RSU Radio’s Best of 2023

Jace Bain – Britwaves

(c) Sour Mash Records Ltd.

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Council Skies (Deluxe)

2023 saw the debut of Britwaves and the return of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. I hope those two things correlate.

Since its release on June 2nd, Council Skies has continually grown on me. I find myself frequently listening to the non-single tracks, including the bonus songs from the deluxe version. There’s “Mind Games,” a fantastic John Lennon cover, “Don’t Stop…,” which was a forgotten Oasis song, and even, my personal favorite, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” from the songbook of Bob Dylan. Tracks like “There She Blows,” “Think of a Number,” and “Open The Door, See What You Find” have been in constant rotation throughout the latter half of 2023.

My top three most streamed songs of the year were “Easy Now,” “Pretty Boy,” and “Dead to the World,” in that order.

Having had the opportunity to witness a live performance of a majority of the songs from Council Skies in Dallas, TX, was an unforgettable experience that truly blew my mind. This record stands out not only for its impressive quantity but also for The Chief’s exceptional songwriting.

2. Andrew CushinWaiting for the Rain

3. The Beatles – The Beatles 1962-1966 (2023 Edition) [The Red Album]

4. Kirsty MacColl – Real

5. BlurThe Ballad of Darren

6. Ten Tonnes – Dancing, Alone

7. The Rolling StonesHackney Diamonds

8. Liam Gallagher – Knebworth ’22 

9. Billie Marten – Drop Cherries

10. bar italia – Tracey Denim

Standout Singles:

  1. Now and Then – The Beatles
  2. Your Side of Town – The Killers
  3. The American Dream is Killing Me – Green Day
  4. Roadkill – Lizzie Esau
  5. Love Will Tear Us Apart (Demo) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

The Reverend Dr. RayHiFi Heresy

© American Laundromat Records

1. Juliana Hatfield – Sings ELO

I grew up in the 70s/80s, and I came of age in the 90s. “Why is this important?”, you may ask. This track provides a bridge to different eras of my musical preferences. When I was young, Electric Light Orchestra dominated the pop/rock music charts. They were unavoidable on the FM dial. I loved so many of their songs. Fast-forward to the early-to-mid 90s, and Juliana Hatfield was in regular rotation on my CD player as a member of The Blake Babies and as a solo artist. Imagine my surprise when, earlier this year, Juliana announced the impending release of this record. I immediately ordered it and began waiting. It arrived, and it did not disappoint. It has been in constant rotation since I received it. Hands down, this is my favorite release of 2023 by a wide margin.

2. The Darts – Snake Oil
3. Tobin Sprout – Demos and Outtakes Volume 2
4. The Black Crowes – Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (Re-Issue)
5. Gram Parson and the Fallen Angels – The Last Roundup (Live from the Bijou Café 1973)
6. Brinsley Schwarz – Thinking Back: The Anthology 1970-1975
7. Ian Hunter – Defiance Part 1
8. The Ducks – High Flyin’
9. Susanna Hoffs – The Deep End
10. The Kaisers – Shaking and Stomping single

Standout Single:

  1. Pie in the Sky – The Jackets

Tip Toasty – Riot Radio/Rude Boy Radio

© Ninja Tune

1. Young Fathers – Heavy Heavy

Some fans of the group see the new Young Fathers album as a step back from Cocoa Sugar, but Heavy Heavy provides such a unique yet familiar sonic experience, making it my top album of the year. The album moves seamlessly between high energy songs like “I Saw” and “Drum” to flowing ballads like “Shoot Me Down”. Art pop is a genre that can easily lean too far in one direction or the other, but Heavy Heavy finds a perfect balance of catchy and calamitous.

