The 10 best contemporary albums of 2023

There was soothing minimalism and bowel-quaking low end as Neil Gaiman got some wonderfully quizzical accompaniments and Manchester’s answer to Sun Ra freaked out
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Sydney-based string quartet FourPlay have made a name by playing versions of music by various rock and jazz artists, including Radiohead and Metallica, but they have also been working with the fantasy writer Neil Gaiman for more than a decade. Here they provide a series of wonderfully quizzical, meandering accompaniments as Gaiman recites deeply humanistic prose and poetry about truth, lies, death, Joan of Arc and the “casual genocide” of Indigenous Australians. His verses can be horrific, mini-horror movies, like The Wreckers, or amusingly whimsical and Ivor Cutler-ish, like Möbius Strip.

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