14 important questions to ask yourself about another horrible year, answered here by Jessica Winter, Protomartyr, Gaika, Debby Friday, B.C. Camplight and Anna B Savage
How would you describe your 2023 in one word?
Jessica Winter: Sparkling.
Joe Casey (Protomartyr): Expanding.
Anna B Savage: Hard.
Debby Friday: Fruitful.
B.C. Camplight: With loads of anxiety and overthinking about trying to find one word to describe a monumental year for me… then worrying about my answer being lame or not entertaining enough.
What New Year’s resolution did you give up on first?
JW: To go to the gym, ofc.
JC: To quit smoking for good.
G: I need a hobby. I might start building boats or restoring furniture or something like this.
ABS: My resolutions this year were: “Get ripped. Get Rich. Get Funny. Get curly (hair).” I’m still holding out hope, and naturally doing nothing towards any of them.
DF: Spending less time on my phone.
BCC: To quit music. Not kidding. I tried to quit… then my record did well. I was ready to leave, now I’m unpacking my mental bags again.
How did you spend your birthday this year?
JW: Partied with the gays.
JC: Went to a bad local Mexican restaurant and a good ice cream shop, The Silver Dairy.
G: I was stranded in the airport in Grenada, so I spent it sleeping on a hard bench/getting drunk on a plane with a stranger.
ABS: Surrounded by family, recovering from surgery.
DF: I came home from tour and hung out with my friends.
BCC: I was stuck in Clitheroe due to a train strike. The busses were all sold out as a result. I cried in the bus terminal. Happy bday, Bri.
What was the best TV of 2023?
JW: Married At First Sight.
JC: I watched too much Survivor this year, so that? I do love Survivor.
G: This Korean film about religious fanatics.
ABS: Ooh I like this question. I watched a lot of Ghosts – it’s basically the only new show that I can watch ad infinitum. The last series came out this year and it is perfect. It gives me the same kind of feeling as Derry Girls, though perhaps a little milder. It’s endearing, warm and funny as fuck.
DF: Desperate Housewives and Succession.
BCC: I was going to pretend I didn’t watch Married At First Site UK… but fuck it… I did and I love it.
Who were you backing to come out victorious in Succession?
JW: I only really watch MAFSUK, Love Is Blind and Below Deck, where no one comes out on top.
JC: I really thought the show was gonna end like the 2010 film Remember Me. I was wrong.
ABS: Sorry, I didn’t watch it. Made me way too anxious, so I stopped watching half way through season 2. Protect thyself innit.
DF: Tom, of course.
BCC: I’ve never seen it but I’m still gonna attempt an overly specific answer. I hope Jimmy wins. He’s worked hard at becoming boss of the candy factory. He deserves it after the death of his dog, Crumpet.
What was the year’s biggest disappointment?
JW: Watching Barbie after the colossal hype
JC: Male pattern baldness and my waistline.
G: The pervasive fear amongst the powerful of standing up to injustice.
ABS: That I am not yet ripped, rich, funny or curly (haired).
DF: Not anything significant. This whole year was a high point.
BCC: That Taylor Swift released ALL of her back catalogue the day my record came out, thus costing me a top 20. Musicians who say they don’t care about that shit are either lying or not very good.
On a more positive note, how about something or someone that got you through the year?
JW: All the love at the shows. Very unexpected over the UK and Europe this year, it’s making it all feel worthwhile!
J: My good friend booze.
G: Watching my brother’s film The Kitchen premiere – something I’ve worked in and am proud of.
ABS: In an incredibly clichéd turn of events, I took up running and found that it’s delicious. My brain feels just wonderful after running – especially when I’ve not listened to any podcasts or music. Thank you for including this Q. I really want to put in a lot of emojis here but I shall refrain.
DF: My boyfriend, Kevan.
BCC: I met a person and our brains kinda latched onto each other. Restored my faith, just a bit, about humans and human connection.
What’s your favourite album of the year?
JW: Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS
JC: Formal Growth In The Desert by a mile.
G: Drift, naturally.
ABS: XO Skeleton by La Force.
DF: Fountain Baby by Amaarae and Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard by Lana Del Rey
BCC: Mitski, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We.
Barbie or Oppenheimer?
JW: I only went to see Barbie and we’ve already mentioned that above, although I did enjoy the songs and would have still probably preferred Barbie.
JC: Oddly enough, Formal Growth in the Desert was also the greatest film of 2023. I don’t make the rules.
G: Definitely Barbie. We need more of that energy, less guns and bombs.
ABS: I watched Barbie and was underwhelmed; didn’t watch Oppenheimer as I thought I’d get too stressed/sad (there’s a theme here isn’t there?). So I can confidently say: I don’t know.
DF: Killers of the Flower Moon.
BCC: Barbie. I didn’t see Oppenheimer but I can confidently assume he didn’t sing a tear-jerking song in a white mink.
What do you think Elon Musk should have rename Twitter rather than X?
JC: Don’t care. Really wished he would have died of exploding penis disease this year though.
G: Muskwriter the elonian tragedy. Or he should just call it playerhaters.com.
ABS: God, he is SUCH a wanker. As such I think X fits perfectly – it’s just as underwhelming and hyper-“masculine” as I would’ve expected.
DF: I don’t think I’ll ever stop calling it Twitter.
Anything good happen at one of your gigs this year?
JW: Stage invasions in Spain and Leeds, makes it far less lonely up there!
JC: I haven’t shit my pants on stage once this year!
G: I was moved to tears in Shenzen.
ABS: So, so many good things. One that sticks out is: I’ve been ending my shows with the song ‘The Orange’ and encouraging people to express love for their platonic pals by maybe putting an arm around each other or holding hands. I had one guy message me after a show telling me that him and his male friend had held hands through the song, had never done that before, and then they went away and spoke about it afterwards. That meant a lot to me.
DF: At a show I played this summer, a mosh pit broke out during ‘What A Man’, which was fun and unexpected.
BCC: A girl stuck her finger in my belly button while I was standing on the crowd barrier. It was so incredibly un-sexy for her and me. I classify this as a good experience because even in an ego-inflated state whilst performing it’s good to be reminded that we are all just… kinda gross.
Your greatest achievement this year away from music?
JW: I bought a wardrobe on eBay for 100 quid which turned out to be worth 2000!!
JC: I got married to the love of my life.
G: Not letting the art world erode my morals.
ABS: I was asked to be a godmother. I think it’s the greatest honour of my life, aside from being an auntie.
DF: I’ve read 16 books this year.
BCC: I bought two IKEA dressers and put one of them together.
What makes you feel hopeful for 2024 being better than 2023?
JW: I’ll hopefully have finished my first album which is all I’ve ever wanted to do my entire life!
JC: I will be married to the love of my life for the entirety of 2024.
G: The Black People Pets instagram account. And plane Wi-Fi.
ABS: That 2023 was fucking hard, and I got through it, I think with a bit of grace and a whole tonne of learning. Bring on a new year.
DF: I believe it always gets better.
BCC: Who knows. Gonna try to do some Seinfeld style stand-up in my set. What’s the deal with detuned, oscillating guitars in indie music? Like are we STILL doing this, people? We may as well all stomp, put on suspenders, and yell “hey!” again. It was painfully derivative when Mac DeMarco did it and it’s just douchey now. I mean who ARE these people? (They’re 23-year-old stoners with their first moustaches). Needs work.
Any other business?
JW: Have been working on a score for a new TV show DEAD HOT that I co-composed with Wuh Oh to be released in 2024 on Amazon!
ABS: Buy low, sell high.
DF: I’ve decided to start blogging again.
BCC: No. I’m all riled up now.