Indie Basement: Most Anticipated Albums of 2023
Happy New Year! The 2023 ball dropped and it's time to start thinking about the future. In the case of Indie Basement that means this list of 50 albums that I am personally anxious to hear. Most have been officially announced, some have been hinted at, and there are a few on here that are purely speculative, falling between "they're due for a new one" and wishful thinking. On the latter end of that spectrum, some artists who have been saying new music is on the way, like My Bloody Valentine, have been moved to "We'll believe it when it's out" status. No doubt there are lots more exciting albums that will be out this year that are not on this list, but it's always good to have surprises, too.
Head below for the Indie Basement Most Anticipated Albums of 2023 list.
For more, check out BrooklynVegan's 100 Albums We're Anticipating in 2023.
And if you still don't feel caught up on last year, check out the Indie Basement Top 40 Albums of 2022 list.
INDIE BASEMENT - MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF 2023
A Certain Ratio - 1982
due March 31 via Mute
“It’s called 1982 but I wouldn’t say this album sounds anything like Sextet,” A Certain Ratio's Martin Moscrop says of the long-running Manchester group's upcoming new studio album, by referencing their album from 1982. ACR's Donald Johnson adds, "The title is just playful. People can take it whichever way they can," but it's hard not to think of where the band were in 1982, a great year for them that included classic single "Knife Slits Water." While 1982's first single "Waiting on a Train" sounds nothing like that, it still finds a group who are pushing forward with every new release.
Brooklyn band Activity, who rose out of the ashes of Grooms, had the bad luck of releasing their riveting debut album the week the world shut down from Covid. Their second album, which is in the can but not yet announced, will hopefully not suffer a similar fate. Knock on wood. No I didn't just jinx it!
Amber Arcades - Barefoot on a Diamond Road
due February 10 via Fire Records
It's been five years since Dutch artist Amber Arcades last released an album, and Barefoot on a Diamond Road finds her moving from Heavenly to Fire Records, but once again working with Uniform's Ben Greenberg (who produced 2016's Fading Lines, that featured Hand Habits' Meg Duffy and members of Quilt and Real Estate). At least on first single "Just Like Me," she's traded jangly guitars for sleek synthesizers, which suit her well. Anxious to hear more.
The Bad Ends - The Power & The Glory
due 1/20 via New West
Athens, GA's The Bad Ends are led by Mike Mantione of cult indie rockers Five Eight, but the biggest news surrounding the group is that their drummer is R.E.M. founding member Bill Berry, who hasn't played in a group since parting ways with Buck, Mills and Stipe in the mid-'90s. The Power and the Glory began as a Manitone solo album, but that changed with Berry, who says "It was energizing to once again play with top notch musicians. This record is unique for me in that it was the only one, with which I was involved, that was written, rehearsed, recorded, produced and mastered in Athens!”
With Jarvis Cocker busy this year with a Pulp reunion that doesn't seem like it's going to come to North America, there is a big hole in the world of new recorded British Sexy Whispering content. Baxter Dury, who hasn't released a record in three years, will hopefully fill that void.
Belle & Sebastian - Late Developers
due 1/13 via Matador
Belle & Sebastian recorded 2022’s A Bit of Previous at their Glasgow HQ – the first time they’d made a record entirely in their hometown in ages – writing tons of material and whittling it down to 12 songs. Turns out they were making not one album but two and, surprise!, Late Developers is out this week.
Billy Nomates - CACTI
due 1/13 via Invada
Tor Maries wowed us with her 2020 debut as Billy Nomates, which blended post-punk, pop and just a little country twang. For its follow-up, Tor worked primarily on her own, both in her kitchen and at Bristol, UK's Invada Studio, with lyrics blurring the personal and political. "I hope everyone finds their own narrative in CACTI," Tor says. "I think it's about surviving it all.”
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - The Future is Your Past
due 2/10 via A Recordings
After a rocky decade following the release of documentary DiG!, Anton Newcombe moved to Berlin, built a studio and really pulled it together, releasing solid-to-great Brian Jonestown Massacre albums at a regular clip ever since. Half a year after releasing the excellent, focused Fire Doesn't Grow On TreesThe Future is Your Past. Given his backlog of songs, don't expect this to be his last this year, either.
