There is a playlist in my endless scroll of playlists that is my savior and my curse: this famed playlist is called “Current Faves.” It’s my savior — whenever I hear a song I really love and have nowhere in particular to put it, I pop it into “Current Faves, and therefore it is not lost to the oblivion that is ‘what is that song I really liked that one time?’ world. It is my curse because it enables me to keep putting songs into that playlist without actually organizing them…to the point where a few days I looked at “Current Faves” and found it had nearly 60 occupants (gasp).

Back to a plus side of “Current Faves:” By collecting a random assortment of my most-liked tracks into one bucket, it can allow me to see patterns that wouldn’t otherwise be obvious. This playlist comes from one such pattern: a certain recent tendency towards tracks that could be described as smooth — thanks to velvety vocals, sleek production, or both. Perhaps the silk-like charms of these songs are my subconscious antidote to my chaotic playlist-building ways. Regardless, I hope any listeners will enjoy this sampling of some of 2023’s finest.

And as for whether or not “Current Faves” has received its desperately needed end-of-year cleaning… that is between me and my playlist, thank you very much.