KXLU’s Favorite Albums of 2023

Now that it’s 2024, we wanted to take a look back at the music we had on repeat in 2023. With albums new and old, we hope you like these albums as much as we do.

Our Skies Smile – Gingerbee

“Gingerbee’s debut LP has been one of the best bodies of work I think I’ve seen put out this year. The internet band’s take on ‘bedroom scramz’ is really incredible. Their music is almost other-worldly in its glitchy, almost twinkly production and unexpected arrangement. I’m definitely excited to hear what they put out next. If you like this one, exciting!!excellent!! is another great artist in a similar vein who also released a great album in 2023.”

Mada Harper, Emotional P.E

Bankrupt – Funds for Jimmy

“My favorite hometown band has bottled the essence of attending the best garage show you’ve ever been to into their debut album, Bankrupt, dancing through the sounds of alt-rock and indie. This album echoes the sensation of butterflies in your stomach, the pain of your worst heartbreak, and finally feeling like yourself again. Listen to this front-to-back and back-to-front one more time for good measure.”

Isa Johnson, Program Director & Shoot the Messenger

Bridge Underwater – Club Casualties

“This collaboration between Cooper B. Hardy and Nick Atkinson is one of my favorites this year, a super unique blend of electronic, dance, and pop that I’d recommend to anyone!”

Brendan Baehr, General Manager & Painted States


“Tomorrow X Together (Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, HueningKai) finally returned with their 3rd full-length album! The Name Chapter: Freefall picks up after ‘Farewell, Neverland’ from The Name Chapter: Temptation, which was released earlier this year. Lyrically, we are taken on a journey to face reality and depart from our mirage (desires) of life. They are still showing us the range, versatility, and color as artists five years into the industry. The way they were able to fit a diversity of music genres in a SINGLE album while keeping it coherent is so impressive. Easily their best-produced album conceptually, instrumentally, and vocally. I recommend ‘Skipping Stones,’ my new favorite TXT song! The lyrics are extremely beautiful and comforting. Each member shines vocally and expressively on this track. As a pre-debut MOA (supporting since the group was announced), this album represents a point of maturity in TXT’s career and I cannot wait for the next step in their musical journey! Moa and TXT forever together <3″

Clarke, Lala’s Playlist

Become – Beach House

“Beach House is one of my favorite artists, and their new EP release, Become, has been on repeat over and over again since its release in late April <3. I love all five songs on the EP, but ‘Devil’s Pool’ and ‘Become’ have become my favorite songs. The dreamy and enchanting songs on the album provide the perfect background music to drive around aimlessly, watch the sunset, and have a big cry or maybe a laugh?! I saw Beach House twice in 2022 and would love to see them this coming year. “

Rhiannon Metz, Social Media / Web Director

GIZMO – Tanukichan

“Tanukichan is one of my top artists and her new album GIZMO was definitely on repeat for me this year since it came out in March. I was lucky to see her at the Lodge room in October and it’s one of my favorite shows and memories of 2023 <3”

Lana Katnich, Village Idiot

Cellulosed Bodies – Augustus Muller

“The perfect gloom. An entirely instrumental film score by Augustus Muller of one of our generation’s most celebrated darkwave projects, Boy Harsher. Perfect for writing, dancing, singing, anything. My favorite vinyl purchase of 2023. ‘Body as Machine’ and ‘Fur and Metal’ are my favorite tracks. You can turn it on in the background or listen to it fully and dance your heart out. The emotions this album inspires in me are indescribable.”

Teia Ciornei, Writer & Photographer

Sock it to Me – Colleen Green

“I remembered this album this year and was quickly reminded how enjoyable it is to listen to Colleen Green’s voice and lyrics. Every song is just as exciting, relatable, and fun as they were back in 2013! And the album cover has doughnuts on it, and I love doughnuts. I’ll never forget you again, Colleen Green.”

