A Musical Manifesto for 2023 – Act 1

A Musical Manifesto for 2023 – Act 1

December 15, 2023 Off By John Cargile
After you read Part I, make sure you don’t miss Act II of this Musical Manifesto, as well as Act III & Act IV, and catch the whole playlist below!

2023 has undoubtedly been a memorable year for music. While the world is still trying to claw its way out of isolation and sickness, so many records came on the scene that were conceived during the lock-down portion of the pandemic. While many reflected loneliness, angst, and the impending doom and peril of living in a pandemic, many were hopeful, uplifting – things of pure beauty. So many tunes seemed to feel intimately ours, and gave us all proof of our human connections, in the face of some of the most troubling times in memory.

John Cargile, our yoga-teaching music aficionado who’s often years ahead of everyone else (John introduced me to Silver Jews decades after I had sort of stopped listening to Pavement – and i sheepishly admit I had never heard of them, or the late, great David Berman before then – and John had been following them forever), has cataloged his list of the best singles in 2023 – a musical manifesto.

Pay close attention – like I said, Cargile is prescient when it comes to music (maybe it’s the metaphysical side of those wicked yoga poses?),  and he’s never wrong (and he never stopped listening to Pavement. But, then, neither did I, really). Enjoy….

Top Picks- Our Musical Manifesto from 2023

Caroline Polachek tops our 2023 Music Manifesto

Welcome To My Island (PVA Remix) is the way we introduce this Best of 2023 list. Caroline Polachek has ruled this era with her amazing album Desire, I Want to Turn Into You and this remix with PVA offers an edge that lets us know that things might not be so comfortable, but they will be fulfilling from the artistic style and inward messaging.

Once the playlist starts rolling we get yunè pinku’s Night Light, the London newcomer’s groove, then Kelela’s Enough for Love, a song that had one of her fans protectively wondering how I’d heard of her queen when I played it in class. I love keeping acts a secret, but Kelela needs to be shared with everyone. Skrillex, Fred again.., and Flowdon set the tone for 2023 with Rumble. The last song in this first segment of Act I, In the Balance, is from Vitesse X, whose fingerprints are all over 2023.

Vitesse X, In the Balance from our 2023 Music Manifesto

The Madison Square Garden show of Fred Again…, Skrillex, and Four Tet was a seminal event of the year and Baby Again.. brought all three dj styles together and foreshadowed more of what was to come. Ma Boy from from Dreamville with JID and Lute was a hip hop fave that spun all year. Bodysyc, the project from Ryan Hemsworth and Giraffage, shows up to delivering sonic booms like Rhythm. The countdown then blast off from Neggy Gemmy’s Black Ferrari was the boost to drive the year into the universe. My second most played song of the year was 90% by 1-800 GIRLS, nearly six minutes of ecstasy that makes us move.

The Madison Square Garden show of Fred Again…, Skrillex, and Four Tet was a seminal event…

90% from 1-800 GIRLS in our 2023 Music Manifesto

Skrillex comes in back-to-back bangers with Butterflies (with Starrah and Four Tet) and Hydrate (with Flowdon, BEAM, and PEEKABOO). More crazy collaboration comes, this time with Caroline Polachek totally passing WTMY (Welcome to My Island) to Charlie XCX and George Daniel – which I also use to let you all know that this is my MFing list. Not sure if this has been played live, but I really need that content. Peaking for the first quarter and top song of the year, I had Love is All I Needed by Mandaworld. Just the perfect mantra for our heads to groove to.

Love is All I Needed by Mandaworld from our 2023 Music Manifesto

We drop into an exhale with Kelly Lee Owens delivering Moebius followed by Lamb from Malibu. Both acts continue to excel at carving up my insides like few other can. Brilliant pop finishes the first quarter on the dance floor with Like a Savior by Ellie Golding, Strong by Romy with I. JORDAN with Fred again.., and Lavender Haze by Taylor Swift remixed by Felix Jaehn. Romy and Taylor were two of my favorites of the year with their extended catalogs (Romy with the xx also) being all over my turntable as well as playlists.

Catch up with more picks from a tremendous 2023 with the Musical Manifesto Act II!
Enjoy the Best of 2023!


  • John Cargile

    John Cargile teaches and DJs for hundreds of Denver yogis and his power yoga classes. His southern roots of soul and pop music melded with indie and dance music in Colorado over the years.