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Vocal Music I've Been Enjoying in 2023

It’s the end of the year, which means my stories on social media are flooded with Spotify Wrapped posts and similar “lookbacks” from other services.

Unfortunately, I don’t use Spotify (or is it fortunately?), so I’m missing out on the action. To deal with the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), I thought I’d write a blog post about some vocal music, new and old, I’ve been enjoying this year.

This is a rarity because most of the music I listen to is non-vocal, video game music, but on the plus side that means I appreciate the vocal music I do like a lot. This list isn’t exhaustive, of course, but just a small sampling of the ones on my mind.

Idol by Yoasobi

Was this ever in question? The anime was F-tier garbage outside of Episode 1, but at least the song is good.

Also, shout out to this insane Erhu cover that also covers the free-speech and rap portions (!!!)

心加心 (Heart to Heart / Hear the Heart) feat. Luo Tianyi

One of the very first Chinese Vocaloid songs I discovered in 2016 and still one of my favorites to this day. Really, really cute and sweet.

I did find out just last week that despite the sugary sweet lyrics, apparently the album’s story is super dark. Typical Vocaloid, lol.

大喜 (Great Happiness) by 泠鳶yousa

Another very sugary-sweet song, about a happy marriage ceremony. I take some issue with how people today call Yousa a VTuber, because she was an utaite (online cover artist) before that, and even now doesn’t really do a lot of the typical VTuber stuff besides having a 3D avatar. Either way, glad to be one of her old fans (since 2016!).

約定 (Promise) by 周蕙 (Where Chou)

I started learning the Chinese flute (dizi) earlier in the year. My teacher has been giving me songs to play from a book of oldies, which has had the benefit of exposing me to a lot of good old Chinese songs that I didn’t know about. I really like lyrical 80’s and 90’s Chinese songs, so this one was an instant hit. It also has lovely lyrics about promising to be in love no matter what.

夢裏水鄉 (Dream of a Riverside Village) by 江珊 (Jiang Shan)

Another song that I found very recently because my dizi teacher made me learn it :D

The melody is so relaxing and soothing, both in the verse and at the chorus. Very hummable song.

Ojamajo Carnival!! by MAHO-Dou

Earlier this year, I started watching Ojamajo Doremi, a kids’ magical-girl show from the early 2000’s, and the OP is a certified banger.