The C.I.A. - Surgery Channel
due 1/20 via In the Red
It's no secret: The C.I.A. began as the husband and wife duo of Denee & Ty Segall that found them exploring the world of synthesizers and drum machines, but for their second album they've added Ty's Freedom Band buddy Emmett Kelly to the mix. With instruments sterilized and scrubs on, they enter Surgery Channel for some devilish over-the-counter fun.
The Church - The Hypnogogue
due 2/24 via Communicating Vessels
Steve Kilbey, frontman of long-running Australian psych greats The Church, says the group's 26th album is in "our top three" of their discography. He notes it's also "the most prog rock thing we have ever done," and the group's first concept album. While some may just want The Church to write another "Under the Milky Way," The Hypnogogue's title track is excellent.
Robert Smith has been promising a new album -- three albums? -- for so long it's become a "we'll believe it when we see it" situation, but there's a lot of evidence that points to 2023 being the year we'll finally get a follow-up to 2008's 4:13 Dream. They played a handful of new songs on their 2022 Lost World European tour, and with a North American tour likely this year it feels like something is imminent. Fingers crossed.
David Brewis - The Soft Struggles
due 2/24 via Daylight Saving Records
David Brewis has made lots of music outside Field Music, the duo he leads alongside brother Peter, including many records as School of Language, which was a solo project for all intents and purposes. Yet The Soft Struggles is his first album under his own name, and inspired by Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and Colin Blunstone's One Year. David came in with the songs worked out, with sheet music given to his players, and the result is, according to him, "possibly the furthest away from any recognisable 'Field Music sound.'"
Death & Vanilla - Flicker
due March 17 via Fire
The much-missed Broadcast have cast a surpisingly long shadow, with at least a dozen groups around the world who owe much to their icy baroque-psych sound. One of the best is Malmö, Sweden's Death & Vanilla who bring a little VU-style chug and brighter dreampop sound to the equation. Flicker is their first album in four years.
Depeche Mode - Memento Mori
due TBA via SONY
"We started work on this project early in the pandemic, and its themes were directly inspired by that time," Martin Gore said of Depeche Mode's upcoming 15th album, which will be their first as a duo following the 2022 death of Andy Fletcher. "We decided to continue as we’re sure this is what he would have wanted, and that has really given the project an extra level of meaning." Dave Gahan added, "Fletch would have loved this album." There's been no details on the album yet, but as their 2023 tour starts in March, we're likely to have news sooner than later.
Don Letts - Outta Sync
due 4/28 via Cooking Vinyl
Don Letts is a living legend: as DJ at London's The Roxy he introduced punks to dub reggae, and as a filmmaker he documented that scene in The Punk Rock Movie, which led to a successful career as a music video director. He was also a founding member of Big Audio Dynamite alongside The Clash's Mick Jones, and has continued to make films, DJ, and this year released his memoir, There and Black Again, and a documentary on his life, Rebel Dread. But he's only just now getting around to making a solo album, which was produced by Killing Joke's Youth and includes collaborations with the late Terry Hall, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, Hollie Cook and more.
Dougie Poole - The Rainbow Wheel of Death
due 2/24 via Wharf Cat
Brooklyn country artist Dougie Poole made a splash with 2020's Freelancer's Blues, writing twangy songs about offbeat subjects in very relatable ways, but for its follow-up he's getting a little more personal, reflecting on loss, the passage of time and, via its computer-referencing title, the ever-present possibility of disaster.
Boston band Drop Nineteens only existed for a few years in the early '90s, but their debut album, Delaware, is one of the great American shoegaze records of the scene's original era, and for that matter, "Winona" is one of the great shoegaze singles, period. Out of the blue last January, frontman Greg Ackell announced the group were getting back together to make a new album. In December they shared a new photo of the reunited group, writing, "We’re looking forward to seeing YOU in 2023."
Much-missed '00s-era band Electrelane reunited during the pandemic and have been working on their first new music since 2007. This was on the Indie Basement 2022 Anticipated list too, so let's hope we get something in 2023.
En Attendant Ana - Principia
due 2/24 via Trouble in Mind
Some French groups get stuck behind the language barrier with Francophilic listeners (not Indie Basement readers of course), but this is not a problem with Parisian band En Attendant Ana, whose brand of motorik janglepop is sung mostly in English. Principia is their third album and first in three years, and the title track is terrific:
Everything But the Girl - Fuse
due 4/21 via Buzzin' Fly / Virgin
Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt have been a couple since the early '80s but haven't made an Everything But the Girl album since 1999's Temperamental. Fans had long assumed that would be their last, but the duo surprised everyone last fall by announcing that they had finished a new EBTG album and it would be out in spring 2023. "We never imagined at the start of 2022 that this would happen, and yet here we are," they wrote. First single "Nothing Left to Lose" finds the magic still there:
Fever Ray - Radical Romantics
due 3/10 via Mute
There are lots of notable guests on the new album from Fever Ray, including Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but the most exciting is arguably Karin Dreijer's brother and The Knife partner, Olof, making this a bit of a reunion. Not that we need anyone but Karin, whose singular, compellingly creepy vibe is all over early singles "What They Call Us" and "Carbon Dioxide."
The Folk Implosion
Lou Barlow and John Davis' '90s-era group Folk Implosion, best known for their left-field hit single "Natural One," announced in July 2021 that they were getting back together for their first new music together in over two decades. They dropped the Feel It If You Feel It EP in April 2022, at which time they said there were another 11 tracks that were on their way to being finished.
Gaz Coombes - Turn the Car Around
due 1/13 via Hot Fruit Recordings / Virgin
While Gaz Coombes spent the last couple years reuniting with Supergrass, he's now getting back to his solo career; Turn the Car Around completes the trilogy started with 2015's Matador and 2018's The World's Strongest Man. "Turn The Car Around is a record that I’ve been building up to for the last seven years," says Coombes, adding the album "captures the ups and downs of modern life and all the small print in between." Early tastes like "Don't Say It's Over" show he hasn't lost his touch one bit.
Gina Birch: I Play My Bass Loud
due 2/24 via Third Man
Post-punk icon and Raincoats founding member Gina Birch is a late bloomer as a solo artist - I Play My Bass Loud is her first-ever solo album, coming 40+ years after her legendary band's debut single. For the album, she worked with producer Youth of Killing Joke, who knows something about dubby post-punk, and it also features contributions from Thurston Moore, The Mo-dettes’ Jane Crockford, and more.
Gruff Rhys - The Almond & The Seahorse
due 2/24 via Rough Trade
Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys' latest record is the soundtrack to just-released indie film The Almond & The Seahorse, which includes new songs, film score and ambient guitar and electronic pieces. I'm not sure how much of the album is "songs" and how much is instrumental, but Gruff is an Indie Basement GOAT and will always be included here, plus "Amen" is terrific:
Guided by Voices - La La Land
due 1/26 via GBV Inc
Nothing slows Robert Pollard, who is so prolific you can't call it a streak -- it's just the way he operates. La La Land is Guided by Voices' 37th studio album, and the current lineup of the band have been firing on all cylinders for a few years now, so we expect this one to keep that up. And if for some reason this one falters, they've already announced that the next one, Welshpool Frillies, will be out later this year.
H. Hawkline - Milk for Flowers
due 3/10 via Heavenly
Huw Evans has been making music as H. Hawkline for over a decade, and has also spent time in Cate Le Bon and Aldous Harding's bands. Like them, he's an odd egg, but his new album Milk for Flowers -- which Cate produced -- finds him approaching pop territory, at least as close as he's likely to get.
John Cale - Mercy
due 1/20 via Double Six / Domino
The Velvet Underground co-leader John Cale will turn 81 shortly after the release of Mercy, his first solo studio album of "pop" music in a decade, but he doesn't appear to be slowing down, creatively. The album finds him working with Animal Collective, Weyes Blood, Sylvan Esso, Laurel Halo, Tei Shi, Actress, and Fat White Family -- not to mention regular collaborator Nita Scott -- and the first two singles from the album are just as witty and adventurous as you'd hope from one of the most influential artists of the last 60 years.
Ladytron - Time's Arrow
due 1/20 via Cooking Vinyl
Having made a successful comeback with their excellent 2019 self-titled album (their first in seven years), synthpop band Ladytron are staying in the motorik groove for their seventh long-player. If compelling sneak peeks "City of Angels" and "Faces" are any indication, they are maintaining a "don't fix what ain't broke" attitude that is working for them.
