My 101 Favorite Albums of 2023

My 101 Favorite Albums of 2023

It's List Season. Surely, you've already seen a ton of other Best Albums of 2023 lists. And if you're really invested in what I do, then maybe you already heard me rank my top 10 albums of the year on my podcast Endless Scroll. But if you only care about Eli Enis in written form, then that's cool. I also made a list of my 101 favorite albums of 2023, and I've typed it all out down below.

"Why 101 albums? Why not just a top 10 or 20?" Simple: Because I can. Plenty of music out there. It's not that hard. But 2019, back when Endless Scroll was just my co-host Eric and I, we decided to embark on the stupid undertaking of ranking our 100 favorite albums of the year. We asked our friend Jaran to join us, and it was a lot of fun. We did that again in 2020, and then when our other cohosts Michael and Miranda joined the pod in 2021, we stopped doing top 100's because that was just way too much for four people (and Miranda would never in a million years commit to that ridiculous task).

I, however, have continued the Top 100 tradition every year since, and last year I bumped it up to 101 to ensure an album I totally forgot to rank but really enjoyed got included. This year, I figured I'd do 101 again just 'cause. Do I love every single album/EP (I included both) on this list? No. Frankly, there're some projects listed below that I only listened to a handful of times. But I at least had a special moment with each of them. At the very least, there was a day or two when I listened to it on repeat and thought, "Goddamn this is fuckin' sick."

I listen to a shit-ton of music. And I'm the type of listener who hops between albums and artists and styles at a pretty rapid rate. I don't linger on albums for very long, and that can be both a good and bad thing. I admittedly don't develop the lived-in relationship with 95% of what I listen to. I don't commit to knowing even my favorite records like the back of my hand. Sometimes that happens when I just can't stop playing a record, but I'm not someone who dedicates hours upon hours of granular listening to everything I find enjoyable.

There's not enough hours in the day for that, and I'm invested in too many different genres and scenes and eras of music to pull off that sort of approach. In between all the new music I digest in a given year, I'm constantly listening to older stuff in preparation for the 2-3 podcast episodes I do each week, for writing assignments, and for listening along to whatever music book I'm reading on a given week. A lot of that stuff goes in one ear and out the other, and that's just the nature of what I do for employment, and what my hobbies necessitate.

Even so, I always find a ton of music that I sincerely enjoy every year, so these 101-album lists really aren't that challenging to cobble together come December. The ranking isn't really important, so don't get hung up on that. Basically anything in the 101-50 range could be switched around depending on the day. And of course there're unavoidable recency biases that inform how I value one hardcore seven-inch over the other, or whatever, at the year's end.

But overall, this is a pretty damn good representation of where my music taste was at in 2023. My No. 1 is from an artist I didn't even consider myself a fan of at the year's start, and now I'm a lifer. In fact, my top four albums of the year are from artists who I was either unfamiliar with or not engaged with in any meaningful way before 2023, and I think that's pretty damn cool.

I'm at the age where a lot of my peers' tastes are starting to plateau. They're not listening to new music the way they used to, and they're not seeking out new genres or sounds or innovations in the way they used to. On the contrary, my ear has only gotten more curious throughout each successive year in my twenties, and at the ripe 'ole age of 29, I'm as fascinated by what The Kids Like as I am interested in what more "adult oriented" artists have to offer. In fact, in the time since I wrapped up this list just a few days ago, there're already a bunch of other new projects I've heard that I probably would've included if I had the chance (shoutout Apex Predator and Outta Pocket).

Without further adieu, below are my 101 favorite albums of 2023. Hope you find something new to you.

