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Albums of the Year 2023: Daisy Jones & The Six - Aurora | reviews, news & interviews

Albums of the Year 2023: Daisy Jones & The Six - Aurora

Albums of the Year 2023: Daisy Jones & The Six - Aurora

Despite being entirely fictional, these LA rockers serve up genuine bohemian spirit

Riley Keough and Sam Claflin basking in the morning sun

Even Alanis would admit that choosing an album of the year from a band channeling the Seventies and who don’t actually exist is pretty ironic. Don’t you think? Originally drummed up by New York Times bestselling author Taylor Jenkins Read, Daisy Jones & The Six in its original book form documented the whirlwind rise and fall of a band whose sound defined an era. 

When Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, announced they’d be creating a documentary-style series adaptation of the novel for Amazon Prime, she admitted real-life rockers Fleetwood Mac would be an unofficial inspiration for the band’s sound. And that’s certainly true of the sunshine-drenched soundtrack that Blake Mills (John Legend, Ed Sheeran) worked to write and produce alongside a stellar cast of contributors; Phoebe Bridgers (who also makes my top three for this year in the more recent guise of boygenius), Marcus Mumford (yep, him of Mumford & Sons fame) and Californian songwriter Cass McCombs. 

But what separates Aurora from its movie-made counterparts – see Rachel Leigh Cook lip-syncing along to Letters To Cleo singer Kay Hanley fronting 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats – is that lead vocals were provided across the record by the series stars themselves. Riley Keough (daughter of the late Lisa Marie Presley) plays archetypal wild child Daisy while Sam Claflin (The Hunger GamesMe Before You) serves up brooding Billy Dunne. Season their captivating chemistry with the real-life virtuoso piano lines from Suki Waterhouse (who plays fictional keyboardist Karen in the series) and you're suddenly belting out the singles like you've been a devout fan since your teens. 

Because if January signals anything, it’s the perfect opportunity to hunker down in an imagined world of bohemian spirit, Laurel Canyon sunsets, and second chances. 

Three More Essential Albums of 2023

boygenius, The Record

Paramore, This Is Why 

Fizz, The Secret to Life

Musical Experiences of the Year

The noughties revival (and reunions) served up a swathe of bands I’d honestly written off ever seeing live including Nashville noiseniks Be Your Own Pet at a sweaty Rough Trade East, making the holy pilgrimage to Manchester’s Albert Hall for electro-pop titans Le Tigre and catching prized punks Blink 182 in their original Enema-era line up. 

Track of the Year

Olivia Rodrigo, “bad idea right?”

Below: Watch the video for "Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)" by Daisy Jones & The Six 

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