Cory Angen
Favorite Albums of 2023
I admittedly didn't listen to as much new music as I would've wanted to in 2023, but that's become a pretty familiar feeling these last few years of working mostly from home. That all being said, I did sit down and compile a list of my 10 favorite albums of the past year and wrote a little bit about why each one made the list.

Take Me Back to Eden by Sleep Token

Truly caught me off guard. The mix of all the different genres these songs navigate through is so interesting and I like every single one of them. I found out about the interesting live show/personas after enjoying the album, so that’s just an added bonus.

Fauna by Haken

While not a new band to me, I’m still not super familiar. That said, this is the quintessential progressive rock/metal album for me. It checks all the boxes from heavy to whimsical and everything in between. When albums bring smile to my face as I’m listening, they’re doing something right and that happens every time I fire this one up.

Integrated Tech Solutions by Aesop Rock

If Aesop releases an album, there’s a good chance it’s going to make my Top 10 and this year is no different. It’s kind of a “safe” choice but he’s still making such good music. The beats, the rhymes, the storytelling, the Rob Sonic feature. All great.

Telex from MIDI City by Polinski

While I love the progression of 65daysofstatic’s music over the years, Paul’s solo stuff in the past few years reminds me of the sound that initially drew me in during the We Were Exploding Anyway days. It’s post rock with bleeps and bloops and I love it.

Would You Miss It? by Koyo

First pop punk album with an inquisitive title on the list. It brings me back to driving my first car in high school but swapping the anxiety of high school with the anxiety of being in my mid-30s. Just a solid outing.

Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night: Part 1 by Night Verses

These guys have been a favorite of mine since I first heard their From the Gallery of Sleep album a few years ago. The post-hardcore/shoegaze mix is right up my alley and this album does it so well. I wasn’t aware they were even working on this until it started releasing singles, but I hope there’s a Part 2 coming next year.

Why Would I Watch? by Hot Mulligan

Second of the pop punk bands asking me a question. Another one that I’m not embarrassed to say I heard on TikTok (along with Sleep Token) before the album came out. The only reason it’s lower than Koyo is because there are less stand-out songs to me and I think some start to sound same by the end. Still a great listen from start to finish though.
Svalbard - The Weight of the Mask

The Weight of the Mask by Svalbard

Another beautiful mix of genres I like a lot. This one with some post-hardcore meets black metal vibes. Another band that has had past albums I’ve been a fan of but this year’s stood out.

10,000 gecs by 100 gecs

This one fills the pop selection on the list that would probably be reserved for a Los Campesinos! type release. It’s weirder and noisier in all the best ways.

Beautiful Ghosts by Unreqvited

I would put this higher but since this album actually came out in 2021 I’m relegating it to the 10th spot. I saw this band live opening for Harakiri for the Sky and they blew me away. They fall into the group of black metal bands that I’ve just found to have such a beautiful sound in recent years. Hoping to catch more live shows and another full release soon.
The Crows
Nightmares on Elm Street