The Alt’s 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2023

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The start of a new year is the time for oppurtunity! Anything can happen! And that means we can get excited about a whole bunch of new albums that may (or may not) come out this year.

Our staff put together a list of the 20 albums we are most excited to listen to in 2023. Take a look and mark those calenders. We have a lot of listening to do this year.


It’s hard to know which direction Awakebutstillinbed might take their sophomore LP. Their 2018 debut placed equal weight on the more skramz-influenced moments and the softer, more melodic portions, and each of the stopgap releases since has fully embraced one or the other. 2020’s frosty stay who you are EP doubled down on the quieter, more intimate sounds, while their half of the hymns for the scorned split with For Your Health was nearly straight-up Ebullition Records style post-hardcore. Part of what people call low self-esteem’s appeal was its ability to explore both chaos and serenity without privileging one; every song on that record felt like it existed out of necessity, Shannon Taylor’s voice always only seconds away from splintering, guitars always on the verge of an overdriven breakdown. While it’s clear they can operate in either sphere comfortably, it’s when they’re finding that balance that they’re at their best. Take album highlight “stumble,” which, for its first two-quarters, is a drizzle of arpeggios and an aching melody—effectively, it’s an Empire! Empire! song. Then a single howl from Taylor kicks the song into another gear and its final two minutes give into the anxiety and desperation that hung around the edges of its first half. That’s emo, baby. – Zac Djamoos

The Big Easy

The Big Easy’s fantastic A Long Year proved that just because dudes rock, doesn’t mean they can’t also be sad. An album full of steady midtempo rockers, crunchy guitars, and outcast lyrics, it could soundtrack the crowded bar just as well as the quiet stumble home. The band recently tweeted that mixes for their new record were in hand, so 2023 should offer a new opportunity to headbang through the tears falling into your beer. – Aaron Eisenreich

Blondshell Shares New Single "Kiss City": Listen


Blondshell was the head-turning, indie project that burst onto the scene last year. Used as a stage name for Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sabrina Teitelbaum, she released four singles in 2022 that were full of grit and wistful glamor. It’s difficult to forget an emerging artist who does alt-rock and burning gloom this well— each new single building upon the last like a flickering flame ready to consume. Blondshell’s feverish momentum must be leading somewhere, and I hope it’s towards something full length this coming year. – Hope Ankley

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The original self-titled boygenius EP is just 22 minutes long: a real concentrated bouillon of indie rock supergroup heartache. Now Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers (undisputedly three of the most talented women, nay, PEOPLE, in the music biz) are back together, standing in height order, and putting out a new boygenius album containing twice as many songs as last time. The vinyl release comes with a temporary tattoo! There are song titles like “Leonard Cohen” and “Letter to an Old Poet”! It’s all so very boygenius-y! Get hype, if you are not already hype for this release, by revisiting their Tiny Desk Concert. – Molly O’Brien


It seems like adding Carpool to our Most Anticipated list is becoming a yearly tradition for me, but September’s For Nasal Use Only lived up to the hype and more. A lightning strike of an EP, For Nasal Use Only was packed with the gloriously self-deprecating emo fans have come to expect from Carpool, but with some more unexpected (but no less welcome) sunnier pop turns. The group is apparently entering the studio for a new album around the time this list is being published for what is sure to be one of 2023’s most ecstatic emo records. – Aaron Eisenreich

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Cloud District

As a longtime fan of this band, it feels five years too long for me. As soon as I saw them post about being in the studio, I knew this album would be on my radar. Their EP Summer Slam is something I find myself coming back to quite often. I fell in love with their music at a house venue that holds a dear place in my heart, and I hope this new album lets me fall in love all over again. – Kim Luciano 

Danny Brown

Every single record that Danny Brown releases is at an incredibly high level. Whether he is spinning his verses one thousand miles a minute over a sped up club beat, storytelling with a classic hip hop structure, or winding up clouds of a jazz tempo that listeners would never expect from him (or any rapper). Whatever he is cooking up next, I am sure that the bars will be sick, the beats will be ambitious, and I will be excited to listen. I may even be shocked at what he does next, or some of the things he says. That’s what makes Danny so much fun. Buckle up, we are in for a ride. – Henderson Cole

Fall Out Boy

All early 2000 emo/pop-punk fans rejoice! We are finally getting old Fall Out Boy back, like an answer to my prayers. Their new single, “Love From the Other Side,” features heavy guitars, kinetic drums, and the consistency of Patrick Stump’s soulful voice– all reminiscent signs of a Folie à Deux resurgence.  – Kim Luciano 

Photo by Alec Moore

Home Is Where

Varied, imaginative, emphatic, and over in 18 or so minutes, Home Is Where’s I Became Birds was one of the most fascinating records of 2021. The fact that the group followed it up with an explosive screamo-filled split with Record Setter points to one of the most intriguing aspects of their upcoming second full-length: there’s really no good guess as to what it’s going to sound like, other than maybe “different” or “weird.” No matter what, it’s definitely going to be fun delving into. – Aaron Eisenreich

