Best Debut Albums of 2023

Northern Transmissions Best Debut Albums of 2023. Titles include LPs by boygenius, Grian Chatten, Militarie Gun, Andre 3000, and more
Northern Transmissions Best Debut Albums of 2023. Titles include LPs by boygenius, Grian Chatten, Militarie Gun, Andre 3000, and more

boygenius – the record

Yeah, it’s no surprise that this is on this list. This album is filled with some of the most beautiful and strongly written songs of these artist’s discographies. The supergroup has written a relatable and deeply layered masterpiece that has connected and brought so many people together in the time since it was released. The lyrical narratives are not only unique from track to track but are very intentional and well thought out. Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus have written an unbelievable record that you need to hear.

Andre 3000 – New Blue Sun

This, without a doubt, is one of the most badass left turns of the decade. Rapper, musician and flutist Andre 3000 has released his first-ever solo record, and there is NO BARS. Instead, he put together a thoughtful, meditative and spiritual ambient record where his primary instrument was the flute and other wind instruments. This album sounds great, the cover is badass, and the titles are witty, odd, and also totally hilarious. There is something so inspiring about an artist taking risks and releasing something that’s true and honest to them despite the audience’s expectations, and that’s what Andre 3000 did with this album.

Babe corner – Crybaby

Since 2020, Babe Corner has become one of the most exciting bands to come out of Vancouver, and this debut album proves that Babe Corner is one of the strongest forces in Canadian indie rock. The third track and the first single, “Bianca,” is my personal favourite from the record. Its lush-sounding chorus and cool guitar leads are infectious in every way. There is no shortage from Babe Corner when it comes to catchy hooks, creative lyrics and overall fantastic musicianship.

Blondshell – Blondshell

Blondshell’s self-titled debut album is one of the coolest batch of songs to come out this year. Her perspectives and personality translate perfectly in these songs. Partisan Records truly never disappoints with its elite roster of honest and eclectic artists, and Blondeshell is definitely a strong addition to the Partisan Records family. The endless vocal harmonies and layers fill the songs perfectly and make you want to re-listen to the songs ten times over.

Militarie Gun – Life Under The Gun

Since Militarie Guns’ inception two years ago, they have been touring relentlessly and releasing melodic and heavy-punk songs with relatable and honest lyrics that take the genre farther with a sense of maturity. Life Under The Gun Takes the band’s sound to another level of good songwriting. The chord progressions on this record have a witty edge to them that is different from their previous work and are a big part of the sound on this record. Probably the best punk debut of the year.

Grian chatten – Chaos For The Fly

The frontman of the newly legendary Irish post-punk Band Fontaines D.C. Has released his first solo album Chaos For The Fly. Partnered with producer Dan Carey, Grian wrote and recorded a primarily acoustic record showcasing his beautiful poetry and Irish traditional influence. The crushing first song off the record, “The Score,” has a dark and genius vocal delivery followed by softly picked acoustic guitars and low-key drum machines and bass playing reminiscent of “Hail to the Thief” era Radiohead. Grian’s work with Fontaines DC has always had a poetry-focused approach with his lyrics, reminiscent of James Joyce’s work, but this record delves even deeper into that concept. If you are catching up on records you missed this year, make sure you make
this one a priority to check out.

Sword II – Spirit World Tour

I saw Sword II earlier this year and was blown away by the very mixed musical palate and interestingly structured songs of the Atlanta-based Shoegaze/Experimental rock band. When I first listened to this record, I was surprised and intrigued by its very different sound from their live show. With several different singers on each song, the band has a cohesive and free- flowing sound within the songs. This album floats in the multiverse of shoegaze, art pop and breakcore that feels 100% original to the group. Please listen. Superviolet Infinite spring Wow. This is great. That is what went through my head immediately after my first listen of the anthemic and fun first song, “Angels on the Ground.” This record has a timeless and classic production sound with gorgeous harmonies and 60s jangle guitars floating over the songs. Sometimes, you just want to listen to something that is easy and fun, and this record, for me, absolutely scratches that itch.

Gareth Donkin – Welcome Home

This is one of the smoothest and dense musical experiences I have endured in the past years.Yeah, I know how pretentious that sounds, but it’s true. The way Gareth approaches funk, soul and sometimes even yacht rock is truly precious. The vocal precision on every song is absolutely stunning and reminiscent of Jamiroquai, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. If you need some more funky and soulful songs to carry you into the new year, I highly recommend this fantastic Album.

Written by Ben Lock

Order Blondshell by Blondshell HERE


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