It was a big year for Georgia music as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and releases from favorites such as Andre 3000 and Janelle Monae, as well as new artists across the state. 

Taking a cue from NPR's Best Music of 2023 lists, members of the GPB News staff have compiled their favorite Georgia gems, Southern sounds, musical moments and international hits from the past 12 months. From Kennesaw to Korea, Atlanta to London and beyond, here are our picks for 2023.

Please note: some linked content may contain explicit lyrics. 


Amanda Andrews, reporter

Janelle Monae / Age of Pleasure: Janelle Monae is an obvious pick, but this album was really some of their most fun music so far. 

Victoria Monet / Jaguar II: I've been streaming "On My Mama" since it came out. And after seeing Monet's concert footage, she's clearly on the road to being another Atlanta icon.

Hozier / Unreal Unearth: Unreal Unearth has fundamentally changed my brain chemistry. Period.


Hozier's "Unreal Unearth"

Credit: Rubyworks


Grant Blankenship, editor and reporter

Mitski / This Land is Inhospitable and So Are We: My daughter thought she was getting one over on me with this one. It's stellar.

Michaela Davis / And Southern Star: If the Dead had a harp section.

Yo La Tengo / This Stupid World: There is none higher. My Christgau review: Does This Stupid World help me process this stupid world? Or am I just decompensating to beautiful music? Yes.

This is the Kit / Careful of Your Keepers 

King Gizzard / PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation


Allexa Ceballos, digital content producer

Wiley from Atlanta / Killing Time Before the Flood: GPB’s own Peach Jam Podcast guest dropped this album this year that I personally love. Wiley describes his style as Alternative Blues / R&B.


Jake Cook, associate producer

Snooper / Super Snooper: Hyperactive art-punk that feels like watching a well-worn VHS tape on the floor after eating a whole bag of pixie sticks. 

Marnie Stern / The Comeback Kid: The guitar tapping virtuoso returns with more furious math rock filled with addictive hooks and melodies. She's awesome. 

Nas / Magic 3: All 3 Nas albums were incredible this year. It’s great to see him staying so clever and inventive, truly loving the music and having this much fun at this point in his career. Love that guy.


Ellen Eldridge, senior health care reporter

Dolly Parton / Rockstar: The album starts with two original songs by Parton followed by a collection of 29 covers, many of which include the original artists. So, Parton performs "Let it Be" with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. BUT she runs the gamut of musical styles, performing songs with Kid Rock, Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Rob Halford, Sheryl Crow, and Lynyrd Skynyrd among many others.


Sofi Gratas, reporter 

Pearly Drops / A Little Disaster: Pure fun with a hint of sadness in some of the synth. I really enjoyed this album. Favorites are “Forest Scene” and “I Cry While You Sleep.”

Weyes Blood / And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow: I can't get enough of her vocals. Convinced she's a Siren. Came to Weyes Blood through “Andromeda” and stayed for all the rest.


Sarah Kallis, reporter and Capitol correspondent

Taylor Swift / Either of the two "Taylor’s Version" albums released this year (1989 or Speak Now).

Noah Kahan / Stick Season, extended version.


Sandy Malcolm, VP of Content

Boygenius / Record: My favorite. Can't get enough of them

Depeche Mode / Memento Mori: This album was their best in a while. There concert tour supporting the album was excellent as well. 

Everything But the Girl / Fuse


Chase McGee, senior producer

Wednesday / Rat Saw God: An indie band out of Asheville, N.C., they capture the rural/semi-suburban Southern experience uncannily well.

Home Is Where / The Whaler: A Florida-based emo band with some of the most insanely lyrically dense songs of the year.

Sufjan Stevens / Javelin: Absolutely devastating. You can always count on him to bring on the feels, but this release was especially hard after he talked about some of the circumstances that he ran up against ahead of its release.


Sonia Murray, digital content manager

Here are my top 3 music moments in Atlanta this year:

  1. The VIP Cocktail Reception for “You Don't Got Dis!?!!: A Hip Hop Legacy” exhibition at Emory’s Science Gallery: Only an exhibit featuring EarWax Records' archives could make you feel like you actually stepped into the onetime retail store (vinyl and all), sound like the legendary Vision nightclub that took over the same Peachtree Road block it occupied (because DJ Jaycee was on the turntables) and look like the Vibe magazines on display come to life. (Organized Noize's Ray Murray; DJs Nabs, Toomp, Kemit, Doc; Cha-Cha Jones, Dallas Austin and Bryan Barber only begin the incredible list of notable attendees.)
  2. ONE Musicfest 2023 comes to Piedmont Park: Barely a teenager, the 14-year-old event that bills itself as "The Greatest Homecoming on Earth" has already grown into Music Midtown territory. Literally.
  3. The South Got Something to Say film produced by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: I participated in the filming and a panel discussion at the premiere and am so glad the AJC/Horne Brothers did it; and have heard nothing but applause for it.


Jeremy Powell, senior podcast producer

Sleep Token / Take Me Back to Eden: A heavy-metal love letter on vinyl. Evil, but in a sweet way.  

From Peach Jam podcast:
Pony Bradshaw / North Georgia Rounder: Pony Bradshaw is the Southern Gothic poet laureate of Murray County, GA. 

Eddie 9V / Capricorn: Capricorn is blues, it is soul, it is a little funky, and it is fantastic.

Lauren Morrow / People Talk: Imagine if Patsy Cline was alive today and grew up being heavily influenced by the wide range of popular music of the 1990s; that’s Lauren Morrow. 


Autumn Rose, digital media coordinator

Eric Nam / House on a Hill: I’m popping in with a K-pop recommendation from the year. The artist is from Atlanta (a graduate of The Lovett School) and has a really nice voice.


Khari Sampson, copy editor

Moonchild / Starfruit: My favorite "OMG, how the heck is this R&B/jazz/soul trio white?" group.

Outside / Almost Out: My longtime all-time favorite former acid jazz group rose from the dead with its first new album in two decades, Almost Out — THREE decades after its 1993 debut, Almost In.

Madison McFerrin / I Hope You Can Forgive Me: This R&B LP has a lovely pair of songs and yes, she’s Bobby’s daughter.


Kristi York Wooten, digital news editor

Boygenius / Record: I played this one a lot. "Not Strong Enough" is my favorite song of the year, right up there with cuts from Everything But the Girl, Peter Gabriel, Sampha, Jason Isbell, Christine and the Queens, Miley Cyrus and Inhaler.

Jon Regen / Satisfied Mind: This album was overlooked for a Grammy this year, but it's such a beautiful meeting of singer, songwriter and ace piano player Regen and his pals Ron Carter, Rob Thomas, Pino Palladino and more.

Stone Foundation / Standing in the Light: I don't usually include "greatest hits" albums on a list, but this roundup of the British soul band's 25 years of groove isn't to be missed.

Andre 3000 / New Blue Sun: What else is there to say other than if you haven't heard it, you haven't heard it. Effortless in that no-effort sort of way.