wtrflls Top 15 Albums Of 2023

It’s that time of year again and Music Mondays Staff Curator wtrflls is back with their Top 15 Albums Of 2023. Usually they shoot for a top 10 but this year has been so wonderful for new music so we had to stretch it out a bit. There’s no order here, just pure talent.


Aelyx - Alkaline 12/31/22

Aelyx has projects under a few different names and, whilst they are all excellent, this latest effort from the end of last year is a definite elevation on previous works. A beautiful blend of genres that takes the best parts of their previous effort under the name YAH WAV and fleshes them out into a genuinely beautiful listening experience. The variety of the energy presented from track to track alone is worth it but individually the songs are absolute jams.

Favorite Tracks:

Bury Myself


Stream: open.spotify.com/album/2n2bxqRnvMdaVYa0KnWQj9?si=S3cLVgfJSkqIunx02ldopg 

E_DEATH - Forgotten Realms - 1/27/23

The latest run from E_DEATH has been kind of unstoppable, singles and projects that are just absolutely killing it, but Forgotten Realms is comfortably my favourite of the year. A genuinely beautiful tape blending trappy-witchhouse sounds with ethereal samples swimming in reverb the whole project feels dreamy and otherworldly. One of my top tracks of this one ‘Stairway Railings’ may genuinely be my favourite track of the year, feels like a cold pillow on a slightly too warm night.

Favorite Tracks:

Stairway Railings

Any Excuse To Stay Awake With U

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/1qyyPZ18vww4s9OMInF1X3?si=4DD35LfnS2iH15zfTgt9mA 

Danny Brown - Quaranta - 11/17/23

I think the biggest thing for me with this album is how mature it feels overall, while I love the chaos of earlier projects like ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ and ‘Old’ this really feels like a new look at Danny. The production is still experimental and fits perfectly with the flows. With ‘Tantor’ coming out as the lead single it kind of threw me for a loop when the project dropped and the overall mood was totally different. One of his best pieces of work to date, highly recommended.

Favorite Tracks:

Dark Sword Angel

Celibate (feat. MIKE)

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/2aswMmRN4vXGalI39pDsMb?si=_FXtsKcbQ9G5b0AU1qRySQ 

UNSUNG - Hand Painted Model Trains - 7/31/23

Hadn’t listened to any UNSUNG prior to this year, was put on by one of the MM homies and I can’t believe I hadn’t listened sooner. This whole project is absolutely seamless, gorgeous production, thoughtful bars, just overall a really beautifully thought out album. If you give this one a listen I recommend hitting up their back catalog too, absolutely full of gems but I feel this is the absolute cherry on top. 

Favorite Tracks:


Allegheny Wake

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/2lMBZyFeuLdRbsRgopjvOP?si=TH4GC8_iQemnm3LX_R5u4Q 

The Hirs Collective - We’re Still Here - 3/24/23

One of the heavier projects on the list, Hirs Collective is a collaborative effort between some of the most outrageously talented artists in the metal and hardcore scenes. Most of the tracks on here feature artists that have made my lists in the past few years or have had classic albums that are still in my regular rotation to this day. Very eager to see if they’ve more to come in the future because the spotlight this puts on some underappreciated bands is absolutely priceless. 

Favorite Tracks:

Burn Your House Down

Waste Not Want Not

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/71DPihEMEmNsXe05FVHJN7?si=_KbXmPZbSduzxzj_h31a5g 

Hot Mulligan - Why Would I Watch? - 5/12/23

Saw the tour for this album a few months ago and if anything it smacks even harder live. Started getting into Hot Mulligan during the pandemic and everything they put out always has me hooked. Some beautiful lyricism with fantastic instrumentals to back it up. For the real emo kids.

Favorite Tracks:

It’s A Family Movie She Hates Her Dad

Gans Media Retro Games

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/0wLCmFQIAxudWGxUcxO1oQ?si=LxAP7gmDS6qe8ncewJT_IQ 

Liturgy - 93696 - 3/24/23

I absolutely loved this project. It’s cacophonous and brutal, waves of noise and harshness but at the same time absolutely beautiful. As well as all this though the track ‘Djennaration’ has a melody throughout it that reminds me of the movie ‘The Dark Crystal’ which is like a childhood favorite so it’s got that nostalgia factor. Might not be for everyone but I highly recommend it.

