Welcome back to Schnide’s 5™️, “Holy Shit, The Year Is Half Over” edition! Time to celebrate. What do I get my readership whom undoubtedly has everything? A killer playlist with all of the musical highlights of the year, natch!

I’ve noted before that 2023 has gotten off to a slow start, musically. I was ready to write the year off, but in putting together this playlist, I found that so far we have, in fact, a lot of great music to listen to this year. Maybe fewer great albums, but a ton of great songs.

I’m sharing the This is 2023 playlist with you, and adding a few standouts to our ongoing Schnide’s Five playlist. Both playlists continue to grow and evolve, like a caterpillar crystalizing into a beautiful butterfly.

Janelle Monáe, “Float (feat. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80)

Janelle Monáe embracing her sexuality with the backyard, dive into the swimming pool album of the summer. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Ms. Monáe, starting when I met with her to discuss a music show hosting opportunity. Our pitch was DOA; even though it was early in her career, one moment with her made it obvious that she was destined for much bigger things that a stupid music program on the internet. In the meeting she wouldn’t speak because she was saving her voice, which made for a weird sit down to say the least. Her voice comes through in full color on The Age Of Pleasure.

boygenius, “Cool About It

Boygenius’ The Record has the inside track for album of the year for me. It’s not a certainty for sure, but this record defies the reputation of lazy “supergroup” releases. These three perfectly compliment each other to ultimately create something greater than themselves individually. The result is an album that feels like it came from a band striving for greatness, not a filler piece in between solo releases.

The National, “Eucalyptus

I’ve always been in like with The National, never really in love. Their music feels like it was built in a lab to capitalize on all of my dadrock erogenous zones, but I’ve never been able to put them on the level of the great bands of their generation. Their latest album, the brilliantly titled The First Two Pages Of Frankenstein, might be turning me. I think their music suffers from same-ness at times, largely because of the baritone brogue of lead singer Matt Berninger. But when it works, it really works. And on “Eucalyptus”, and other moments on Frankenstein, it all comes together spectacularly.

Everything But The Girl, “Nothing Left To Lose

My excitement for the return of EBTG after a 23+ year absence is as irrational as a right wing zealot at a MAGA rally. Tracey Thorn’s voice, Ben Watt’s soundscapes – a marriage made in end of the dance party heaven. They’ve been gone for a long time, but sound here like they never left.

Caroline Polachek, “Blood And Butter

Polachek’s latest, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You (great title btw. Along with The National’s The First Two Pages Of Frankenstein and Queens of the Stone Age’s In Times New Roman, perhaps 2023 is the year of the epic album title 🤔) is excellent from start to finish. I had a hard time narrowing down which track to share, but I stumbled on a recent KEXP performance and this track jumped off the screen. Fun fact: the title reflects my favorite pasta preparation method.

Happy listening.

This Is 2023 – highlights from throughout the year, to be updated regularly. Save this shit and follow along:

Ongoing playlist that you love to love…Schnide’s 5: