The year’s barely begun, and there’s already plenty for music lovers to be excited for in 2023. There are highly anticipated new albums from big household names and beloved underground acts alike. There are reunion tours and farewell tours and tours from artists who haven’t played a live show in years. There are emo festivals and rap festivals and rock festivals and whatever you want to call Coachella. Here’s our expertly curated list of the albums, concerts, and festivals we’re most looking forward to this year. Let’s make 2023 a good one, shall we?
Mac DeMarco: Five Easy Hot Dogs [January 20]
“The plan was to start driving north, and not go home to Los Angeles until I was done with a record,” Mac DeMarco explains of his new instrumental collection, Five Easy Hot Dogs. “Kind of like being on tour, except there weren’t any shows, and I’d just be burning money.” Every song on the record was recorded and mixed in the city it’s named after, from Gualala and Portland to Vancouver and Chicago, and the tracklist reflects DeMarco’s road trip in chronological order. “This record sounds like what rolling around like that feels like,” DeMarco says.
Sam Smith, Gloria [January 27]
Although they made their name on big, weepy piano ballads, Sam Smith is at their best when they embrace pure pop euphoria. Smith has said that their new album, Gloria, titled after their name for the “voice in my head that just says, ‘You can do it,’” is centered on queer joy. In addition to the previously released single “Love Me More” and the Kim Petras-assisted number one hit “Unholy,” Gloria will feature songs with Jessie Reyez, Koffee, and Ed Sheeran. “Gloria got me through some dark times and was a beacon for me in my life,” Smith says. “I hope it can be that for you.”
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2023 North American tour [starts February 1]
The last time that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band went on tour was way back in 2016, to support the 35th anniversary box set of The River. Since then, the Boss has performed a solo residency on Broadway that got extended three times and released two LPs, the 2019 solo album Western Stars and the 2020 full-band effort Letters To You. In February, Springsteen and the E Street Band will finally go on tour in support of Letters To You, kicking off in Tampa, Florida, on February 1 and continuing for two months before moving on to Europe in the spring and summer. Whether you’ve never seen Springsteen and the E Street Band live in concert or you’ve seen them dozens of times already, you should be marking your calendar for a chance to catch one of rock’s most enduring, and durable, acts.
Shania Twain: Queen Of Me [February 3]
Shania Twain is feeling herself—as she should be. Queen Of Me, the country-pop icon’s first album since 2017 and her first for Republic Records, is described as her “most triumphant-feeling body of work; an album about standing in your own power and worshipping yourself.” Lead single “Waking Up Dreaming” was co-written and produced with BTS collaborator David Stewart, and Twain will tour through North America and Europe in support of the LP starting in April.
Paramore: This Is Why [February 10]
Hayley Williams has released two solo records since Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter, but her main band is still going strong. The band’s new album, This Is Why, is coming out next month, and Williams has said that Bloc Party, who they’re touring with this spring, were the “number one reference” for the record’s sound. Judging by the early tracks, This Is Why will merge the pop ambitions of After Laughter with the urgency of Paramore’s earlier work.
Yo La Tengo: This Stupid World [February 10]
Long-running indie-rock institution Yo La Tengo returns with This Stupid World, which the trio recorded and produced entirely on their own and are billing as “the most live-sounding Yo La Tengo album in years.” Lead single “Fallout” bears that out, presenting a perfect synthesis of fuzzy noise and melodic lightness that hits right in that classic YLT sweet spot. As advertised, it’s easily some of the most immediate material they’ve put out in a long time.
Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show [February 12]
Rihanna reportedly turned down an offer to perform the Super Bowl halftime show in 2018 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. But the NFL has confirmed that Rihanna will be the headlining performer at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show in 2023, which is set to take place on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona. Rihanna hasn’t released an album since 2016’s Anti and hasn’t performed live since the 2018 Grammys, so this performance should be a big one.
Caroline Polachek: Desire, I Want To Turn Into You [February 14]
With the viral success of her 2019 hit “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” erstwhile Chairlift singer Caroline Polachekhas morphed into a bona fide TikTok-approved alt-pop star. Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, her second full-length solo album under her own name, is poised to become her biggest breakthrough yet. We’ve already heard “Bunny Is A Rider,” “Billions,” “Sunset,” and “Welcome To My Island,” and our anticipation for the rest is through the roof.