Gorillaz - Sónar Barcelona 2018


In my mind, there’s very little that beats the serotonin kick that comes with the announcement and anticipation of a new Gorillaz album. Cracker Island, dropping on February 24th, will be the eighth studio album by the digital band, and in Gorillaz fashion it will feature a slew of collaborations such as Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks and Bad Bunny to name a few. The band has teased the upcoming sound with singles like “New Gold” and “Cracker Island,” but whatever the record sounds like it’s bound to take the listener on a digital dream journey which is enough to excite anyone who is even remotely a Gorillaz fan. – Hope Ankley

Photo by Veronica Isley

Greg Mendez

A beautiful collection of hazy, folky lofi, Greg Mendez’s Cherry Hell is surely a record that deserves more attention than it’s received. Full of expressive, unforgettable lyrical images and an enthralling, engrossing sound built from the swirling way the lofi acoustic blends perfectly with the accompanying instruments—particularly when keys or electric guitar riffs are floating overtop—it’s twenty minutes of music that will echo in your head for twenty weeks. Mendez apparently has a new album on the way for 2023 that definitely should not be one to miss.  – Aaron Eisenreich

Photo by Sarah Knoll

Hot Mulligan

In June of last year, Hot Mulligan’s Facebook page got deleted, then their Twitter was allegedly hacked by “Big Milk.” With all the mystery surrounding HM, who knows if they’re working on a new album? It can’t hurt to be optimistic, especially with their announcement of SadSummerFest recently breaking. If it’s anything like the single “Drink Milk and Run,” we can expect addicting melodies with heartful lyrics and catchy riffs.  – Kim Luciano 

Photo by Lindsy Carr

The Maine

Although there’s no set date for the upcoming The Maine album, the Arizona alt-rockers folded back into the studio in late December to start crafting their newest project. And with each new project, the band curates an entire universe around the new era. It’s always exciting to see what world emerges alongside the music. Regardless of when it comes or how it sounds, past records show that it’ll just be another solid branch of The Maine’s identity. – Hope Ankley

Photo by Sarah Knoll

Mannequin Pussy 

We have been through quite a bit since Mannequin Pussy put out a full album: covid, more police brutality,unending bigotry, and the downfall of Twitter. We need Missy to guide us in a cathartic scream-along to exercise our emotional demons so we can take on whatever fresh darkness 2023 brings. I am so ready for the riffs, and if they tour I’ll see you in the emotionally supportive pit. – Jami Fowler

Photo by Sarah Knoll


On “Hate TKO” off Microwave’s last album Death Is a Warm Blanket, Nathan Hardy urged us to “kill off all your heroes.” Given the chameleonic way each Microwave release pivots away from the sound of the previous, it’s good advice. Death was ten tracks of throat-ruining grunge, and the singles they dropped last year rank among their softest, most melodic songs ever. And both are a far cry from the alt rock pastiche of Much Love or the throwback post-hardcore of Stovall. The best thing about Microwave isn’t that they can do all these styles if they want to—it’s that they’re never content to write the same song twice. Whatever direction their fourth LP takes, it’s sure to be a total knockout. – Zac Djamoos

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The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers are such a foundational band for me that they could put out a cover of cartoon network theme songs and I’d put it in my top albums of 2023. Am I upset that Bajar is not really a part of the album? Absolutely. Will that take away from the power pop perfection that they churn out with almost every album? No. I’ll take what I can get from The New Pornographers, and A.C. Newman and the gang rarely disappoint me. – Jami Fowler

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This Is Why is set to release on February 10, and so far, every single dropped has been one hit after another. Where a lot of re-emerging bands are banking on nostalgia, Paramore is keeping things fresh. Their latest songs haven’t been quite like Riot!, or even After Laughter— but honestly, I don’t want this album to be that. I love the progress they’ve made with every album, and I trust them to make this one of their best ones yet.  – Kim Luciano 

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Whenever someone says “there are no good political rock bands anymore”, I point them to Pile. Same goes for the people bemoaning the lack of stage presence, guitar solos, intricate songwriting, etc. Pile does it all. But what matters most about Pile is the emotion that they pour into every single lyric, melody, booming drumbeat, and squeeling guitar. After nearly every song, I expect the band to collapse into a heap, and yet they come back stronger, pulling something else out of their arsenal. There are very few bands that I own more than 1 vinyl record from, I try to only buy my absolute favorites, but when it comes to Pile, this next album will be my 7th record purchased. I cant help it, they are all my favorites. – Henderson Cole


More than once, Samia has completely blown my mind with a pop rock gem that winds its way into my ears and entrenches itself in my brain. The way that she is able to write cutting hooks with the song to match, is rare in this age of bite sized hits, but Samia isn’t just looking to provide an appetizer, her best work is a 4 course meal with mints on the way out the door. With this new album I expect there will be at least 1 or 2 more of those treasured hits, and at least 5 more great tracks around it. I can’t wait to dig through and find my new favorite. – Henderson Cole

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Full disclosure: I did not realize that DJ-slash-producer-slash-vocalist Yaeji hadn’t yet released an official album. I have been grooving on her minimal and luscious beats since catching her Coachella set back in 2018, which was located in a tent that had gigantic couches in the back and therefore delivered me one of the most chill live music experiences of my lifetime. Yes, I might have drifted off into dreamland for a second. But I promise that is not a read of Yaeji’s music — the tunes are just so mellow that they will maybe cause Delta brain waves to flow within your noggin. Anyway, the announcement of Yaeji’s official debut LP With A Hammer has gotten me super excited…in a very chill way of course. – Molly O’Brien

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