Home Read Features Rewinding 2023 | Tinnitist’s Top 123 Albums (Part 4: M-P)

Rewinding 2023 | Tinnitist’s Top 123 Albums (Part 4: M-P)

It's far from perfect, but it's the best I can do.

The older I get, the harder it gets to put together a year-end list. Not because I’m becoming more musically discriminating in my dotage. Quite the opposite. Every year, I find countless new (and old) artists, albums and genres to add to my ever-expanding playlist — and it becomes increasingly difficult to narrow down my choices to anything approaching a reasonable number. This massive, multi-part list of 123 albums is as close as I could get this year. It’s far from definitive, but it’s the best I can do. To read more about these albums, click on the cover art or check out the Tinnitist TV page, where I interviewed plenty of these acts. See you in 2024.


Eamon McGrath
A Dizzying Lust

If there’s one word that sums up Eamon McGrath’s musical output, it’s definitely dizzying. The Alberta-raised, Windsor-based artist’s eighth (yes, eighth!) album of 2023 is a collection of minimalist acoustic folk tracks written and composed while on the road during his 10-month world tour in support of his other 2022 release, the critically acclaimed Bells Of Hope. Many songs from the record were written aboard the high-speed Shinkansen bullet train during an autumn 2022 visit to Japan. While en route to the northern island of Hokkaido, McGrath chronicled the feeling of being thousands of miles from home, being an outsider in a foreign land, and the sensation of always being in a state of coming and going while enduring the perpetuity of touring for a living. McGrath is no stranger to these emotions, having been on the road non-stop since 2007, and having released seven albums this year alone in what is becoming an increasingly staggering and body of work. Tracked by McGrath alone in Windsor, A Dizzying Lust finds him channeling the frontier spirit of a folk singer alone on the road with an acoustic guitar. His trademark notoriety as a savage rocker is put to the test here as he opts instead for a rare subtle minimalism, focusing his attention on the lyrics and songs.”

Watch my interview with Eamon McGrath (and hear him play songs from A Dizzying Lust) HERE.


Miesha & The Spanks
Unconditional Love In Hi-Fi

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary garage-rock duo Miesha & The Spanks are back with their punk-fueled album Unconditional Love In Hi-Fi. The album was recorded at the world-renowned National Music Centre in Alberta under the capable ears of producers Daniel Farrant (The Buzzcocks) and Paul Rawson. Miesha Louie is a mixed-Secwépemc artist living in Treaty 7 Territory, and The Spanks are the many drummers who’ve stood beside her (well, sat behind her) on stage. Sean Hamilton is her latest and longest musical partner, and they’ve spent the last five years building and embellishing their garage-rock sound into something almost too big for two people to contain. Deeply influenced by proto-punk classics like The Runaways, MC5, Stooges, and ’90s riot grrrl/grunge like L7 and The Gits, Miesha & The Spanks conjure an energy that hits you in the face, throwing you into a world of killer riffs and sweaty gigs. And it’s in those sweaty spaces that Miesha & The Spanks thrive, fresh off the highway, out of the van, and onto the stage.”

Warch my interview with Miesha Louie HERE.


Militarie Gun
Life Under The Gun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Militarie Gun are a truly uncategorizable band. Led by vocalist Ian Shelton, the band’s debut full-length Life Under The Gun is almost impossible to describe without bouncing between contradictions. Is it abnormally aggressive pop music or is it unusually catchy hardcore? Is it deeply intellectual or is it satisfyingly primal? Is it a vulnerable attempt to unpack lifelong cycles of hurt, or is it a collection of world-beating, absurdist punk anthems? In the end, the answer is obvious: it’s all of it. It’s Militarie Gun. Since forming in 2020, the group have been releasing music and touring at a startling rate, and while Life Under The Gun feels like a culmination of this recent hard-earned momentum, the record is inextricably linked to Shelton’s past. “I grew up in a household with family members struggling with addiction,” he explains. “It was an oppressive force. We were always wondering, ‘Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? Are the cops going to come today? What am I going to come home to after school?’ You could only escape it for so many hours at a time.” The challenges of his homelife were only exacerbated by living in Enumclaw, WA, a sparsely populated rural suburb where Shelton spent his formative years longing for a way out. In this difficult and stifling environment, the roots of Life Under The Gun began to grow. As he began to pick up instruments, play in bands, and write his own songs, music quickly became a vital outlet for self-expression, but Shelton couldn’t shake the idea that it was also a literal escape route.”


