Recommended Albums: January 2023

Welcome to 2023! Okay, we’ve already been in the year for over a month, but Warm Visions Recommended Albums is back for another round: my eighth year of this feature! Feels wild to even think that. Keeps me honest, I guess!

And honestly, I gotta try and make these a bit more interesting. Sure I listen to new music regularly and try to highlight my favorites, but there’s so much more that I’m enjoying other than tunes from that year. For instance, I was HARD at work getting through my 1980s to-listen-to list, finding a few major favorites, as well as listening to a few other things on repeat. I thought I’d not make it such a stress to include 10 albums every time. Maybe that month I only enjoyed four records enough to talk about (like this month). I’ll still highlight my favorite songs, as well as point out my other favorite things I’ve been enjoying from the past. It’ll be more like a newsletter, I guess. Hope you enjoy!


The Drin – Today My Friend You Drunk The Venom [Feel It]
Digging a narrow well in the ground to sit in and shoot fireworks out of, resulting in view of a small porthole of sky accompanied by dangerously close explosions, while caked in mud.

Jonah Yano – Portrait of a Dog [Innovative Leisure]
A sunset pouring light into the curtained windows of a home reveals the curtains are actually designed to emulate replaying cherished home video tapes when they move + light passes through them. The house is still with the flickering images of the past.

Meg Baird – Furling [Drag City]
An underground aquifer acting as the life force to reforest a vast plain ravaged by fire years earlier.

Rozi Plain – Prize [Memphis Industries]
Blotting a wet piece of cloth with varying amounts of paint, watching the rivulets of color spread naturally into circles and beautifully dye the garment.


Listen to all of these + more on my Spotify playlist HERE.

  • ANIMA! – “An Old Tune”
  • The Drin – “Stonewallin'”
  • Everything But The Girl – “Nothing Left To Lose”
  • Jonah Yano – “call the number”
  • Meg Baird – “Twelve Saints”
  • M83 – “Oceans Niagara”
  • Orange Folder – “Trial and Error”
  • Overmono – “Is U”
  • Pearl & The Oysters – “Konami”
  • poolblood – “sorry”
  • Rozi Plain – “Painted The Room”
  • The Tubs – “Wretched Lie”
  • Weval – “Don’t Lose Time”
  • Y La Bamba – “Dibujos De Mi Alma”
  • yunè pinku – “Night Light”


Here’s a new section of music I’ve been listening to throughout the month that ISN’T from 2023, sorted in alphabetical order. For the most part, I spent January crossing things off my 1980s listening list, so below you’ll find some favorite selections from my process, as well as a few things I either returned to or sought out from other eras.

The Books – Lost & Safe [2005]
Had a moment with this album (which I had somehow never listened to until January, despite absolutely loving Thought For Food and The Lemon of Pink) – I was walking around in Philly’s Magic Gardens on my own during an especially cold day. The scattered collage of sounds on Lost & Safe combined with the likewise scattered collage of the Magic Gardens was a match made in heaven. It was also a quiet day with not that many people visiting, so it was overall a great experience, one that I’ll always associate this album with.

Chaba Fadela – شابة فضيلة Fadela [1986] + Cheb Khaled – Hada Raykoum [1987]
I had never listened to Algerian Raï music before this year, but my list of 1980s records I somehow had two without even knowing it. I listened to both in quick succession of each other by coincidence, making a pocket of January very Algerian. Obviously the genre has evolved since the iteration of the 1980s, when it seemed like the sound was trying to take on a more modern sound, but it was cool to hear a style of music new to me doing this project.

The Chameleons – Strange Times [1986]
Another notch in the log of time that The Chameleons are a really good and underrated band. I’m well familiar with their album Script of the Bridge, but I recently sought out their non-streaming record Strange Times, a release worth seeking. Was enthralled for the album’s duration – if you love 1980s post punk with a gothic edge and you don’t know The Chameleons, get familiar!

Exodus – Bonded By Blood [1985]
Obviously the main question I get asked when I tell people I’ve been working on this expansive, never-ending 1980s listening project is “what is the best thing you’ve discovered from this?” – the first and easiest answer is probably Kraftwerk’s Computer World. But my second best revelation is how hard 1980s metal goes. For the most part I’ve been indulging in thrash metal, spreading out into the connecting genres from there. Listening to classic albums from Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica, Voivod, Bathory, Sepultura and more has been mind-opening. So much good music out there to explore. But the record for me that has blown everything out of the water in the metal world was Exodus’ Bonded By Blood, which may have the worst album cover out of anything I’ve listened to in this process, but it may rip the hardest. I’ve listened back to some of the other more widely regarded classic albums by the artists I listed above and in my mind, they pale in comparison to the riffs, the carnage, the sheer intensity brought on Bonded By Blood. It’s fast, it’s skillful, it’s intricate, and it’s brutal. Can’t recommend enough.