  1. Lana Del Rey - Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard?
  2. Bully - Lucky for You
  3. Sexy Redd - Hood Hottest Princess
  4. Ken Carson - A Great Chaos
  5. Never Ending Game - Outcry
  6. Skrillex - Quest for Fire
  7. Pain of Truth - Not Through Blood
  8. Wednesday - Rat Saw God
  9. Feeble Little Horse - Girl With Fish
  10. Spiritual Cramp - Spiritual Cramp
  11. Ratboys - The Window
  12. Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World
  13. Slow Pulp - Yard
  14. Ice Spice - Like?
  15. Purelink - Signs
  16. Young Thug - Business is Business
  17. Code Orange - The Above
  18. Militarie Gun - Life Under the Gun
  19. MJ Lenderman - And the Wind (Live and Loose)
  20. Anklebiter - To Live and Withstand
  21. The Hives - The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
  22. Golden Apples - Bananasugarfire
  23. Indigo De Souza - All of This Will End
  24. Sweeping Promises - Good Living Is Coming for You
  25. Poison Ruin - Harvest
  26. Restraining Order - Locked in Time
  27. A.s.o. - A.s.o.
  28. Jouska - Suddenly My Mind is Blank
  29. Balmora - With Thorns of Glass and Petals of Grief
  30. RP Boo - Legacy Vol. 2
  31. Chappel Roan - The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess
  32. Silver Car Crash - Shattered Shine
  33. Mitski - The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We
  34. Yeat - Afterlyfe
  35. Gaadge - Somewhere Down Below
  36. World I Hate - Years of Lead
  37. Zulu - A New Tomorrow
  38. Destiny Bond - Be My Vengeance
  39. Spaced - Boomerang
  40. Quannnic - Stepdream
  41. Fuming Mouth - Last Day of Sun
  42. Magdalene Bay - Mini Mix Vol. 3
  43. Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
  44. 03 Greedo - Halfway There
  45. Another Michael - Wishes to Fulfill
  46. Angel Du$t - Brand New Soul
  47. Computerwife - Computerwife
  48. RX Papi - Dawg Storm
  49. Sofia Kourtesis - Madres
  50. Fawn/Cement Driver - Split
  51. Dying Fetus - Make Them Beg for Death
  52. Radiator Hospital - Can't Make Any Promises
  53. Youth Lagoon - Heaven Is a Junkyard
  54. Buggin - Concrete Cowboys
  55. dreamTX - living in memory of something sweet
  56. God of War - Serotonin
  57. Jeff Rosenstock - Hellmode
  58. Hollden - Off the Bone
  59. Liquid Mike - S/T
  60. Speed Plans - Statues of God
  61. Initiate - Cerebral Circus
  62. The Virgos - Pennsylvania Death Trip
  63. Bill Woods - Maps
  64. CMAT - Crazymad, For Me
  65. Scarab - Scarab
  66. Blithe Field - Grits Kissed
  67. Dying Wish - Symptoms of Survival
  68. DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ - Destiny
  69. Full Body 2 - infinity signature
  70. Cursetheknife - There's a Place I Can Rest
  71. Vagabon - Sorry I Haven't Called
  72. April Magazine - Wesley's Convertible Tape for the South
  73. No Cure - Commitment to Permanence
  74. The Armed - Perfect Saviors
  75. Human Garbage - Straight Not Giving a Fuck
  76. Marlene Ribeiro - Toque no Sol
  77. Kommand - Death Age
  78. Lancey Foux - Back2datrap
  79. Bleary Eyed - Bleary Eyed
  80. Sun Organ - Candlelight Showertime
  81. Stingray - Fortress Britain
  82. Loma Prieta - Last
  83. xNOMADx - On Skylines of Embers
  84. 9Million - Gush
  85. Ozone - Shutting You Down
  86. Inner Peace - '23 Demo
  87. Downward/Trauma - Split
  88. Maria BC - Spike Field
  89. Diztort - Vengeance is Mine
  90. Washer - Improved Means to Deteriorating Ends
  91. CLIP - Appetizer
  92. Dead Heat - Endless Torment
  93. Tanukichan - Gizmo
  94. Weapon X/World of Pleasure - Weapon of Pleasure
  95. GEL - Only Constant
  96. Existence - Go to Heaven
  97. Elvis Depressedly - Who Owns the Graveyard?
  98. Cusp - You Can Do it All
  99. Ephemeral - Tower of Silence
  100. Hotline TNT - Cartwheel
  101. Grand Scheme - Numbers Game