2023 brought us a ton of great new country music. As we look back on the new albums released, here are our team’s picks for out favorite country albums of 2023.
Stephanie Wagner, Founder
Favorite album: Bluebird Days – Jordan Davis
Choosing a favorite album was especially hard this year after all of the incredible new music that was released. However, when thinking about what were truly my go-to listens, I very quickly narrowed it down to Jordan Davis’ Bluebird Days. From top to bottom this entire album is incredibly well-written. I consider myself a ‘day-one’ Jordan Davis fan and seeing the maturity and growth in this album confirms to me that this singer-songwriter is one we will be hearing many hits from for a very long time. His music is clever, catchy, and relatable. It’s the kind of music you can have on in the background or dive deep into the lyrics. It’s the storytelling in each song that makes me excited to share his music with others and watch them become fans too. This project has been on repeat for me and rightfully deserves a spot as one of the best albums of 2023.
Erica Zisman, Content Manager
Favorite album: Lucky – Megan Moroney
While there were a lot of noteworthy albums to come out of 2023, Megan Moroney’s debut album, Lucky stands out. I have had this record playing on repeat from the minute we gained access to it. Moroney’s star-power and songwriting prowess shine bright throughout the record. Specifically, the song, “Mustang or Me,” might be one of my favorite songs of the year too. The songstress is headed for superstardom. It is only a matter of time!
Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer
Favorite album: High & Low – Caitlyn Smith
While there were many incredible albums released in 2023, one that I’ve had on repeat is Caitlyn Smith’s High & Low. With her incredible voice and stunning lyrics, the album manages to capture both the best and worst parts of life, sounding much like a peek into her most personal diary. With songs like “Maybe in Another Life,” “High,” and “Writing Songs and Raising Babies,” this was one that I listened to endlessly. However, if you’re only going to listen to one track, the clear standout is “Alaska,” which is easily one of the best songs of 2023.
Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer
Favorite album: the mockingbird & THE CROW – HARDY
I was immediately drawn to HARDY once I saw him open for Florida Georgia Line in 2019. His music has grown so much since then, even crossing genre lines. I loved this album’s whole vibe. My favorite moment is in the title track when it transitions from country into hard rock (the track was my #3 song this year, and “Sold Out” was #4 last year). I’m thrilled “wait in the truck” took off and and won all those awards because it’s so different from what you usually hear on the radio. The music video literally gave me chills! I’m really looking forward to HARDY’s next project, whatever genre it may be.
Abby Kaye-Phillips, Contributing Writer
Favorite album: Bigger Houses – Dan + Shay
Dan + Shay have given fans a range of vibes and a varied sound across their last few projects, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from their latest release, Bigger Houses. What I found was a beautifully crafted album that felt both refreshingly new and also reminiscent of their first record from almost 10 years ago. From the heartfelt “For The Both of Us”, to the sentimental “Always Gonna Be”, and the poignant title track “Bigger Houses”, to the fun and flirty “We Should Get Married”, there is so much to love. I’m thrilled the band decided to continue making music together, and I know this album will remain special to the artists and the fans for years to come.
Lucie Bernheim, Contributing Writer
Favorite album: Rolling Up The Welcome Mat – Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini has always been one of Nashville’s strongest songwriters, but her latest project, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, proves that she is here to stay as an artist and visionary. It’s not about the bells and whistles of Music City. It’s about the truth and authenticity, and figuring out ways to tackle and share the difficult and messy words. Written and produced solely by Ballerini and close friend/powerhouse Alysa Vanderheym, they take you truly behind the curtain of a woman growing and messing up, in a way that embraces multiple sides of the story and the different stages of grief. “Just Married” is one of the most clever and heart-wrenching country songs to have been released, and “Leave Me Again” is stark in production and full in lyrical purity. There is a reason this album has transformed Ballerini’s career, and it is not because of the news articles that follow it – it is because it is honest.
Rebekah Milsted, Contributing Writer
Favorite album: Stereotype Broken deluxe – Cole Swindell
Stereotype Broken is my favorite album of 2023 because Swindell took an already great album and made it even better. He did this by going back to his love for 90s country. With “Sad Ass Country Song” honoring the classics and legends and “She Had Me At Heads Carolina Remix” featuring Jo Dee Messina, you feel like you traveled back in time. As a new mom, lullabies have become a constant listen in our household. Swindell created an adult version to add to the album. It may be about a breakup and be upbeat but it brings back memories of the classics instantly. This record continues to show Swindell’s talent as an artist and songwriter. I can’t wait for album five!