Before we get into the most anticipated indie albums of 2023, let’s revel in what an undeniably packed year 2022 was for indie. From Alex G’s stunning God Save The Animals to The Beths’ explosive Expert In A Dying Field, there was an abundance of albums to remind us of the flourishing scene. Meanwhile The 1975’s Being Funny In A Foreign Language and Arctic Monkeys’ The Car made millions of twentysomethings nostalgic for 2014 Tumblr in the best way possible. Luckily, there’s still a lot more coming our way next year. Here are the most anticipated indie albums of 2023.
Samia – Honey
The Baby, Samia’s 2020 debut, was praised for its visceral lyricism matched with a delicate, sweet sound. Singles like “Sea Lions” and “Kill Her Freak Out” have previewed refined songwriting and a bigger sense of intensity for the next effort; “You said when I come on the radio it makes you wanna die / Well if I shut up can I come inside?” she sings on the unforgettable piano-driven ballad “Sea Lions.”
Narrow Head – Moments Of Clarity
There are tons of bands getting in on the grunge revival right now, but Narrow Head are one of the most notable. Their EPs and albums have been magnetic and ferocious, packed with blaring guitars and unsettling textures that bring to mind alt-rock veterans like Smashing Pumpkins or Hum. Moments Of Clarity retains their forceful energy, as proved by the single “Gearhead,” a destructive, distorted anthem about isolation: “Alone again is time well spent / Alone, forever falling.”
Paramore – This Is Why
Paramore’s last album was 2017’s bombastic After Laughter, which contained one of their biggest hits, “Hard Times.” Fans have been begging for new material since then, and the announcement of This Is Why was an exhilarating one. The singles “This Is Why” and “The News” have exceeded expectations; both possess the band’s catchy, explosive personality, leaning into new wave and not holding back on the sass.
Andy Shauf – Norm
Andy Shauf has a knack for concept albums that linger in the listener’s mind long after they’ve finished, like his 2016 cult classic The Party. He’s preparing for the release of his fifth studio LP, Norm, about which he explained, “The character of Norm is introduced in a really nice way. But the closer you pay attention to the record, the more you’re going to realize that it’s sinister.” These themes have been teased in the compelling singles “Wasted On You” and “Catch Your Eye,” especially the latter, which calmly plays with the intensity of longing and desire against a tranquil sonic backdrop.
Pile – All Fiction
In four words to Uproxx, Pile described their sound as, “Noisy rock but also…” This sums up the mystique of Pile. The singles previewing All Fiction have an unnameable, disturbed quality to them, something brewing beneath the surface. The haunting instrumentation, detached vocals, bleak lyricism — especially on the off-kilter “Poisons” — create a dark, dreary world that has a strong gravitation pull.
Runnner – Like Dying Stars, We’re Reaching Out
Noah Weinman’s sprawling Always Repeating was a preface to his discography as Runnner. His forthcoming debut Like Dying Stars, We’re Reaching Out is the official kickoff, and the movement is swift and strong, not unlike a gut punch. The lead single “I Only Sing About Food” showcases his knack for disarming, intimate scenes of feeling: “I’m an idiot, I cried in your car / When I couldn’t find the words I was looking for / I overanalyze, I never let it feel good / I only think about death / I only sing about food,” he sings. The following single “Bike Again” soars with a dreamlike, glimmering instrumental that communicates more than words ever could.
Gorillaz – Cracker Island
The singles from Gorillaz’s forthcoming album Cracker Island have been enticing previews. From the colossal title track featuring Thundercat to the mesmeric earworm “Skinny Ape,” the LP is looking like a special experience. To make it even better, it’ll feature artists like Stevie Nicks, Beck, Bad Bunny, and Adeleye Omotayo.
Fever Ray – Radical Romantics
Radical Romantics is Fever Ray’s first album in over five years. “What They Call Us” was a bewitching comeback single, seething and soaring with sporadic, haunting sounds like a sonic collage. Karin Dreijer, the face behind the project, seems to address the hiatus in the song: “It’s a common misperception, this is not a band, ready for a dissection / Now mommy’s gotta work, see the land.” The whole record is sure to be a trip.
