Chad Smith, the drummer for one of the world’s most popular rock/funk bands, wearing a Judas Priest shirt (a touchstone heavy metal band) while playing the drums for what’s arguably a modern disco song.

Before I Forget

The songs I like from Slipknot are few and far between. And while it’s no Duality — easily my favourite song of theirs — Before I Forget is solid.

Ego Death
Polyphia (feat. Steve Vai)

2023 will forever be the year where I first heard about Polyphia, and my understanding of what you can do on guitars will be forever changed. Lead guitarist and most elfin musican ever Tim Henson does things on his guitar which defy logic while being catchy. And in a band where every member stands out on their instrument in their own right — check out those drum rhythms by Clay Aeschliman — and then you throw in guitar legend Steve Vai for good measure? Sign me up.

… and that’s a wrap for my top picks of 2023.

Looking forward to what unexpected musical pleasures next year will bring.