If you’re going by the charts, the best songs of 2023 have been everywhere. SZA’s remarkable 2022 “Kill Bill” certainly had its moment, while country star Morgan Wallen dominated in several areas. Taylor Swift’s 2022 entries have held firm and Latin stars like Peso Pluma have made their mark. Even a decade-old song by Miguel has found new life in an ever-changing musical environment.
With all of that in mind, we’ve gone from our typical list to try something new in 2023. We asked Uproxx’s lead songwriters to each pick their favorite song of the year so far, and that what we found is something a bit like the larger musical landscape. Country, hip-hop, indie, pop and afrobeats all make an appearance, while Ice Spice is just as ubiquitous here as it is in the real world. There are even a few headliners in this mix.
Check out the best songs of 2023 so far, as chosen by the staff at Uproxx, below.
100 Gecs – “Hollywood Baby”
The musical landscape is as diverse and interesting as it has ever been. Considering that anyone with a laptop can create and release a decent sounding album these days, it’s hard to be shocked. And yet, 100 Gecs surprise with just about every song they release. On paper, what their hyper-pop distillation of ’90s alternative rock shouldn’t work, but songs like “Hollywood Baby” do. Given that the insanely catchy pop-punk-ish track sounds relatively conventional to them, but it shows there’s over 100 Gecs beyond making seemingly disparate sounds work together: they’re also exemplary songwriters. . – Derrick Rossignol
Arlo Parks – “Weightless”
Arlo Parks may be a musician, but above all she is a poet. The 22-year-old British artist is known for wielding her pen deftly to write touching songs about mental health, mortality and identity that bring listeners to tears. “Weightless”, which appears on his second album my sweet machine is no different. While much of her latest album’s subject matter focuses more on budding relationships than declining sanity (we love to see it!), “Weightless” still manages to be just as emotional. Her unique, honeyed vocals add a soaring dimension to the reverb-soaked instrumentals, and Parks even steps in with a spoken verse about the all-too-familiar anxiety that takes over when she’s near a crush. – Caroline Droke
Ice Spice – “Gangsta Boo” Feat. Lil Tjay
With the co-signatures of Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice crowned the people’s princess is indisputable. Although the Bronx rapper found crossover success thanks to his guest verse on “Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2,” Spice’s innovation in exercise shouldn’t be overlooked. land on the Billboard Top 100, “Gangsta Boo” featuring Lil Tjay is the pop cover that Spice thrives in. Containing a sample of Diddy’s cult classic 2002 song “I Need a Girl (Part 2)”, an infectious chorus and a fiery guest verse – it’s a sleeper hit. After the video shoot was canceled due to Tjay’s arrest, Spice stopped promoting the song. However, it will live on well beyond the shelf life of its EP. –Flisadam Pointer
Lana Del Rey – “Let The Light In” feat. Father John Misty
While Lana Del Rey’s latest album features many fan-favorite albums, it’s her collaboration with her longtime friend, father John Misty, on “Let The Light In” that stands out. The harmonies highlight how much she works with more folksy artists — similar to 2017’s “Tomorrow Never Came” with Sean Ono Lennon. In the unique dynamic of this upbeat song, Lana and FJM go back and forth before she decides, “Fuck off, maybe you should record some more songs.” This, coupled with the fact that countless TikTok edits are set to the “love love you / hate hate hate you” part, results in another modern classic from one of this generation’s most acclaimed songwriters. . – Lexi Lane
Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”
Miley Cyrus’ Best Career No. 1 Single Finds Cyrus Rewriting Julia Roberts’ Iconic Notting Hill double. Why stand in front of a boy, ask him to love her, when she can “love me better than you”? Cyrus has had this individualistic power for a decade. It just took everyone that long to meet her there. – Megan Armstrong
Military Pistol – “Do It Faster”
Some songs just have he. Militarie Gun’s “Do It Faster” is one of them. It’s got the adrenaline, the post-hardcore invigoration, the catchy hook to scream wherever you are in the mosh pit: “I don’t care what you do / Just do it faster,” shouts Ian Shelton. It has their signature barks to sound in unison; it has a runtime of less than two minutes which leaves no room for messing around. It’s an all-in ripper for anarchy, a call for immediate fervor. – Danielle Chelosky
