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The Best Music Of 2023… So Far

Your favorite team at For The Punks is celebrating the “half way” mark of 2023 with a collection of our favorite music so far. We’ve done a post like this in past year and had to do it again! We are splitting this year’s post based on the submissions from each team member but overall, the most picked album was This is Why by Paramore.

Including other artists like Boygenius, Gracie Abrams, Waterparks, MisterWives, The 1975, Hot Mulligan, Militarie Gun, Spanish Love Songs, saturdays at your place, Sabrina Carpenter, Miley Cyrus, Beach Fossils, Scowl, Love You Later, Fiddlehead, Fall Out Boy, Balance and Composure, and more, this list of the perfect representation of 2023 favorites so far and what we are looking forward to for the second half of the year. We hope you are just as excited as we are! Enjoy!

Joy Villanueva

Favorite Album: Good Riddance by Gracie Abrams

Favorite song from that album: “Full Machine”

“Full Machine” is my favorite song on Gracie’s album. It’s a song everyone can relate to, everyone can cry to, and it isn’t the saddest song in the world so you can still listen to it when you’re driving or just hanging out with friends.

The Record by boygenius has been all over my TikTok recently, too! It’s so good and definitely more of a sadder kind of album but it’s entirely a masterpiece at best. “Glue Song” by beabadoobee is such a cute song and perfect for that “lovey-dovey” summer kind of love.

Along with these amazing releases of the year so far, I’m looking at going to Life is Beautiful in September! The lineup is great and I know that The 1975 is on the lineup.

Mae Saunders

Favorite Album: This is Why by Paramore

Favorite song from that album: “The News”

The message of the “The News” plus the addicting tune make it so fun to listen to.

Starcatcher by Greta Van Fleet and Sunburn by Dominic Fike are two albums I’m looking forward to listening to when they release.

I’m very excited about the Newport Music Festival, Oceans Calling, and the Waiting to Spill (The Backseat Lovers) tour this year!


Favorite Album: Being Funny in a Foreign Language by The 1975

Favorite song from that album: “Oh Caroline”

Being Funny in a Foreign Language is my favorite album of the year and “Oh Caroline” is my favorite track because its melody evokes a sense of a certain type of love, one where it brings you comfort and longing for a familiar person.

Psychic Dance Routine by Scowl is my favorite EP of the year! I came across this album during a review and even though I’m not a huge listener of punk, I really love this EP because their band is super talented, including lead singer Kat who has the best vocals!

Arden Kurhayez

Favorite Album: Intellectual Property by Waterparks

Favorite song from that album: “BRAINWASHED”

Intellectual Property as an album is truly an accumulation of all the best parts of Waterparks. It has the playful pop melodies reminiscent of Double Dare and FANDOM, shining moments that call back to the lyrical imagery of Entertainment, and the dialed-in production of Greatest Hits.

My favorite track on the album (and maybe even out of all of the band’s discography) is “BRAINWASHED.” I love how the acoustic guitar riffs interact with the other production elements — plus it’s just so incredibly catchy that it’s near impossible not to clap and sing along! It’s such a fun song to listen to, the band really nailed it.

My favorite EP of the year so far is “How To Lose A Girl In 7 Songs” by Knox.

The singles for this EP are great! “Sneakers” did really well on TikTok, which is how I first found Knox, but my favorite is “I Don’t Wanna Know.” Those tracks, along with “Dumpster Fire” and “Time Machine” were released prior to the EP, and they’re very strong pop songs – melodically fun, catchy, and you instantly want to hit ‘repeat.’ If there’s one thing you can count on Knox for, it’s to release a song that’s going to get stuck in your head! The non-singles, “”Hate My Guts,”” “”Porch Lights,”” and “”NYC”” fit well within the EP and are very clever lyrically, which is a staple of Knox’s discography!”

I’ve been lucky enough to see several artists so far this year, including Orianthi (I was completely blown away by her and her band’s amazing skills!), Vaultboy, The Summer Set (Blossom Tour), Joshua Bassett (The Complicated Tour), Against The Current (Nightmares & Daydreams Tour), Meet Me @ The Altar, and Waterparks (The Property Tour). I’m really looking forward to seeing Taylor Swift this year, too, since it’s my first time being able to go to one of her shows!