Buddy & Julie Miller
In The Throes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Buddy & Julie Miller’s 12-song set In The Throes was produced by Buddy and features Emmylou Harris, Regina McCrary, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Gurf Morlix and Matt Slocum of Sixpence None the Richer. In The Throes is a deeply soulful collision of dusty country, mournful gospel, cosmic blues, and ecstatic R&B. It sounds lively and diverse, eccentric and slightly askew, thorny with desire and blame. The fearless collection came to life during an intensely creative period for Julie. She says, “I got deep into songwriting mode, and they just kept coming along.” Buddy watched with wonder and admiration as his wife filled up notebooks with lyrics and recorded voice memos with melodies. By his count, she ended up with more than 100 songs — some fully written, others simply fragments. Julie wrote every song on the album with the exception of Don’t Make Her Cry, which is a rare co-write between Bob Dylan, McCrary and Julie.”


Janelle Monáe
The Age Of Pleasure

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On the heels of her showstopping Met Gala appearance and the release of the single Lipstick Lover, Janelle Monáe announced her hugely anticipated fourth album. The Age of Pleasure also includes the acclaimed single Float (ft. Seun Kuti + Egypt 80). Monáe is without question one of the most celebrated artists of the modern era, an eight-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, performer, and fashion icon known worldwide for her inimitable style and visionary sound. With multiple celebrated albums — The Archandroid (2010), The Electric Lady (2013) and Dirty Computer (2018) — numerous critically acclaimed theatrical and television performances, and her unwavering activism for social justice and the LGBTQIA+ community, Monáe continues to be one of the most compelling and important artists of this generation.”


Van Morrison
Moving On Skiffle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It should come as no surprise that Van Morrison has made another album inspired by skiffle. Or that it takes a homemade style that exploded across Britain in the mid-1950s and brings to it a level of sophistication and soulfulness it didn’t always possess first time round. Skiffle has its roots in the African-American jug bands of 1920s New Orleans, who got around a lack of funds for proper musical instruments by using washboards, tea chests, jugs and tubs to appropriate their own take on the country blues. By the time it reached the U.K., largely thanks to enthusiasts such as Ken Colyer, Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan — who scored a massive hit in 1955 with his skiffle take on blues legend Lead Belly’s Rock Island Line — it became an entry point for a generation of callow British youth into the endlessly absorbing world of American blues, folk, jazz and country music. And nobody has inhabited that music, over an entire lifetime, as much as Morrison.”


The Mountain Goats
Jenny From Thebes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Mountain Goats’ catalog is thick with recurring characters. Jenny, who originally appears in the All Hail West Texas track bearing her name, as well as in Straight Six from Jam Eater Blues and Transcendental Youth Side 2 jam Night Light, is one of these — someone who enters a song unexpectedly, pricking up the ears of fans who are keen on continuing the various narrative threads running through The Mountain Goats’ discography before vanishing into the mist. In these songs, Jenny is largely defined by her absence, and she is given that definition by other characters. She is running from something. These features are beguiling, both to the characters who’ve told her story so far and to the listener. They invite certain questions: Who is Jenny, really? What is she running from? Well, she’s a warrior and a thief, and, this being an album by The Mountain Goats, it’s a safe bet whatever she’s fleeing is something bad. Something catastrophically bad.”


Human Reaction

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mssv celebrate the release of their second studio album Human Reaction in typical style: With a 58-show tour in the U.S. and parts of Canada. The band, composed of guitarist Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges on drums and Mike Watt on bass, creates music that is a heretofore unimagined hybrid of a punk power trio and a dreamy experimental rock band, though they prefer the term “post-genre.” Their latest full-length finds the oddly memorable hooks of their noir-tinged adventure music with a lot more vocals from the Main Steam Stop Valve leader Baggetta, adding more personality than ever before, alongside his bandmates, Hodges and Watt, who also share in the vocal duties throughout the album. While working out the new music on the previous Mssv tour in 2022 (48 shows in 48 days to celebrate their self-titled debut), Baggetta felt it important to take the step of singing his own words every night, rather than assigning them to anyone else, with a lot of support and encouragement from Stephen and Mike.”


