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2023 in Music

What my 2023 sounded like.

#16 · · read

It's easy to forget how much happens in your life if you don't look back from time to time.

I usually browse through my photo gallery, when I reflect on my past year. This year, I also reflected on the music I've been listening to.

As an avid last.fm user, I can time travel to any period of my life and check out long forgotten favorites from my music library.

When I reflected on 2023, I created a Spotify playlist of my favorite music for every month of the year.

January

I celebrated New Year's Eve of 2022 in Bologna, Italy. Since I dropped a glass of water just before Christmas of 2022 and seemingly stepped into its remains, I walked through what feels like the entire Emiliga-Romagna with a fucking glass shard in my foot. You can imagine the relief I felt when I got it removed, after it had been in there for almost 3 weeks.

Just a day after that, Covid hit me. The first time ever. I managed to survive the whole pandemic virus-free, only to be infected when Covid went out of fashion.

Following my Covid days, I laid the foundations for my personal website. At the end of the month I made my first commit to GitHub. Oh, the bliss ✨.

My favorite artists in January were The Lagoons, Nas and Miami Horror.

February

February reminded me how awesome snowboarding is. Thanks, February! Also in this month, I started physiotherapy following a 150 km (93 miles) hike from Graz to Mariazell in 2022. My knees were more than grateful!

Lastly, I held an Accessibility Testing workshop in my company with the optimistic plan to do it once a month. Eventually, I did it once.

I ended the month with a grand decision.

My favorite artists of February were DRAMA, Nas (again) and LEISURE.

March

My grand decision of February manifested itself with the beginning of March: The 4-day work week. It allowed me to get more out of life. I would have never been able to build my personal website if it weren't for FREEDAY, the day of the week that was once known as "Friday". This was the best decision of 2023.

My favorite artists in March were DRAMA (again), Augustine and ARAI.

April

April introduced me to two game changers: an electric toothbrush and a Thermos © bottle. How could I ever live without these tools? They were almost as groundbreaking as the game changers of 2022: I stopped tying my shoes and instead started slipping in or out of them using one great invention for lazy people like me: a so-called shoehorn.

I also got the first massage in my life, renewed my passport and lost one glove (that really bugged me, why not at least lose both?).

My favorite artists in April were the Knocks, HONNE and ARAI (again).

May

I took 3 weeks off in May. I hiked through the magnificent Wachau region from Krems to Melk with Sophia. We hiked 71 km (44 miles) for 6 days along the Danube and spent every night in a different place. I have never seen so many vineyards in my life. After the trip, Sophia and I decided to take the plunge... into 15 °C (59 °F) cold Danube. Oh, and we took the figurative plunge and became a couple.

It was a very social month altogether in which I managed to meet friends for brunch, hiking, dinner or stand-up paddling. I took my first writing retreat at Neusiedler See where I finished my first blog post, About writing. I hope there will be more writing retreats in 2024. May was without a doubt the best month of 2023.

My favorite artists in May were Monster Rally, NEIL FRANCES and Paco Versailles.

June

At the beginning of June, I already felt like I had lived summer to the fullest, when it hadn't even officially started. My brother came to visit for more stand-up paddling, swimming and a Hans Zimmer concert. I spent a week of workation in Berlin with Sophia.

My friend J-P from Finland visited me in Vienna and introduced me to Couchsurfing. In Salzburg, we met Clelia who had her cousins Efraïm, Ester and Frida from Cologne over. We swam in the cold stream of Almkanal, checked out the city center and played Laser tag. In Innsbruck we met Much, who was generous enough to leave us his entire house when he went to play a DJ gig for the night. We took a fantastic hike up Höttinger Alm and J-P was mindblown to see the amazing mountains of Tyrol. More Couchsurfing to come in 2024!

My favorite artists in June were Ben Böhmer, The Knocks and AMTRAC.

July

In July, which was already hot in Vienna, I decided to go a place even hotter than that: Greece. The food in Thessaloniki was spectacular. The beaches of Skopelos island were breathtaking. Still, life in Greece was too damn hot. It turned out to be the worst decision of 2023.

We also went to Graz and spent a weekend in Fuschl am See with co-workers for stand-up paddling and hiking. In a desperate late night mood, I ended the month by cutting off all my hair. Buzz cut season had officially started.

My favorite artists in July were Classix, ARIZONA and Amy Winehouse.

August

While my 2023 had already been super busy up to that point, August was finally a calm month. Sophia and I went to Prague to see a concert of AMTRAC and Ben Böhmer. It was also the month when my neighbors went on vacation and didn't turn their terrace light off for a week, which polluted the view from my balcony with light. Not so nice for an aspiring star-gazer like me.

My favorite artists in August were AMTRAC (again), Miami Horror (again) and NEIL FRANCES (again).

September

In September Sophia and I took a trip to Northern Italy were my lovely friend Alessandra got married. I wouldn't recommend using the night train to travel to Italy, especially if you're 1,92 m (6,3 ft) tall and have a guy like Nikita in your compartment, who either plans to get drunk or snore all night (he did both).

My favorite artists in September were Gorillaz, The Knocks (again) and ford.

October

In October, I saw Saturn through the third-largest Great refractor telescope in Austria. That's right, I saw the second-largest planet in our solar system through the third-largest telescope. It was a mind-blowing experience. This was the highlight of the star-gazing course Sophia and I had been visiting since fall of 2022.

Around Austria's national day we went to Innsbruck, which is one of my favorite cities in Austria since it's surrounded by mountains and hiking is so very accessible.

My favorite artists in October were ConcernedApe, Thomas Newman and Paco Versailles. I played a lot of Stardew Valley and watched a lot of Tom Hanks movies, which explains this selection.

November

In November, I participated in a study, where I shared my mobility behavior in diary form. I would like to conduct a diary study myself some time. I also turned one of my blog posts into a talk and held it at Liechteneckers, a Viennese design agency.

My favorite artists in November were NEIL FRANCES (again), Roosevelt and Foster The People.

December

My December had the typical symptoms of every December: work stress, spare time stress and family stress. Apart from the stress, it was nice to see many of my friends in Vienna and Graz and visit my family.

I launched my newsletter and went to see a show about southern stars at Vienna's Planetarium. Why did I want to learn about the stars in the Southern Hemisphere you ask? Well, because I made another grand decision.

My favorite artists in December were Oli Julian, ford. and Gillian Hills. Listening to the Sex Education soundtrack explains at least 2 of them.

In summary

My 2023 was fantastic. I made two of my biggest dreams come true: I built my personal website and decided to travel the world in 2024, starting with New Zealand in February.

I wrote more blog posts, saw more stars and stood on more stand-up paddle boards than ever before! I fell in love again. And I listened to a lot of damn good music. This 2023 in Music playlist sums up what it all sounded like.

I'm so ready to hear the soundtrack of 2024 🌏🎵.

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