The Top 50 Albums of 2023 so far

The outlook is good as the 2023 album landscape shapes up

Due to popular demand, Impose Magazine will be making a couple changes in the way we monitor the yearly album landscape. First, and for the first time ever, we are publishing a best albums “SO FAR” list each June, beginning with this one. Second, our final end-of-year best albums list will be ranked for the first time ever!

The decision to publish this piece came from the feeling of needing to highlight as many great albums as possible. So far this year, there’s been plenty. However, not all of these excellent releases will end up cracking the final list come December, and that’s a shame! So just to get out ahead of that problem, below we’ve briefly underscored the 50 albums that we consider to be our favorites of 2023 so far. We still anticipate plenty of spirited debating when the final list approaches – and probably more hand-wringing than ever now that we’ll be ranking them. But that’s a problem for then, and not now. Until then, we urge you to throw on some headphones or crank up a speaker to these fine 50 albums below.

03 Greedo – Halfway There

An intimate and confessional treasure trove of songs from the formerly incarcerated L.A. rapper – who gets up close and personal with his demons following his release from prison.

100 gecs – 10,000 gecs

Can one even fathom 10,000 gecs? Gen-Z’s favorite midwest hyperpop marauders return with noise pop and pop punk theatrics and their most captivating LP to date.

Asleep Country – Fake Opulent

A kaleidoscopic sound collage of plunderphonics and neo-psychedelia from the Kazakhstan producer that borders on the avant-garde and the surreal.

Ava Max – Diamonds & Dancefloors

The Albanian-American pop superstar’s thrilling sophomore LP is pure ear candy, full of high-energy Eurodance vibes, soaring bops and climactic breakup anthems.

bar italia – Tracey Denim

The coolest new band in the game, Manchester’s bar italia are full of effortless chill on their slinky dream pop and jangle pop-blending new LP.

billy woods & Kenny Segal – Maps

The best pure rapper in the game re-teams with his spiritual brethren producer, yielding some of the most incendiary underground rap of their combined careers.

Black Country, New Road – Live at Bush Hall

The English experimental indie behemoths didn’t let the departure of their lead singer constrain them from transferring their most imaginative set of tunes yet from the live stage to vinyl.

boygenius – the record

A supergroup like no other, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker bring pastoral vibes and arena rock spectacle to their best collaborative effort yet.

Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You

The beloved queen of experimental art pop stunned fans with her latest LP, which was as lush and catchy as it was atmospheric and introspective.

Conjureth – The Parasitic Chambers

The San Diego DIY death metal band levels up on the blood-curdling vibes with jagged riffage and pummeling rhythms, resulting in an album of concise, calculated chaos.

deathcrash – Less

Another set of sad, pensive slowcore and post-rock from the London band, who infuse just an extra dash of emo into their fully-formed sophomore LP.

Drain – Living Proof

Our favorite boogie-boarding Santa Cruz hardcore party starters inject their sophomore LP with something that’s been missing from the scene lately: a sense of unabashed fun.

Everything But The Girl – Fuse

The comeback album from the newly reunited English indie-dance legends falls right in their sweet spot with spine-tingling grooves and heart-on-your-sleeve ballads.

Feeble Little Horse – Girl with Fish

Swirling noise pop and rock, twee, and Wall of Sound are the key ingredients on the rousing sophomore album from the rising Pittsburgh indie band.

Fever Ray – Radical Romantics

Karin Dreijer served up a bold return-to-form with her first album since 2017, ignited with trippy, haunting darkwave sonics and her signature synthpop theatricality.

Fire-Toolz – I Am Upset Because I See Something That Is Not There

Progressive electronic cult fave Angel Marcloid injected her latest Fire-Toolz LP with avant garde metal, industrial, and jazz fusion – all under a glossy virtual utopian production sheen.

For Tracy Hyde – Hotel Insomnia

An emotional conclusion to a magnificent career, the final album from the Japanese band is one of their finest elixirs of shoegaze, dream pop and jangle pop.

GEL – Only Constant

Via blood-curdling vocals, spastic rhythms and unrelenting riffs, New Jersey hardcore rising stars GEL have unleashed one of the year’s best debut albums.


The rambunctious Detroit trio of Milf Melly, King Milo, and 47Chops unleashes a wavy, cranked-up volume of infectious Ghettotech ready-made for late night warehouse shuffling.

Home is Where – the whaler

Following their breakout 2021 record i became birds, the Palm Coast, Florida band expands on their sound and drops the magnum opus of the “5th Wave Emo” era.

IceColdBishop – Generational Curse

Los Angeles gangsta rapper ICECOLDBISHOP lives up to his name on his debut LP, which tackles intensely dark topics over a palette of cold, calculated production.

Incendiary – Change The Way You Think About Pain

The long-awaited return from the New York titans was well-worth the wait; like an adrenaline shot straight to the heart, their new album is the ultimate distillation of east coast hardcore.

James Holden – Imagine This Is a High Dimensional Space of All Possibilities

Psychedelic, playful, warm and fuzzy are all good words to describe the jammy, new age-leaning album from English progressive IDM fave James Holden.