“It Was Always You / Daisy Jones (From Daisy Jones & The Six); I think it’s so cool how they developed the music to accompany the show, and there’ve been a lot of bonus versions of tracks as well, so they really committed to it! I read the novel before watching, and I really hope its success will open the door for more music-centric fictional stories to be told (with an album rollout, too!) because it’s great to see the different arts working together so well.

Another honorable mention is “emails i can’t send fwd:” which is Sabrina Carpenter’s deluxe version of her album “emails i can’t send” with four additional tracks. The new tracks are each so unique to themselves in terms of mood, style, and story, taking you through the rollercoaster of emotions that come with getting over someone, and are a great addition to an already awesome album.

Karalyn Hope

Favorite Album: This is Why by Paramore

Favorite song from that album: “Liar”

Two of my all time favorite bands released albums this year. Though I am loving Paramore’s just a tad more, it is still crazy for me to wrap my head around these two albums dropping at the same time while also reflecting see them perform together at Monumentour in 2014.

My favorite tracks from the Paramore album are “Crave” and “Liar.” My favorite track from the Fall Out Boy album is an easy tie between the two lead singles “Love From The Other Side” and “Heartbreak Feels So Good.”

A few of my favorite EPs of the year come from Balmora, Pleasure Dome, Adrienne, Hunter Senft, and Love You Later.

PRINCESS from Pittsburgh has been my favorite new discovery of the year. If you are looking for some new up-and-coming hardcore, I recommend checking them out!

I am looking forward to the upcoming album from Fiddlehead! Their lead single from the album, “Sullenboy,” was absolutely amazing. This album will easily make it in my top 5 of the year, I’m sure.

Other favorite albums so far come from Restraining Order, Wreckage, Exhibition, MSPAINT, DRAIN, Never Ending Game, SPINE, Sign Language, Watsky, Heavenward, Innerlove., Jesus Piece, Militarie Gun, and Narrow Head.

Balance And Composure came back this year. That’s one of the coolest and most important things in my eyes. It’s everything I ever wanted and I’m hoping that I will be able to see them live again.

I am looking forward to Flyover Festival 2023 and our accompanying coverage that will be posted between now and the end of the year.

Emma Jean VandenBrink

Favorite Album: The Record by Boygenius

Favorite song from that album: “Not Strong Enough”

Most Boygenius’ songs are pretty sad, so I love that “Not Strong Enough” is at least a little upbeat to mix it up.

The Wasteland EP by Hippo Campus is really fun because it’s kind of different from their past music. I love when you can tell an artist is having fun exploring different genres and styles. I am also SO excited for Hozier’s new album when it releases on August 18.

Along with these releases, I’m going to All Things Go again this fall. Their lineup is always amazing, but this year it feels like it was MADE for me.

Challen Carter

Favorite Album: Aurora by Daisy Jones & the Six

Favorite song from that album: “Regret Me”

No album released yet this year has made me feel as absolutely balls-to-the-wall feral as this album has since it and the show debuted back in March.

If I had to recommend another single to listen to this year, it would be “Red Wine Supernova” by Chappell Roan.

MisterWives dropped their newest album Nosebleeds on July 14 it’s amazing.

The singer of Misterwives, Mandy Lee, shares, “Written during the pandemic and right in the thick of numerous sucker punches, ‘Nosebleeds’ was one of the first songs I wrote for the album before realizing it would later become the song to spark the overarching theme of the record. Being kept high up in the nosebleeds and on the outside of where you want to be has been a recurring dynamic in my life, especially in an industry that has profited off moving the goalpost or cutting ties if you don’t conform to how they see fit.”

Lilith Jamie

Favorite Album: This is Why by Paramore

Favorite song from that album: “Figure 8”

I believe Paramore has done something totally new from their previous projects, which makes it a totally fun record to listen to.

Sleez by ThxSoMch is my favorite EP of the year so far. This EP brings a new musical vision to post punk and alternative.

I’ve also loved listening to the song “I Want It All” by The Drums. Listen to it below!

Angelea Hengle

Favorite Album: F65 by IDK

Favorite song from that album: “Pit Stop”

This album is my favorite because IDK has taken a new route in his career with this release. The first half of the album is reminiscent of his older music where I’m mainly focused on the beats and how well it’s produced, but then the second half dives more into story-telling and is more lyric-focused. This album brings IDK into a new league of rap and also has amazing features.