Texas trio Loma didn't plan on making a second record: Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski broke up during the making of their first, but the pull of their chemistry with Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg brought them back together for 2020's wonderful Don't Shy Away. That chemistry is still intact and they began working on a third album, remotely, in the spring of 2022.
Meg Baird - Furling
due 1/27 via Drag CIty
For her first solo studio album in seven years, Meg Baird is stretching her wings and moving beyond the more pure folk of previous solo records, incorporating drums, synthesizers, and vibraphone into her sound -- not to mention elements of shoegaze and trip hop. As usual, Meg's longtime collaborator and Heron Oblivion bandmate Charlie Saufley lends a hand, but here she also works with Tim Greene (Bikini Kill, Nation of Ulysses) , Papercuts' Jason Quever, and Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House) to help her explore new expansive territory.
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has been threatening to make a solo album for a long time, but it became more than just talk when in 2019 he released his debut solo single, "Your Capricious Soul." 2023 could actually be the year he delivers the whole thing. "I’m collaborating with a bunch of different musicians and each of those songs, if I get my way, which I think I will because I’m paying for it, will be very different," Stipe told American Express' digital magazine, Departures, in November. "I have no management. I have no label. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t have a contract with anyone except myself. So I get to do whatever I want. Anyway, there will be a visual representation for each of the songs, and it should come together next year."
Mozart Estate - Pop-Up! Ker-Ching! And The Possibilities Of Modern Shopping
due 1/27 via Cherry Red
Lawrence, who helmed Felt in the '80s and Denim in the '90s, is back with a new album and a new moniker, Mozart Estate, which is a tweak to his previous moniker, Go-Kart Mozart. Pop-Up! Ker-Ching! And The Possibilities Of Modern Shopping further refines his unique worldview that combines popstar dreams with the harsh realities of being a cult artist, as only Lawrence could.
The New Pornographers - Continue as a Guest
due 3/31 via Merge
After years on Matador and then two albums for Concord, Canadian indie rock greats The New Pornographers have signed with Merge, which is where their sometimes bandmate Dan Bejar has been as Destroyer since almost the beginning. Dan unfortunately is not on this album, though he does get a co-write on the first single.
Orbital - Optical Delusion
due February 17 via London
Phil and Paul Hartnoll spent much of 2022 celebrating Orbital's 30th anniversary and now they are looking forward. Optical Delusion is the techno duo's 10th studio album and first in five years, and nearly every track is a collaboration with other artists, including Sleaford Mods, Penelope Isles and Anna B Savage. On the songs they've shared so far, especially Sleaford Mods collab "Dirty Rat," the Hartnolls sound invigorated and modern without losing that Orbital sound.
One of the best bands of the last 10 years, Protomartyr mix powerful post-punk inspired music with frontman Joe Casey's unique -- even in a world of Spechgesang up-and-comers -- and sardonic worldview. They released Ultimate Success Today in the summer of 2020, and that was the last we heard of them on record. So much has happened in the world since they finished the album (in 2019), we need a new record from them pronto. In an interview with Nashville Scene last fall, Casey said the band's new album was "A happy Protomartyr record, just as we slide into nuclear war? I'm the king of bad timing. We shall see."
Quasi - Breaking the Balls of History
due 2/10 via Sub Pop
Breaking the Balls of History, which is a stupendous title for an album, is Quasi's first album in a decade, and finds Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss energized and inspired in the wake of the last few turbulent years. “When you’re younger and in a band, you make records because that’s what you do,” Sam says. “But this time, the whole thing felt purposeful in a way that was unique to the circumstances.” Janet adds, “There's no investing in the future anymore. The future is now. Do it now if you want to do it. Don’t put it off. All those things you only realize when it’s almost too late. It could be gone in a second.”
R. Ring - War Poems, We Rested
due 1/27 via Don Giovanni
Kelley Deal stays busy these days, what with The Breeders and as an auxiliary member of Protomartyr, but she's also got R. Ring, which is her project with Mike Montgomery. For their first album in six years, Kelley and Mike enlisted Laura King of Bat Fangs, as well as Lori Goldston on cello and Joe Suer on vibraphone. The two songs they've shared so far, "Still Life" and "Def Sup," are pretty different from each other but equally awesome in their own ways.
