12 Great Albums You Might Have Missed from Spring 2023

Avatar photo
Great Albums you might have missed spring 2023

With another three months down, and our favorite albums of 2023 so far now on the record, it’s time to pause and take a look back at some of the records from the previous season that flew under the radar. And that means some records that we got around to hearing late as well. Still, no matter how many of the best records of the year you’ve heard, there’s always more to be found a little deeper in the crates. Here’s our list of the best albums you might have missed from spring 2023.

(Also, read our under-the-radar selections from winter.)

Bar Italia new album Tracey Denim

bar italia – Tracey Denim

On bar italia’s third album Tracey Denim, the UK band breaks out and finds their groove, leaning into their brand of cool, uncaring, enigmatic rock. The album jumps from mood to mood, sometimes leaning into ’80s influences like the Stone Roses-eque “Horsey Girl Rider,” dripping in brash drums and jaded vocals. Tracey Denim drips in a musical world of its own creation, taking time on jangling guitar riffs and Nina Cristante’s velveteen vocals, floating in a cool collection of crystalline rock dirges. It’s the band’s first release through Matador, and the one that saw them make their New York City debut where they sold out five shows despite a reputation for being press shy (which maybe means this isn’t that overlooked). With songs that feel otherworldly and bold, bar italia’s quick rise is less of a surprise than a relief. – Virginia Croft

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

Great Albums you might have missed spring 2023
Ba Da Bing

Big Blood – First Aid Kit

Portland, Maine’s Big Blood is a family band—quite literally. Founded in 2006 by married musical partners and former Cerberus Shoal members Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella, the duo have since brought daughter Quinnisa into the band, whose voice lends a sharp and defiant counterpoint to her mother’s more soulful, psychedelic incantations. But it’s the harmony the group creates together, often in the context of heavy, brooding gothic folk and surging space rock, that makes First Aid Kit so uniquely powerful and otherworldly. With nearly 30 releases on their Bandcamp page, it would appear that keeping it in the family perhaps only feeds their creativity in the long run, and First Aid Kit shows that as they grow together, so does their strange and beautiful music. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

great albums you might have missed spring 2023

Crown Lands – Fearless

This has been an inordinately tough year for me and this record has largely been the buoy seeing me through. This thing is replete with Rush references, from the structure of the blackhole-gazing two-part song suite that acts as it’s backbone to certain chordal and arpeggiated choices. Normally that kind of retro gazing might read as annoying or cloying but given both the shocking rarity of contemporary rock bands gesturing to that fabled band (especially their ’80s material) not to mention the open-hearted sincerity of it all, it’s hard not to be moved. – Langdon Hickman

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

McKinley Dixon Beloved Paradise Jazz

McKinley Dixon – Beloved! Paradise! Jazz?

Though McKinley Dixon’s Beloved! Paradise! Jazz? runs only 29 minutes, it packs a whole lifetime’s worth of memories, dreams, grief and regrets into less than half an hour. Taking its title from three Toni Morrison novels (including an opening reading from poet and onetime Treble contributor Hanif Abdurraqib), the album bridges Dixon’s past to his present and future, taking listeners on a tour through some deeply personal recollections scored by arrangements that transition from neo-soul groove to hard-hitting trap and lush jazz rap. An affectingly personal hip-hop record that doubles as mesmerizing headphone journey. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

great albums you might have missed spring 2023 Free Music
Habibi Funk

The Free Music – The Free Music (Part 1)

One of the latest installments from the consistently great Habibi Funk label, The Free Music (Part 1) chronicles the music of the ’70s-era Libyan funk band The Free Music, whose catalog is both hard to come by otherwise—even information about the group on the Internet is relatively scarce. This compilation is, then, a necessary reintroduction to a group with grooves and chops for days, their compositions rife with danceable disco rhythms, deeply physical basslines and lots of scratchy guitar to go around, guided by the vocals of bandleader Najib Alhoush. The selection of songs is eclectic but never leaves the pocket, the group a well-oiled machine of funk and joyfully vibrant arrangements. That its title is The Free Music (Part 1) would indicate that there’s more where this came from, and with a start as strong as this one, I can’t wait for the next. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

great albums you might have missed spring 2023

Natural Information Society – Since Time Is Gravity

Helmed by bandleader, composer and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams, Chicago jazz collective Natural Information Society have spent more than a decade exploring avant garde acoustic music at its most cosmic and psychedelic. Their fourth album, Since Time Is Gravity, continues to pull at the fabric of the universe through mostly lengthy pieces that breathe and ebb and flow with stellar energy, balancing mesmerizing raga-like drone with powerfully dynamic lead performances. Throughout there are small works of magic that glimmer amid the heady orchestrations—Kara Bershad’s harp on “Murmuration,” Ben Lamar Gay’s cornet on “Stigmergy,” Mai Sugimoto’s flute on “Gravity”—but it’s hard not to be awestruck by a set of music that seeks to make a statement as big as this one. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

great albums you might have missed Bill Orcutt

Bill Orcutt – Jump On It

Prolific guitarist Bill Orcutt has made his name on chaotic improvisatory guitar music with an intensity that could make your soul levitate right out of your body. And while Jump On It has some of those moments, to be sure, it’s also one of Orcutt’s most spacious and approachable works, rooted in American primitivist guitar styles but often with a uniquely frantic twist. Jump On It can be alternately soothing and energizing, restorative and raucous, and uniformly beautiful. It feels intimate in a way that some of his prior records haven’t been—even though they’re ostensibly coming from a similar approach, made by just Orcutt and his guitar—and that only allows the listener to get deeper into the complexities and get lost in its perhaps quieter but no less wondrous beauty. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Nourished by Time Erotic Probiotic
Scenic Route

