A 2023 mixtape

It’s a cruel summer with you

Pardis Noorzad
5 min readJan 1, 2024

The subtitle is from the song Cruel Summer by Taylor Swift. It was the first full song on her setlist during the Eras Tour. My favorite recording of the Lover album is from her excellent Tiny Desk Concert in 2019.

And now I present to you some of the outstanding songs of 2023. The list is ordered so the songs flow well. Enjoy!

The songs

Saving Up by Dom Dolla — Single.
Dom Dolla is an Australian house music producer. The song Saving Up features vocals by Clementine Douglas. The song is a nice mixture of disco and house, like many others in Dom Dolla’s catalogue.

Pink Friday Girls by Nicki Minaj — Pink Friday 2.
The track samples Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 hit Girls Just Want to Have Fun. According to Genius, Cyndi Lauper has been an important influence on Nicki since early in her career.

You by Miley Cyrus — Endless Summer Vacation.
This song was debuted on Miley’s NYE Party in 2021 and released last March as part of her eighth studio album, Endless Summer Vacation.

Quaranta by Danny Brown — Quaranta.
Quaranta is the sixth studio album by rapper Danny Brown, and means “40” in Italian. In his words, it is an album in which he “explor[es] his experiences with pain, isolation, and hitting rock bottom.”

Me & U by Tems — Single.
Me & U is a single by Nigerian singer and songwriter Tems. She spoke about the meaning of the track, saying: “‘Me & U’ is about discovering the real me, building a genuine relationship with the Creator, and gaining a true perception of self.”

Paint The Town Red by Doja Cat — Scarlet.
The song was written by Doja Cat and produced by Earl on the Beat, Rubin, Jean-Baptiste, and DJ Replay. It beautifully samples Dionne Warwick’s 1964 song Walk On By.

MY EYES by Travis Scott — UTOPIA.
In MY EYES, Travis Scott talks about his struggles and obstacles in life. Produced by himself, Wheezy, WondaGurl, Vegyn, Buddy Ross and Justin Vernon, the track samples The Japanese House 2023 song Over There.

Snooze (Acoustic) (feat. Justin Bieber) by SZA — Single.
This song, featuring Justin Bieber, is an acoustic cover of the song Snooze from SZA’s 2022 album SOS.

cindy lou who by Sabrina Carpenter — fruitcake.
Cindy Lou Who, a character in the movie How The Grinch Stole Christmas, represents Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.

Jealous by Mochakk — Single.
This high energy house track is by Brazilian producer and DJ, Mochakk. It samples disco star Loleatta Holloway’s 1976 classic, Dreaming. The sampled version is even more dramatic than the original. I love it.

What’s That All About (feat. LaRussell) by DJ.Fresh — The Tonite Show.
Marqus Brown, known as DJ.Fresh, is a hip hop artist based in Oakland and LA. The Tonite Show is an album series he started in 2005 which he produces with guest artists. LaRussell Thomas is a rapper from Vallejo, Calfornia. He is also the founder of Good Compenny, an organization that helps to promote rising Bay Area artists.

I Remember Everything (feat. Kacey Musgraves) by Zach Bryan — Zach Bryan.
"Rotgut" is slang for low quality liquor or beer and first appeared in print in 1633. The song is about a summer romance in an “88 Ford.” Zach Bryan is a country music singer-songwriter from Oklahoma. Kacey Musgraves is a country singer-songwriter from Texas.

No Horse To Ride by Luke Grimes — Pain Pills or Pews.
Luke Grimes is an actor and musician. He stars as Kayce Dutton in the drama series Yellowstone. No Horse To Ride is the first song on his debut EP, Pain Pills or Pews.

Wild Ones by Jessie Murph & Jelly Roll — Single.
Jessie Murph is a singer and songwriter from Athens, Alabama. Jelly Roll is a rapper, singer, and songwriter from Antioch, Tennessee. According to Wikipedia, “the song blends elements of country and hip hop music. It uses a hip-hop beat including jangly acoustic guitar samples.”

ten by Fred again.. & Jozzy— Single.
According to edm.com, Fred again.. said the song is inspired by the feeling of “missing home.” Fred again.. is an English record producer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and DJ. Jozzy is a Memphis-based singer and songwriter. She is best known for co-writing Old Town Road, Lemonade, Mr. Right Now and Virgo’s Groove, among others.

Siara by Dan Zeitune & T_Asco — Yolana.
It’s almost impossible to find anything about this album. I found Dan’s IG account, but that’s about it. I first came across this song on SD Loyal’s Twitter account.

SORRY NOT SORRY by Tyler, The Creator — CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale.
The music video for SORRY NOT SORRY has all his past characters from every album in his discography confronting each other. The song contains two samples from the 1978 song He Made You Mine.

The Glass by H.E.R. & Foo Fighters — Single.
H.E.R.’s cover of the Foo Fighters’ The Glass, was first previewed on SNL in October. Foo Fighters’ recording of The Glass appears on their studio album But Here We Are, which was released earlier this year.

Talk To Me Nice by Tinashe — BB/ANG3L.
Produced by Nosaj Thing & Scoop DeVille, Talk To Me Nice is Tinashe’s lead single from her upcoming album BB/ANG3L.

Vin Skully by Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist — VOIR DIRE.
This is the first full length collaboration between the former Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt and veteran producer Uncle Al. The track makes reference to the career of Vin Scully, who was the play-by-play announcer for the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers for 67 years.

Streaming options

The playlist is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL.

Thank you for reading and listening. I’d love to know your favorite songs of the year, please get in touch!

DJ Pardis