Grid of all of the record covers shown below in this article.

My Favorite Records of 2023

Mark Wyner
4 min readJan 2, 2024

2023 brought the world some really spectacular music. Here is a list of my favorites (18 in total).

Some of my favorite artists returned with great records. Some were brand new to the world or to me. There’s hip-hop, metal, hardcore, pianists, violin players…and more. Some brought me light when I was in dark places, and some brought me joy when I needed nourishment.

In alphabetical order…

Alwa, a young brown skinned Bolivian woman with black hair pulled back neatly and parted in the middle. She is squatting in the street in an older neighborhood in a bright red silky thick dress making a stoic face. She has tattooed arms.

Alwa Bolivia, [no official record noted, but lots of singles]

Favorite track: La Boliviana

Purple illustration of a city scape topped with lots of outlaw style masked cowboys and cowgirls blended with subway trains. The band name and record title are written largely with hand drawn typography.

Buggin, “Concrete Cowboys”

Favorite track: Cocaine Footprints

Japanese illustration of nature and landscapes in green and a rusty gold color. The band and record names are printed small with simple type, overlaying the illustration.

Cicada, “Seeking the Sources of Streams”

Favorite track: Departing in the Morning After Rain

Dark wiry duotone illustration of an ominous creature rising out of a pattern of flowing lines, with a dark hole at the bottom. The band name is illustrated from spider webs and creepy branches. The record title is set in type over the dark hole.

Creeping Death, “Boundless Domain”

Favorite track: The Parthian Shot

Comic book style illustration of a robotic super villain with red lasers shooting out of his eyes. He’s next to a robotic lizard style super villain who is crouched and poised to launch. Behind them is a larger ominous super villian and various city scape and space themed objects. The band name and record title are illustrated like comic book type.

Czarface, “Czartificial Intelligence”

Favorite track: You Know My Style

Light blue duotone of photo collage of the band members performing with a large illustration of ‘DD’ overlaid. The band name is set in an illustrative typeface at the top.

Drink Deep, “DD”

Favorite track: Empathy

Mauve duotone gritty illustration of a house that seems to be on fire. A white line illustration of a hand holding flowers is partially overlaying it. The band name is set in an open typeface at the bottom and the record title is set in a small gothic style font near the top.

Flowers for Burial, “Animus”

Favorite track: Defective

Very colorful abstract illustration of a human head over textures. The band name is in a mid size logo with the record title overlaid in a smaller simple typeface.

Geld, “Currency // Castration”

Favorite track: Fog of War

Gritty black and white illustration of a large grim reaper rising out of a foggy graveyard landscape with a bright red sky in the background with a crescent moon. The band name is a thorny logo and the record title is set in a weathered typeface.

Graveripper, “Seasons Dreaming Death”

Favorite track: Resist Against the Light

Full color band photo with the band name written in a simple typeface centered near the top. They are a group of young cleanly shaven Black men wearing colorful eclectic clothing, hats, and sunglasses. They are standing in front of a city scape of concrete roadways and bridges.

The Joy, “Hammarsdale”

Favorite track: Imali

Cream colored blend of textures with a silhouette of Kishi’s head which reveals an illustration of a blue based cloudy landscape. The artist’s name and record title are set in a simple typeface with a prefix of ‘music from the film of’ preceding a large title, all in English. The record title is repeated below this in Japanese.

Kishi Bashi, “Music from the Song Film: Omoiyari”

Favorite track: Know Your Enemy: Japan

Maxence sitting hunched over with his hands being rubbed together with fingers stretched out. His hair is messy and draped over his face. He’s wearing a black coat and a white scarf with black polka dots. He is dimly lit with a cream colored studio background behind him. His name and the record title are set in a simply thin typeface at the top.

Maxence Cyrin, “Springsong”

Favorite track: Orage

Artistically rendered photo of the artist wearing a white outfit of a shirt, jeans, sneakers, and baseball cap. He is standing on a crude wooden raft in the middle of open water. He is holding and reading a large map.

NF, “Hope”

Favorite track: Hope

Close up of an animal’s eye which reveals a reflection of the original Dark Side of the Moon album cover.

Roger Waters, “The Dark Side of the Moon Redux”

Favorite track: Brain Damage

Green and purple duotone illustration of a crystal ball with two hands hovering over it with long black nails. The ball is revealing a ghostly figure of a woman’s body. The band name is oozing out of the ball as if it is water. Some star and flower shapes are floating around everything. The record title is set in a variety of typefaces near the bottom.

Scowl, “Psychic Dance Routine”

Favorite track: Opening Night

Grayscale painting of a spotted dog sitting and wearing a plague mask. Some smoke appears to be falling from the tip of the mask and the illustration is on a slate green background of mild texture. The band name and record title are set in a very subtle, light, gritty typeface.

These Beasts, “Cares, Wills, Wants”

Favorite track: Cocaine Footprints

Very large band name set in a heavy sans-serif font that is weathered with rips through the middle. There are layers of textures and shapes dirtying up the whole cover and everythig is black and white. The record title is set in red in a heavy typeface inside of a black rectangle that’s tight to the edges of the words.

Wrong War, “On Further Reflection”

Favorite track: The Call

Bust shot of Yeemz, a white young woman with shoulder length straight hair wearing an orange flowered tank top. She is sitting in a dimly lit room near a window which with bright sunlight shining on the side of her face and a dry plant behind her.

Yi-Mei “Yeemz” Templeman, [no official record noted, but lots of singles]

Favorite track: Wondering Why

I really loved compiling this list. I hope you find something on it that brings you joy.

Note that most of these can be found on Spotify or Apple Music, so you can give them a risk-free spin. But if you truly love something, I encourage you to purchase it from the artist. That’s why I link to Bandcamp and the like.



Mark Wyner

Activist, family man, creative professional, technologist, soccer fanatic, meditator, lover, hater, potty mouth, mostly vegan.