Nourished by Time – Erotic Probiotic 2

On April 8, Marcus Brown (the artist behind Nourished by Time) tweeted, “i like that little part of the early 90s (90-92′) that still sounds/looks like the 80s but u can see it slowly turning into the 90s,” as indicative a statement as any of his debut LP. Sonically, Erotic Probiotic 2 is a hazy crawl of ’80s synths, R&B, house and hip-hop that’s too stubborn to accept how far time has marched on since then. It’s as slapdash as it is rose-tinted. However, nostalgia is not the operative vehicle here; sentimentality is. Empathy bleeds out of Erotic Probiotic 2’s core, working hand-in-hand with said nostalgia to soften its reflections on vices and depression. – Colin Dempsey

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

best new albums Stuck
Born Yesterday

Stuck – Freak Frequency

Chicago’s Stuck specialize in a style of art punk and post-hardcore that feels on the cusp of something—collapse, nervous breakdown, explosion. Their songs are surging with anxious energy and frustration, funneling alternately satirical and searing critiques of capitalism into hypercharged post-punk raveups that sound like a symphony of sharp elbows and strained vocal cords. Invariably, on Freak Frequency, that’s always a lead up to a great moment of melodic brilliance, a soaring chorus, and occasionally a furious squeal of saxophone. The band’s approach to tension-and-release is never predictable but always mesmerizing to hear, the jittery scratch of their verses and the mellifluous resolution of their choruses coming together in a strange kind of harmony amid fire-tongued takedowns of a society hellbent on destroying itself over profit (“Don’t get it twisted/the system works!“). A necessary and fun album of guitar-driven screeds for a summer of sinking yachts. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

great albums you might have missed spring 2023

SUN ORGAN – Candlelight Showertime

In case you weren’t aware, there’s something special happening in Philadelphia. There’s been a massive wave of fuzzy, scuzzy, sometimes buzzy, though distinctly Philly projects putting out some of the best pop-leaning shoegaze in recent memory. Decade-plus underground favorites SUN ORGAN are just another shining example of the city’s bubbling swamp of sludge pop acts, and Candlelight Showertime is easily one of their best records yet. A supergroup of sorts, SUN ORGAN finds vocalist and guitarist Tim Jordan joined by Dan Angel (Ugh God), Pat Conaboy (Golden Apples), Benjamin Schurr (Luna Honey, Ruah), Rachel Gordon (Greg Electric), and Brian Reichert (Nyxy Nyx) for Candlelight Showertime. The record is a cohesive wash of melancholic ebb and flow, fading into and out of sticky guitar lines and dense, detailed hooks. It’s flawlessly sequenced, and the first five tracks are especially brilliant. The sweet, dragging riffs on opener “God Loves His Little Things, Pt. 1” make way for the liminal hover of “Hours Waiting For You” before the band deep dives into the anthemic “In My Bed.” By that time you’ll be sucked in and you’ll have a new favorite song with each listen guaranteed. – Patrick Pilch

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

great albums you might have missed teevee repairmann
Total Punk

Tee Vee Repairmann – Out of Order

Twelve songs in 24 minutes—that kind of brisk pace on its face screams punk, and Australia’s one-man new wave outfit Tee Vee Repairman delivers just that. But TVR’s brand of punk is more rooted in classic power pop and the melodic immediacy of a group like The Undertones than more blistering and rowdy skull-spike fodder. A fitting parallel might be someone like Tony Molina, whose minute-long pop confections are more pop than fuzz, but the reference points on Out of Order are strictly ’77 to ’82, all power chords and skinny ties, laser-beam Casio and re-recorded VHS snow. In other words, this is punk that places fun as a priority above all else, and I can’t think of a better record to spin endlessly for the rest of the summer. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Zopp Dominion
Flat Circle

Zopp – Dominion

While Zopp may have started a few years back as a Canterbury prog group likened to bands such as Egg or Caravan, they’ve since picked up a Mellotron and started producing more dramatic and alluring affair. The appeal of prog to me is in large part how richly imagistic it is, unabashedly seeking to sweep you away. This record feels like laying eyes closed inside of a storm, the tremors of the heart, the flickers of half-consciousness. It also importantly doesn’t come across as exceeding abstruse, instead allowing itself both through melodic gesture and a certain anthemic heft to be a great deal more approachable than some of the more avant-garde wing of this style. – Langdon Hickman

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Treble is supported by its patrons. Become a member of our Patreon, get access to subscriber benefits, and help an independent media outlet continue delivering articles like these.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top