Gorillaz: Cracker Island [February 24]
A new Gorillaz album is always a good time. Cracker Island, Damon Albarn and company’s follow-up to 2020’s Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, will welcome a slew of collaborators including Thundercat, Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, Beck, the Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown, and Adeleye Omotayo to the virtual party. They’ve already shared the title track alongside singles “New Gold,” “Baby Queen,” and “Skinny Ape,” and they debuted several more live during the Gorillaz World Tour last year.
Rolling Loud California [March 3]
After being cancelled in 2020 and held in San Bernardino in 2021, hip-hop festival Rolling Loud is returning to Los Angeles from March 3–5. Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Future are headlining alongside special guest Lil Wayne, with Scott giving his first headlining performance since the Astroworld tragedy in 2021. Kodak Black, Tyga, Trippie Redd, DaBaby, Saweetie, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz, Lil Yachty, City Girls, Aminé, Chief Keef, Lil Uzi Vert, Polo G, Moneybagg Yo, Ski Mask The Slump God, Sheck Wes, Kevin Gates, Soulja Boy, and more are also set to perform at Hollywood Park in Inglewood.
Fever Ray: Radical Romantics [March 10]
“There will be an album—it’s called Radical Romantics, cause everything needs to be dissected and loved and torn and built back up again and we’re dreamers aren’t we?” Karin Dreijer announced late last year. Featuring contributions from Dreijer’s brother and fellow The Knife member Olof Dreijer as well as Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Portuguese DJ and producer Nídia, Aasthma, and Vessel, Fever Ray’s Radical Romantics will find Dreijer taking on “the myth of love.”
Lana Del Rey: Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd [March 10]
Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard? If not, Lana Del Rey is here to fix that with her new album Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (no question mark). The album boasts production from Mike Hermosa, Jack Antonoff, Drew Erickson, Zach Dawes, and Benji, and features Jon Batiste, Bleachers, Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, SYML, and Judah Smith, the pastor at the celebrity church that Lana attends. She’s promoting the album with a single billboard in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which just so happens to be the hometown of her cop ex-boyfriend Sean “Sticks” Larkin.
100 gecs: 10,000 gecs [March 17]
More gecs! Ten times as many gecs, to be precise. Since their 2019 debut 1000 gecs, Dylan Brady and Laura Les’ hyerpop duo 100 gecs has become a genuine phenomenon bordering on memetic virality, and now their sophomore album 10,000 gecs is almost upon us. 10,000 gecs will include the previously released singles “mememe” and “Doritos & Fritos,” plus plenty more colorful chaos and digitized hooks where those came from.
U2: Songs Of Surrender [March 17]
U2 are rerecording and reimagining 40 of their own songs for Songs Of Surrender, a companion album to Bono’s recent memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. “The fact is that most of our work was written and recorded when we were a bunch of very young men. Those songs mean something quite different to us now,” the Edge explains in a letter to fans. “Once we surrendered our reverence for the original version, each song started to open up to a new anthemic voice of this time, of the people we are now, and particularly the singer that Bono has become.”
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Taylor Swift Eras tour with Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Muna etc. [starts March 18]
Taylor Swift Eras tour with Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Muna etc. [starts March 18]
Because of the pandemic, Taylor Swift hasn’t toured since her 2018 stadium shows supporting Reputation. Since then, she’s released the new album Midnights and rerecorded versions of her old albums Fearless and Red. And in March, Swift is embarking on the Eras Tour, which she describes as “a journey through the musical eras of my career (past and present!)“ Big acts including Paramore, beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, girl in red, Muna, Haim, Gayle, Gracie Abrams, and Owenn will serve as openers on different dates.
