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Music Coordinator Jaime J.’s Top Songs of 2023

December 28, 2023

Hello! Jaime J. here wishing you a wonderful 2024. As KXCI’s Music Coordinator, I have spent a lot of time searching for new local & global sounds for the airwaves. When not free-falling into internet rabbit holes of music discovery, you’ll also find me assembling CDs for broadcast, sorting through music submissions, or coordinating reviews with our amazing music volunteers. My favorite of all music department moments involves connecting with fellow DJs & listeners about the music they love. Music is such a powerful connector, & it’s a privilege to be part of the KXCI community of folx sharing the music that moves them. 

In the spirit of sharing, here is a short list of meaningful songs that connected me to joy & wonderment this year: 

1.“Carpenter” by Vagabon

This song came out in January 2023 & continued to show up at every twist & turn life had in store for me. It’s a song that makes me feel especially seen with the lyrics “I wasn’t ready to hear you out, but I’m all ready now.” The song is a testament to patience, growth, & change. I’m taking the song’s message & sweet Afro-pop beat into the new year with me. 

2.“Blister” by Ambent

Local electronic producer Michael Hayes aka Ambent released his ep, Transposed Family Recipes, on Surf Records this winter. I love the somber vocals, pensive lyrics, & ambient moments weaved into each song. It’s beautiful music even when it feels agitated & frustrated. “Blister” is a standout track.

3.“Poulileu” by Cindy Pooch

French-African artist Cindy Pooch (pron: Poch) released a stunning debut in September. In Nomine Corpus is an exploration of healing pain through sound experimentation & emotion. The music puts me on the edge of my seat eagerly awaiting the next transitory mood. It’s an innovative & powerful album.

4.“Yesterday” by :3lON

:3lON (pronounced: ELON) is a post-internet Afrofuturistic artist out of Baltimore. Their soaring vocals immediately gripped my soul & pulled me into their dynamic world of progressive electronica. I love hearing shades of :3lON’s childhood icons Anita Baker & Sade in their futuristic sound.

5.“Portals” by Laura Misch

I came across the new Laura Misch album while sorting through a sea of KXCI mail submissions. The album artwork intrigued me; it’s a photo of Laura playing saxophone amidst a circular cloud & blue sky. I took a listen and felt floored by the ethereal layers of acoustic & electronic instrumentation. Shoutout to harpist Marysia Osu & their work on the song “Widening Circles.” Anything with a harp is a 10 in my book.

I also have to give props to Julian Torres, Urban Heat, Estevie, Flor de Nopal, Mega Ran, Jeremy Dutcher & every artist who released music this year. It’s music that makes our lives more colorful.

Be sure to catch my New Music Feature with Jim Blackwood on Your Morning Brew on Wednesdays at 9:30 AM & tune in to my show ELEVN2HVN with Skye Shadowz on Sundays at 11:00 PM. #rockon


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