Plastic Eternity

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The world is filling up with trash. Humanity remains addicted to pollution despite the planet getting hotter by the minute. People are downing horse dewormer because some goober on television told them it cured COVID. Tom Herman of pioneering avant garage band Pere Ubu still doesn’t have his own Wikipedia article. The apocalypse, it seems, is stupider than anyone could’ve predicted. Fortunately, the absurdities of modern life have always been prime subject matter for Seattle’s Mudhoney. The foursome take aim at all of them with barbed humor and muck-encrusted riffs on Plastic Eternity, their 11th album. Mudhoney (vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison and drummer Dan Peters) remain the ur underground group, their gnarly primordial punk stew and Arm’s sharply funny lyrics as potent a combination as they’ve been since the band’s formation in the late 1980s. From taking on climate change from the perspective of the climate — if the climate tried to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix (Cry Me An Atmospheric River) — to a driving rock song about taking drugs meant for livestock (Here Comes the Flood) to a classic punk attack on treating humans like livestock (Human Stock Capital), Plastic Eternity is a heady run through all the proto-genres of guitar rock with a keen eye on the inanities of the world in the 2020s.”

The Murlocs
Calm Ya Farm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Spiked with their signature breed of sharply crafted garage-punk — and with lead vocalist, guitarist and harmonica triple threat Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s surrealist musings on the ever-turbulent world around him — Calm Ya Farm, the new collection from Melbourne’s Murlocs, twists country-rock convention into a free-flowing album fully in touch with the frenetic energy of modern life. The band’s most collaborative work to date, Calm Ya Farm unfolds in more elaborate and sophisticated arrangements and achieves new sonic depths largely by creating space for all five members to pursue their most eccentric impulses. “With this record we tried to steer away from all the distortion and dirt and grit, or at least let the grit come off a bit more clean-sounding,” says Kenny-Smith, who — when he isn’t making music with guitarist Callum Shortal (Orb), drummer Matt Blach (Beans) and Tim Karmouche (Crepes) — also plays with bassist Cook Craig (Pipe-Eye) in the globally beloved psych-rock powerhouse King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Over the course of its 12 wildly catchy tracks, Calm Ya Farm touches on everything from the vicious tone of political discourse to the brain-addling effect of conspiracy theories, adorned with such unexpected flourishes as lush flute melodies, potent flamenco-guitar riffs, and dreamlike Farfisa tones.

Watch my 2022 interview with Ambrose Kenny-Smith HERE.


The National
First Two Pages Of Frankenstein

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The National’s ninth studio album, First Two Pages Of Frankenstein, is anchored by evocative melodies and an enthralling lyrical narrative, signaling a new chapter in the band’s beloved discography. The 11-song album was produced by The National at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York and features guest appearances by Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens. After two back-to-back albums and busy years of touring, First Two Pages Of Frankenstein was initially stalled while lead singer Matt Berninger navigated, “a very dark spot where I couldn’t come up with lyrics or melodies at all… Even though we’d always been anxious whenever we were working on a record, this was the first time it ever felt like maybe things really had come to an end.” Instead, The National “managed to come back together and approach everything from a different angle, and because of that we arrived at what feels like a new era for the band,” according to guitarist/pianist Bryce Dessner, whose bandmates also include his brother Aaron (guitar, piano, bass) as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).”


The New Pornographers
Continue As A Guest

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Over the past 20 years, The New Pornographers have proven themselves one of the most excellent and exceptional bands in indie rock. The group’s ninth studio album — and first for the revered American indie label Merge — establishes them alongside modern luminaries like Yo La Tengo and Superchunk when it comes to their ability to evolve while still retaining what made them so special in the first place. A dazzling and intriguing collection of songs, Continue As A Guest finds bandleader A.C. Newman and his compatriots Neko Case, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey and Joe Seiders exploring fresh territory and shattering the barriers of their collective comfort zone. Newman began work on Continue As A Guest after the band had finished touring behind 2019’s In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights. Themes of isolation and collapse bleed into this album, as Newman tackles the ambivalence of day-to-day life during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Newman says that Continue As A Guest’s title track also addresses the concerns that come with being in a band for so long. “The idea of continuing as a guest felt apropos to the times,” he explains. “Feeling out of place in culture, in society, being in a band that has been around for so long — not feeling like a part of any zeitgeist, but happy to be separate and living your simple life, your long fade-out. Living in a secluded place in an isolated time, it felt like a positive form of acceptance: Find your own little nowhere, find some space to fall apart, continue as a guest.”

