The Clientele’s James Hornsey tells us about his Top 10 albums of 2023

With 2023 coming to a close, we’ve been asking artists to tell us about their favorite albums of the year and here’s James Hornsey, bassist for long-running UK indie group The Clientele. His list includes Altın Gün, The Church, and more. Check that out, complete with commentary, below.

The Clientele released I Am Not There Anymore, the band’s eighth album (and first in six years), back in July and you can listen to that below.

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Emma Tricca – Aspirin Sun
Beautiful healing psychedelic folk from Emma Tricca and her all-star band, this album was on repeat for much of the spring. I liked it so much that I managed to talk my way into playing bass on her latest single.

The Smashing Times – This Sporting Life
We toured with these guys in the summer, and their company was as charming as their music. This album was my favourite pop record of the year. The cover shows a man with a teapot for a head. Noice!

Altın Gün – Aşk
More traditional Turkish songs given the Altın Gün treatment. Hypnotic and infectious as always, this was on the car stereo a lot during my US road trip in the autumn. This music reminds me of good times spent in Istanbul.

K-Group – New Series 1
Wonderful new album of guitar drones from Surface Of The Earth’s Paul Toohey. This record has been the soundtrack to many a siesta this year. I got to see him play live in a tiny record shop in London in September and had the novelty of listening to him standing up.

Those Pretty Wrongs – Holiday Camp
As soon as the K-Group finished playing we hotfooted it over to West London to see Those Pretty Wrongs featuring Big Star’s Jody Stephens with Luther Russell. I got to meet Jody after the show, but he was saving his voice so would only speak with hand signals. Still, he signed my copy of this record, which is full of lovely songs, Scream being my current favourite.

Little Skull – A Wayside Shrine
At some point that same night I was introduced to Dean Brown, who’s Little Skull project I had long been a fan of. This latest album is perhaps his best, full of beautiful fragile violin drones and piano meditations.

Shizuka – III
Archival treasures from the much missed Shizuka, one of a few reissues that have come to light in the last year or two, but possibly my favourite. There’s a ghostly quality to these recordings, especially on the stunning duo with Maki Miura on side 2.

Dimmer – Live At The Hollywood
I was lucky enough to see the Straitjacket Fits live a few times back in the day, but never got to see Shayne Carter’s next band Dimmer. This double live set from last year is probably as close as I’ll get, and shows he’s still up there with the best.

Richard Youngs – Modern Sorrow
You can never have enough Richard Youngs records in your collection. This latest captures the overriding mood of the year, mixing auto-tuned vocals and samples in a way that’s as moving as it is fascinating.

The Church – The Hypnogogue
The Church were one of my favourite bands as a teenager, and Steve Kilbey definitely had an influence on my bass playing in the early days, not that my chops can compare with his. Great to see them still going 40 odd years into their career and sounding as good as ever on this latest double album.