Nicki Minaj – “Red Ruby Da Sleeze”
The truth is, Nicki Minaj won’t be slowing down anytime soon. When she teased a one-minute snippet of “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” in February with the Lumidee sample “Never Leave You (Uh Oh),” it was highly anticipated. “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” ticks all the boxes that make a rap song great in this era of music: top production (thanks to Go Grizzly, Cheeze Beatz and Tate Kobang), a nostalgic sample of the 2000, a catchy melodic hook, masterful lyricism and memorable Instagram-ready bars like “Shout out to the hoes that look at me like Movados.” Nicki stars as the star rapper, singer, and entertainer on this standout, giving a bold confidence boost to the souls of everyone who listens. No, slowing down is not intended. “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” is simply a cute reminder that “bad girl don’t die”. – Cherise Johnson
PinkPantheress & Ice Spice – “Boy’s A Liar, Pt. 2”
Breakout stars PinkPantheress and Ice Spice started the year proving they’re the ones to watch in 2023. With PinkPantheress’ painfully relatable tale of a dishonest ex, and Ice’s hard-hitting bars reminding us why she remains in his mind, the song proved to be unmissable. Whether you heard the song in the club or discovered it on one of the many viral TikToks, you can’t help but shake your “duh-duh-duh” when “Boy’s A Liar, Pt. 2 ” lights up. – Alexander González
Tyler the Creator – “Dog Tooth”
Over Tyler The Creator’s 10-year career in hip-hop, we’ve heard him angry, boastful, depressed, dismissive, gleefully defiant, introspective, and sometimes even impressed, but on “Dogtooth,” we hear him. really, ridiculously in love. Amid his fancy rides and sneaky bangs on potential fake hangers, Tyler finally drops the facade of indifferent stoicism to simp for his beloved for a minute, bragging “My daughter looks like Zazie Beetz and Kelis.” – Aaron Williams
Victony – “Soweto (Remix)” Feat. Don Toliver and Rema
With Afrobeats’ increased presence in the mainstream light, fans of the genre have often criticized crossover collaborations, often in the form of remixes, which have been used to boost songs. It happened with records like “Essence” and “Calm Down,” but not with Victony’s hit “Soweto.” This song, off its 2022 Outlaw EP, rose to prominence after going viral on TikTok, and its remix featuring Don Toliver and Rema kept it close to its roots while simultaneously introducing it to a new audience. Rema’s verse on the remix has been memorized from start to finish by fans for what is now one of this year’s most beloved features and Don Toliver fits like a glove on the new take of the song to en making a classic example of how crossover remixes should be done. – Okon right
Wednesday – “Chosen to Deserve”
Part rock anthem and part confessional for teens, it’s Karly Hartzman looking back at every bad decision she made as a teenager and concluding that she still deserves the world. But the words aren’t pushed to the fore – it’s the crisp power chords borrowed from Southern rock gods Drive-By Truckers and that life-saving pedal steel lick that floats like a breeze on a summer afternoon. tacky that immediately grabs your attention. And, on the 20th listen, Hartzman’s memoir finally delivers a devastating blow. – steven hyde
Zach Bryan – “Dawns” Feat. Maggie Rogers
Zach Bryan’s meteoric rise during the pandemic era has been awe-inspiring to watch, especially as he operates well outside of the country’s normal playbook. He generally avoids interviews, has authorized around 7,000 songs to Yellowstone, and reached both the top 10 of the Hot 100 and the top line of multi-genre festival lineups. But while its sound edges closer to the outlaw route, this one-off collab with Maggie Rogers isn’t exactly a country song, showing the range and possibility for a young artist who hasn’t yet gotten a foothold. expectations to defy. But while the male-female vocal compromises and motor string section underline the song’s emotional appeal, it is in Bryan’s words that he demonstrates his power, evoking the death of his mother, the disillusionment of his relationship, religion and the passage of time. Bryan produces dozens of great songs these days, but “Dawns” is one of his best to date. – Philippe Cosores
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.