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With live music back in the game, this year saw some incredibly new indie albums. Not only did 2023 see great debut releases by the likes of Somebody’s Child, it also saw amazing follow up records by the likes of The Murder Capital or Gengahr, while one of the most anticipated efforts arrived in the form of Somebody’s Child’s self-titled debut album. Here is our top 10 list of the best indie album 2023.

10. Nothing But Thieves – Dead Club City

Following the release of their #3 album Moral Panic and the Moral Panic II EP, Southend four piece Nothing But Thieves returned in 2023 with their new electronic influenced album Dead Club City. The album’s lead single, Welcome to the DCC, takes Nothing But Thieves to the dancefloor. The new track is easily their most pop and 80s influenced release to date and yet unmistakably their own – and so is the rest of the album, for that matter. Dead Club City feels fresh and exciting and sees the band grow and explore new directions while not forsaking their signature sound.

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9. Somebody’s Child – Somebody’s Child

Since establishing himself as a groundbreaking voice in Dublin’s music scene, Somebody’s Child, the musical project of Cian Godfrey, has established himself as one of the major artists to watch in 2023.

As Somebody’s Child’s self-titled debut album unravels, it becomes clear how much passion has been poured into it, its themes both personal yet universal, covering the difficulties of moving forward into adulthood and allowing Cian Godfrey to fulfil his desire to impress upon listeners an image of a modern, progressive Ireland. 

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8. Gengahr – Red Sun Titans

Red Sun Titans is the sound of a band re-born, with the energy and inspiration from the past in their back pockets, Gengahr feel refreshed, with a bright, independent outlook for the future. Allowing them to embrace the idea of being the underdogs, the album is so good because of its message of Gengahr being a group of friends finding joy in doing what they love.

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7. Paramore – This Is Why

This Is Why is totally conscious where its dialogue is concerned. On past Paramore albums, with youth as an excuse, seldom was there a nod and a wink. Adulthood is covered in nods and winks, the new concealers for pimples, the self-aware enlightenment that breaks up panic. Their latest runs off of its enlightenment like an energy drink, reflectively, catchily, with a crazy heart that continues to necessitate any day that a new Paramore album is released.

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6. Fall Out Boy – So Much (For) Stardust

Early in 2023, Fall Out Boy returned pretty much out of nowhere with a newfound guitar heavy sound. A decade after their first comeback in the form of Save Rock and Roll, the Chicago band dropped their So Much (For) Stardust almost as a surprise release. Alongside Save Rock and Roll and Folie à Deux, So Much (For) Stardust is certainly one of Fall Out Boy’s best albums. Especially the older fans, who found the post-Hiatus albums altogether too pop, will be very pleased with this album. While some of their contemporaries have disbanded in the meantime or live off greatest-hits tours, Fall Out Boy demonstrate once again that they still have something to say after more than 20 years and have not lost their relevance.

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5. Island Of Love – Island Of Love

The debut album from Island of Love shows them to be gearing up to become masters of their craft. Providing something that is both noisy and boisterous yet effortlessly creating quieter to elevate the power of its louder parts, the album is the sound of a band that has worked tirelessly to be in the position that they are today. Perfectly capturing the balance of an album that was written in a bedroom yet homed in live shows, Island of Love have produced a near-perfect debut that is sure to see them reach new heights. 

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4. Angie McMahon – Light, Dark, Light Again

On her her second studio album Light, Dark, Light Again, Angie McMahon collaborated with Grammy nominated producer Brad Cook to capture the chaos of life in each song, guided by a self-driven tenderness. Timing vs time is the theme, and she reminds us that time is a construct that shifts and transforms. This idea holds particularly true in an era where there is pressure on us to create art rapidly and post it on social media before the day ends. It took four years for Angie McMahon to give us another album, and she made every minute worth the wait.

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3. Sir Chloe – I Am The Dog

Rich in narrative, with glorious vocal performances and doused in reverbed guitars, I Am The Dog is a huge success for Sir Chloe. Feeling utmost personal with its accounts that delve into the chaos of life, with nods to influences such as PJ Harvey and St Vincent, the album is a remarkable debut that presents itself as the band’s most sophisticated release to date. 

2. boygenius – the record

In the summer of 2023, boygenius were impossible to miss. The supergroup consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus did not only drop their first full length, aptly named the record, they were also one of the many (and exclusively female) acts to open for Taylor Swift’s eras tour. While supergroups are usually hit and miss, this one is all hit. All three artists complements one another so perfectly on this album, which marked the first number one UK album for each of the trio.

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1. The Murder Capital – Gigi’s Recovery

Gigi’s Recovery allows The Murder Capital to achieve their transformation gracefully, it’s buoyant, and exhilarating and is an intimate look into their recovery, not just as a band but as individuals, whilst also allowing their commitment to their vision and message to shine through. With a weight lifted and a new, optimistic glow surrounding them, The Murder Capital return determined and developed, with a bright future ahead of them.

Listen on Apple Music

Deborah Jacobs

Music blogger by night, SEO by day. Started Indie is not a Genre in 2011, will always prefer live music over recordings and intimate pub gigs over arena shows.



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