Top 100 Albums of 2023

In a celebration of diverse rhythms, melodies, and beats, we present to you KGNU’s Top 100 most played albums from 2023.

Our DJs pride themselves on delivering a eclectic mixes that transcend genres, and our annual album roundup is a testament to the vibrant tapestry of sounds that you hear every single day on our airwaves.

Here’s what rose to the top of our DJs playlists in 2023:

Artist Album Label
100 Noname Sundial Self
99 Bruce Cockburn O Sun O Moon True North
98 Scott McMicken And THE EVER-EXPANDING Shabang Anti
97 Allison Russell The Returner
Birds of Chicago
96 Eliza Gilkyson Home
Realiza Records
95 Water From Your Eyes Everyone’s Crushed
Matador Records
94 Bokani Dyer Radio Sechaba
Brownswood Recordings
93 The Allergies Tear the Place Up
Jalapeno Records
92 Parker Millsap Wilderness Within You
Okra Homa Records
91 Fenne Lily Big Picture Dead Oceans
90 Bobby Rush All My Love For You Deep Rush
89 Feist Multitudes Interscope
88 Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit Weathervanes
Southeastern Records
87 DJ Black Low Impumelelo
Awesome Tapes From Africa
86 Jungle Volcano
Thanks For Your Patience
85 Faizal Mostrixx Mutations
Glitterbeat Records
84 Yaeji With A Hammer XL Recordings
83 RUMTUM Arcadian Daze
Bastard Jazz Recordings
82 Jim Hurst From the Ground Up Pinecastle
81 Tall Poppy String Band Tall Poppy String Band Self Produced
80 João Selva Passarinho
Underdog Records
79 Otis Taylor Otis Taylor’s Banjo
Octave Records
78 Benny Sings Young Hearts
Stones Throw Records
77 Rodrigo Y Gabriela In Between Thoughts…A New World ATO Records
76 Zuco 103 Telenova Zuco Sound
75 Dan Tyminski God Fearing Heathen
8 Track Entertainment
74 Nickodemus & Pat Kalla Soul & Science
Wonderwheel Recordings
73 Tony Allen & Adrian Younge Tony Allen JID018 Jazz Is Dead
72 Natalie Padilla, Casey Campbell & Tyler Andal Hell Broke Loose Natalie Padilla
71 Onipa & David Walters Off The Grid Real World
70 Black Pumas Chronicles of a Diamond ATO Records
69 Wax Tailor Fishing for Accidents Lab’Oratoire
68 A Certain Ratio 1982 Mute
67 Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily Love In Exile Verve Records
66 Salami Rose Joe Louis & Brijean Akousmatikous
Salami Rose Joe Louis
65 Kiltro Underbelly Self Released
64 Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Hold On
Compass Records
63 Eddie 9V Capricorn Ruf Records
62 J Rocc Beatitudes
Stones Throw Records
61 The War And Treaty Lover’s Game
UMG Recordings
60 Son Rompe Pera Chimborazo AYA Records
59 Devon Gilfillian Love You Anyway Fantasy
58 The Sweet Lillies Equality
The Sweet Lillies
57 Various Artists Middle Eastern Grooves (Selected By DJ Kobayashi) Batov Records
56 The Kody Norris Show Rhinestone Revival Rebel Records
55 Various Artists Coco María Presents Club Coco ¡Ahora! The Latin Sound Of Now Bongo Joe
54 Eje Eje Five Seasons Batov Records
53 Jamila Woods Water Made Us Jagjaguwar
52 Adi Oasis Lotus Glow Unity Records
51 Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer As We Speak (feat. Rakesh Chaurasia)
Bela Fleck Productions
50 El Michels Affair & Black Thought Glorious Game Big Crown
49 The Cody Sisters The Cody Sisters – EP Caravan Sun
48 Acid Arab & Sofiane Saidi ٣ (Trois) Crammed
47 Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley Living In a Song
Compass Records
46 Hippo Sound System Origins
Hippo Sound System
45 Captain Planet & Jimena Angel Sounds Like Home
Bastard Jazz Recordings
44 Janelle Monáe The Age Of Pleasure
Wondaland Productions
43 Charif Megarbane Habibi Funk 023: Marzipan Habibi Funk
42 Bombino Sahel
Partisan Records
41 The Infamous Stringdusters A Tribute to Flatt & Scruggs – EP
Americana Vibes
40 Cowboy Dave Venture South Self Produced
39 Yo La Tengo This Stupid World
Matador Records
38 The Budos Band Frontier’s Edge – EP
Diamond West Records
37 Altin Gün Aşk ATO Records
36 Dudu Tassa & Jonny Greenwood Jarak Qaribak Dudu Tassa
35 Jon Batiste World Music Radio Verve Records
34 Boygenius The Record Interscope
33 Peter One Come Back To Me Verve Forecast
32 Dale Ann Bradley Kentucky for Me Pinecastle
31 Novalima & La Dame Blanche La Danza (Pt. 1) – EP
Six Degrees Records
30 Durand Jones Wait Til I Get Over Dead Oceans
29 Y La Bamba Lucha
Tender Loving Empire
28 Andy Hall Squareneck Soul
Americana Vibes
27 Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Sticks And Stones Thirty Tigers
26 Ireke Tropikadelic Ireke
25 Hot Mustard Seconds
Color Red Records
24 African Head Charge A Trip To Bolgatanga On-U Sound
23 Nickel Creek Celebrants Repair Records
22 Son Volt Day Of The Doug
Transmit Sound
21 Samantha Fish & Jesse Dayton Death Wish Blues
Rounder Records
20 Surprise Chef Friendship EP
Big Crown Records
19 Baaba Maal Being
Marathon Artists
18 Jalen Ngonda Come Around And Love Me Daptone
17 Various Artists Birthright: A Black Roots Music Compendium
Craft Recordings
16 Willie Nelson I Don’t Know A Thing About Love (The Songs of Harlan Howard) Legacy
15 Tinariwen Amatssou Wedge
14 Rodney Crowell & Jeff Tweedy The Chicago Sessions
New West Records
13 Sunny War Anarchist Gospel
New West Records
12 Lucinda Williams Stories From A Rock N Roll Heart
Highway 20 Records
11 Meshell Ndegeocello The Omnichord Real Book Blue Note
10 Michael Cleveland Lovin’ Of The Game
Compass Records
9 Mighty Poplar Mighty Poplar (feat. Andrew Marlin, Noam Pikelny, Chris Eldridge, Alex Hargreaves & Greg Garrison)
Mighty Poplar/Free Dirt Records
8 Dom Flemons Traveling Wildfire
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
7 Yussef Dayes Black Classical Music Brownswood
6 Taj Mahal Savoy Stony Plain
5 Witch Zango
Desert Daze Sound
4 Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway City Of Gold
Nonesuch Records
3 Various Artists The Black Gospel Ladies 1947-1970 Narro Way
2 Robbie Fulks Bluegrass Vacation
Compass Records
1 Iris Dement Workin’ On A World
Flariella Records

Mark your calendars for the Morning Sound Alternative on Wednesday, December 27th as KGNU’s Music Director Indra Raj walks through every single album from this list. An end-of-year countdown to remember!


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