Maya’s Top 10 Artists of 2023!

11 December 2023 / by Maya Fettes
Holiday Top 10 - Maya

This year, Met Radio is taking part in the time-honoured tradition of the year-end top ten list. Throughout the month of December, Met Radio staff and volunteers will be sharing their personal pop culture favourites from the year gone by. Visit the website every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to check out our best of 2023!  


Hosting a show about expanding your music taste (Is That A Reach?) and then promptly having your Spotify Wrapped deem you the same as you’ve always been, with repeat offenders claiming most of your minutes makes you feel like retribution is in order. These are the artists that maybe I didn’t spend the most time with, but the ones who I discovered, re-discovered and never, ever skipped when they came on shuffle. In no particular order, here are the musicians that stuck out to me in 2023.  


Number 1 Okay Kaya — Somewhat esoteric, subtle and fluent in a difficult to learn language, Okay Kaya embodies everything someone would be for me to take an interest in them. She toys with nonchalance, bluntness and ambiguity, sprinkling in Norwegian lyrics which are admittedly lost on me, but are somehow the bits that stuck in my head the most. Recommended listen: Asexual Wellbeing


Number 2 Haley Blais  — With candid, confessional lyrics, this Vancouver musician became an autumn staple for me. Layered vocals and unbridled refrain are all I need when it comes to adopting new music and makes Haley Blais a very hypnotic narrator. She’s successfully persistent with her sound which tows the line between longing and hope. Recommended listen: Survivor’s Guilt


Number 3 Ski Aggu — I’m a firm believer that the shorter the pop song, the more catchy it is. Ski Aggu is a rapper from Berlin who took over my streaming habits with his album denk mal drüber nach… Each song is less than three minutes long and often in collaboration with young German producers; it’s the quickest pop fix ever. Recommended listen: nicht nachmachen!!


Number 4 Jessica Jalbert — Also one half of Canadian duo Faith Healer, Jessica Jalbert narrated many dimly-lit evenings where I attempted to elevate the experience of working on procrastinated tasks. The same thing will likely occur in 2024. Between her album Brother Loyola and the Faith Healer discography, you’re spoiled for choice when soundtracking your work session/dinner party/reading. Recommended listen: Necromancy


Number 5 Novo Amor — Admittedly, I can be pretty seasonal with some artists, opting for them only when the weather dips below or above a certain temperature, but Novo Amor was present throughout every season this year. The songs don’t demand time or place, making them nostalgia-inducing or indicative of the future, should your imagination allow. Recommended listen: No Plans 


Number 6 Tess Roby — Montreal-based musician Tess Roby possesses what I would refer to as perfectly produced music. To me, she’s everything a modern musician is, pulling from a range of talents—musical and otherwise— to build a niche. With trance-like effects, she commands your attention via modulated sound. Recommended listen: Cloud Cover


Number 7 Die Heiterkeit — Easy on the ears is the voice of Stella Sommer; the singer of Die Heiterkeit, a pop band from Hamburg. Another non-English recommendation that, despite my limited German song lyric comprehension, I am convinced that I’m on the same wavelength as these full-bodied, all-consuming songs that reverberate in my mind. Recommended listen: Das Wort 

Number 8 Eliza Niemi — Playful composition, a mix of talk-singing and breathy vocals and songs laden with Toronto references is how Eliza Niemi checks every modern-day storytelling box. There’s a distinct range of instruments—but especially cello—that create the well-defined moods in her work and make her a huge source of local pride. Recommended listen: Not Killing Bad Energy


Number 9 Billie Marten — The sound of Billie Marten’s catalogue, without romanticizing too much, is that of sunbeams. She has a way of making the subject of her songs so genuinely alluring and completely deserving of your undivided attention. Choose from the acoustic moments she’s well known for, or the moments occasionally decorated by vivid brass arrangements and a punchy bass. Recommended listen: Creature of Mine


Number 10 Sister Ray — Raw narration and a voice with resonance, Edmonton-born Sister Ray puts what may seem like routine feelings and parts of life to melodies that demand more. It’s music that deconstructs intimate moments without exaggeration or seduction, just sincerity. Recommended listen: Jackie In The Kitchen