ONE of them features a 17th-century suicide ballad. Another is based on a cycle of poems narrated by the eyeball of a dead lamb. A third, meanwhile, is presented as the soundtrack to a fictional Spaghetti Western… Welcome, then, to Uncut’s Best New Albums Of 2023 – our all-singing, all-dancing, cork-popping celebration of the past 12 months.
Over recent weeks, our crack team of writers have been diligently assembling their end-of-year lists and, following some spreadsheet magic, I’m delighted to be able to share the results with you as part of our legendary Review Of The Year which dominates this new issue of Uncut.
In these pages, you’ll find a comprehensive look back at our favourite albums, archive releases, films and books from 2023. And to help us, we’ve invited some celebrated friends to offer their own thoughts – including Paul Simon, Ray Davies, Shirley Collins, PJ Harvey, John Cale, Dinosaur Jr, The Necks, Arooj Aftab and Corinne Bailey Rae.
Meanwhile, our free, 15-track CD showcases many of the artists who’ve helped soundtrack our year – from Yo La Tengo, Jason Isbell and Craven Faults to Lisa O’Neill, Israel Nash and Teenage Fanclub.
Stepping outside the Review Of The Year for a moment, there’s also Damien Love’s excellent deep dive into Bob Dylan’s transformative 1978 – augmented by a stunning Dylan posterzine which reprints, for the first time since its original publication, a rare and revelatory interview with the great man.
There’s tons more – including, oh, The Beatles, Gram Parsons, Robert Forster, Wednesday, X-Ray Spex, a wealth of new albums and reissues.
Incidentally, please send us your own end-of-year charts. I’m always interested to see how your lists converge – or diverge from ours – so let the debate begin!
Email your entries, thoughts, bouquets, brickbats and more to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.