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2023 Wrapped: WUNC Music and friends pick their favorites

The crew from WUNC Music and friends from WUNC look back on 2023 and list their favorite music, movies, podcasts, memories, and more! Check out the list below:

Alan Thompson (aka DJ Who4theCru), WUNC Music Host

This is Molly. She’s our new addition!
This is Eden. He’s getting BIG. 😂😂😂

Albums that stayed in rotation in my car:

  • Enigmatic Society (Dinner Party)
  • I left my heart in Ladera (Terrace Martin & Alex Isley)
  • It’s Ok, B U (Kiefer)
  • All Season Gear (Ivan Ave)
  • Jaguar II (Victoria Monét)

 Honorable Mention:

Devon Morrison blessed us with Dream Lobby VI, VII, VIII, and IX all THIS YEAR!?!? I was here for every album.

A dive into the Classics. Here are a few timeless albums I revisited:

  • I Want You (Marvin Gaye)
  • Look Out For #1 (The Brothers Johnson)
  • Lord Willin’ (Clipse)
  • Free as the Wind (The Crusaders)

New Artists I’m excited about

  • Kenny Mason

 Favorite Donut Spot

  • Baker’s Dozen in Durham. Best donuts in the Triangle. Trust me.

Favorite Book

  • This year I discovered Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini and I have not been the same. If you know you know. 😵‍💫


  • Y’all know I love a good probiotic drink! This year Doctor D’s Pineapple was my go-to. Tasty.

Brian Burns, WUNC Music Director & Host of Future Shock

32 for ‘23

  • Alogte Oho and his Sounds of Joy - O Yinne!
  • Ana Frango Eléctrico - Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua
  • André 3000 - New Blue Sun
  • B. Cool-Aid - Leather Blvd.
  • bar italia - Tracey Denim
  • billy woods & Kenny Segal - Maps
  • Chief Adjuah - Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning
  • Cleo Sol - Heaven/Gold
  • Corinne Bailey Rae - Black Rainbows
  • dada joaozinho - tds bem Global
  • Danny Brown - Quaranta
  • Diego Gaeta - Fearlessly Accessing the Divine Spirit of Freedom From Here On Out
  • Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist - VOIR DIRE
  • Irreversible Entanglements - Protect Your Light
  • Isaiah Collier - Parallel Universe
  • jaimie branch - Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))
  • Kassa Overall - Animals
  • Kelela - Raven
  • Kofi Flexxx - Flowers In The Dark
  • Lil Yachty - Let’s Start Here.
  • Little Simz - NO THANK YOU
  • Matthew Halsall - An Ever Changing View
  • McKinley Dixon - Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?
  • Meshell Ndegeocello - The Omnichord Real Book
  • Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1
  • MIKE - Burning Desire
  • Overmono - Good Lies
  • Roge - Curyman
  • Sampha - Lahai
  • Say She She - Silver
  • Sofia Kourtesis - Madres
  • Yussef Dayes - Black Classical Music

Cindy Howes, WUNC Music Host

Cindy's cat, Dottie
Cindy's dog, Puddles.

Movie: The Holdovers
Book: The Brothers Karamazov (This was literally the only book I read because it took all dang year)

Podcast: Embodied

Animal: Tie for Dottie the Cat and Puddles the Dog

Hike: Old Harrys Rocks, Studland, UK
Treat: Cornish Hand Pie
Cocktail: Pimlet (I clearly went to England this year)
Live album: Iron & Wine - Who Can See Forever


  • Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy
  • Margo Cilker - Valley of Heart's Delight
  • Becca Mancari - Left Hand
  • William Prince - Stand in the Joy
  • Jungle - Volcano
  • boygenius - The Record
  • Sluice - Radial Gate
  • Mipso - Book of Fools
  • Viv & Riley - Imaginary People
  • Local Natives - Time Will Wait for No One


  • Liza Anne - Cheerleader
  • Obonjayer - Just Cool
  • Lizzie No - Lagunitas
  • Middle Kids - Highlands
  • Bailen - Call It Like It Is
  • Torres - Collect
  • Jalen Ngonda - That's All I Wanted from You
  • Miya Follick - So Clear
  • Buck Meek - Haunted Mountain
  • Bahamas - Working on my Guitar
  • Al Green - Perfect Day