Favorite Tracks:


Haelgen II

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/28gL6vjKVFaO7UG0ImRzkY?si=YOsY2Wt4RBaXCxT_9RjflA 

The Front Bottoms - You Are Who You Hang Out With - 8/4/23

As a long term Front Bottoms fan I was very keen for the release of this album, used to listen to their self titled on shitty post-gig intercity bus rides at like 3 am so there’s some major nostalgia. This project did not disappoint, I’d hold it as one of their best and think it really called back to some of their earlier work while still maintaining a lot of the new sounds they’ve been building on over the past few years. 

Favorite Tracks:



Stream: open.spotify.com/album/5ti35p8028PSksErKRW415?si=su0x9nXERdenHM7KwB7Kqg 

The Acacia Strain - Step Into The Light - 5/12/23

Not that it’s unexpected coming from The Acacia Strain but this album is absolutely brutal. One of the heaviest things I’ve heard all year and as per these guys absolutely ripped it. Genuinely some very very good deathcore and a fantastic follow up to their last album. If you’re into heavy shit this needs to be on your list.

Favorite Tracks:



Stream: open.spotify.com/album/61G3s23PmUvfgZMBJ7EGu3?si=xLO4NqMxTCStqp3fVyx9zA 

Cremation Lily - Four Notes - 4/12/23

Of this year's albums this is probably the most beautiful listening experience. It might sound weird but Cremation Lily is my favorite thing to listen to when I’m hungover, it feels like washing my mind in cold static in a really good way and this album is no exception. This project is harsh and dark but equally filled with these serene moments of beauty, peaceful yet chaotic. Always happy to hear more from CL and this is definitely a highlight.

Favorite Tracks:

Note III: Lights Flicker, Lovers Bound

Note IV: Confessions, No Exceptions

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/4ZQTbdyNPPJRnCrpoUEoBR?si=JCNSOQkBTj2MYzHWULX2Hg 

2hollis - 2 - 5/11/23

2hollis is another artist I only came across this year but this album has been in rotation since I heard it. Really solid, dancey tracks and the whole record flows beautifully. Looking forward to hearing more in the future because this one really came out of nowhere for me.

Favorite Tracks:


2 u

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/2cwwBz019F7hQwggBShXCv?si=Eizq-mf_Qj2FxvhfWXRRyw 

Spanish Love Songs - No Joy - 8/25/23

Saw these guys on the same tour as Hot Mulligan and they put on a hell of a show. This album had only just come out then but I’d given it a couple listens and they played it excellently. Overall they kind of give me Hotelier vibes and I’m always happy to hear more stuff in that vein. The whole project has this deep sadness with an undercurrent of optimism that ties together beautifully.

Favorite Tracks:


Here You Are

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/5bmC9YAnux6z8pkahL9SmP?si=wu6pfPlCQWCQLf0QpbC4EQ 

grouptherapy - i was mature for my age, but i was still a child - 6/27/23

Gonna catch shit for this but when I first heard this record it gave me the same vibes as when I first listened to Brockhampton’s ‘Saturation I’ with the way the group blends genres and flows off one another. A really strong blend of different sounds and vibes with fantastic production and solid lyrics. Along with that there’s just some absolute jams on this one that you absolutely need to listen to.

Favorite Tracks:

smiles :)


Stream: open.spotify.com/album/0xJEL0q2jaHqIOamFxE7yq?si=5Gao3kjYSxiCTJ862pRs-Q 

Earl Sweatshirt x The Alchemist - Voir Dire - 8/25/23

This is an artist/producer combo I need to hear more of. Always keen to hear more Earl and The Alchemist have been on a crazy run this year and the combination of the two on ‘Voir Dire’ absolutely kills. Another instance of MIKE absolutely killing a feature here too. Earl's work post-OFWGKTA has been consistently great and this is no exception, might even outshine SRS for me.

Favorite Tracks:

Sentry (feat. MIKE)

The Caliphate (feat. Vince Staples)

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/2jFEoWXPcVtO7MX0j12kZ6?si=X5ilO811Q1KmA9R17ciPyg 

As hardcore albums go this is honestly one of the most creative and well thought out projects I’ve heard in a long time. Blending some real heavy shit with snippets of funk and soul as well as moments from powerful speeches the whole album is beautifully chaotic. Each track comes together to form a strong message and I’m very keen to hear what’s next from them.

Favorite Tracks:

Our Day Is Now

Where I’m From

Stream: open.spotify.com/album/5r3VG2Pl6fQdDKDQH3tZzZ?si=nVu1HoJ9RYmZvQIyVxNr0Q 

Written By wtrflls: twitter.com/wtrflls