  1. Home Front – Games of Power
  2. Ratboys – The Window
  3. Militarie Gun – Life Under The Gun
  4. Vincent Neil Emerson – The Golden Crystal Kingdom
  5. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation
  6. Restraining Order – Locked In Time
  7. Snooper – Super Snõõper
  8. Mil-Spec – Marathon
  9. Sweeping Promises – Good Living Is Coming For You

Lacie – Music Director/Fresh Fridays

© Easy Life Records

1. Softcult – See You In The Dark (EP)

2023 was full of amazing music and therefore, the choice for my favorite release was nearly impossible. However, I knew I had to go with one of my top Spotify artists. Earlier this year, Softcult released their 3rd EP, See You in The Dark, and I instantly fell in love with the first single. They’ve released some singles since then, so fingers crossed that another EP is released next year! Thanks to their promoter, Planetary Group, me and a friend attended a concert of theirs in OKC for free and it was an amazing experience! The band describes their music as “grunge shoegaze dream-pop indie”, basically an amalgamation of all of my favorite genres.

2. Mitski – The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We

3. Cherry Glazerr – I Don’t Want You Anymore

4. Viji – So Vanilla

5. feeble little horse – Girl With Fish

6. Sea Lemon – Stop at Nothing [EP]

7. Slow Pulp – Yard

8. Palehound – Eye on The Bat

9. A Beacon School – yoyo

10. Sufjan Stevens – Javelin

Elizabeth – Hidden Gems

© KRA International Inc.

1. Chappell Roan – The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess

When I began my show “Hidden Gems” on RSU Radio, “Pink Pony Club” from Chappell Roan’s most recent album was the first song I ever played. The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is a journey through the feelings of a young woman coming of age and discovering her true self. This high-energy pop album has quickly become a classic for me and I am looking forward to what Chappell Roan does next with her music career.

  1. Troye Sivan – Something to Give Each Other
  2. Strange Ranger – Pure Music
  3. Rebecca Black – Let Her Burn
  4. Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You
  5. The National – First Two Pages of Frankenstein
  6. Carly Rae Jepsen – The Loveliest Time
  7. Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS
  8. Boygenius – The Record
  9. Kesha – Gag Order

Sky – Her Voice

© Epic Records/Sing It Loud

1. Madison Beer – Silence Between Songs

The use of dreamy instruments, heartfelt lyrics and profound vocals is the perfect blend for me. Silence Between Songs was on repeat for me this year, with my favorite song being “Reckless.” 

2. Catie Turner – comedy and tragedy: act 1 & act 2

3. The Beaches – Blame My Ex 

4. Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS 

5. Maude Latour – Twin Flame

6. between friends – I love my boy, she’s my girl 

7. Various Artists – Barbie: the Album 

8. Maisie Peters – The Good Witch

9. Brotherboy – All my friends are breaking up

10. Arlo Parks – my soft machine 

Anna – Vinyl Breakfast/Only Oklahoma

© Alice Phoebe Lou

1. Alice Phoebe Lou – Shelter

Alice Phoebe Lou presents “Shelter,” a captivating collection of indie tunes that provides solace to the soul and stands out as one of the most uplifting musical experiences of the year.  The devil’s in the details; especially the cover art. Total perfection—it’s like a visual representation of how the music feels.

Amanda – Spin Theory

© Bleach Lab / Nettwerk Music Group Inc.

1. Bleach Lab – Lost In A Rush of Emptiness

The record that has excited me the most in recent months comes from a band called Bleach Lab. They’re from London, England, and their album, Lost In A Rush of Emptiness, came out a few months ago. I’m excited about them and their future.

Caleb – Radio Rewind

© Elektra Music Group Inc

I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert in Oklahoma City, and I was literally in the front row, making eye contact with him a couple of times. It was a really fun experience, and, of course, that elevated this to my number one favorite album of the year.

Standout Single:

  1. Depeche Mode – Ghosts Again


RSU Radio’s 2023 has been marked by outstanding programming, the introduction of new shows, fresh music, and the addition of new staff and volunteer DJs who have collectively made this year truly remarkable. We look forward to your continued support in 2024 as we unveil more surprises and exciting content!