Depeche Mode Memento Mori tour [starts March 23]
Depeche Mode co-founder and keyboardist Andy Fletcher passed away last May, and Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are honoring his memory with the new album Memento Mori. “We started work on this project early in the pandemic, and its themes were directly inspired by that time. After Fletch’s passing, we decided to continue as we’re sure this is what he would have wanted, and that has really given the project an extra level of meaning,” Gore says. Although it doesn’t have an official release date yet, Memento Mori will be out sometime in March, and Depeche Mode will head out on tour later that month.
Coachella [April 14-16, April 21-23]
Coachella, America’s biggest music festival, will take place in Indio, California, over the weekends of April 14–16 and April 21–23. Frank Ocean, who was originally supposed to headline the cancelled 2020 edition of the festival, will be headlining alongside Bad Bunny and Blackpink. Calvin Harris, who previously headlined the fest in 2016, is billed as “returning to the desert.” Also performing are ... *deep breath* ... Gorillaz, Rosalía, Björk, Burna Boy, the Chemical Brothers, Kaytranada, boygenius, Charli XCX, Labrinth, Underworld, Kali Uchis, Dominic Fike, Jai Paul, Metro Booin, Pusha T, Wet Leg, Yves Tumor, Muna, Chromeo, Mura Masa, Yaeji, 070 Shake, Christine And The Queens, Rae Sremmurd, Yungblud, Idris Elba, Kenny Beats, Snail Mail, Weyes Blood, Alex G, Noname, Saba, Soul Glo, Sleaford Mods, The Comet Is Coming, Earthgang, The Breeders, Horsegirl, Sudan Archives, and a whole lot more.
Janet Jackson Together Again tour with Ludacris [starts April 14]
The inimitable Janet Jackson will launch her Together Again arena tour in April to celebrate her 50 years in the entertainment industry, the 30th anniversary of Janet, and the 25th anniversary of The Velvet Rope. She’s also promised some new music. The Together Again tour begins April 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes June 21 in Seattle; Ludacris is set to open for Janet on all 37 dates.
Metallica: 72 Seasons [April 14]
Heavy metal overlords Metallica will release their new album, 72 Seasons, in April. “72 seasons. The first 18 years of our lives that form our true or false selves,” James Hetfield explains in a statement. Hetfield and Lars Ulrich co-produced the 77-minute LP with Greg Fidelman, who worked on Hardwired … To Self-Destruct and Metallica’s infamous Lou Reed collab Lulu. And after the album comes out, the band will embark on a massive M72 World Tour where they’ll play two shows in every city, with different setlists and openers every night, all the way until September 2024.
The Smashing Pumpkins: Atum [April 21]
The Smashing Pumpkins’ Atum: A Rock Opera In Three Acts is, as advertised, a rock opera in three acts. The first act came out in November of last year; the second is set to arrive at the end of January; and the third will drop April 21, alongside a physical box set consisting of all 33 songs from the three acts plus 10 additional exclusive tracks. Billy Corgan is billing the album as a sequel to 1995’s Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/The Machines Of God.
The Walkmen reunion tour [starts April 24]
Since the Walkmen went on “extreme hiatus” in 2013, the band’s members have released solo albums and pursued various other projects. But now, nearly a full decade later, they’re reuniting to play some shows together. Following five dates at Webster Hall in New York, they’ll perform in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and they’re also set to play the Shaky Knees music festival in Atlanta. As of now, there are no plans to record any new music, but who knows what might happen in the future.
Blink-182 + Tom DeLonge reunion tour, North American leg with Turnstile [starts May 4]
Longtime Blink-182 co-leader and founding member Tom DeLonge has finally returned to the fold, and the beloved pop-punk band’s classic lineup of DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker have announced a huge global tour stretching into 2024. Following their first-ever Latin American tour in March and April, the North America leg of the reunion tour—with Turnstile opening—will commence in May.
Death Grips tour [starts May 4]
After several years of radio silence, Death Grips are staying noided and hitting the road. In addition to sets at upcoming festivals including Sick New World, Primavera Sound, and Outbreak, Death Grips will head out on a full North American tour with one leg in May and another in September. The group hasn’t released an album since 2018’s Year Of The Snitch; could there be some new music on the horizon?
