31 December 2022
With a large number of highly anticipated albums due for release in the coming months, 2023 is already shaping up to be an incredible year for music. From the comeback of pop-punk favourites Paramore to the return of Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle and Russel (aka Gorillaz), it’s clear there’ll be no shortage of new albums to enjoy, no matter what genres you’re into. Here, then, is our list of the albums to look out for in 2023, all of which will definitely be worth a listen.
Listen to our Chart playlist here, and check out the musicians to watch in 2023, below.
10: Ava Max: ‘Diamonds & Dancefloors’
The much-anticipated second album by dance-pop superstar Ava Max, Diamonds & Dancefloors is set to get the new year started with a bang in January 2023. Not only will the singer present us with a radical image change as she replaces her blonde “Max-Cut” with a cherry-red bombshell look, but she’s also hinting that her new songs have been inspired by a break-up, and will be more personal than before. “This album is about my life and what I went thought in the last year and heartbreak… it’s basically heartbreak on the dancefloor,” Ava Max told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe. “It’s gonna make you cry and dance at the same time.”
Release date: 27 January 2023
What to expect: Maybe You’re The Problem
9: DMA’S: ‘How Many Dreams?’
Moving on from their Britpop-inspired style of anthemic indie-rock, Australian group DMA’S will continue to diversify their sound on their fourth album, How Many Dreams?, with what may be one of the most surprising-sounding albums to look out for in 2023. The band told NME that their new record “experiments with a lot of different sounds and different genres”, doubling down on the new sonic direction they found on The Glow. “It’s a great blend of the three things we love,” they revealed, “which are rock’n’roll tunes, pop singalongs and electronic music.”
Release date: 31 March 2023
What to expect: Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend
8: White Reaper: ‘Asking For A Ride’
After scoring a No.1 on the US Alternative Airplay chart with Might Be Right back in 2019, it’s no stretch to assume that the Kentucky-based garage-punk group White Reaper’s fourth album, Asking For A Ride, could repeat the same trick. Released in October 2022, its lead single, Pages – full of Weezer-esque power-pop guitar and euphoric vocal hooks – is a catchy rocker that continues to validate White Reaper’s claim to be “The World’s Best American Band”. For fans of 90s alt-rock at least, Asking For A Ride will have you calling shotgun.
Release date: 27 January 2023
What to expect: Pages
7: Ellie Goulding: ‘Higher Than Heaven’
Ellie Goulding’s first album in three years, Higher Than Heaven will be released in February 2023, marking the singer’s first post-pandemic offering. Bearing all the scars of the various COVID-19 quarantines, Goulding admitted to Live 365 that the gloom of lockdown life had seeped into the songs on her fifth album. “There was definitely a darkness about [the past two years] that was palpable in the studio,” she said. With lyrics speaking of losing “the light behind your eyes” on the club-ready pop of the single Let It Die, Higher Than Heaven certainly sits among the albums to look out for in 2023 – and it could well be Goulding’s most profound work to date.
Release date: 3 February 2023
What to expect: Let It Die
6: Lewis Capaldi: ‘Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent’
Ever since the Official Charts Company revealed that Lewis Capaldi’s breakout hit, Someone You Loved, had become the UK’s most-streamed song of all time, expectations for the Scottish singer-songwriter’s second album have been running high. Capaldi’s cheeky sense of humour is still his winning asset – lest we forget, his comeback single, Forget You, saw him don swimming trunks to recreate Wham!’s music video for Club Tropicana, shot-for-shot. Due to be released in May 2023, Capaldi’s new album, Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, sees him work with the same team who masterminded his debut, so it’s fair to say we can expect more of the same. “I don’t want to create a new sound for myself, or reinvent myself,” Capaldi said. “The songs I want to write are emotional songs, about love or loss.”
Release date: 19 May 2023
What to expect: Forget You
5: The Murder Capital: ‘Gigi’s Recovery’
As part of a wave of punk bands emerging from Ireland in recent years, Dublin-based group The Murder Capital will release the follow-up to their stunning debut album, When I Have Fears, in late January. After giving fans a flavour of the new record, Gigi’s Recovery, in the shape of the single A Thousand Lives, the group have already proven they’ve created one of the albums to look out for in 2023. Suggesting a more polished production style for the band, the song twins their post-punk guitar riffs with a motorik groove and more atmospheric pacing. “People obviously think they know what the record is going to sound like – but they don’t,” frontman James McGovern told NME. “I’m excited to get more out.”
Release date: 20 January 2023
What to expect: A Thousand Lives
4: Inhaler: ‘Cuts & Bruises’
As the son of U2 frontman Bono, Inhaler’s lead vocalist, Elijah Hewson, is proof that rock’n’roll is part of his DNA, and he channels the passion and ire that fuelled the U2 albums Boy and War with near-identical fervour. Musically, however, Inhaler are cut from a very different cloth, rattling through jangly indie-pop hooks like it’s going on fashion, particularly on the impeccably arranged Love Will Get You There. With the band’s second album, Cuts & Bruises, set to be released in mid-February, it’s clear Inhaler have earned their stripes and more than deserve the numerous festival spots they will inevitably get. This is exactly the sort of music the world needs right now.
Release date: 17 February 2023
What to expect: Love Will Get You There
3: The Smashing Pumpkins: ‘ATUM: Act Two’, ‘ATUM: Act Three’
Never ones to shy away from ambitious projects, alt-rock giants The Smashing Pumpkins are set to continue with the staggered release of their three-part rock opera, ATUM, until April 2023. Described as a sequel to their 1995 classic, Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness, and 2000’s concept album Machina/The Machines Of God, ATUM’s first “act”, issued in November 2022, has already seen songwriter William Patrick Corgan rekindle his love for gothic moodiness and shoegazey guitar, making sure both of its follow-ups are among the albums to look out for in 2023. “Doing a 33-song album presents a particular set of challenges,” Corgan told Kerrang! magazine. “So all we’ve tried to do is just try to do the thing that we think is best.”
Release date: 31 January 2023 (Act Two), 21 April 2023 (Act Three)
What to expect: Beguiled
2: Paramore: ‘This Is Why’
Having finished recording sessions in Los Angeles with Grammy Award-winning producer Carlos De La Garza, Paramore will return in February 2023 with their much-awaited sixth album, This Is Why. Moving well beyond their emo-punk roots to embrace 80s new-wave pop and indie-inspired guitar riffs, the record’s fiery and upbeat lead single, This Is Why, was the last track written for the album, having reportedly been inspired by spells of lockdown-inspired agoraphobia. “It summarises the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last 3 or 4 years,” Hayley Williams said at the time of the song’s release. If the new album taps into that same spirit, we’re in for a treat.
Release date: 10 February 2023
What to expect: This Is Why
1: Gorillaz: ‘Cracker Island’
Gearing up to release their eighth album, Blur frontman Damon Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett’s ragtag group of alt-rap cartoons, Gorillaz, will take us to Cracker Island in February 2023. Topping our list of the most anticipated albums to look out for in 2023, the record’s guests include Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Beck, Thundercat, Tame Impala, Bad Bunny, Bootie Brown and Adeleye Omotayond, and production is helmed by Greg Kurstin, suggesting that this may the band’s poppiest and most streamlined venture yet. Cracker Island’s lead single and title track paints a lyrical picture of “a made-up paradise where the truth was Auto-Tuned”, but it’s yet to be seen whether this is part of a concept album. Given Gorillaz’s track record, we wouldn’t put it past them.
Release date: 24 February 2023
What to expect: Cracker Island
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