WDIY's Top 10 Albums of February 2023
In honor of the loveliest month of the year, our Valentine's Day gift to you is a new Top 10 Albums list for February 2023! A couple old favorites from 2022 popped up as well as some brand new additions to the list, so check out what was being played most on Lehigh Valley Public Radio.
If you want to see your old favorites or new hits on one of our personal top 10 chart, feel free to call WDIY's studio line with a request at 610-694-8100 x1 or leave your picks on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages to tell us what songs and albums you want us to play.
Father John Misty
Chloë and the Next 20th Century
Sub Pop Records
April 8, 2022
Father John Misty returns to WDIY’s Top 10 charts once again with Chloë and the Next 20th Century, his fifth album and first new material since the release of God’s Favorite Customer in 2018. The new addition to his collection was written and recorded between August and December 2020. Chloë is a collection of story-song vignettes about a hopeless romantic and his doomed romances with a whole series of women, starting with the woman named Chloë. Misty last appeared on our charts in October 2022.
She & Him
Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson
July 22, 2022
Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson is the seventh studio album by Portland, Oregon musical duo She & Him, a collaboration between Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Melt Away is a tribute to what the duo considered to be one of the greatest living American songwriters and singers, Brian Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys. The record is composed of covers of Beach Boys songs written by Wilson, in addition to featuring Brian Wilson on the track "Do It Again."
Domino Recording Company
October 21, 2022
The Car is the seventh studio album from British rockers Arctic Monkeys. The album was written by the band's frontman, Alex Turner, while traveling between his homes in Los Angeles and Paris with help from James Ford, Tom Rowley, Loren Humphrey, and Tyler Parkford. The Car is a thematic continuation of 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. Turner has been applauded for this album because of how far he pushed the genres he works within; he has been compared to and quantified with art rock, orchestral rock, lounge pop, baroque pop, and funk, as well as elements of jazz. Turner has said he wanted to create something polarizing and fresh for listeners, returning to the musicality of Arctic Monkeys' hit fifth album, AM, from 2013. Critically, the band's newest work has awarded Turner many accolades along with a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Performance at the 65th award ceremony. However, the frontman still fell victim and kneeled at the feet of Taylor Swift’s prowess. Because of Swift's Midnights drop, The Car became Arctic Monkeys' first album to not reach the top spot of the UK Albums Chart.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Cool It Down
September 30, 2022
Cool It Down is the fifth studio album by New York City indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It marks the group's first album since 2013's Mosquito and their first release through Secretly Canadian. While the band’s appearance and aesthetic might not be as art-punk and avant garde as we’re used to from their debut in 2003, they still command a stage and drive home a sound just like they used to. The first track alone, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” which features Perfume Genius, solidifies the fact that the most consistent strategy employed by lead singer Karen O is to always keep an audience on their toes. In the almost decade gap since Mosquito, the band experienced solo projects and family building as well as the same pandemic we all did, and they came out of the other end with an album that leaves space for the misery that comes with environmental ruin and societal collapse as well as looks forward to a hopeful and defiant future.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
I Am the Moon: I. Crescent
Swamp Family Music LLC
June 3, 2022
The fifth studio release by Tedeschi Trucks Band is considered by many to be the most ambitious and yet somehow intimate work that rock and roll big band has ever made. It embodies an old-world epic in size and scale; this series contains four albums and 24 original songs inspired by classical literature of days old and the drama, isolation, and pain of the modern pandemic era. In May 2020, two months after the band was forced off the road by lockdown, vocalist Mike Mattison sent an email to the rest of the band with some pandemic reading assignments. The poems and stories became the foundation of the lyricism for this record series.
The Man from Waco
Son of Davy
September 9, 2022
Charley Crockett refuses to be put inside a genre box, and his newest album helps to reinforce that idea. He is often called the “last bastion of traditional country music,” but he prefers to experiment with blues, soul, and other Americana musical elements to craft his own unique sound. In terms of Man from Waco, this is the second time in three albums that he's honored Wacoborn honky-tonk country music legend James "Slim" Hand. Crockett met and played with Hand numerous times before the performer's June 2020 death. Their brief but impactful friendship has only contributed to Crockett’s mindset to stand out and beat against the current of trends, creating his own corner of the country music world to inhabit.
Polyvinyl, Transgressive, and Celsius Girls
October 7, 2022
Immediately after the release of Antisocialites in 2017, Canadian indie pop band Alvvays (pronounced "always") went on extensive tours both as headliners and as support while writing their third album, Blue Rev. However, it wasn’t an easy-going process to craft the new record, and while the pandemic is to blame, this band had a few interesting and unique hurdles; a thief broke into lead singer Molly Rankin's apartment and stole a recorder with several demos contained on it, and the day after, a basement flood destroyed all of the band's gear. They eventually regrouped in October 2021 in a studio in Los Angeles with producer Shawn Everett to work. They went on to play all of Blue Rev front-to-back twice in a single day, with 15-second breaks between songs and a 30-minute break between full album takes. A tour was announced by June 21, 2022, and the album was officially announced on July 6, 2022 along with a single release, the meticulously layered and noisy "Pharmacist."
Vieux Farka & Khruangbin
September 23rd, 2022
It’s hard to understate Ali Farka Touré’s legacy and the impact he had on the world. Being one of Africa’s most notable musicians to date, he is also considered a pioneer and revolutionary in the genre of African desert blues, which blends traditional Malian music and blues. Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and number 37 on Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” So who better to continue his legacy other than his son, Vieux Farka Touré? He collaborated with Texas-based Khruangbin to craft this newest album to memorialize his late father as well as building upon what he left behind musically. The duo recorded the album, appropriately named Ali, over the course of a week in June 2019 at Khruangbin's barn. After being put on hold due to the pandemic, the album was finalized in 2021.
Back on the Road to You
September 9th, 2022
Back on the Road to You is Freedy Johnston’s ninth album of new material and first since 2015’s Neon Repairman. This newest album started as a Kickstarter-financed project from the New York City-based artist who is originally from Kinsley, Kansas. It features Freedy Johnston backed by a four-piece band with added vocal support in key places from pals like Susan Cowsill, Aimee Mann, and Susanna Hoffs. As is his standard practice, Johnston wrote all ten of the tunes on Back on the Road to You. They encompass and embody the same witty lyricism and genre-bending tunes and melodies that his other albums have, keeping it consistent within his body of work.
November 4, 2022
Led by dual vocalists and married couple Kurt and Brianna Jorgensen, The Jorgensens have been blending blues, folk, and jazz since they met in 2014. Kurt’s impeccable musicality combined with Brianna’s classically trained multi-instrumental resumé has created a band with the warmth and depth to attract the most loyal fanbase. With this newest album, the Minnestota-based band pushes the boundaries of tradition within these genres and show how compelling and relevant contemporary blues can be. The content of this album in particular shows how these two are truly soulmates, as well as highlights how interconnected the entire band is with their energy and music-making.