Top 23 of ’23

The High Note Best Albums of 2023

It’s that time of year again when reflection is in the air and since there aren’t a lot of new albums being released, I go back through the year and pick my favorite albums of the year.

These are the best records of 2023 in no particular order, and I’ve linked my reviews of the album below each if you want to dive deeper.

Let me know what I missed this year and what you’re excited about in 2024.

The High Note Blog Top 23 Albums of 2023

Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

Cat Power – “Cat Power Sings Bob Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert”

Chan Marshall reinterprets Dylan’s historic concert with a modern touch, infusing each classic with her unique, ethereal style.
Read the full review.

Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway - City of Gold

Molly Tuttle – “City of Gold”

Molly Tuttle takes listeners on a bluegrass journey that weaves intricate melodies with heartfelt storytelling, showcasing Tuttle’s exceptional string prowess.
Read the full review.

Darlingside – “Everything Is Alive”

Darlingside delivers a harmonious blend of folk and indie, capturing the essence of life’s simple yet profound moments.
Read the full review.

Tall Tall Trees - Stick To The Mystical, I

Tall Tall Trees – “Stick To The Mystical I”

“Stick To The Mystical I” is an explorative album where psychedelic folk meets a new wave of acoustic experimentation, crafted by the innovative Mike Savino.
Read the full review. Listen to the podcast.

Andrew Bird - Outside Problems

Andrew Bird – “Outside Problems”

“Outside Problems” is a transcendent collection of tracks that blend classical violin with folk sensibilities, all wrapped in Andrew Bird’s signature lyrical genius.
Read the full review.

Jess Williamson - Time Ain't Accidental

Jess Williamson – “Time Ain’t Accidental”

Ranking near the top of my favorite albums of the year, “Time Aint Accidental” is a poignant and deeply personal album, melding folk and country elements with introspective lyrics.
Read the full review.

Indigo De Souza - All of This Will End

Indigo De Souza – “All Of This Will End”

Indigo De Souza delivers a raw and influential indie rock record brimming with emotional depth and striking musicality.
Read the full review.

Boygenius - The Record

Boygenius – “The Record”

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus combine their powers to create an emotive and harmonious collaboration that highlights the trio’s individual talents while creating a singular, impactful sound.
Read the full review.

Nickel Creek – “Celebrants”

“Celebrants” is a masterful blend of progressive bluegrass and acoustic innovation, marking a triumphant return for the trio.
Read the full review.

The War and Treaty - Lover's Game

The War and Treaty – “Lover’s Game”

The War and Treaty released this soulful and vibrant journey through love and life, showcasing the duo’s dynamic vocal and emotional range.
Read the full review.

Jen Cloher - I Am The River And The River Is Me

Jen Cloher – “I Am The River”

I wouldn’t expect anything less than a gritty and poetic album from Jen Cloher but “I Am The River” offers a raw and unfiltered glimpse into her musical and personal evolution.
Read the full review.

Black Belt Eagle Scout – “The Land, The Water, The Sky”

Black Belt Eagle Scout delivers a beautifully crafted indie-rock album that delves deep into identity, place, and connection.
Read the full review.

Rozi Plain - Prize

Rozi Plain – “Prize”

“Prize” is an indie gem filled with experimental soundscapes that are as whimsical as they are grounded in emotional truth.
Read the full review.

The Arcs - Electrophonic Chronic

The Arcs – “Electrophonic Chronic”

The Arcs serve a soul-infused rock album that honors the late Richard Swift’s versatility and creative prowess.
Read the full review.

Iggy Pop - Every Loser

Iggy Pop – “Every Loser”

The godfather of punk delivers a raw, energetic album that proves Iggy Pop’s rebellious spirit is as alive as ever.
Read the full review.

Atmosphere – “So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously”

Atmosphere released this thoughtful hip-hop album that explores introspection and reality through clever lyricism and smooth beats.
Read the full review.

Esther Rose - Safe to Run

Ester Rose – “Safe To Run”

“Safe To Run” is a country-folk storytelling album that captures the essence of wanderlust and resilience.
Read the full review.

Genevieve Artadi - Forever Forever

Genevieve Artadi – “Forever Forever”

“Forever Forever” is a fun, unique blend of jazz, pop, and electronic, creating a kaleidoscopic sound that’s enchanting and experimental.
Read the full review.

Claud - Supermodels

Claud – “Supermodels”

Claud has once again captured heart with this indie-pop diary of youth, love, and growth, filled with catchy melodies and relatable lyrics.
Read the full review.

Shakey Graves – “Movie Of The Week”

“Movie Of The Week” is more than just an album, it’s a cinematic and imaginative art project that weaves together Americana and rock with a storytelling flair.
Read the full review.

squirrel flower - tomorrow's fire

Squirrel Flower – “Tomorrow’s Fire”

“Tomorrow’s Fire” is an album that combines Squirrel Flower’s indie rock’s raw edge with hauntingly beautiful vocals, capturing the complexities of growth and change.
Read the full review.

Bombay Bicycle Club - My Big Day

Bombay Bicycle Club – “My Big Day”

“My Big Day” is an eclectic mix of indie, electronic, and pop, showcasing the band’s continued evolution and creative depth.
Read the full review.

The Polyphonic Spree – “Salvage Enterprise”

I didn’t get to review this album but “Salvage Enterprise” is a joyful, choral-rock experience that uplifts with its grand, orchestral arrangements and positive energy.