Colin Campbell, WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief

  • Favorite album: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – City of Gold
  • Favorite song: Sarah Jarosz – “Jealous Moon”
  • Favorite concert: Jim Lauderdale with Damon Fowler at Muddy Creek Music Hall in Sparta in June
  • Favorite fiction book: Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
  • Favorite nonfiction book: President Garfield: From Radical To Unifier by C.W. Goodyear
  • Favorite bookstores visited this year: So & So Books in Raleigh, The Dog-Eared Page in Danville, Va.
  • Favorite experience: Andrews Valley Rail Tour in Cherokee County (pedaling a cart on railroad tracks up a mountain was awesome)
  • Favorite restaurant meal: Postal Fish Company in Pittsboro
  • Favorite hike: Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter near Bedford, Va.
  • Favorite brewery visited this year: Dingo Dog Brewing Company in Carrboro
  • Favorite winery visited this year: Thistle Meadow Winery in Laurel Springs
  • Favorite parade: Pumpkin Festival parade in Spring Hope

Eli Chen, WUNC Digital News Producer


  • Freddie Gibbs
  • Tyler the Creator
  • Beyonce
  • Ginger Root
  • Megan Thee Stallion


  • Vibe Check
  • LAist’s Imperfect Paradise
  • Classy
  • Weight For It
  • Normal Gossip

Bubble tea shops

  • Tea Hill in Chapel Hill
  • any MILKLAB location
  • Feng Cha in Morrisville
  • Boba Baba in Cary

New TV Shows

  • Reservation Dogs
  • The Bear
  • Succession
  • Chainsaw Man
  • Jury Duty
  • Poker Face
  • Heartstopper
  • Barry

Old TV Shows I’m rewatching

  • Boondocks
  • Home Movies
  • Sailor Moon


  • Past Lives
  • Suzume
  • Kokomo City

Emily Cassidy, WUNC Online Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Favorite songs of 2023

  • My Love Is Mine All Mine - Mitski
  • Dance the Night - Dua Lipa
  • Party for One - Magic AL, Lou Hazel, Amelia Meath
  • Hiding Out in the Open - Feist
  • Carolina Rolling By - Mipso
  • Nu-Grape - Hiss Golden Messenger
  • Cool About It - boygenius
  • Eye on the Bat - Palehound
  • Stranger Danger - Lucius
  • King of Oklahoma - Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Favorite live music of 2023

  • Feist at The Ritz
  • John Craigie at Lincoln Theater
  • Mapache at Cat’s Cradle
  • Gregory Alan Isakov at DPAC
  • Sylvan Esso at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
  • Erin Rae at The Pinhook
  • Charley Crockett at The Ritz
  • Angel Olsen at Carolina Theatre
  • Margaret Glaspy at Motorco
  • My Morning Jacket at Beech Mountain Resort's Party on the Mountain

Favorite dog of 2023: Eno

Eric Hodge, Host of "Morning Edition"

Eric Hodge
Eric Hodge

Music: Art School Girlfriend - Soft Landing
Movie: Living starring Bill Nighy
TV: Reservation Dogs
Experience: London and Paris with family and friends after a long absence
Looking ahead: Next year's presidential election

Graham Youngblood, Director if IT/Engineering

Movies (Best that I saw)

  1. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (maybe a perfect movie)
  2. The Creator (Didn’t see this one coming)
  3. Gran Turismo (Just fun and interesting)
  4. The Marvels (I thought it was good y’all)
  5. The Portable Door (Didn’t see this one coming either)
  6. Elf (It’s on the list every year)
  7. God Said Give ’Em Drum Machines
  8. Not enough good movies to fill out 10?

