MMM Staff Picks: Tom Williams’ Most Anticipated Releases of 2023
Though we may be mere days into the new year, a slew of great artists – from big names like Paramore and Courtney Love to rising stars like Black Belt Eagle Scout and Samia – have promised new albums for 2023. Below are just a few of those I’m most excited for:
Predicting Grimes’ next steps is an exercise in futility – in 2020 she followed up two beloved albums, Visions, and Art Angels, with the unpredictable mishmash of sounds that was Miss Anthropocene, and now, her next full-length has been teased by two of her most divisive singles yet – the Elon Musk tribute “Player of Games” and the infectious “Shinigami Eyes.” Whether Book 1 is another thrilling addition to the Grimes discography or the hot mess that some fear, it’s sure to be interesting at the very least.
#9. Sky Ferreira – Masochism — To Be Released: TBA
Photo Credit: Capitol Records
This album made my most anticipated list last year and there’s a good chance it will again next year. Masochism – the promised follow-up to 2013’s cult classic Night Time, My Time – has, for years, seemed like it was just around the corner; no more so than it did in the Spring of last year following the release of “Don’t Forget.” Given the hopelessly circular reality that is waiting for new Ferreira music, the most fitting way I can think to end this paragraph is with the exact same sentence as I did this time last year: Perhaps getting one’s hopes up for a new Sky Ferreira album this year is, in and of itself, an act of masochism and yet given the consistently compelling results of Night Time, My Time, it’s hard not to get excited.
#8. Rebecca Black – Let Her Burn — To Be Released: February 9th
Photo Credit: Press
Most artists wouldn’t dare peek their head above the parapet again after receiving the volume and intensity of backlash that then-13-year-old Rebecca Black did for her song “Friday” (briefly the most disliked YouTube video of all time). But a slew of singles and one hyper-pop influenced EP, released by an adult Rebecca Black, show her finding her own distinctive, delightful voice.
#7. Black Belt Eagle Scout – The Land, The Water, The Sky — To Be Released: February 10th
Photo Credit: Nate Lemuel of Darklisted Photography
I can think of no artist who, at this moment, makes their Native American heritage as central to their music as Katherine Paul does. The singer and songwriter who performs as Black Belt Eagle Scout has teased her third album with three anthemic rockers – “My Blood Runs Through This Land” (which features the titular phrase), “Don’t Give Up” and “Nobody.” All three rank among her very best songs.
#6. Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation — To Be Released March 10th
Photo Credit: YouTube/Columbia Records
The elder Cyrus’ releases have often been bogged down by awkwardness and the harsh glare of the public spotlight; from the trying-too-hard-to-be-raunchy Bangerz to the trying-too-hard-to-be-weird Dead Petz. But on 2020’s Plastic Hearts Cyrus finally found a sound that fits like a glove – an intoxicating mixture of glam rock, pop, and disco centered around her fantastically powerful voice. Let’s hope its follow-up is equally assured and thrilling.
#5. Courtney Love — Title and Release Date: TBA
Photo Credit David M. Benett
The influence of Hole frontwoman Courtney Love is inescapable in the modern music world – which is thankfully increasingly filled with righteously angry and empowered female songwriters. Whether it turns out to be a victory lap or reinvention, Love’s follow-up to 2010’s Nobody’s Daughter is surely overdue.
#4. Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd — To Be Released: March 24th
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Interscope Records
If the lead single is any indication, Lana Del Rey seems to have taken some inspiration for her eighth album from her jazzy collaboration with Father John Misty earlier last year (“Buddy’s Rendezvous”). As the song builds to dizzying heights in its final leg, Lana reaches creative heights not seen since her magnum opus Norman Fucking Rockwell. What’s most thrilling is that she does this not by chasing old glories, but by exploring sounds that are entirely new to her. Let’s hope the rest of the album is similarly captivating.
#3. Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You — To Be Released: February 14th
Photo Credit: : Nedda Asfar
Caroline Polachek has a preternatural knack for making the familiar subtly unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar oddly familiar. She makes pop music that is weirder and wilder than anything on the radio and subverts traditional song structures, and in the case of tracks like “New Normal” utterly disregards them. Yet the end result of her work is music that is as indelible, irresistible, and melodic as the best hits of all time. The rich, luxurious “Billions” and the catchy-as-a-rash title track from her upcoming LP suggest we might be about to receive a future cult classic.
#2. Paramore – This Is Why — To Be Released: February 10th
Photo Credit: Zachary Gray
Given that the pop-punk revival is currently in full swing, Paramore could have easily coasted on nostalgia for their sixth album – and first in nearly six years. But the two pre-release singles for This is Why show yet another left-turn, with the band seemingly taking inspiration from British post-punk and politically-charged alt-rock classics like Sleater-Kinney’s One Beat.
#1. Samia – Honey — To Be Released: January 27th
Photo Credit: Sophia Matinazad
Though it was unfortunately overshadowed by countless other fantastic indie rock releases by bigger artists in 2020, Samia’s debut The Baby proved Samia Finnerty to be one of the most promising writers of her generation; providing a collection of heartfelt, endlessly loveable tales of navigating young adulthood. The pre-released singles for her sophomore effort show that her already-great lyricism has reached stunning new heights.