Jeromes Dream – The Gray In Between

The San Francisco band’s best album since reuniting harkens back to their day 1 roots with a stratospheric display of screamo, mathcore and emoviolence.

Jessie Ware – That! Feels Good!

The most underrated pop star of our time continues to keep it real, letting the groovy disco pop and house vibes fly on her funky, soulful latest LP.

Jesus Piece – …So Unknown

The terrifyingly heavy Philadelphia group ratchets up the intensity with their brutal display of metalcore and beatdown hardcore, which of course plays even better in a live setting.


Two titans of experimental underground hip-hop unite on a joyously reckless collab album featuring cutthroat verses and the best production of Peggy’s career to date.

Kelela – Raven

Alternative R&B, breakbeat, U.K. garage and ambient pop all fuse together perfectly on the Los Angeles singer’s ethereal and bittersweet new album.

Kinoteki – Dawn of the Final Hour

New York DIY producer Kinoteki is the latest artist to light up the internet’s electronic underground with a brilliant display of footwork, breakbeat and atmospheric drum and bass.

Lana Del Rey – Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd

The iconic singer-songwriter drops yet another spellbinding instant-classic, which includes canny features from Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, Bleachers and more.

Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here

The former Soundcloud rap superstar pulls off one of the most drastic (and welcome) career pivots ever with an album of vibey psych pop in the vein of Tame Impala and UMO.

Liturgy – 93696

One of the best live bands in the game, New York’s Liturgy lays down the most devastating and relentless set of transcendental black metal in recent memory.

Mandy, Indiana – i’ve seen a way

Club-infused industrial techno and post-punk is the name of the game on the crunchy synth-laced debut album from Manchester up-and-comers Mandy, Indiana.

Model/Actriz – Dogsbody

The highly anticipated debut album from the New York post-punk up-and-comers exceeded the hype thanks to the wily passion and thrashy no wave leanings keeping listeners guessing.

MSPAINT – Post-American

Dropping easily the most creative heavy album of the year, Massachusetts band MSPAINT kept things extra fresh and fun with their verbose blend of synth punk and hardcore.

Navy Blue – Ways of Knowing

The rising NYC underground rapper-producer gets up-close and personal on his newest record, which is full of jazz rap, neo-soul, and introspective conscious hip hop.

Overmono – Good Lies

London progressive house duo capitalizes on years of hype and buzz with an ominous frenzy of 2-step, future garage, and U.K. bass on top of a bevy of hypnotizing vocal samples.

Parannoul – After the Magic

The Korean DIY shoegazer follows up his breakthrough 2021 LP and continues his astounding word-of-mouth ascent with an album of beautifully heartfelt maximal noise pop and rock.

RXKNephew – Till I’m Dead

Another gloriously scatterbrained blend of gangsta rap, trap and quirky electronic breaks from the unbelievably prolific up-and-coming rapper hailing from Rochester, NY.

sadness / abriction – sadness // abriction

A rare split LP of towering shoegaze, cathartic emo, a touch of black metal, and 15-minute epics from scene veterans Sadness and relative newcomers Abriction.

See You Next Tuesday – Distractions

Clever samples and chaotic solos add fuel to the fire that is the latest explosive release from Michigan math/grind/death-core veterans See You Next Tuesday.

Skrillex – Quest for Fire

The EDM icon dropped an album packed with festival-ready anthems, including the explosive “Rumble,” the delirious “RATATA,” and the swooning closer “Still Here.”

Tim Hecker – No Highs

A cold, stormy, and suspenseful return-to-form for the legendary ambient drone producer, who channels the loud and daunting highs and lows of his earlier work.

Tzusing – 绿帽 Green Hat

Trance, industrial techno, deconstructed club, and some truly batshit sampling (I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE) make up the Malaysian DJ-producer’s wild new record for PAN.

Ulrika Spacek – Compact Trauma

The Reading band’s latest album is a hypnotic slice of psychedelic indie landing on a spacey midpoint between Spirit Of The Beehive and Deerhunter.

Water From Your Eyes – Everyone’s Crushed

The Brooklyn art pop duo recalls the peak of the indie sleaze era as they fiddle around with eccentric loops and synth textures on their wonky and mechanical new LP.

Wednesday – Rat Saw God

The Asheville indie rockers level up on their finest record yet, which lands on a midway point between the rootsy indie folk of Big Thief and the propulsive noise rock of Dinosaur Jr.

Whyte Fang – GENESIS

Big room EDM superstar Alison Wonderland conjures minimal, skeletal progressive trap and future bass on her thrilling debut LP under her side project-moniker Whyte Fang.

Yves Tumor – Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)

The experimental musician channels their inner ’90s radio alt rocker with a cool-as-hell production sheen that recalls Butch Vig producing prime-era Garbage.

Zulu – A New Tomorrow

An impressive powerviolence record that sees the defiantly political L.A. band mixing in plenty of colorful samples: Curtis Mayfield, Nina Simone, etc. Really cool way to build a universe. IYKYK.