Most listened to music (Best that I listened to)

  1. Moderat
  2. Modeselektor
  4. Mr. Oizo
  5. Royksopp
  6. Vitalic
  7. Sleaford Mods / Orbital / Pet Shop Boys
  8. DJ Rebeka
  9. DJ Paul Temple
  10. Squarepusher

Shows (Best that I saw)
1. Slow Horses!!! (Espionage with Gary Oldman, what’s not to like?)
2. Ted Lasso (I’m still tearing up thinking about it)
3. Foundation (One of my favorite set of books)
4. Silo (So many twists)
5. Severance (So many questions, like what defines our identity?)
6. The Peripheral (Mind bending)
7. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Just good stuff)
8. Rabbit/Hole (More twists)
9. The Bear (Food and drama!)
10. Only Murders In The Building (comfy like mashed potatoes)

Josh Sullivan, WUNC Social Media Producer


  1. Such Kindness – Andre Dubus III
  2. Ohio – Stephen Markley
  3. Maybe We’ll Make It – Margo Price
  4. Across The River – Kent Babb
  5. What Made Maddy Run – Kate Fagan


  1. Zach Bryan – Zach Bryan
  2. Noah Kahan - Stick Season (We'll All Be Here Forever)
  3. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Weathervanes
  4. Margo Price – Strays
  5. Tyler Childers – Rustlin’ In the Rain


  1. Maggie Rogers at Charlotte’s Skyla Bank Amphitheater
  2. Noah Kahan at Charlotte’s Skyla Bank Amphitheater
  3. Japanese Breakfast at Hopscotch
  4. Cold War Kids/Tears For Fears at Coastal Credit Union Ampitheater
  5. Margo Price at Hopscotch

Most-played songs:

  1. Motorcycle Drive By – Zach Bryan
  2. Northern Attitude – Noah Kahan
  3. Away From The Mire – Billy Strings
  4. Brown-Eyed Women – Grateful Dead
  5. Stick – JID, J. Cole, Kenny Mason

(Non-WUNC) Podcasts

  1. Search Engine
  2. What Chaos!
  3. The Bomb Hole
  4. The Daily
  5. The Journal

Triangle Hangouts

  1. Edit Beer Co.
  2. Umstead State Park
  3. Eno River State Park
  4. Steel String Brewing at Pluck Farm
  5. Jubala Coffee

 Places Visited:

  1. Porto, Portugal
  2. Lisbon, Portugal
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Bozeman, Montana
  5. Boulder, Colorado

Mitchell Northam, WUNC Digital News Producer

Mitchell Northam
Mitchell Northam
Mitchell's cat, Clementine.
Mitchell's cat, Clementine.


  • This Isn’t Going To End Well: The True Story of the Man I Thought I Knew – Daniel Wallace
  • Shadow of the Sith – Adam Christopher
  • Daredevil & Elektra, The Red Fist Saga – Chip Zdarsky
  • When Ghosts Come Home – Wiley Cash
  • Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service – Carol Leonnig


  • Oppenheimer
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • A Man Called Otto
  • Master Gardener
  • Air


  • “King of Oklahoma” – Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
  • “Linger” – Joshua Ray Walker
  • “Cash Carter Hill” – Tommy Prine
  • “I Remember Everything” – Zach Bryan, Kacey Musgraves
  • “Frames” – Noah Pierre Band
  • “Where the Wild Things Are” – Luke Combs
  • “What Would Pluto Do” – Drake
  • “Am I Dreaming” – A$AP Rocky, Metro Boomin, Roisee


  • Split Zone Duo
  • Ovies & Giglio
  • The Big Picture
  • The Run-Up
  • Southbound


  • Ahsoka
  • Succession
  • The Righteous Gemstones
  • Winning Time
  • Top Chef


  • Favorite Concert: Jason Isbell at the Ryman in Nashville
  • Favorite Cigar: Magic Toast by Alec Bradley
  • Favorite Coffee: Morning View Coffee House in Nags Head, N.C.
  • Favorite Bookstore: Book Bin in Onley, Virginia
  • Favorite Brewery: Wicked Weed in Asheville, N.C.
  • Favorite BBQ: Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Favorite Vacation: Ocean Isle, N.C.
  • Favorite Sporting Event: Women’s basketball Final Four in Dallas, Texas

Kaia Findlay, Lead Producer on "Embodied"

Top Movie of the Year: Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet
Best Books: The Years by Annie Ernaux, The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Best Song: Float by Janelle Monáe feat. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Favorite Museum Exhibit: "Thierry Mugler: Couturissime" at the Brooklyn Museum
Favorite (re)discovered hobby: Film photography

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