Lily Klein, Super Cool Music

Utopia – Travis Scott

“I’ve been waiting so long for the new Travis Scott album, and I was so hyped at how dynamic and well-produced the whole project was!”

Max Alvarez, Production Director

Ooh Rap I Ya – George Clanton

“With being a huge George fan, I was beyond excited for this release, and the album did not disappoint. With hit after hit, each song transports you through airy digital melodies to an almost y2k reminiscent vibe. With the often quiet vocals, the beep bop beep boops are the frontman of this album. George focuses on the pressures of being alive with his lyrics, but provides a certain hope that everything will turn out okay, sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches to fight back. Speaking of punches, ‘Punching Down’ is the standout song in this album, with its almost goofy lyrics and extremely catchy beat, it’s become an instant classic for me. Ooh Rap I Ya has proved George’s capabilities as a versatile artist who is shaping the genre of vaporwave, and also constantly has me singing ‘Ooh rap I yaaaa’ over and over again. With now three standout albums, I am beyond excited to see what’s in store next.”

Audrey Szot, KLMU Co-Director

A Great Chaos – Ken Carson

“I’ve been listening to Ken Carson for a few years now, and this album is undeniably his best yet. While he has previously established himself through unique production, Carson found his voice on this record as he refined his flow and became more vulnerable with listeners. It has been wild seeing an underground rapper from Atlanta become such a powerful force in music, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Parker Giovannetti, Polarity & Production Assistant

The Maine – The Maine

“The Maine’s self-titled album is a wonderful exploration into the new avenues and sounds of pop punk and emo music. Their sound has evolved and aged just as they have, and it was one of the greatest listening experiences of my year to hear a new album from my first favorite band ever! I used to listen to The Maine’s first three albums on my iPod nano through some hot topic off-brand headphones in middle school, and what always struck me was the authentic lyricism and emotion bleeding through their work. That dedication to lyricism has only grown, all with a fun evolution of sound that has aged as their members have. The Maine’s self-titled holds all the nostalgia of your unfortunately cringy middle school emo phase and all the hope for and joy in life of a person who’s grown up and fallen in love with life since then. Overall, listening through is a beautifully human experience full of soft reminiscence and wistful remembrance.”

Jaz Galvez, Jaz’s Jukebox

Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia go deo

“I love these albums (Skinity Fia go deo & Drunk Tank Pink) cause they sound like freedom and unfiltered emotion.”

Gillian Chamberlin, KLMU Co-Director

Drunk Tank Pink – shame

Gillian Chamberlin, KLMU Co-Director

V – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

“Australia has been the birthplace of some of the most innovative and interesting musical acts of the last decade. But Unknown Mortal Orchestra has forced our attention to the island of New Zealand. With each album, the band’s growth has been tangible, and this year, they gave us their magnum opus. This is an ALBUM. It demands to be listened to from beginning to end with no stops. The songs meld into each other in such a cohesively psychedelic way it truly sweeps you off your feet. So what are you waiting for? Give it a listen and see why this is (very obviously) getting the Cosmic Catalyst stamp of approval.”

Thomas Davies, Promotions Director & Cosmic Catalyst

Elapsed Kiss – Lipsticism

“When I found the song ‘Hold Me Release Me,’ I immediately became obsessed with Lipsticism, otherwise known as Alana Schachtel. Elapsed Kiss is the perfect album that provides a dreamy landscape using synthesizers. If you love ethereal music, then this is the album for you.”

Rhiannon Metz, Social Media / Web Director

Artifacts – Applesauce Tears

“This album became my go to study music for 2023. It is great background noise, but when given a thorough listen, this album also delivers a really interesting and unique experience. The album is completely instrumental but incorporates various themes and genres into its overall sound. It may not be your cup of tea, but you should definitely give it a listen and find out!”

Sage Roth-Berg, KLMU Co-Director & Sagebrush

Mitsubishi Suicide – Mitsubishi Suicide

Sam Takano, Music Director & Sam T

Art Credit: Sam Takano