Watch my interview with Carl Newman HERE.


Set Your Pussy Free

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal modern-punk outfit Nobro’s debut full-length Set Your Pussy Free is a caustic, celebratory, glorious party-punk fireworks show. Produced by Dave Schiffman (Pup, Rage Against The Machine), it’s a record about the ecstatic pursuit of personal escape and liberation even as the walls are closing in, a 21st-century power-punk analog of Born To Run that rages against modern life’s restrictive pressures and dares them to a game of chicken. If a hurricane is bearing down on Nobro, they’re spitting into it, arm-in-arm, with middle fingers raised. Bandmates Kathryn McCaughey (vocals/bass), Karolane Carbonneau (guitars), Lisandre Bourdages (keys/percussion) and Sarah Dion (drums) make clear that they aren’t interested in playing by whatever rules have been set around them.”


The Nude Party
Rides On

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For The Nude Party, nearly a decade has flown by in the blink of an eye. In that time, the New York band has released a pair of well-received albums, an EP, and played countless shows. Prior to the pandemic, they were really hitting their stride. They could count Jack White, Arctic Monkeys and Orville Peck as vocal supporters, and appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival and Shaky Knees were the norm. In late 2020, The Nude Party released their sophomore album Midnight Manor, which debuted at No. 1 on the Alternative New Artists Album Chart. The sextet were unable to tour behind it and compared its release to skipping a stone over a raging river. A byproduct was that it showed the band that on their third album, they couldn’t lean on their tried-and-true method of testing out new material live and then hunkering down to record.”


Intercepted Message

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A pop record for tired times.
Sugared with bits of shatterproof glass to put more crack in your strap.
At long last, Verse / chorus
A weathered thesaurus
This is Osees bookend sound
Early grade garage pop meets proto-synth punk suicide-repellant
Have a whack at the grass or listen while flat on your ass
Heaps of electronic whirling accelerants to gum up your cheapskate broadband
Social media toilet scrapers unite!
Allow your 24 hour news cycle eyes to squint at this smiling abattoir doorman
You can find your place here at long last
All are welcome
From the get go to the finale …. A distant crackling transmission of 80s synth last-dance-of-the-night tune for your lost loves
Suffering from Politic amnesia?
Bored of AI-generated pop slop?
Then this one is for you, our friends
Wasteland wanderer, stick around.”


Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Land Of Sleeper

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve always liked the quote: “Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.” So reckons Matt Baty of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, vocalist and lyricist of a band as comfortable wading through the darker quarters of their subconscious as they are punishing ampstacks. Whether dwelling in the realm of dreams or nightmares, the primordial drive of the Newcastle band is more powerful than ever. Land Of Sleeper, their fourth record in a decade of riot and rancour, is testimony to this: The sound of a band not so much reinvigorated as channelling a furious energy, which only appears to gather momentum as the band’s surroundings spin on their axis. “Shouting about themes of existential dread comes very naturally to me, and I think because I’m aware of that in the past I’ve tried to rein that in a little,” reckons Matt. “There’s definitely moments on this album where I took my gloves off and surrendered to that urge.”


The Pleasures
The Beginning Of The End

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Pleasures are a new band fronted by Australian country music icon Catherine Britt and Americana troubadour Lachlan Bryan. Formed in 2021, their two singles to date have received heavy rotation on local and national radio, and their unpredictable live shows — masterclasses in on-stage chemistry — have captured the hearts of audiences in small, dingy rooms up and down the east coast. No shrinking violets, The Pleasures’ sound is raucous, dirty and blues-inspired (occasionally interrupted by delicate moments of sublime country-folk), whilst their subject matter leaps from bold and bawdy to heartfelt and insightful. They call themselves a country band, but there’s as much Jack White influence here as there is George Jones (in fact there’s plenty of both) alongside the plethora of mythologised girl-boy country acts with whom they will inevitably draw comparison. If you get the feeling that Catherine and Lachlan have drawn upon every debaucerous night out, self-inflicted wound, bleeding heart and broken bone to come up with this noise, you’d be absolutely right.”