Just Like Heaven [May 13]
Just Like Heaven, Coachella promoter Goldenvoice’s music festival trading on 2000s blog-rock nostalgia, is coming to Pasadena’s Brookside At The Rose Bowl on Saturday, May 13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are headlining. MGMT will perform their 2007 debut album Oracular Spectacular in full. And Future Islands, M83, the reunited Walkmen, Empire Of The Sun, Hot Chip, Caribou, The Bravery, Fever Ray, Peaches, Azealia Banks, Ladytron, STRFKR, Metronomy, and Cults, among others, will also be in attendance.
Dead & Co. farewell tour [starts May 19]
Dead & Co. is ending. The Grateful Dead offshoot, which features founding Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir, plus John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti, have announced a farewell tour spanning from May to July. Although it seems likely that some permutation of the Dead will continue playing shows, this might really be your last chance to see this lineup of ace performers playing together.
Cruel World [May 20]
On Saturday, May 20, exactly one week after Just Like Heaven, Goldenvoice is bringing another niche music festival to Pasadena’s Brookside At The Rose Bowl. The goth- and new wave-heavy Cruel World festival will be headlined by Iggy Pop and Siouxsie And The Banshees leader Siouxsie Sioux giving her first North American performance in 15 years. Billy Idol, a reunited Love And Rockets, Echo And The Bunnymen, Adam Ant, The Human League, Gary Numan, Boy Harsher, Modern English, Gang Of Four, Ela Minus, The Soft Moon, and more will be there too.
Governors Ball [June 9–11]
The New York City music festival Governors Ball is heading to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens this summer. Lizzo, Odesza, and Kendrick Lamar are headlining, and other big names on the bill include Lil Uzi Vert, HAIM, Diplo, Lil Baby, Rina Sawayama, Lil Nas X, Kim Petras, Finneas, Pusha T, Joey Bada$$, 070 Shake, Snail Mail, Amber Mark, Syd, PinkPantheress, Black Midi, Saba, Lauv, Kenny Beats, Girl In Red, and Phony Ppl.
Bonnaroo [June 15–18]
Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, and Foo Fighters are headlining Bonnaroo on the Farm in Manchester, Tennessee, from June 15–18. Zeds Dead and Liquid Stranger are topping Thursday’s bill. The lineup also includes Paramore, Lil Nas X, Pixies, My Morning Jacket, Baby Keem, Korn, Marcus Mumford, Girl In Red, Three 6 Mafia, Fleet Foxes, Sylvan Esso, Rina Sawayama, J.I.D, Sheryl Crow, Alex G, Muna, Jenny Lewis, Franz Ferdinand, Men I Trust, Amber Mark, Black Midi, The Neths, Makaya McCraven, 070 Shake, Big Freedia, Dehd, Paris Jackson, a reunited Diarrhea Planet, and more.
Lollapalooza [August 3-6]
Lollapalooza is returning to Chicago’s Grant Park from August 3-6. There’s no lineup yet, but stay tuned for more details.
Death Cab For Cutie/The Postal Service co-headlining tour [starts September 8]
“I know for a fact I will never have a year again like 2003,” Ben Gibbard says. “The Postal Service record came out, Transatlanticism came out. These two records will be on my tombstone, and I’m totally fine with that. I’ve never had a more creatively inspired year.” While he may never have a year like that again, 2023 might come close. Gibbard is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism and the Postal Service’s Give Up by performing both albums in full on a Death Cab/Postal Service co-headlining tour. These shows will be the Postal Service’s first in a decade.
When We Were Young Festival [October 21]
The pop-punk/emo festival When We Were Young, which relaunched itself last year, will go down on October 21 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Green Day and the reunited classic Blink-182 lineup are headlining. Also performing are 30 Seconds To Mars, The Offspring, Good Charlotte, 5 Seconds Of Summer, All Time Low, Rise Against, Motion City Soundtrack, Gym Class Heroes, Yellowcard, Say Anything, Michelle Branch, Saves The Day, Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake, The Academy Is..., Sum-41, Plain White T’s, Simple Plan, Beach Bunny, Joyce Manor, AJJ, Citizen, Tigers Jaw, New Found Glory, The Front Bottoms, and Lit.