My Favorite Albums of 2023

I am apparently not in the musical consumption mainstream. I still love sitting down to a meal of an entire album instead of singles. I keep my playlist of favorites from the year still, but I love albums.

This year, I’m trying to avoid albums by artists I’ve called out in previous years, so even though they were great, no New Pornographers (but go listen anyway).

This post might grow as I listen to things from the year this week, but here’s my list of favorite albums of the year!

In no particular order:

  • Archimède: Fréres: They’re French, sing in French, and write super poppy songs you’ll sing along with even if you don’t understand a word they’re saying.
  • Nakhane: Bastard Jargon: Nakhane has a voice you can’t ignore, gorgeous and magnetic. It’ll pull you in, hold you close and then break your heart.
  • SUSS: SUSS: Like William Tyler, SUSS are writing soundtracks for movies that don’t exist, for sweeping desert vistas and alien cowboys. They make perfect music for deep work.
  • Killer Mike: Michael: This album is deeply personal and has the first hip hop song to ever make me cry.
  • Film School: Field: This band speaks to my early 2000’s indie soul. Fuzzy guitars, catchy tunes, and… just got get lost in it.
  • The Beths: Expert in a Dying Field: The Beths are new to me this year, and I’m sad it took me this long to discover them. They’re cute without being cloying, with amazing harmonies and very clever lyrics. Strong Dean & Britta or The Submarines vibes.
  • The Rural Alberta Advantage: The Rise & The Fall: I think this band invented Stadium Folk. It’s acoustic AND epic and you’ll probably love it.

And an honorable mention to Rubblebucket, who I discovered this year, but the album I fell in love with was last year’s Earth Worship, especially Geometry.

And another for Skinshape, who released one of the dreamiest songs I’ve heard in a long time, The Ocean. The whole album is great, but that song is just so old school dreamy soul, I think I listened to it on repeat for at least two days.

I wish you happy listening on this final week of 2023 and a thousand great musical discoveries for 2024!

Categorized as music

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.