Sven Wunder's output is selective and always on point. One of the cream of the crop when it comes to contemporary composers, he has struck gold with 'Late Again'. The album features the 2021 track 'Snowdrops', which is easily one of the most beautifully composed songs in recent years. Taking a slightly more jazz-tinged angle than previous albums, 'Late Again' is about as glorious and sublime as it gets.
A catalyst and dynamo of the contemporary Brazilian scene, Ana has crafted an album of punchy perfection which gets better the further you dive in. Boogie, pop, and heartfelt MPB are all covered in this gem of an album, by one of the most unique artists out there.
The second album from Stockholm in the top ten! The follow-up album from the amazing Dina Ögon (whose members collaborate with Sven Wunder) is slightly more pop than their debut, but still rides the funky Scandi psych-folk vibes, with heavy hip hop-esque drums. One of the best live bands we have seen in ages.
They say don't meet your idols, but Asha proved this statement wrong when we met up with her in London this summer. A true legend, inspiration, and force of nature. Filip Nikolic and Raghav Mani's Naya Beat Records have taken Asha's classics and let a selection of some of the best producers in the game, such as Maurice Fulton and Psychemagik, put their trademark spin on proceedings.
This could easily be number one, but technically the digital album was out in 2022, with the vinyl release dropping in 2023. A tour de force of a supergroup, paving the way for the obscenely talented world of Brazil musicians to follow with their live show through Europe and Japan. Jamz and Sam also gave their song 'Baile De Máscaras' an electronic dancefloor club makeover to round off a stellar year.
Bay Bryan Music
We discovered Bay Bryan thanks to a Luke Una tip. Bay's stunning debut album grows with every listen, hooking you in ever deeper the more you get lost within it. An intimate, tender album that takes you on a ride of emotion. Bay is an artist to keep your eye on.
2023 has been strong for Brazilian albums. Rogê's 'Curyman' features string arrangements by Arthur Verocai and is produced by Tommy Brenneck of Menahan Street Band fame. Released on Tommy's own Diamond West label, this is a truly superb album.
International Anthem Recording Company
We have to admit, we love the Chicago record label, International Anthem Recording Company, but for some reason hadn't checked Resavoir's music properly. A project led by producer/composer Will Miller and friends, Resavoir's new album is a true delight. Not stuck in one genre the record floats and evolves from ambient, to jazz, r&b and hip-hop beat compositions in a relaxed, effortless way.
We accidentally came across the Swiss producer, Melodiesinfonie, on Bandcamp, but it has become one of our favourite albums of the year. A superb mix of styles, from lush soul and downtempo joints to the guitar-led cinematic funk of 'Stay Soft' and the contemporary Brazilian sounds of 'Água Salgada'. The latter features Pedro Mizutani, which fans of Sessa will dig.
We must have listened to this EP more than any other record this year. Dora's sublime 'Vento De Beirada' EP takes you on a trip into the sensuous sounds of her world. On first hearing Dora’s music, we were reminded of the transformational moment when we first discovered the Brazilian singer-songwriter, Joyce. The music is completely new to you, yet instantly familiar, like rediscovering a past love.