My favorite EP of the year so far is Live at Electric Lady by Denzel Curry. I feel that with the recordings at Electric Lady, Curry dives into more of a jazz feel and it suits him really well. He also does a cover of Erykah Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know” and I have had it on repeat. I’m not one for live albums all of the time, but the jazzy flare and his flows are insane.

I’ve been loving “Red Wine Supernova” by Chappell Roan. Check it out!

I am also super excited for the Iron Blossom Festival in Richmond, Virginia. I think this festival is just the beginning of the amazing talent that will be in the midst of RVA.

Emma Agosta

Favorite Album #1: PORTALS by Melanie Martinez

Favorite song from that album: “TUNNEL VISION”

The long-awaited third album by Melanie Martinez did not disappoint. The album has been on rotation ever since it came out.

Some other notable releases of the year include the EP “Jupiter and Mars” by Carla Wehbe, The Album by the Jonas Brothers (specifically the song “Sail Away”), and Bittersweet 16 by Mckenna Grace (specifically the song “buzzkill baby”). Just like Arden, I also have to give a special shout out to Sabrina Carptener’s deluxe release, specifically the song “opposite, things i never said”.

I had to add a second favorite album for the year because there have been so many awesome releases.

Favorite Album #2: past // present // future by Meet Me @ The Altar

Favorite song from that album: “Need Me”

Jesse Hudgins

Favorite Album: Why Would I Watch by Hot Mulligan

Favorite song from that album: “This Song is Called it’s Called What’s it Called”

Why Would I Watch by Hot Mulligan is my favorite album of the year so far. It is deeply personal and relatable. It also contains some of the band’s hardest hitting lyrics in their catalog thus far.

Along with that, always cloudy by saturdays at your place is my favorite EP of the year so far.

I have been looking forward to Tomorrow Never Comes by Rancid, which released on June 2 and I’ve really been enjoying the song “Theme” by The Bollweevils.

I can’t wait to attend Riot Fest 2023!

Jasmine Robinson

Favorite Album: This Is Why by Paramore

Favorite song from that album: “Figure 8”

I think Paramore is one of those groups that is constantly evolving, and this is an album that proves just that. This album is exploratory and vibrant. I think it is one of Paramore’s best works.

Miranda Jayne

Favorite Album: This is Why by Paramore

Favorite song from that album: “You First”

“This album finds Paramore at their best – caught perfectly between the cynicism and hopefulness that permeates their entire discography. Musically, this band is no stranger to reinventing their sound, but this album takes the melodic experimentation of “After Laughter” and pushes into new territory, creating something all their own. “You First” is my favorite track because it feels on some level like an Paramore song from the “Riot” era, but evolved – like meeting a childhood friend after a long time apart and learning about the person they truly are.

I wish there was a word for what it feels like to grow up alongside a band and listen to them mature in their lyricism and musicianship while you also tackle the growth that needs to be done in your own life. There’s something really cathartic in that, and This is Why exemplifies that evolution perfectly.

“Doom and Gloom Sessions” by Spanish Love Songs is my favorite EP of the year.

First of all, Spanish Love Songs is my favorite band and I will sing their praises forever. While we patiently await new music from them this year, they released an awesome cover compilation to tide us over. My favorite track on this EP is their cover of “Smile Like You Mean It” because it breathes new life into one of my favorite The Killers songs, roughing it up a bit and really digging out the emotion in the lyrics.

Five other releases I’m looking forward to this year are “No Joy” by Spanish Love Songs, “Doom Singer” by Chris Farren, “Life Under The Gun” by Militarie Gun, and “Austin” by Post Malone.

I really enjoyed the single “GODDAMNITALL” by The Wonder Years. I’m looking forward to attending The Fest in Gainesville, Florida this year, too!

Enjoyed hearing about our favorites of the year? Be sure to check out the playlist that we put together of 60 songs, including all of the artists and songs mentioned above (and more)! We hope you can find a new favorite artist and/or album to take with you to the second half of 2023. Keep updated with For The Punks on social media to get daily music recommendations! We will be doing another recap of favorites at the end of the year as well.

Want to share your favorite music of 2023 so far? Comment below!

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