Girls – Album [2009]
Inspired by a friend, I hopped back into Girls’ somehow-overlooked debut Album from 2009. Do the youths know about this record? I know last year I shared a part of the lyrics to “Lust For Life” and got so many people replying about how they love it. Granted they were all millennials, but hey. This album has only gotten better with age, and the power of “Hellhole Ratrace” has not been lost on me. I also gained newfound appreciation for the ripper “Morning Light” off that record as more. As my friend said, we need more new albums in 2023 to sound like Album.

Nona Hendryx – Skindiver [1989]
A discovery in my 80s project. Not much to say about this one, but if you’re looking for a forward-thinking, overlooked pop album from the late 1980s, this would be a great place to start. A basic comparison would be if Janet Jackson and Kate Bush made a record together. That may be delusional, but it’s got the mysteriousness of a post-Hounds of Love Kate Bush record, plus the vocal chops of a Janet. It’s fantastic!

Pat Metheny Group – Still Life (Talking) [1987]
I’m in my Pat Metheny era. What started off as an album I just checked off my 1980s to-listen-to list turned into a regular rotation. The first track “Minuano (Six Eight)” is brilliant and groovy, but the rest of the album keeps me locked in. It features guitar and piano playing reminiscent of the smooth jazz that I was raised on (did you know my parents almost named me “Benson” after none other than “George Benson”?), is melodically engaging and just overall a fantastic record.

Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays – As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls [1981]
This goes out to my buddy Alex who kept telling me to listen to this and I just brushed it aside. But in my defense, now it is here. And I love it. For all my linemen out there. Also parts of it sound like the Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack. Can’t find a decent clip to include here so you’re just gonna have to seek it out yourself!

Radiohead – Live at Bonnaroo 2006 [2006]
I’m not sure what inspired it, but I was suddenly thrust into being VERY into live Radiohead recordings + videos. Perhaps it was because The Smile was hot this last year with in-studios and their own tour, or I was just feeling nostalgic for the one time I got to see them. Who knows. Either way, I grabbed a live bootleg of their show at Bonnaroo in 2006 and it’s an incredibly sick set. For one it’s incredibly long, but for two it’s exhilarating to hear all these pre-release In Rainbows songs performed live to an unwitting crowd. Imagine just hearing “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” or “Videotape” before knowing what it was. Started off 2023 as a big Radiohead guy, and transitioning into the thoughts of “is Radiohead the best rock band ever?”. I am incredibly obnoxious.

Say She She – Prism [2022]
Was a fan of Say She She’s great 2022 debut Prism when it was released, but I got to see the band open for Thee Sacred Souls and they blew it out of the park. The band was on fire (multiple flute solos that yielded massive applause from the audience) and the three singers were on point. Undoubtedly helped me appreciate Prism a lot more than on my first listen. I also want to make an observation that the crowd to come out and see Say She She + Thee Sacred Souls was MASSIVE and a complete pleasant surprise. To see this resurgence in popularity around modern soul music is awesome to see.

Television – Marquee Moon [1977]
RIP Tom Verlaine. Marquee Moon was an album that I independently decided to get back into at the start of 2023 since I felt as though I hadn’t given it enough attention in the past. It’s a classic of course, but just wanted to give it a bigger deep dive. Of course it’s a fantastic record. Then Tom Verlaine, the head of Television + guitar hero to many passed. What terrible timing! I’ve really loved walking around NYC listening to “Marquee Moon”, “Torn Curtain”, “Venus” and the rest of the record.

To Rococo Rot – The Amateur View [1999]
A random find in my trawling of early 00s electronica. I’m probably trying to get too cerebral into my hunting, but I’m always looking for what I like to call “melancholy glitch” as heard on Dntel’s Life Is Full of Possibilities. I had never heard of To Rococo Rot until this year, but their 1999 album The Amateur View definitely falls into that genre in certain points, with mixes of organic instruments, some akin to that heard on the last two Talk Talk records, along with late 90s / early 00s IDM/electronics. It’s not an album that I’m goo goo ga ga over, but it’s something that I unexpectedly came across and enjoyed a fair amount for what it is.

XTC – Skylarking [1986]
Part of my 80s diving, I finally put on XTC’s beloved Skylarking and yep, I was pretty floored on my first listen. A pretty incredible record, not much more to say than that. Listen to it!

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
This entry was posted in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s