100 Gecs – 10,000 Gecs
Just recently, 100 Gecs unleashed the chaotic EP Snake Eyes, which contained the ridiculously infectious track “Doritos & Fritos.” They’re already gearing up for their next album, fittingly titled 10,000 Gecs to follow-up their critically acclaimed debut 1000 Gecs. “As I’ve been exploring my voice more, I’m like, ‘I can do this,’” Laura Les said. “And also I’m sick of worrying about it. If I don’t just fucking do it, then I’m just a scaredy cat. And I don’t want to be a scaredy cat.”
Smashing Pumpkins – Atum
Smashing Pumpkins are not playing around. They’re going to be unveiling Atum next year, a rock opera in three acts made up of 33 songs. It will serve as the sequel of 1995’s Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/Machine Of God. Pronounced “Autumn,” the LP’s first single is the electrifying “Beguiled” which came with a cinematic music video. The “1979” group is creating a whole world with this record, and it’s gonna be good.
So much happened this year that we barely got time to process the return of Tom Delonge in Blink-182. While the releases the band offered with Matt Skiba were pleasant and enjoyable, fans never stopped begging for the original vocalist and guitarist to come back. The song “Edging” is the perfect mischievous entrance back into the scene. They confirmed an album is on the way, and the fact that their tour has openers like Turnstile and The Story So Far proves that they’re keeping in touch with current blazing rock.
Blondshell was one of the most alluring emerging artists this year. From the haunted reckoning of a detrimental relationship in “Olympus” to the cathartic spurt of alt-rock in the latest song “Veronica Mars,” 25-year-old Sabrina Teitelbaum has managed to keep up the momentum with every release, and hopefully these tracks are fragments from a bigger project coming soon.
The Gaslight Anthem
In our conversation with The Gaslight Anthem bandleader Brian Fallon, he offered an estimation to when a new record may come, guessing around “early next year, early spring,” depending on how his writing goes. The band reunited this year; their last LP was 2014’s Get Hurt, though Fallon has put out solo material since. What led to this comeback isn’t very surprising: “During quarantine, I had gotten so bored,” he admitted in that same interview. Their recent tour was a great way to increase the anticipation, and now we wait.
Meet Me At The Altar
the writing and recording process of our debut album has made me fall in love with music ALL over again. i’m SO in love with music and the things that come with being an artist & being in a band. writing the songs, creating the visuals, recording, etc. i really live for it all <3
— ☠️ edith – victoria ☠️ (@_edithvictoria_) December 15, 2022
Bombastic EPs, crazy tours, signing to the one and only Fueled By Ramen label — Meet Me At The Altar are obviously on the verge of something big. The pop-punk group have been raging since before the whole revival spearheaded by Machine Gun Kelly started, and they’re obviously in it for the relentless energy, which all of their songs burst with. Their debut is sure to be a big deal.
My Chemical Romance
The long-awaited return of My Chemical Romance was postponed due to the pandemic, so this year was a relief for their fans. Their tour was nothing short of anyone’s expectations; beloved bandleader Gerard Way sported a dress onstage, performing timeless hits like “Teenagers” and “Helena” as well as deep-cuts from their debut, pleasing the whole audience every night. Their comeback song “The Foundations Of Decay” captured their singularly theatrical, explosive essence, and there simply has to be an album on the way — it’s been over a decade since Danger Days.
Wednesday’s Twin Plagues was one of the most stunning records of 2021, seamlessly blending immersive, staticky shoegaze with an endearing twang, made all the better by Karly Hartzman’s hypnotizing soprano. In September they released the 8-minute ripper called “Bull Believer” and deservingly signed to the iconic label Dead Oceans, which is a good sign that an LP may be on the way. The new track signals a direction that digs deeper into their grit; it even features an unrelenting scream from Hartzman, giving the song the texture of a horror movie.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.