OG shoegazers Ride spent most of 2022 looking back, with a UK tour belatedly celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album, Nowhere, and reissuing their early records on vinyl and CD. They'll be doing a little more nostalgia indulgence this year -- they're touring North America with The Charlatans this winter -- but have also been working on their third post-reformation album.
Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame
due 2/3 via Tapete
Go-Betweens cofounder Robert Forster says The Candle and the Flame is his most personal album yet. Part of that is because his whole family plays on it, including wife Karin Bäumler (who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021), along with daughter Loretta and son Louis (formerly of The Goon Sax). "Ever since we met, Karin and I have sung and played music together in our home, and in these dark days we turned to music once again," Robert says. As they recorded on "good days" around Karin's treatment, they worked quickly, making for a very of-the-momement album. "We had to record ‘live’, catching magical moments and going for ‘feel'. And that became the sound of the album.”
There's been no official word on Róisín Murphy follow-up to 2020's awesome Róisín Machine but she did tell NME last year the final touches to a new album -- made with DJ Koze -- were being applied. She also just made her acting debut in Netflix fantasy series The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself.
shame - Food For Worms
due February 24 via Dead Oceans
For their third album, Food for Worms, English post-punks shame enlisted mega-producer Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey) to help sharpen their focus and broaden their scope. Frontman Charlie Steen called it "the Lamborghini of shame records." Hopefully it cost less to make than a Lamborghini.
Shoegaze greats Slowdive started teasing their fifth LP in 2020, with subtle Instagram posts from singer/guitarist Rachel Goswell. Things then went quiet, but as the band began playing live again in 2022, with dates for 2023 as well, this looks to be the year.
Sparks - The Girl is Crying in Her Latte
due May 26 via Island
Ron and Russell Mael are still riding on what is Sparks' most-high profile era in ages, thanks to two acclaimed 2021 films: Edgar Wright's career-spanning documentary The Sparks Brothers and Annette, their musical with director Leos Carax. They will keep the momentum going with The Girl is Crying in Her Latte, their 26th album, that has them back on Island Records who released such '70s Sparks classics as Kimono My House. Still more to look forward to: another movie musical, X Crucior.
Steve Mason - Brothers & Sisters
due 3/3 via Double Six / Domino
“To me, this record is a massive ‘Fuck you’ to Brexit,” says former Beta Band leader Steve Mason about his fifth solo album. While politics are at the forefront of Mason's mind, he still has a way with a groove informed by Britpop, trip hop and krautrock, as first single "No More" shows.
The Tubs - Dead Meat
due 1/27 via Trouble in Mind
Joanna Gruesome broke up in 2017 but many of the core members continue to work together. Owen 'O' Williams and George 'GN' Nicholls lead The Tubs, who released the excellent Names EP last year and are now set to drop their first full-length. Like that EP, the album finds The Tubs mixing folk and strident indie rock in very catchy ways, and it also features vocals from JG's Alana McArdle (who is in Ex-Vöid with Owen) on a number of tracks, making for even more of a reunion.
While we're still waiting on details like a title and release date, Meg Remy definitely has a new U.S. Girls album the works, and we already got two songs from it in 2022. Unlike 2020's Heavy Light, which was a full band record made with members of Badge Epoque Ensemble, Meg's been working with a bunch of different collaborators, including Alex Frankel of Holy Ghost! on last year's fantastic "So Typically Now."
The WAEVE - S/T
due 2/3 via Transgressive
The musical pairing of Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall is unexpected, as is the music they make together as The WAEVE, which doesn't sound like anything either have done before. The album also gives Coxon a chance to show off his impressive saxophone skills alongside his always inventive fretwork.
Given the nonstop year they had in 2022, Wet Leg would be forgiven for taking it easy in 2023. Yet the band told NME that their second album was already "in the bag. Bish bash bosh." When pressed for details, though, they backtracked a bit, telling NME in October that they’re actually still writing it. They did offer some predictions, saying LP#2 will be "like the last one, but longer, bigger, better, faster, stronger and more fluorescent."
Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World
due 2/10 via Matador
For their first album in five years, beloved Hoboken indie rock greats Yo La Tengo produced themselves for what they're calling their most live-sounding album in a long time. Given the revered reputation of the trio's live shows, that is a very good thing.
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