Favorite Albums of the Year 2023

My Top 10 Favorite New Albums of 2023…

  1. Sextile - Push
  2. More Ephemerol - Apotheosis Pageant
  3. Sweeping Promises - Good Living Is Coming For You
  4. Slowdive - Everything is Alive
  5. Nation of Language - Strange Disciple
  6. Madeline Goldstein - Other World EP
  7. Depeche Mode - Memento Mori
  8. Water From Your Eyes - Everyone’s Crushed
  9. Duran Duran - Danse Macabre
  10. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Bauhaus Staircase

As always, it breaks my heart to leave several other albums off of the list, because there were so many more. This has been a great year for music in my wheelhouse.


If I wasn’t confining this list to albums released in the past 12 months it would be topped by Julien Baker’s Sprained Ankle from 2015, among the most deeply impactful albums I’ve ever heard. Music listening and the enjoyment I derive from it is all about time, place, and mood which is why her record hit hardest. In more recent years it’s become more about those factors and less about compiling lists like this. My other big discovery this year not from 2023 is Babehoven who I saw open for Slow Pulp at Motorco in Durham (NC) in October. Their next album is among my most highly anticipated releases for 2024.

  • boygenius - the record
  • Lydia Loveless - Nothing’s Going To Stand In My Way Again
  • Florry - The Holey Bible
  • Margo Cilker - Valley of Hearts Delight
  • Margo Price - Strays
  • Various - More Than A Whisper: Celebrating the Music of Nanci Griffith
  • H.C. McEntire - Every Acre
  • Fenne Lilly - Big Picture
  • Jimmy Buffett - Equal Strain On All Parts
  • Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds

Honorable Mentions
With few exceptions this portion of my list is more a reflection of the albums I spent the least amount of time with. This, because of the aforementioned time, place, and mood factors. This year, that mainly centered around the boygenius universe and all that encompasses.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that Todd Snider’s Crank It, We’re Doomed falls more under the “lost album” category (it was originally intended for release in 2007). I recognize many of the songs from other albums as well as his concerts. Speaking of which, I’ve always tended to prefer his shows to his studio albums. This record is a notable exception to that for me.

  • Slow Pulp - Yard
  • Todd Snider - Crank It, We’re Doomed
  • Bethany Cosentino - Natural Disaster
  • Jess Willliamson - Time Ain’t Accidental
  • Bella White - Among Other Things
  • Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump For Joy
  • The Salt Collective - Life
  • The Bad Ends - The Power and the Glory
  • PJ Harvey - I Inside the Old Year Dying
  • Lanterns On the Lake - Versions of Us
  • Domestic Bliss (Lilly Hiatt & Coley Hinson) - Self-titled
  • Erin Rae - Lighten Up & Try (Live & From the Heart)
  • Jobi Riccio - Whiplash
  • Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway - City of Gold
  • Jon Dee Graham - Do Not Forget
  • Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Weathervanes

I always enjoy reflecting on the albums that have made an impression on me over the course of a year.

  • Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
  • Ratboys - The Window
  • The National - Laugh Track
  • Cut Worms - Cut Worms
  • The Gaslight Anthem - History Books

It’s been a great year for music.

Wednesday - Rat Saw God (my favorite album of the year)

The rest (in no particular order):

Ratboys - The Window
Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World
Blur - The Ballad of Darren
Sweeping Promises - Good Living Is Coming for You
Lonnie Holley - Oh Me Oh My
Son Volt - Day of the Doug
The Baseball Project - Grand Salami Time!
Cut Worms - Cut Worms
Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
Peter Gabriel - i/o
Wilco - Cousin

Favorite reissues:

Lemonheads - Come on Feel the Lemonheads
The Connells - Ring


My favorite from 2023 was Far From Saints self-titled album.