Iggy Pop
Every Loser

Iggy Pop albums come in two basic varieties: Them that rock and them that don’t. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not choosing sides there. Sure, I love the ones that rock. Well, most of them. Honestly, a couple of them aren’t that great. On the other hand, some of the ones that don’t rock are pretty damn awesome. So OK, maybe it’s not as cut-and-dried as I made it sound at first. But the basic point stands: Sometimes Iggy rocks. Sometimes he doesn’t. And lately he hasn’t. No big surprise there; after all, he’s 75 goddamn years old. He quit stage diving a while back. He lives in Florida, for fuck’s sake. But Every Loser? This rocks. Correction: This FUCKING rocks. Harder and faster and louder and ruder and cruder than he has in years. Decades, really.”

Read my review of Iggy Pop & The Losers’ Las Vegas concert HERE.



Cat Power
Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded Nov. 5, 2022 at London’s vaunted Royal Albert Hall, Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert sees Chan Marshall paying tribute to Bob Dylan with a complete live reimagining of his legendary performance at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in May 1966.  Long known as the Royal Albert Hall Concert due to a mislabeled bootleg, the original performance saw Dylan switching from acoustic to electric midway through the show, drawing the ire of folk purists and forever altering the course of rock ’n’ roll. Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert both lovingly honours Dylan’s imprint on history and brings a stunning new vitality to many of his most revered songs, including Like A Rolling Stone, Mr. Tambourine Man, Visions Of Johanna, Ballad Of A Thin Man, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and 11 more. “More than the work of any other songwriter,” says Marshall, “Dylan’s songs have spoken to me, and inspired me since I first began hearing them at five years old.”


Margo Price
Strays I + II

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Margo Price has been to the mountain — and today the singer, songwriter, soon-to-be-published author, and Grammy-nominated generational talent returns with her new album Strays. From navigating her way through multiple lifetimes’ worth of loss, lies, failure and substance abuse, she has learned how to let go of trauma, pain and addiction, and this collection of 10 original songs serves as a celebration of freedom in its many, feral forms. Extracting herself from expectations, musical genre and the material desires that drive the world, Price tackles demons of self-image, self-worth and more that came in the wake of her recent decision to quit drinking. She sings unabashedly about orgasms, love and bodily autonomy, all over her most layered, sonically ambitious and singular arrangements to date.”



THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Strays II expands on Margo Price’s January 2023 opus Strays with nine brand new songs, all recorded at producer Jonathan Wilson’s Topanga studio during the same life-changing sessions as the rest of the album — and partially written during a formative six-day psilocybin trip that Price and Jeremy Ivey took the summer prior. On Strays II, Price is rejoined by collaborators Wilson and Mike Campbell, along with new collaborators Buck Meek of Big Thief, and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ny Oh. Together they dive deeper into the sacrifices it takes to find freedom, the grit it takes to make it, and the consequences that come with all of it.”


Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are back with their sixth studio album. The Australian psych-rock five-piece have been working on Fronzoli — a title meaning ‘something unnecessary added as decoration’ — since the release of 2022’s Night Gnomes. The record surges with the Perth-based band’s over-the-top, glittery sound, drawing influences from the likes of classic rock behemoths Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, as well as electronic experimental jazz. These rock influences are firmly on display in Fronzoli, with thrashy grunge tracks such as Sierra Nevada and the frenetic Hot! Heat! Wow! Hot! showcasing the band’s hyperactive guitars and offbeat lyrics. The band, who started out as friends, before coming together to pride themselves on their joyful and unpolished messiness when it comes to songwriting and production.”


Public Image Ltd.
End Of World

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Despite the sad passing of John Lydon’s wife of more than four decades, Nora Forster, on April 5, Public Image Ltd. decided to continue with the release of End Of World, their 11th studio offering and first album in eight years. “Nora loved the album,” Lydon says. “She wouldn’t have wanted us to postpone it or change any of our plans.” Celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2018, Public Image Ltd. are widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time. Their music and vision have earned them five U.K. Top 20 singles and an equal number of U.K. Top 20 albums. With a shifting lineup and unique sound — fusing rock, dance, folk, pop and dub — Lydon guided the band from their debut album First Issue in 1978 through to 1992’s That What Is Not, before a 17-year hiatus.”